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Coronavirus: Jersey payroll scheme due to be extended until March 2021

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The co-funded payroll scheme will pay 60% of employees’ wages, which is expected to fall to 20% by next year

Jersey’s co-funded payroll scheme is set to be extended until March 2021 following States approval, the government has announced.

Phase three of the scheme will initially offer businesses 60% of their employees’ wages to offset the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Financial support has already been approved until at least the end of December.

Senator Lyndon Farnham said it would avoid a “cliff-edge” for businesses.

The government has agreed to pay 60% of employees’ wages in September and October, dropping to 40% in November and December, 30% in January and February, and 20% in March.

Businesses will be eligible for the scheme if they can prove a 20% reduction in turnover, compared to the previous 30% requirement.

However they will be required to return to “normal trading patterns” in order to claim their money, and will not be eligible if they remain closed.

‘Significant extension’

Treasury Minister Deputy Susie Pinel said an estimated £140m is expected to be paid by March next year.

The scheme has come under budget so far, costing the government £93m by the end of August in comparison to an estimated £138m.

Under phase two of the scheme, which was extended until the end of August, the government offered to pay 80% of employees’ wages, up to a maximum of £1,600 per person each month.

Businesses will also be able to claim for new employees under phase three if they are entitled to work, or can hire people who have Registered status if they were on any payroll in March.

In a press conference Senator Farnham said an 80% contribution from the government was “unsustainable”, and it was important “businesses do not become reliant on that level of sustainability”.

He described phase three as a “significant extension” which would give “greater flexibility and support to employers, employees and the self-employed”.

BBC Jersey News

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