New National Lockdown – Support for businesses
Following on from the government’s announcement of a second national lockdown in England, due to begin on Thursday 5th of November, there have been some fast changes made to the COVID-19 support available from employers.
The previously planned Job Support Scheme, aimed at helping employers bring their employees back to work, has been postponed until 8th of December at the earliest. This will of course depend on the success of the government’s strategy in reducing the infection rate across England, so we will monitor this and provide updates as necessary.
Is your business affected by the new rules?
There are a wide range of industries that will be affected by the new rules and will need to close their doors for the affected period – please refer to HMRC’s guidance for a full list, as well as further information on what is or is not permissible during the lockdown.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Extension
The CJRS or ‘furlough scheme’ that was due to end on 31st October has been extended to run until 8th of December. This scheme will return to covering 80% of employee’s wages for hours not worked up to a cap of £2,500, using very much the same eligibility criteria for employers as previously. Employees must have been on the employer’s PAYE scheme prior to 30th October 2020 to in order to qualify for support. Please note that National Insurance and pension contributions will remain payable by the employer during this scheme. The full guidance on this can be read here.
Due to the forcible closure of many businesses, another round of grants will be available for businesses occupying rateable premises. The grants will be distributed via local authorities and will vary dependent on the rateable value as follows:
- For a value of £15k or under - £1,334 per month
- For a value of £15k-£51k – £2,000 per month
- For a value over £51k - £3,000 per month
Details on the application for these have not yet been released, but we should see a similar process to the initial wave of grants back in April 2020.
Mortgage Holiday Extension
The holiday on mortgage payments, initially due to end on 31st October 2020, has been extended. Borrowers who have not yet used a payment holiday will be entitled to a holiday of six months, and those that have will be able to top up their existing holiday.