'Furlough help' set to continue for nightclubs which are still shut as Gov vows to pay 2/3s of their wages in new scheme

EXTRA "furlough" help will continue for nightclubs as the Government has vowed to pay for two thirds of staff's wages while they are still unable to reopen.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new package of financial aid measures today as the hospitality and entertainment sector is facing a grim winter of more closures as coronavirus cases continue to soar.

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The new measures mean nightclubs who have been closed since March because of strict lockdown rules will be given another rescue package as the furlough scheme is wound up.

Staff who are employed by nightclubs but unable to work because of Government rules are eligible for two thirds of their usual income to be paid out by the Exchequer – up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

Employees must be furloughed for at least seven days in a row.

The new scheme will kick in on November 1 as the original furlough scheme ends at the end of this month.

The job support scheme which tops up the salary of people who are working part-time sits alongside the extra furlough-style money but it is unavailable to most nightclub employees as they are unable to even reopen part-time.

And huge parts of the country are looking at further restrictions on hospitality being imposed as coronavirus cases hit more 17,500 yesterday.

The PM is planning to bring in a three-tiered local lockdown system where the areas with the worst infection rates would have pubs and restaurants closed.

Scotland's pubs and restaurants won't be able to sell booze for 16 days from this evening, and will have to close daily at 6pm.

On top of the extension to the furlough-style scheme, the Government will give businesses in local lockdown areas extra grants of up to £3,000 a month every two weeks – up from £1,500 every three weeks.

The grants will help nightclubs pay off fixed costs such as rent while unable to take in any income.

But the extra cash will be linked to a businesses' rateable value and for smaller businesses will be able to claim £1,300 a month – less than the £1,500 they can get at the moment.

A Treasury source has said the new scheme will cost hundreds of millions a month.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “I have always said that we will do whatever is necessary to protect jobs and livelihoods as the situation evolves.

“The expansion of the Job Support Scheme will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time.”

He denied claims it was a "rebranded" furlough scheme, which he has said it would be "fundamentally wrong" to extend and keep people in jobs that aren't "viable".

He said: "This is not a universal approach, this is an expansion of the Jobs Support Scheme specifically for those people who are in businesses that will be formally or legally asked to close so in that sense it's very different.

"I hope this provides reassurance and a safety net for people and businesses in advance of what may be a difficult winter."

What is the new expansion of the Jobs Support Scheme?

  • Two thirds of wages for businesses ordered to shut
  • Will pay up to £2,100 a month rather than the previous £2,500 a month
  • Have to be on payroll by September 23
  • If already on the Job Retention Scheme, you can carry it over from the start of next month
  • Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contribution



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