Government support measures

Last month Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of measures designed to support those businesses most impacted by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

The £1bn support fund includes one-off cash grants of up to £6,000 per premises for eligible businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors. The package also provides discretionary funding for local authorities in England to support other impacted businesses through the Additional Restrictions Grant, while extra funding has been provided to each of the devolved administrations.

Mr Sunak also announced that the government will cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for COVID-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK. This means that firms with fewer than 250 employees will be reimbursed for up to two weeks per employee from 21 December 2021.

Commenting on the new package of support measures, the Chancellor said, “We recognise that the spread of the Omicron variant means businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors are facing huge uncertainty at a crucial time. So, we’re stepping in with £1bn of support, including a new grant scheme, the reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and further funding.”