Furlough: Who can apply for Rishi Sunak's new job support scheme?

9 October 2020, 19:28

An employee pulls a pint in the Tib Street Tavern in Manchester, as Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announces the new furlough scheme
An employee pulls a pint in the Tib Street Tavern in Manchester, as Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announces the new furlough scheme. Picture: PA

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced new measures to bolster the Jobs Support Scheme ahead of what he has described as a potentially "difficult winter".

But what protections are the Government offering to businesses and staff and who is eligible?

What does it mean for employees?

Staff who are forced to be off work for more than seven consecutive days because their workplace closed due to Government restrictions will get part of their salaries covered.

The Government will pay 67% of their salaries, up to £2,100 per month.

The new policy sits alongside the Jobs Support Scheme, which supports staff who are not able to work full time because their employer faces low demand.

What does it mean for businesses?

Businesses will be able to apply for grants to support them with fixed costs, such as rent. The grants will reach up to £3,000 per month, depending on the rateable value of the property, and will be paid every two weeks. Previously businesses were able to claim up to £1,500 every three weeks.

Companies will still be able to claim the £1,000 per head job retention bonus for employees they bring back off furlough and keep on the books until the end of January.

How long will it last?

The scheme launches on November 1, and will continue for six months after that.

Why has this been announced now?

With further local and national restrictions already in place, or likely to be announced in coming days many businesses and staff across the UK need support.

The Labour Party and other critics have been calling for what amounts to an extension to furlough for several weeks.

Does it help me if I am self-employed?

The new announcement includes no changes for self-employed people. Around 2.2 million self-employed people have applied for help under a Government scheme that launched on August 17. It is unclear if there will be any further support for the self-employed.

Will I qualify for the scheme if my employer can still open for delivery?

Yes, the Government said that it would cover "businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises, or food and drink outdoors from their premises.

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