In order to protect jobs and the economy whilst Covid-19 restrictions are in place, this Government has introduced, in addition to the £200 billion of support committed since March, significant extra support to protect jobs and livelihoods in every region and nation of the country.
Firstly, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) has been extended not just by one month – but until the end of March 2021, with 80 per cent of wages for hours not worked covered by the government and the employer will only have to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions. This policy will be reviewed in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more. Over the past eight months, 9.6 million jobs have been protected through the CJRS which would otherwise have been at risk and 1.2 million firms have benefitted from this support.
Secondly, as the CJRS is being extended until the end of March, the policy intention of the Job Retention Bonus falls away and will therefore not be paid in February; in its stead, a retention incentive will be deployed at the appropriate time.
And thirdly, the Government is also announcing that we are increasing government support to the self-employed to an overall level of 80 per cent of trading profits for the third Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant, covering November to January. This provides broadly equivalent support to the self-employed as we are providing to employees through the government contribution in the CJRS. It is calculated based on 80 per cent of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500. We have already confirmed that there will be a fourth SEISS grant to cover February to April; further details will be set out in due course.
On top of these policies which will apply across the UK, the Government have introduced an upfront guarantee of funding for the devolved administrations is increasing once again from £14 billion to £16 billion. This uplift will continue to support people, business and individuals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and show our unwavering support for all parts of the Union.
These changes build on the comprehensive and generous £200 billion package of support which we have already committed to tackling coronavirus – including loans, grants, tax cuts and deferrals, mortgage holidays and increases to welfare.
You can read, in more detail, about the financial support available to you or your business in the following links: