Wage support for businesses announced

Wage support for businesses announced

Published: March 20th, 2020

The Chancellor this afternoon announced new job protection measures as the Government took steps to further strengthen the UK’s response to the coronavirus crisis.  

Restaurants, pubs and bars have been told to close. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Govt recognises the economic impact the crisis is having on businesses and said the Government  has a responsibility to protect British jobs and incomes.

Key points are below and more details will be available on our dedicated support page as and when they become available. 

New coronavirus job retention scheme

  • Any employer in the country, small or large, will be eligible for the scheme. Grants via HMRC to cover most of the wages of staff who are not working but kept on payroll

  • Government will cover 80% of a wage, up to £2,500 a month, but employers can top up salaries. It will mean workers can retain jobs even if employer can’t afford to pay in the meantime.

  • Commitment to cover the cost of wages, backdated to March 1 and measure open for at least 3 months and can be extended for longer if necessary.

  • Government will place no limit on this scheme and pay grants to support as many jobs as necessary.

  • Scheme is unprecedented and HMRC having to build systems from scratch. First grants expected to be paid in weeks and will be delivering before the end April.


  • Interest free period for the new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan extended from six months to 12 months.

  • Further measures expected next week to ensure medium and larger business can access credit following meetings with Chancellor and Bank of England.


  • Deferring next quarter of VAT payment, no business will pay VAT until end of June and have until the end of financial year to pay those bills.


  • Increased tax credits to help with hardship.

  • Employment Support Allowance at the rate of statutory sick pay.

  • Self-assessment payments for the self-employed deferred until 2021.

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