Posted: 22 / 12 / 2021

Yesterday, Rishi Sunak announced an additional £1bn in financial support for the hospitality and leisure sectors.

In addition, the Treasury is also providing a £30m top-up to the Cultural Recovery Fund and reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for small and medium-sized companies.

We have summarised what we know so far about the additional measures below:

Direct grants for hospitality and leisure businesses

Recipients of these direct grants must be solvent businesses and ratepayers in the hospitality and leisure sector. For example pubs, hotels, restaurants, bars or cinemas.

As with previous grants, these will be based on the rateable value of the business premises, with businesses being eligible for grants as follows:

  • £2,700 if their business property has a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £4,000 where the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £6,000 where the rateable value is over £51,000.

Further details of the scheme will be announced soon, but the grants are expected to be administered by local authorities and made available in the ‘coming weeks’.

Local authority discretionary grants for other businesses

For businesses in other sectors, the Government is providing £102m in extra funding to Local Authorities to expand their discretionary ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’ (ARG) schemes for businesses.

Use of this funding is at the Local Authority’s discretion, but is intended to support businesses who are impacted by COVID-19 but may not be eligible for the hospitality and leisure grant.

A list of local authority websites for further information on the ARG scheme can be found here.

Culture Recovery Fund Extension

A further £30 million of funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund to support organisations in England such as theatres, orchestras and museums through to March 2022.

The additional culture funding adds to the £240 million of cultural grant support already allocated this financial year and currently available for organisations to bid for through the Arts Council England (ACE).

Statutory Sick Pay funding for SMEs

The statutory sick pay rebate scheme has also been reintroduced.

From 21 December 2021 onwards, where SME businesses (i.e. with 250 or fewer staff) have employees off sick or isolating due to COVID, the employer can reclaim the amounts of SSP paid to the individual for up to 10 days sick leave from HMRC.

To claim, the employer must have had a UK payroll since at least 30 November 2021 and have already paid the SSP to the relevant employee.

The previous administrative procedure for claims will be reactivated from mid-January 2022 onwards.