A number of sectors say they still aren’t getting the support they need (Picture: Getty Images)

Today Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled an winter support plan including measures to protect ‘viable’ jobs from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will see the Government topping up wages, allowing staff to be paid by their employer for working at least a third of their usual hours.

But questions have been raised over which sectors of the economy will be left behind and Sunak has admitted it would be ‘impossible’ to predict how many jobs the initiative will save in such uncertain times.

At a Downing Street press conference this afternoon, he said: ‘It’s not for me to sit here and make pronouncements upon exactly what job is viable or not but what we do need to do is evolve our support now that we’re through the acute phase of the crisis.’

Industry leaders have expressed concerns about 1.5million self employed people not qualifying for a new grant scheme, while a number of sectors feel they’ve been overlooked by the Treasury.

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Performing Arts

Kimberley Walsh and cast at the press night performance of ‘Sleepless: The Musical’ at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre (Picture: Getty Images)

Leaders in the performing arts industry have expressed concerns about how much help they can get from the Chancellor’s plans.

Chief executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre Julian Bird said: ‘Our previously viable and world-beating sector is facing decimation as with no income, organisations cannot bring their staff back to work.’

Head of entertainment and media union Bectu Philippa Childs said the Treasury had ‘overlooked’ the needs of the creative industries.

She added: ‘The Job Support Scheme may help some employers, but it will not help to save theatres that are still not able to open due to government restrictions and are already making thousands of workers redundant.

‘And the army of freelancers and self-employed who make up the backbone of the UK creative industries face being excluded from support once again.’

The Music Venue Trust added that the live music industry ‘faces a crisis which is not of its own making’.


The Speaker pub in Westminster remains closed on September 21, 2020 in London, England. Many pubs and bars in London have yet to reopen following the initial lockdown that shut their doors between late March and early July. A report from CGA and AlixPartners showed that, as of the end of August, around 28% of licensed premises in Central London had yet to reopen. For the ones that have reopened, social distancing requirements meant to curb the spread of Covid-19 have also sharply curbed revenues of a business model that relies on packing in patrons.
The Speaker pub in Westminster remains closed, with many London pubs yet to open (Picture: Getty Images)

Members of the hospitality industry have also expressed concern over what will happen to jobs in their sector, particularly when combined with recent restrictions and curfews.

Chief operating officer of Brewdog, David McDowall, said the industry’s hopes had been ‘crushed’ after today’s announcement.

The British Beer and Pub Association said parts of the plan were welcome but did not go far enough to save thousands of at-risk jobs.

The group’s chief executive, Emma McClarkin, said: ‘With a lower level of funding from government that will cost employers more, we are not confident it is enough to protect jobs in the current trading conditions.’

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the sector was ‘not out of the woods’.

She added: ‘Things were looking grim for our sector yesterday and we were desperately hoping for some good news.

‘The Chancellor has given us some reason to be positive again, but we urge him to engage with the trade on specific measures to keep people in work.’


A woman walks past a closed One Pound Shop discount store in Doncaster, U.K., on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.
A woman passes a closed One Pound Shop discount store in Doncaster (Picture: Getty Images)

Retail bosses have also criticised the Chancellor’s plan as a ‘missed opportunity’ to provide support to physical businesses, as shopping increasingly moved online.

General secretary of the shopworkers union Usdaw Paddy Lillis said: ‘The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on retail. So far this year 125,000 jobs have been lost in retail and 14,000 shops have permanently closed.

‘The Chancellor today needed to demonstrate the Government will work with unions and employers on an immediate recovery plan that will give targeted support to retail.

‘High streets need radical and bold action to level the playing field between online retail and ‘bricks and mortar’ shops.

‘Today we saw no indication that the Government is going to intervene in a struggling retail industry, which is the cornerstone of our towns, cities and communities.’


Engineers work on a 747-400 jumbo jet, manufactured by Boeing Co., operated by British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, at Cotswold Airport in Cirencester, U.K., on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.
The airline industry is struggling to bounce back from worldwide lockdown measures (Picture: Getty Images)

Members of the aviation sector have criticised the Treasury for the speed of the measures for the industry which faced issues prior to the pandemic.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said the plans were ‘akin to using a plaster to cover a gaping wound’.

Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) leader Manuel Cortes said: ‘Better late than never but the Government’s indecision has already seen jobs lost in droves and caused huge needless anxiety among millions of workers.

‘The Chancellor said they will target support at “firms who need it the most”.

‘That must be fine-tuned so that the jobs of our members in the travel trade are saved and high-street travel shops don’t become a thing of the past. We will all need a holiday once the pandemic has passed.’

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Source: Metro