The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has welcomed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new measures to help support foodservice and hospitality businesses in tier two areas.
Government had come under criticism for a lack of support for businesses which were not forced to shut as a result of the pandemic.
Many businesses, particularly within the foodservice and hospitality industries, claimed they would be better off under tier three restrictions where the level of support would be greater.
Sunak told the Commons that these businesses were facing “profound economic uncertainty” and that, as part of the updated Job Support Scheme, employers will now pay less, and staff can work fewer hours before they qualify.
The changes mean that employers will have to pay for a minimum of 20% of usual hours worked, instead of the previous 55% which was announced last month.
Sunak revealed that the Government will now fund 62% of the wages for hours not worked, almost doubling the maximum payment to £1,541.75 a month.
Responding to the Chancellor’s latest support package for businesses, Tim Rycroft, chief operating officer at FDF, said: “Food and drink manufacturers supplying the hospitality industry will greatly welcome the significantly more generous announcement by the Chancellor. An extension of the Job Support Scheme for those businesses that remain open will help ensure the survival of many food and drink businesses which supply the out-of-home and food service sectors.
“We await to see further details about which businesses in high-alert level areas will be able to apply for the new grant scheme, but we are pleased to see it will benefit our friends in hospitality at this difficult time.”