COVID-19: how will the Government’s Winter Economy Plan support workplace and FM?
01 October 2020
Following the recent tightening of COVID-19 rules in England, including advice that, once again, we should work from home where possible, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has laid out his renewed package of economic and cashflow measures to help support businesses and jobs during the next six months of the coronavirus pandemic.
The main new policy in the Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan is the Job Support Scheme (JSS), a programme which is broadly in line with existing schemes in France and Germany and which enables businesses to keep ‘viable’ roles open, but on reduced hours with wage top ups from the Government and the employer. The JSS will be introduced from 1 November and will run alongside the existing Job Retention Bonus which pays businesses £1,000 for each employee currently furloughed who they keep on their books until 31 January 2021. To read the JSS factsheet click here.
Other new measures announced include a six month extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, optional longer repayment periods for businesses which took out a Bounce Back Loan or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and an extension of the 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors until 31 March next year.
How effective the Government’s Winter Economy Plan proves to be in mitigating job losses, any squeeze on living standards and restrictions on economic activity will be determined to a significant extent by the virus infection rates. The pandemic has entered a new phase and although many businesses are operating safely and viably, FM service providers and clients face a great deal of uncertainty over the months ahead. If you would like to share your views and experience of how the pandemic is affecting your organisation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.