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Financial Support Increases Announced

The government have today announced some further adjustments to the new Job Support Scheme and also the business grants available, which we have detailed below:

Job Support Scheme

For businesses that are able to still trade but at a reduced capacity, the employees’ minimum working requirement to qualify for the scheme is now 20% rather than 33% of the employees’ usual working hours.

The employees will still continue to be paid for the hours they actually work + 67% of the remaining ‘unworked hours’ (subject to a maximum threshold of £1666.75).

The 67% unworked hours are made up of 62% from the government and the remaining 5% needs to be funded by the employer. The employer also has to cover any Employer’s NI and pension contributions.

For businesses forced to close in very-high risk areas, 67% of employees wages will continue to be funded by the government,

Self employed

The upcoming self-employed grants from have been increased from 20% to 40% of profits, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750.

Cash grants

Cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas are also available. These grants will be available retrospectively to August 2020 for areas who have already been subject to restrictions. Details of the amounts of grants potentially available are detailed below and your local council should be contacted to claim:

For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants of £934 per month.
For properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000, grants of £1,400 per month.
For properties with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 and over, grants of £2,100 per month.

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Furlough 2 – Furlough and Grants

At the moment, the current support that has been announced to cover the second lockdown starting on 5th November 2020.

Furlough

  • The furlough scheme has been extended to cover the period and employees that you are unable to provide work for will be paid 80% of their wages via the scheme.
  • You as the employer will be reimbursed the full 80% from HMRC, but will need to cover the costs of Employer’s Pension and NI.
  • Employees are able to work on a part time basis if you do have some work available or can be put on full time furlough if no work is available at all.

Business Grants

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks.
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks.
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
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Job Support Scheme Amendments & Grants

An amendment has been made to the new Job Support Scheme starting in November 2020:

  • For businesses that are forced to temporarily close due to a local or national lockdown so employees unable to work at all (normal Job Support Scheme applies for businesses that can continue to trade)
  • Employees will receive 67% of their normal wage
  • HMRC will fund all of the 67%, employers will only need to be fund the Employers NIC & Pension Contributions
  • Capped at up to £2,100.00 per month per employee
  • Currently going to run from 1st November 2020 to 31st March 2021.

In addition to the above, businesses forced to close in areas with local lockdowns are also able to claim up to £3,000.00 per month payable every two weeks.

Small businesses with a rateable value of below £15,000 can claim £1,300.00 per month, while medium sized businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 can claim £2,000.00 per month.

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Fraudulent Furlough Claim Penalty Amounts Announced

HMRC have announced what the penalties for deliberate errors for claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and also for claims made but payments not made to employees.

We wanted to take this opportunity to remind all clients that we are currently submitting furlough claims for, we need to know on or before the day that the employee returns to work that they have done so.

If an error is not notified to HMRC within 30 days of an incorrect claim, the penalty imposed will be between 30% and 100% of the incorrect grant amount claimed in addition to the incorrect grant amount, if a voluntary disclosure is made. Where HMRC prompts the disclosure, the penalty will be between 50% and 100% of the incorrect grant amount in addition to the incorrect grant amount

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COVID-19 Business Grant Request Forms

Local authorities have started to release forms that enable you to give bank details of your business in order to claim the business grants available due to COVID-19. We have listed below some of the local authorities’ forms so please look at filling them out if your business is ran from business premises. If your council is not listed below then please contact the council who should be able to direct to you the correct place.


South Tyneside Council: https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/69276/Coronavirus-COVID-19-emergency-business-grant-request

North Tyneside Council: https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/1428/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-grants

Newcastle City Council: https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/public-health-wellbeing-and-leisure/public-health-services/coronavirus-covid-19/support-business-coronavirus

Sunderland City Council: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/17087/COVID-19-Business-Rates-Grant-Funding-Scheme-form

Durham County Council: http://durham.gov.uk/ndrgrants

Northumberland County Council: https://form.northumberland.gov.uk/form/auto/covid19_emergency_grant

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Self-employed COVID-19 Business Support & Directors Support

Last night the Government announced the support that they are going to be offering the Self-Employed. The support available is as follows:

A taxable grant of 80% of the average profits from the last three tax years (where applicable) will be payable for the next 3 months, up to a maximum of £2,500.00 per month.

If a self employed person has not been trading 3 years, then an average will be paid on the number of years they have been trading, however the grant will unfortunately not apply to self employed individuals that started in the 2019/20 as a condition of the grant is the 2018/19 tax return must have been submitted.

Self employed profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income must have been from the self employed income.

HMRC are looking to pay the grants out in a lump sum directly into bank accounts sometime in June 2020 and currently there is no way to apply for the scheme so we will keep you updated and let you know as soon as we are able to apply for you.

Full details of the scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Directors of limited companies

Further guidance has been issued and directors of limited companies will qualify for a 80% rebate of their PAYE salaries. Please note to qualify then you must not be working and the rebate is limited to 80% of your PAYE salary ran in February 2020 so therefore does not cover dividends.

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Are your staff insured to work from home?

Given the current circumstances with COVID-19, you may well have some or all of your staff working from home.

We just wanted to give you a quick note that if this is the case, then we are advising all clients to check their business insurance polices to ensure that the policy covers employees working from home should they suffer an accident while working.