New Government Help Available For Employers Required to Close Due to Local or National Coronavirus Restrictions.
With the Prime Minister expected to announce a new three tier lockdown plan later on today, businesses across Kent are understandably nervous about what may lie ahead. However, the Government has recently announced an extension of the help available for Employers to pay staff, when they are required to close. It is thought that those in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors will be among those who may eventually benefit from this scheme depending on what measures are implemented in the coming weeks.
This help is only available to businesses required to close their premises due to local or national coronavirus restrictions. In that situation, the government will look pay two thirds of their employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. This would be on the basis that, eligible employers would not be required to contribute towards wages under the scheme, but only to cover NICS and pension contributions. However, Employers still need to ensure that they handle any proposal to reduce an employee’s wages in line with employment law, e.g. usually by consultation and agreement with the employee. Where an employee does not agree to such an amendment, Employers should take advice on the options available.
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.
The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. Payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via an HMRC claims service which will be available from early December. Employees of firms which have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for help under the existing help available, under the CJSS.
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If you need help with regard to this or any other business or employment matters, please contact Louise Purcell on 01580 767525