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Struggling Businesses Won't Have To Contribute 20% Under Payroll Scheme Changes

Jersey employers won't have to pay 20% of wages on top of the government's 80% co-funded salaries if they can't afford it, meaning the government could fully subsidise wages up to a maximum of £1600 a month.

It's the latest update to the £138 million scheme to help businesses struggling through the Coronavirus pandemic, which is due to cover April, May and June's payroll.

Assistant Treasury Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, says an additional two months' support has been budgeted for, should the coronavirus crisis mean it's needed.

Previously, eligible industries were asked to pay 20% of staff wages, with the government subsiding the other 80%. Firms would also have had to prove a drop in turnover of at least 30% a month because of COVID-19.

"I would like to stress, at this stage, that we expect businesses to do everything in their power to ensure workers receive their agreed wage. 

"However, where there is a risk that the employee would not be paid, it is preferable that they can continue to benefit from remaining in employment, albeit on reduced hours, rather than potentially facing lay-off or redundancy. 

"Employers will still be required under the Employment Law to agree all changes to employment contracts with their staff in the normal way." - Senator Lyndon Farnham, Economic Development Minister.

The number of industries eligible for the support was extended two weeks ago.

The full list of eligible sectors can be found here. The scheme could be extended after June 2019 for another two months.

It's one of a number of financial packages from the government amid the coronavirus crisis.

£180m is also being spent on a new 'Special Situations Fund' and the 'Jersey Loan Disruption Scheme', on top of the £80m deferral of GST payments and social security contributions from employers and workers for six months.

Workers who have lost their jobs and have lived here for between six months and five years can claim weekly payments of between £50 and £250 dependant on their family circumstances. Workers who've lived here for less than six months can get £70 a week.

More information was given at a government press conference on Wednesday, which you can watch in full here:

 

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