Everything you need to know

The UK-wide scheme launches on November 1st and aims to provide support to eligible businesses by paying two-thirds of an employees salary – 67% – up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. Companies will still be required to pay their employees pension and National Insurance contributions if they receive this support. 
The scheme will initially run for six months with a review period in January built in to monitor its effectiveness.   
In order to be eligible for the new assistance, a business will be legally required to close for some period over the winter specifically as part of local or national coronavirus restrictions as ordered by the government or their relative local authority.
This also includes businesses that are forced to close their premises but that continue to provide delivery-only or collection services or are offering food and drinks in an outdoor setting.  Employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days to be eligible. 
Businesses that choose to close – that aren’t forced by law but see no compelling reason to remain open – will not be eligible at the moment. Therefore, it will only currently benefit those under tier 3 restrictions, which has been confirmed to include wet bars, but not those who serve substantial meals.
It’s important to point out that this is a new scheme, not an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which is closing on October 31st.

What are the differences?

The CJRS allowed companies to furlough their workers from July and had 80% of their wages covered although this later reduced to 60% and they were required to pay pension and National Insurance contributions from July onwards.  
The new JSS expansion does not require any additional wage contributions from employers as they will be paying 55% of wages under the already announced JSS which will pay a further 22% of wages for workers in “viable” jobs on reduced hours. 
Payment will arrive after two weeks of closure rather than three and companies can also apply for cash grants based on the rateable value of their properties. 
A company with a property rateable value of £15,000 or under can claim £1,334 per month (£667 every two weeks); properties between £15,001 and £51,000 can get up to £2,000 (£1,000 every two weeks) while properties over £51,000 can get £3,000 every month (£1,500 every two weeks).  
Companies will also remain eligible to claim the £1,000 job retention bonus paid per worker and designed to encourage firms to keep workers on their payroll.
It would be easy to roll your eyes and exhale thinking “another new announcement” but each one might be the difference between your company surviving the winter and New Year period. 
Another great choice to give your company a real fighting chance of seeing the end of this awful contagion is to get in touch with us. 
During a free initial consultation we can tell you about all the temporary support measures you’re entitled to and the many existing options there are to help protect and strengthen all the fundamental areas of your business.
The best thing to do would be to contact us quickly because in these fast moving times, the sooner we can work with you, the more options you’ll generally have to choose from. 
The businesses that recognise and act at the start of a tightening situation are usually the ones that emerge from it stronger and ready to go when the circumstances let them.