Chancellor Rishi Sunak offers more support to businesses stuck in Tier 2 lockdowns


The government has expanded its job support scheme for businesses trying to operate under Tier 2 restrictions, and will now pay a much greater proportion of furloughed workers’ wages. Tier 2 restrictions ban the indoor mixing of households and applies the rule of six to outside settings. As a result, pubs, restaurants, and other social businesses have been hit hard.

Previously, employees in Tier 2 locations had to work 33% of their hours to be included in the job support scheme – and employers had to pay 33% of wages for their employees’ unworked hours. Those requirements have now shifted: employees will only need to work 20% of their hours, and employers will only be expected to cover 5% of wages for unworked hours.

Additionally, hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector businesses stuck in Tier 2 or Tier 3 will now receive a £2,100 grant for each month under restrictions – and these grants will be backdated to August.

Sunak also announced new support for the self-employed: profits covered by the government’s self-employed grants will also double, from 20% to 40%, meaning that the maximum grant is now £3,750 instead of £1,875.

This is a large turnaround for Sunak, and could come with as much as a £10 billion bill. But the Chancellor has told MP’s on Thursday that he makes “no apology [for] responding to changing circumstances.”

Having met with business groups and unions earlier in the day, he added: “The impact of the health restrictions on their businesses is worse than they hoped – they recognise the importance of controlling the spread of the virus, but a significant fall in consumer demand is causing profound economic harm to their industry. It is clear that open, but struggling businesses, require further support.”

At JW Hinks, we can help you ensure that you’re making the most of the support for which you’re eligible. As we face continued threats from the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, gaining access to all the help you can, has never been more important. Call 0121 456 0190, and benefit from our friendly and professional team’s expert guidance today.

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