The furlough scheme has now been extended to 31st March 2021. The scheme will pretty much operate in the same fashion as it has done previously. Key points below:
The previously announced Job Retention Bonus, whereby employers would receive a £1,000 bonus for retaining any furloughed employees in employment until 31st January 2021, will now not be paid in February. This has effectively been scrapped with the extension of the JRS now replacing this.
It was announced in October that a furlough grant of £1,650 would be available to businesses who were forced to re-furlough employees due to the new brake restrictions put in place. This grant is to help support the 20% salary contributions payable by employers for the month of October.
It has come to light, that rather than apply for this grant separately, this was actually linked to and included within the recent business closure and business hardship grant applications. When completing either of these applications, there was a question asking – ‘Have you furloughed staff as a result of the recent Covid-19 brake restrictions?’ If ‘Yes’ was answered to this question, then the relevant local authority will contact the business to progress and administer this payment. It will be paid separately from the Closure or Hardship grant receipt.
In the Chancellor’s Winter Economy update, it was announced there would be a 6-month extension to the SEISS for the self-employed through to April 2021, with a further 2 taxable grants (November-January and February-April), paid 3 monthly at 20% of average net trading profits. On 22nd October, in light of the increased restrictions being put in place, this was increased to 40%.
With the most recent change to the Job Retention Scheme and this now being extended until 31st March 2021, the SEISS scheme has also been updated. Self-employed individuals will now able to claim 80% of average net trading profits for the period of November through to January, capped at £7,500. This has been increased from the previous 55% which was announced only last week. The claims window for this grant has also been brought forward from 14th December to now go live from 30th November.
The government will set out details of the fourth grant, covering the period February through to April, including level of grant at a later date.
Application deadlines for both the Coronavirus Interruption Loan scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back loan scheme (BBLS) have now been extended to 31 January 2021. The BBLS rules have also been adjusted to allow businesses to ‘top-up’ their existing loans, if they have previously borrowed less than their maximum (ie the lower of £50,000 or 25% of their turnover.)
As always – please get in touch if you require assistance.