Thank you for contacting me about the extension of COVID-19 support schemes.
I welcome the introduction of the Job Support Scheme, which will protect jobs over the coming winter months. The Job Support Scheme targets support on businesses who need it the most, businesses who can support employees doing some work during a period of depressed demand. The Government contribution of a third of hours not worked up to a cap is fair contribution, and will be matched by employers also contributing a third, bringing total pay up to a minimum of 77 per cent of an employee's normal wages.
I welcome the decision to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. On 12 May 2020, the Chancellor announced that the Scheme would continue until the end of October, with new flexibility introduced from August to get employees back to work. This includes furloughed workers being able to return to work on a part-time basis, with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of furloughed staff. Furthermore, recent statistics indicate that the CJRS has so far protected over 9.6 million workers. I believe this extension is a crucial step in supporting employees and businesses during the current pandemic, and I support the measures taken to encourage workers to return to work at the appropriate time.
I also welcome the SEISS Grant Extension, which will provide critical support to the self-employed. The initial extension grant will cover 20 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total. The Treasury will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.
This follows the previous extension, with the scheme having reopened for applications on 17th August 2020 and closing on 19th October 2020. This second grant will be worth 70 per cent of average monthly trading profits, capped at £6,570 in total, and according to the same eligibility criteria as the first grant. This extension is fair as it matches the support available under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Some self-employed individuals may have only been adversely affected by COVID-19 during this second stage of the scheme, therefore an individual does not have to have claimed a grant in the first stage in order to apply for and receive a grant in the second stage.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.