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The UK’s Furlough Scheme is Replaced by Job Support Scheme

The furlough scheme that started in the UK in March 2020 is to be replaced by a Job Support Scheme (JSS), chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced. This is one of a series of measures that are designed to protect British companies and employers while coronavirus restrictions remain in place.

Details of the New Scheme

The JSS initiative announced by Sunak will directly support the wages of workers who continue to carry out a minimum of a third of their usual working hours. Their companies will pay them for the time that they work.

The rest of their normal working week that they can’t work (up to two-thirds of the total hours) will be paid between the employer and the Treasury, who cover a third each. This means that the worker gets two-thirds of their pay for the time they don’t work.

This new scheme is to be made available to those companies that haven’t used the furlough scheme. With numerous businesses now looking at International debt recovery to make ends meet, this could be a vital way of protecting more Jobs.

It is part of chancellor´s £9 billion Winter Economy Plan, which is designed to get the country through a difficult few months without suffering extensive job losses. The furlough scheme ends in October and there have been growing fears that many people will be made unemployed when it finishes.

What Else Was Covered?

Another important part of the chancellor’s announcement was that the Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant (SEISS) has been extended. It now includes a lump sum that will cover November through to January of next year.

This new amount will be for 20% of the person’s average monthly profits, with a limit of £1,875. A second grant, covering the period from February to April of next year, will then be made available.

In terms of loans, the Bounceback Loan guarantee term has been extended from the 6 years initially mentioned to a new total of 10. Also now included in this program are payment holidays, as well as interest-free periods that run for 6 months.

Other areas covered include the VAT cut from 20% down to 5% for the tourism and hospitality sectors running until March 2021. Companies in other industries that have deferred the payment of their VAT under the government´s New Payment Scheme can now pay it through 11 interest-free payments in the next financial year (2021-22) rather than having to do so in March of next year.

Another change has seen 'Time to Pay', which is the self-assessment tax system, given an extension until January 2022. 

Summary

Sunak has pointed out that he can´t save every job in the country. However, the chancellor´s latest initiatives should help to make the winter less painful for British companies and their staff, while he stated that normal life can no longer be put on hold.

Some analysts have questioned where the money will come from to pay for all this help, but the move has been broadly welcomed as being necessary to get the country through the financial crisis.

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