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UK

As coronavirus cases in the UK spike dramatically, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced an expansion to the job support scheme in areas affected by local lockdown:

  • The Chancellor tweets: "Where the coronavirus restrictions legally require business premises to close, in any region or nation of the UK, we will help pay employees' wages. So, if your business does close their doors, and you cannot work at all for one week or more, your employer will pay you two thirds of your normal salary, up to £2,100 a month– and the UK government will cover the cost. The scheme applies to all business premises legally required to close. That includes those told to operate on a collection only or delivery basis.
  • Unlike the Jobs Support Scheme for open businesses, all we'll ask businesses to pay is Employer NI and pension contributions. The Jobs Support Scheme – whether for open or closed businesses – will: open on November 1st, pay grants from early December, remain open for six months, and we'll review the scheme, in January. "
  • "I'm also announcing a second new policy today. If you're a business in England, and have been legally required to close, we'll also give you a cash grant that will never have to be repaid[...]The smallest businesses can now claim £1,300 per month. Medium sized businesses – with properties worth between £15,000 and £51,000 - can claim £2,000 per month. And larger businesses can claim £3,000, all paid in two fortnightly installments."
  • Comes as the gov't is set to announce stricter lockdown conditions in northern England following a rapid increase in cases and hospitalisations. Comes after Scottish gov't announced closure of all pubs and bars in an attempt to stop spread of the virus.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 | tom.lake@marketnews.com