Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – November 5th, 2020

Earlier today the Chancellor made a couple of announcements to the Commons about the support for businesses and some changes that were being made. I have outlined all of the changes to date below:

1) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) has now been extended until the end of March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maimum of £2,500/month. Employers will only be asked to ccover National Insurance Contributions and Employer Pension Contributions for the hours not worked.

The scheme can be used for employees for any amount of time and shift patterns, including furloughing full-time.

The scheme will still operate the same as it previously has – businesses will be able to claim either shortly before, during or after running their payroll, and they will be able to make claims from 11/11/2020. Any claims for subsequent months should be made by day 14 of the following month.

There is no requirement for employers/employees to have used the scheme before and any employee who was employed and on the payroll on 30/10/2020 and the RTI submission for that employee has been filed on or before 30/10/2020, are eligible to use the scheme.

The Chancellor has also stated that any employee that was on the payroll on 23/09/2020 and were made redundant or stopped working, can be re-employed and can be claimed for on the scheme. They must have been included on an RTI submission from 20/03/2020 to 23/09/2020.

The scheme will be reviewed in January 2021.

The government has said that full guidance will be published on 10/11/2020.

Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/extension-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/extension-of-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

2) Self-employed Income Support Scheme

The grant covering the period from November 2020 to January 2021 will now be for 80% of average trading profits for the whole period, up to a maximum of £7,500. The grant will be able to be claimed from 30/11/2020.

There will be a fourth grant which will cover February 2021 to April 2021, but the details will be announced at a later date.

Further Information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

3) Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus scheme that was to be paid to employers in February 2021 for every employee they kept on has been put on hold and it will be reviewed at a later date.

4) Funding for Devolved Administrations

The additional funding for the devolved administrations has been increased from £14 billion to £16 billion.

5) Businesses that have had to close in England

Businesses that have had to close in England will be able to receive up to £3,000/month from their Local Authority. The amount a business receives will depend on the rateable value of their property.

6) Local Authorities in England

Local Authorities are being given an additional £1.1 billion that can be used for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses within their area more broadly.

7) Backdated Cash Grants for Tier 2/3 in England

All businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sector, in England that are in Tier 2 or 3 that have suffered from reduced demand due to local restrictions that were introduced between 01/08/2020 and 05/11/2020 will receive backdated grants of 70% of the value of closed grants up to a maximum of £2,100/month for that period.

The government will make the allocations to Local Authorities later this week with the view for the LAs to be able to start providing funding the following week.

8) Government Backed Loan Schemes

There are plans to extend the application deadline for the government backed loan schemes – which include Bounce Back Loans, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, Future Fund, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans – to the end of January 2021.

The rules for the Bounce Back Loans are also going to be adjusted to allow any business that borrowed less than the maximum amount that could be claimed (lower of £50,000 or less than 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan. This option will be available from next week and it can only be used once.

You can read more details about the Financial Support available for Jobs and Businesses here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932977/ECONOMIC_SUPPORT_FACTSHEET_5_November.pdf

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

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