Job Support Scheme to provide much needed support to early years employers

NDNA has welcomed the Chancellor’s Job Support Scheme and extended loans which should help to support struggling nursery businesses over the coming months.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new Job Support Scheme today along with other measures such as extending loan paybacks to support businesses in need.

The Job Support Scheme will begin on 1 November once the Job Retention Scheme finishes:

  • Employees who are not needed to work their full time hours due to the impact of Covid-19 can have their incomes topped up under the scheme
  • To be eligible an employee must work a minimum of 33% of their usual hours
  • Government and employer pay one third of their remaining unworked wages each
  • The minimum an employee would receive is 77% of their usual earnings based on working only 33% of their usual hours
  • As worked hours increase the percentage of an employee’s usual income received will also increase
  • The scheme will be accessible to all small and medium firms – while larger firms would have to show they are struggling to be able to qualify
  • All employees will be eligible, regardless of whether they have been furloughed under the existing Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA said: “From our research with the childcare sector we know that the pandemic has had a devastating impact on providers and the workforce. We have continuously lobbied for more ongoing support and it is good news for everyone that employment schemes will continue beyond the end of the current furlough plans.

“Given the announcements this week on further measures to control the virus and support businesses, we must see the Department for Education continue support to providers until the situation improves.  Given the impact that other funding decisions had on early years providers’ eligibility to the furlough scheme both providers and local authorities need clear guidance well before the scheme opens.

“While loans are not ideal for providers who are worried about their sustainability, extending access and providing more time to repay them will provide more re-assurance to childcare businesses. We need to see the Chancellor go further and turn the business rates holiday for early education settings into a permanent exemption.

“Childcare remains a vital part of any plans for economic recovery so providers experiencing lower demand and increased operating costs need support from the Government to remain viable. This will ensure that childcare places are available when parents need to work, enhance their skills or retrain. A plan for jobs needs a plan for childcare.”

In addition the Chancellor announced:

  • Pay as you Grow scheme for businesses which took out government guaranteed loans
  • These will be extended from six to ten years
  • Businesses on these schemes can move to interest only payments or suspend payments for up to six months, if they are in real trouble
  • Business Interruption Loads for larger businesses will be extended for up to ten years.

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