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Employment: Coronavirus

Question for Treasury

UIN 94318, tabled on 23 September 2020

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is planning to take to help cover employment costs for businesses in the hospitality, tourism, sport and entertainment sectors affected by required closures and social distancing rules due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

30 September 2020

The Government recognises the extreme disruption the necessary actions to combat Covid-19 are having on businesses and sectors like hospitality, tourism, sport and entertainment across the UK.

We are introducing a new Job Support Scheme from 1 November. Employees must work a minimum of 33% of their normal hours, and in return, will receive at least 77% of their salary. For every hour not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their remaining salary up to a cap of £697.92. Large businesses will be required to demonstrate that their turnover has suffered as a result of COVID-19.

The Government has provided unprecedented support for individuals and businesses during the pandemic, and on 24 September the Government announced additional support measures as part of the Winter Economy Plan. In addition to the new Jobs Support Scheme, the Winter Economy Plan includes measures such as:

  • The SEISS Grant Extension, which provides additional taxable grant funding to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade, but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19;
  • An extension to the temporary VAT cut for hospitality and tourism businesses to March 2021;
  • An extension to the deadline for new applications to four of the COVID-19 loan schemes to 30 November; and
  • Help for businesses in repaying loans from Government-backed schemes through the Pay as you Grow scheme and allowing lenders to extend the terms of CBILS loans to up to 10 years.

Earlier this month, the Government also announced the Local Lockdown Grant Fund (now called the Local Restrictions Support Grants), to enable Local Authorities in England to provide business properties which are required to shut due to nationally-imposed local lockdowns with grants of up to £1,500 for each three week closure period.

We will continue to monitor the impact of government support with regard to supporting public services, businesses, individuals, and sectors such as hospitality, tourism, sport and entertainment as we respond to this pandemic.

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