Last week, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined further details on the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – which has already helped 1 million employers across the UK furlough 8.4 million jobs, protecting people’s livelihoods.
Starting from July, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part time. This will help employees to return to work gradually and safely as more places begin to reopen.
From August, employers will pay National Insurance and pension contributions, then 10% of pay from September, rising to 20% of pay in October. These payments will substitute for part of the contribution the taxpayer is currently making and, crucially, employees on the scheme will continue to receive 80% of their salary during this time.
I am also pleased that the Chancellor has announced the extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). This is a welcome move which reflects the huge challenges that many self-employed people are facing.
The SEISS, which opened on 13 May, has received 2.3 million applications worth £6.8 billion in total.
For eligible individuals who submit a claim before 13 July, this is a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.
When the scheme reopens in August, those eligible will be able to claim a second and final taxable grant worth 70 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in another single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
In more good news for the Forest of Dean, online applications for the Local Authority Discretionary Fund are now available – until 14 June.
These Government funded grants are aimed at supporting small businesses which were not eligible for help under previous support schemes, which I raised in Parliament and with Ministers directly. This includes businesses in shared spaces such as Vantage Point in Mitcheldean and the Newent Business Park.
The District Council is using its discretion to include businesses which form part of the supply chain for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
More information about the grant, including how to apply, can be found on the District Council’s website.