Rishi Sunak is today expected to announce details of a new support scheme designed to help workers in parts of England under Tier 2 restrictions.
Speaking in the Commons today, the chancellor is to provide an update to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) after talks held on Wednesday where the government reportedly acknowledged that the current support does not cover those businesses in Tier 2.
Areas in tier 2 – the second-highest risk level – include London, Essex, much of the West Midlands, Leicester, Nottinghamshire, Cheshire, West Yorkshire and north-east England.
Businesses in these regions have seen demand collapse amid the new restrictions – including no households mixing indoors and the rule of six applying outdoors – without being formally required to shut.
In tier 3, workers at firms ordered to close receive emergency support.
When the furlough ends on October 31, the only help available for tiers 1 and 2 will be the standard JSS.
Earlier this morning UKHospitality’s chief executive Kate Nicholls was on her way to meet with the chancellor about changes to the JSS, and tweeted that ‘the best way to help the supply chain is to help support hospitality to remain open even with shorter hours and less trade rather than incentivised to close for 4-8 weeks’.
Speaking to the BBC, the chancellor’s spokesperson said: “What we have always said is that our package of support is always flexible, and always up for review, to make sure that it is dealing with the situation as it evolves.”