“Today the Chancellor announced last minute changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) and Self Employed Income Support Scheme to help employers and unincorporated businesses weather the storm.
“By reducing the contribution employers need to make to retain their staff for their non-working hours on part time hours on the Job Support Scheme from 33% to 5%, more businesses will be able to afford to use the scheme for their worker's incomes to be protected. The number of hours each employee on JSS needs to work for their employer has also been reduced from 33% of their contractual hours down to 20%, helping businesses use the scheme where demand for their goods and services is lower due to the impacts of COVID-19. The take home salary of the employees under JSS remains unchanged at 67% or higher – the government has increased the share borne by the government, and the maximum contribution rises to £1,542 per employee per month.
“However, there was no help for businesses who are not able to operate at all, such as the events sector, but are not required to close under local lockdowns under Tier 2 and 3. All areas of the South West remain in Tier 1, and are therefore not eligible for new grants based on hospitality businesses who are impacted by restrictions brought into other areas such as in the North West and London.
“Unincorporated businesses in the region will also be breathing a sigh of relief as the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant from 1 November onwards is doubled to 40% of profits (previously 20%), but eligibility remains what it was from the scheme’s inception and the generosity is still considerably lower than 70-80% of profits earlier this year
“More help is welcomed by Business West to help embattled businesses across our region but there is a long winter to come for firms remaining between the gaps in the various schemes.”