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Rishi Sunak Announces Workers Will Get Two-Thirds Of Wages If Employer Is Told To Shut

Rishi Sunak Announces Workers Will Get Two-Thirds Of Wages If Employer Is Told To Shut

Rishi Sunak has announced a series of financial measures to support businesses and employees that are legally required to close, following several areas of the UK being affected by stricter lockdown rules.

Speaking on Twitter, the Chancellor of The Exchequer explained the next stage of the Winter Economy Plan.

In a post to his account, Mr Sunak said: "We've developed an economic tool kit to give people and businesses the right support, at the right time, for their situation."

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The post explained: "So, if your business does close their doors, and you cannot work at all for one week or more, your employer will pay you two thirds of your normal salary, up to £2,100 a month - and the UK government will cover the cost.

"The scheme applies to all business premises legally required to close. That includes those told to operate on a collection only or delivery basis. Unlike the Jobs Support Scheme for open businesses, all we'll ask businesses to pay is Employer NI and pension contributions.

"I'm also announcing a second new policy today. If you're a business in England, and have been legally required to close, we'll also give you a cash grant that will never have to be repaid. And I'm making those grants more valuable than we'd previously planned.

"The smallest businesses can now claim £1,300 per month. Medium sized businesses - with properties worth between £15,000 and £51,000 - can claim £2,000 per month. And larger businesses can claim £3,000, all paid in two fortnightly instalments."

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Rishi Sunak announced a series of financial measures to support businesses affected by stricter lockdown measures. Credit: PA
Rishi Sunak announced a series of financial measures to support businesses affected by stricter lockdown measures. Credit: PA

According to previously announced details, from 1 November the Job Support Scheme will replace the current furlough scheme.

To be eligible for the support, employees must be working for a minimum of 33 percent of their usual hours, and will receive one third of their wages from the hours lost paid by each their employer and the government.

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That means that employees working for 33 percent of their hours will still receive 77 percent of their total pay.

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The scheme will be reviewed after three months.

The package is aimed at businesses that 'may have to close in the coming weeks or months', the Treasury said.

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This comes as much stricter measures are expected to come into force in the North of England on Monday (12 October), with all pubs, bars and restaurants set to close.

Mr Sunak announced cash grants for businesses forced to close. Credit: PA
Mr Sunak announced cash grants for businesses forced to close. Credit: PA

Last week, documents were leaked which outlined a series of alert levels of varying severity, with level three being the highest.

According to reports, alert level one will see a continuation of the measures currently in place across England, including the 'rule of six' for all gatherings, compulsory face coverings, a 10pm curfew for hospitality businesses and limited numbers at weddings and funerals - which allow no more than 15 and 30 attendees, respectively.

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Level two will mean people must not meet others outside of their household in private dwellings or gardens - apart from people within their support bubble - or in pubs, restaurants or others settings.

Alert level three contains the strictest set of measures - which are also tougher than any we've seen in any localised lockdowns.

These include: closure of hospitality and leisure businesses; no social contact outside your household in any setting; restrictions on overnight stays away from home; and no organised non-professional sports permitted or other communal hobby groups and activities, such as social clubs in community centres.

However, places of worship can remain open, while there is no mention of schools.

These more stringent rules are in response to the rising number of coronavirus cases across the country, with 17,540 new cases reported yesterday (8 October) and 77 sadly losing their lives.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, Coronavirus, Politics, Health, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]