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United Kingdom to implement hospitality furlough measures

United Kingdom to implement hospitality furlough measures”

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United Kingdom finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to announce a local furlough scheme on Friday in which the government will subsidise two thirds of the wages of workers in pubs, restaurants and other businesses that are forced to close because of the coronavirus, British media reported.

"If that happens those workers will receive two thirds of their wages for the time that they're unable to go to work".

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the umbrella Trades Union Congress, said the scheme will protect jobs in businesses forced to close but urged more support for companies that are not required to close but are nevertheless hurt indirectly by the new restrictions. Figures released Friday showed the sector was largely behind the 2.1% increased in GDP recorded from the previous month.

Meanwhile, employers will not be expected to contribute to the wages, but will still be asked to cover national insurance and pension contributions.

Although the money will come from the government, employees will still receive their wages through their employer.

As such, these claims would not face any employer contribution.

Medium businesses can claim up to £2,000 per month.

Furthermore, employees must be off work for at least seven days in a row.

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Mr Sunak, said: "Throughout the crisis the driving force of our economic policy has not changed".

"I hope this provides reassurance and a safety net for people and businesses in advance of what may be a hard winter", he told reporters on Friday.

The scheme will begin on November 1, and be available for six months.

"I've always said that we will adapt and evolve our response as the situation on the health side adapts and evolves".

In January 2021, there will be a review point with regards to the scheme. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks, compared to the up to £1,500 every three weeks which was available previously.

What about the government's other support schemes? .

The grants will be available to firms in England, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will get a £1.3billion boost to their coronavirus fund.

In addition to the expansion of the Job Support Scheme, the government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs.

These measures will sit alongside the original JSS - which is created to support businesses that are facing low demand over the winter months - and the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus (JRB) which encourages employers to keep staff on payroll. This could benefit hundreds of thousands of businesses, including restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, bowling alleys and many more.



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