COVID 19: The latest changes in Government support & funding

COVID 19: The latest changes in Government support & funding

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended

Rather than operating with the recently announced Job Support Scheme (JSS), the Chancellor has announced to extend the furlough scheme, also known as Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to March 2021. The Job Support Scheme (JSS) has been postponed and the Government will now pay 80% of an employee’s wages until at least the end of January 2021 when this will be reviewed. Please keep in mind that The Job Retention Bonus scheme will no longer be paid in February due to the Job Retention Scheme being extended, read here for further information.

Key benefits:

  • Employer flexibility: Businesses will have the flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full-time.
  • Employer contribution: There will be NO employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. As in August, employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions. The vast majority businesses who used the CJRS pay NO NICs or pension contributions (accounting for around 50% of jobs).
  • Payment: The extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll. Claims can be made from November 2020 and as previously, paid within 6 working days. Claims must, however, be made within 14 days of the end of the claim period.
  • Employee Eligibility: Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under CJRS to claim the extended CJRS (if other eligibility criteria are met). Employees notified by RTI submission to HMRC on or before 30th October will be eligible. Employees employed as of 23 September (day of Job Support Scheme Announcement) and notified to HMRC by RTI on or before that date, who have since been made redundant can be rehired and placed on the Scheme.

Support for the Self-Employed

The Government recently announced an extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to support self-employed individuals who are experiencing reduced demand or cannot trade due to the effect of COVID19. The Government has now provided even more generous support as they have increased from 40% of trading profits to 80% for November.

  • Payment – As SEISS grants are calculated over 3 months, this increases the total level of the grant to 55 per cent of trading profits for November to January and the maximum grant will increase to £5,160.
  • How long for – This is £4.5bn of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. This comes on top of £13 billions of support provided to 2.6m self-employed people.
  • Timing – HMRC will pay this more generous grant sooner than planned and in good time for Christmas as the window for claiming a grant will open on 30 November, two weeks earlier than previously announced.

Other Financial Support Available

  • Cash grants of up to £3,000 per month for businesses distributed on the basis of £20 per head
  • Plans to extend existing government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund to the end of January, and an ability to top-up Bounce Back Loans
  • An extension to the mortgage payment holiday for homeowners
  • Up to £500 millions of funding for councils to support the local public health response.
  • Reduced VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attractions until the end of March 2021.
  • Business rates relief for hospitality, retail, leisure and nurseries until the end of March 2021.
  • The £20 per week increase to Universal Credit standard allowance, increases to Local Housing Allowance until the end of March 2021.
  • The £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund and £750 million for Charities.
  • £500 payments for those on low incomes who are asked to self-isolate by Test and Trace.
  • £500 million hardship fund for local authorities to help the most vulnerable.

For more information, please get in touch or refer to the below references.

Coronavirus Job Retention scheme (CJRS)
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
Bounce Back Loan (BBL)
Coronavirus Support Finder
If you cannot pay your tax bill on time –
Coronavirus Work and Financial General Guidance