To ensure that businesses can access the support they need due to the continued economic disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that he extension of leave and UK government business loan programs.
the UK Government Retention Program has been extended until the end of April 2021, with the state continuing to contribute 80% of wages, giving UK businesses and employees certainty for the new year.
So far the program has protected 9.6 million jobs across the UK with over one million businesses access loans to help them get through the crisis.
Businesses will also have until the end of March to access the Bounce Back Loan Program, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Program, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Program – these were scheduled to close. at the end of January.
The programs have already provided over £ 68 billion in secured loans and have helped keep business afloat in all sectors of the UK economy that have been hit by the coronavirus.
These changes precede the budget, which the Chancellor has confirmed will take place on March 3, 2021.
This will enable the next phase of the plan to be delivered for fight the virus and protect jobs, so extensions to business loan and vacation programs allow businesses to plan with certainty and access help in the first few months of the new year ahead of the new update on business. Covid-19 economic support.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our business and worker support program continues to be one of the most generous and effective in the world, helping our economy to recover and protecting livelihoods. Across the country.
“We know premium companies rely on certainty, so it’s only right that we allow businesses to plan ahead for whatever path the virus takes, which is why we are providing certainty and clarity by expanding this support. “
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “While our loan programs have provided a vital lifeline to millions of businesses across the country, we know business owners need more certainty. as the new year approaches.
“The expansion of government-backed lending programs will give businesses across the UK the financing they need to support, protect and create jobs as we recover better from the pandemic. “
The Chancellor said he would reconsider the employer contribution element of the leave scheme in January, but decided to move it forward to allow companies to plan ahead for the rest of the winter and the new Year.
While the UK government will continue to pay 80 percent of employees’ wages for hours not worked until the end of April. Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked – plus NICS and pensions for hours not worked.
The eligibility criteria for the UK-wide program will remain unchanged.