The government has announced various initiatives to support businesses over the winter months and help retain jobs, including the new job support scheme which is being launched on 1 November.
Leader of the council Philip Whitehead said: “These initiatives, plus other support to help businesses’ finances and cashflow announced in the government’s Winter Economy Plan, will go some way to reassure local businesses that help will be available to assist them and their staff through these challenging times.
“There’s still uncertainty whether further restrictions will be put into place to help fight against coronavirus and how high street shops and businesses will fare in the traditionally busy run-up to Christmas. It’s important that our high streets remain open not only to support local communities but to protect local jobs and Wiltshire’s economy.
“Together with our partner organisation, we are doing all we to support businesses such as other sources of funding and training and reskilling opportunities for employees. I would encourage any business concerned about the impact Covid-19 is having on their livelihood to contact us as soon as possible for help and advice.”
The new support scheme runs for six months with the government contributing towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to lower demand.
Employers will continue to pay the wages for the hours staff work. For the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their usual wages. Employers will need to meet their share of the pay for unworked hours, and all employer national insurance contributions and statutory pension contributions, from their own funds.
This scheme will be open to employers, even if they have not previously applied under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Claims can be made in December with grants being paid on a monthly basis. More information is available on the gov.uk website by searching Job Support Scheme factsheet.
Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus which is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Schemes, and who remains continuously employed through to January 31 2021. Employers will be able to claim this bonus from February, 2021.