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Chancellor announces job support scheme expansion

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an extension of the job support scheme for businesses that are legally required to close their premises in the coming months.

Under the extended scheme, the Government will pay 67% of employees' pay for eligible businesses, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

Those employers will not be required to contribute towards wages, but will be asked to cover employer national insurance and workplace pension contributions.

With updates on local restrictions expected to take place next week, Sunak said this expansion will provide a "safety net" for businesses that have to temporarily close due to local lockdowns.

To be eligible, businesses must be legally required to close as a result of Government restrictions, and their employees must be off work for at least seven consecutive days.

The scheme will be available for six months beginning on 1 November 2020, and payments will be made in arrears through a HMRC claims service that is set to open in early December.

In addition, the Chancellor announced an increase to the cash grants offered to businesses in England that are shut due to local lockdowns.

These grants will be paid in fortnightly instalments and based on the rateable value of the business's property, with up to £3,000 a month on offer.

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