The government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the chancellor has announced.
Employees who work for UK firms forced to shut by law, because of COVID-19 restrictions, will get two-thirds of their wages paid for by the government - up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
Under the UK-wide scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover National Insurance contributions and pension contributions.
The government said it is estimated that around half of potential claims are likely not to incur employer National Insurance contributions or auto-enrolment pension contributions, therefore will not face employer contribution.
Payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December. Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before November 1 are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The scheme will begin on November 1 and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.
The government said it will work with the devolved administrations to ensure the scheme operates effectively across all four nations.
The BBC reported that a treasury source said the expansion of the scheme could roughly cost hundreds of millions a month.