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Chancellor details increased job support

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has set out details of the government’s expanded Job Support Scheme (JSS), which is set to replace the existing furlough initiative due to expire at the end of the month.

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The Chancellor announced the new measures in the House of Commons

The JSS had already been put in place, but with the government having set out its new three-tier novel coronavirus (Covid-19) rating system, and the impact this will have on businesses in certain areas, it has faced calls to offer more support.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Sunak said that instead of paying at least 55% of wages for a third of a worker’s hours – as had been previously set out – employers will now pay for a minimum of 20% of standard hours, then 5% of hours not worked.

The government will foot the bill for 62% of hours not worked, which in turn doubles the maximum payment to £1,541.75.

As announced previously the JSS will be open to all small businesses, as well as larger businesses that can show evidence of an impact on revenues due to Covid-19.

I know the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities

However, it also means that employers must establish whether they can continue to pay around a fifth of usual employees for staff they want to keep employed.

"I know the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities; I hope the government’s stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together,” Sunak said.

Other support was also announced for hospitality and leisure businesses within regions under tier-two restrictions, with English councils to be given monthly grants of up to £2,100 for hotels, restaurants and B&Bs

In addition, the self-employment scheme has been doubled from 20% to 40% of profits, with those in this sector now able to access a maximum grant of £3,750 a month.

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