Job Support Scheme expanded for local lockdowns

The government's Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors due to local lockdowns as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continues to rise in some areas.

Under the JSS extension the government will pay two thirds of employees' salaries to protect jobs over the coming months.

Cash grants for businesses required to close as a result of local lockdowns are being increased to up to £3,000 per month. Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of a local or national lockdown will receive grants to pay the wages of employees who cannot work.

The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employee's salary, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

In response to the expansion, Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: 'The steep rise in infections in some areas means new restrictions to curb numbers feel unavoidable.

'The Chancellor's more generous job support for those under strict restrictions should cushion the blow for the most affected and keep more people in work.

'But many firms, including pubs and restaurants, will still be hugely disappointed if they have to close their doors again after doing so much to keep customers and staff safe.'  

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