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UK Firms To Be Paid By The Government If They Are To Shut Down

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On Friday, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said that businesses that would be required to close down over the winters as part of local or national restrictions will be receiving grants to pay wages to their workers who aren’t able to work.

Two-thirds of the employee’s salaries would be secured by the British government over winter. This would increase the cash grants to firms that are forced to shut up to £3,000 ($3,893) per month.

The program is set to come into effect on November 1 and it will go on for six months which could cost hundreds of millions of pounds per month according to BBC.

A couple of weeks ago, the Minister had reported the first iteration of the Job Support Scheme as an emergency package of measure to limit unemployment, which would replace the U.K.’s furlough scheme which will be expiring by the end of October.

Britain has been one of the worst hit countries by the coronavirus with more than 564,518 cases reported so far, out of which 42,682 people died. Moreover, according to the Office for National Statistics, the number of cases in England had doubled to reach 17,200 per day in the latest week as compared to 8,400 cases per day in the last week.

On Monday, a restriction update which would require pubs and restaurants to shut down in the most-effected areas is expected to start.

At the same time, Shadow Anneliese Dodds put the blame on Sunak saying that the “delay in delivering support has caused unnecessary anxiety and job losses”.

The CBI Business Lobby group said that it would minimize the blow for the worst affected and keep more people in work. Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI boss added, “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,”

Under the new scheme, small employers are not required to make any contributions to the staffs’ wages if they are forced to shut down. For the larger businesses, they would still have to contribute 5% of employee costs through the National Insurance and pension contributions.

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