Coronavirus: Business support announcements from the summer statement

News article

The Chancellor announced a number of key support measures in his summer statement to help businesses recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Here are the key announcements from the statement that apply to Northern Ireland businesses.

Jobs Retention Bonus

This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.

To be eligible, employees will need to:

  • earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
  • have been furloughed at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • have been continuously employed up until at least 31 January 2021

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate Real Time Information (RTI) data to 31 January has been received.

More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July and full guidance will be published in the autumn.

VAT reduction for hospitality and tourism

From 15‌‌‌ ‌July until 12‌‌‌ ‌January 2021, the UK government will cut VAT from 20 per cent to 5 per cent on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol.

This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions such as cinemas, theme parks and zoos

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

During August, diners can get 50 per cent off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered.

Businesses that want to participate in the scheme will have to register through a website that opens on Monday 13 July.

Each week in August, businesses can then claim the money back, with the funds in their bank account within five working days.

Read further details on the Chancellor's summer statement.

First published 8 July 2020