Boris Johnson spoke to Britons across the country alongside the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and the UK Government’s chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance. The Government officials addressed the new Job Support Scheme, but what changes have been made as the end of the furlough scheme draws closer?
Massive changes to the Job Support Scheme due to replace the furlough scheme in November were announced today by Mr Sunak.
Under the new scheme, employers will now pay less and staff can work fewer hours and still qualify for the scheme.
Mr Sunak earlier told the House of Commons even businesses not forced to shut were facing “profound economic uncertainty”.
The new scheme will see the taxpayer subsidy doubled.
What changes have been made to the Job Support Scheme?
Mr Sunak revealed the new Job Support Scheme will be more generous with new changes being made.
Speaking from the Commons on Thursday, Mr Sunak said: “Recognising the pressure businesses in some sectors and areas are facing, today’s announcement lightens the burden of keeping on staff.
“When originally announced, the JSS – which will come into effect on November 1 – saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked, and required employees to be working 33 percent of their normal hours.
“Today’s announcement reduces the employer contribution to those unworked hours to just five percent, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20 percent, so those working just one day a week will be eligible.
“That means that if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the government would be contributing £543 and their employer only £44.
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The new changes came as calls from several businesses in tier two areas complained about losing out, claiming they would be better off if they were designated as a tier-three area.
In “very high” tier 3 lockdown areas, pubs and bars must close and can only remain open if they function as a restaurant, wedding receptions are banned, people cannot meet with anyone outside their household, people should avoid travelling outside their “very high” area and should avoid staying overnight elsewhere.
Under “high” tier 2 lockdown rules, all businesses can continue to operate in a covid-secure manner, hospitality businesses must close from 10pm to 5am unless for takeaway services, schools, universities and places of worship can remain open, weddings and funerals can proceed, the rule of six and social distancing must be observed, people cannot meet with anyone outside their household in any indoor setting and people should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make.
In response to criticism from tier two areas, Mr Sunak has now changed the terms of the Job Support Scheme.