Extension of Furlough Scheme and SEISS Announced
Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced an extension of Furlough Scheme and SEISS till the end of March 2021, which brings some certainty that workers across the UK will be supported over the winter months.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now run until the end of March with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.
Similarly, support for millions more workers through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.
The news were welcomed by the events industry and many events professionals have said they are relieved that there is some certainty over the coming months, however some have heavily criticized the government for getting the timing wrong.
Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the Meetings Industry Association said:
“On behalf of the sector we are relieved to hear that Rishi Sunak is extending the furlough scheme UK-wide until 31 March, and that the government will continue to cover 80% of employees’ wages as it gives the financial assurance that will enable businesses to start planning for the longer-term.
“As we currently understand it, employers will be able to claim furlough backdated to 23 September, which could potentially give some in the sector, who have been forced to make redundancies, the chance to consider whether their business can re-employ those staff if they meet the eligibility criteria. (See 2.4 of the guidance.)”
Juliet Price, Consultant Executive Director, HBAA commented:
“At last the Chancellor has given us clear longer term information at an earlier stage so that the industry can plan ahead and not just wait with uncertainty until the end of lockdown.
“Yes, it would have been better to have had this available and announced before many jobs were lost and businesses jeopardised. However, added to the news today that the revised guidance allows ‘necessary’ meetings for less than 30 to continue being held at permitted venues in England, we now have positive steps forward for many business events and meetings companies, their staff, and the self-employed.”
Here at Cavendish Venues, we agree with our peers across the events industry and as a struggling business we welcome the extension of the scheme as well as the news that ‘necessary’ meetings under 30 people are still allowed to go ahead. Our conference venues remain open for necessary meetings and educational events and with a wide variety of meeting rooms to choose from, we’ll definitely find something suitable for any meeting or educational course. All our conference rooms are covid secure and our policy can be found HERE.
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