While many businesses dreaded the announcement of a second lockdown in the UK, Halloween provided no treat this year as the news was delivered to the nation late that evening.

We know there will be many questions around continued business support. Here are the additional economic measures being made to support you and your business.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was due to end on 31 October 2020. It has been extended with the UK government paying 80% of wages for the hours furloughed employees do not work. This is to be capped at £2,500.

These changes start on 1 November 2020.

Employers will need to pay all employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions. They can choose to top up their furloughed employees’ wages beyond the 80% paid by the UK government for hours not worked, but they are not required to do so.

There will be no gap in support between the previously announced end date of CJRS and this extension. For more information, go to GOV‌.UK and search ‘furlough scheme extended’.

How will it work?

You will have the flexibility to ask your employees to work on a part-time basis and furlough them for the rest of their usual working hours or furlough them full-time. You will have to cover their wages for any hours they work as well as all employer National Insurance and employer pension contributions.

You will be able to claim either shortly before, during or after running your payroll.

How to check if your employees are eligible

Employers can claim for employees who were on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. You must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.

If you had an employee on your payroll on 23 September 2020 (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23 September) but they were made redundant or stopped working for you afterwards, they can qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them.

Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS. Further details on eligibility will be provided in the next few days.

What you need to do now

  • Check if your employees are eligible for the scheme, based on the information above
  • Agree working hours with your employees, so they know if they are furloughed fully or part-time during November
  • Keep the records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC need to check it. You can view, print or download copies of your previously submitted claims by logging onto your CJRS service on GOV‌.UK

Other Schemes Available

Job Support Scheme 

The new Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on Sunday 1 November, has been postponed.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension

The generosity of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension will be increased from 40% of average trading profits to 80%.

How will it work?

The SEISS Grant Extension provides support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three-month periods covering November to January and February to April.

Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. The government will provide a taxable grant covering 80% of average profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ profits, capped at £7,500 in total.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The UK government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

The grants are taxable income and subject to National Insurance contributions.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the scheme, self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships – must:

  • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
  • intend to continue to trade and either:
  • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus.

Please search ‘Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Extension’ on GOV‌.UK for further information.

Further support

Guidance and live webinars offering you more support on changes to CJRS and SEISS, and how they impact you or your clients, are available to book online – go to GOV‌.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’.

We will remain open so you can reach our team over the phone or by email. They are ready to take your questions and can advise you on the best support options for you and your business.

Speak to us