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The government has announced a 67% furlough scheme, ahead of enforcing regional closures by law, of pubs and bars from October 14th.

In an addendum to the earlier Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme, up to £3,000 in grants per month for the business owner of each affected venue will be made fortnightly.

A national system ranking infection by area in England is due to be announced on Monday 12th October, by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. Regional closures are then set to be implemented across the hospitality and leisure sectors in the highest grade areas, from as early as Wednesday, 14th October.

The new tiered, regional lockdown measures will mean that where local areas are placed in the lowest of three tiers, certain businesses will be forced by law to close.

Tier 1 uses the current national restrictions, including the rule of six and 10pm pub curfew.

Tier 2 also bans all people from different households mixing indoors.

Tier 3 sees pub closures, and options to close restaurants, leisure and close contact services

But the third tier will also benefit from the proposed financial compensation package of 66% furlough for all staff, whilst venues remain closed.

Within England, each area placed in one of three tiers based on local infection rates could move up or down tiers, depending on changes in the rate of infection.

Local authorities will be responsible for distributing the small business compensation grants of up to £3,000 in LRS grants per month, based on the rateable value of the property.

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month).

  • Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month).

  • Properties with an rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month).

The local authorities will also make discretionary grants available to eligible non-business rates paying venues that are forced to close.

Where businesses are forced to close staff will be paid a 67% furlough contribution for the full period of time they are unable to go to work, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

Payments to employers will be made monthly in arrears.

Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only cover NICS and pension contributions, a very small proportion of overall employment costs.

Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.

Venues which are already legally closed, such as nightclubs, will also be eligible.

The scheme will begin on November 1st and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.

In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December.

Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before November 1st are eligible for the CJRS.

The scheme is UK wide and the UK Government will work with the devolved administrations to ensure the scheme operates effectively across all four nations.

Meanwhile the Job Support scheme which begins on November 1st, caters for those businesses still allowed to continue trading


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