Revealed: updated support package for tier 2 businesses

The Chancellor unveils increased levels of financial support for businesses and workers affected by tier 2 restrictions, following growing complaints

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced increased financial support for businesses located in sections of the country that are under tier 2 restrictions.

The Job Support Scheme (JSS), which is set to replace furlough in November, will see its contributions from the government rise to support businesses that are not required to close, but who are keenly feeling the effects of the pandemic on their usual business and profits.

The updated scheme will see employers’ contributions fall and staff able to work fewer hours to qualify, while the taxpayer subsidy has been doubled.

It comes after complaints from businesses in tier 2 areas that they would be better off if they were under tier 3 restrictions and forced to close, thereby able to access greater government support.

Instead of a minimum requirement of paying 55% of wages for a third of hours, employers will now have to pay for a minimum of 20% of the usual hours worked, and 5% of hours not worked.

The government will now fund 62% of wages for hours not worked, more than doubling the previous the maximum payment to £1,541.75. As before, the scheme will be open to all small businesses and larger businesses that can show an impact on usual revenues.

Rishi Sunak also announced that cash grants of up to £2,100 will be made available to companies hit by tier 2 restrictions, and that this money can be applied for retrospectively, including businesses in the north that have been operating under these restrictions for the past few months before the tiered system became enforced.

The self-employment financial scheme has also been doubled, from 20% to 40% of proven profits, with a new maximum grant of £3,750 a month.

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