In recently announced measures, set to replace the furlough scheme, chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced added support for workers affected by Covid restrictions. The move comes after considerable protestation from business owners affected by Tier 2 lockdowns. Under the rules of the new Job Support Scheme, which will replace furlough measures in November, employers will be required to pay less and workers will be required to work less hours to qualify for the scheme. Updated plans came about as a result of complaints from business owners in Tier 2 lockdown areas. Complaining that they would be better off under Tier 3 lockdowns, business owners convinced the chancellor to double the taxpayer subsidy.
Originally, according to the Winter Economic plan announced just last month, employers were required to pay a minimum of fifty five per cent of wages, in return for one third of the hours completed. However, with the new changes, employers will now be required to pay for at least twenty per cent of usual hours and five per cent of hours not worked. Furthermore, the chancellor has pledged to fund sixty two per cent of hours not worked, which means the taxpayer subsidy will rise to almost half. In monthly terms, the government will be paying up to a maximum of £1,541.75, to those qualifying for the Job Support Scheme.
As part of his statement announcing the new Job Support Scheme, the chancellor insisted, “I’ve always said that we must be ready to adapt our financial support as the situation evolves, and that is what we are doing today. These changes mean that our support will reach many more people and protect many more jobs, I know that the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities. I hope the government’s stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together in the coming months.”