Lockdown 2.0 – Support Available

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone – from both a personal and business perspective, it’s been a tough one. As we enter another lockdown, it’s time to discuss additional support available for businesses affected by Covid-19.

The Job Retention Scheme is Back

Following on from the removal of the Job Retention Scheme and the introduction of the Job Support Scheme, Rishi Sunak and the government have now decided to extend the Furlough scheme due to the increase in Coronavirus cases and subsequent rules in place across the country.

For those businesses who have had to close or have been negatively impacted as a result of Covid-19, here’s what you need to know:

  1. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until 31st March 2021.
  2. Unlike in March 2020, the Furlough scheme this month allows employees to work for any amount of time or in any work pattern available, whilst still being able to claim the grant for those hours not worked. Employees can be on any type of employment contract.
  3. Employers do not need to have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme previously and can claim for employees who were on their PAYE payroll on 30th October 2020. However, a PAYE RTI must have been submitted by the employer between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020.
  4. Employees on the scheme will receive 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
  5. During hours which are recorded as not worked, employees are not able to do any work which makes money for the organisation or provide any services to the organisation at all. However, they may partake in training, volunteering, or work for another employer, providing this is contractually viable.
  6. Employers are entitled to top up employees pay if they wish to, although this is not a necessity. Whilst employees take annual leave they must be topped up to 100%.

Something to keep in mind is that in order to remain eligible for the grant, it is vital that employers have confirmed with the employee IN WRITING that they are being furloughed.

You MUST:

  1. Ensure any agreements are consistent with all employment, equality and discrimination laws.
  2. Keep hold of the written agreement for 5 years which also records the number of hours the employee will work and how long they will be furloughed.

By doing this, you can be sure of your entitlements and also ensure your staff are clear of the process too.

Re-claims can be made via the HMRC online portal. For November, this will open on 11th November and claims must be made by 14th December. Moving forward, each claim must be made by 14th of each claimable month to receive payments.

Find out more about the Job Retention Scheme.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension

With further business losses for self-employed workers across England, the government has agreed to extend the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme with two additional grants covering the periods from November 2020 to January 2021.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. To claim for this grant you must have been eligible for the previous rounds of the grants, whether or not you applied for them.
  2. You must be able to prove that you intend to continue to trade, even if you are unable to do so at the present time.
  3. Those who are successful in their application to receive the grant will receive a taxable grant of up to 80% of 3 months average monthly trading profits. This is capped at £7,500 in total.
  4. The government has already agreed that there will be a fourth grant for self-employment from February to April 2021 – More details will be announced on this in due course.

Find out more about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Grants for Businesses who are Required to Close

For those businesses who have had to close because of the Coronavirus pandemic, there is help available:

  1. For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, there will be grants available per month at £1,334 or every two weeks at £667.
  2. For properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 to £51,000 there will be grants available per month at £2,000 or every two weeks at £1,000.
  3. For properties with a rateable value of over £51,000, there will be grants available per month at £3,000 or every two weeks at £1,500.

For more information on any of the new support for businesses, please do take a look on www.gov.uk or get in touch with a member of the Brightshire team.

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone – from both a personal and business perspective, it’s been a tough one. ”

Lesley Garratt

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