FURTHER CHANGES IN SUPPORTS FOR BUSINESS
9th November 2020
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Government extends Furlough to March and increases self-employed support scheme.

As the lockdown has now started for England and continues elsewhere, the Government has changed its mind again about business supports and decided to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) across all regions of the UK.
The Chancellor has announced that CJRS will be extended until the end of March 2021 for all parts of the UK. For claim periods running to 31 January 2021, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The UK Government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
It was also confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February 2021, as CJRS will be available at that time. An alternative retention incentive will be put in place at the appropriate time.
There have been many announcements this week and we have summarised these below. Please talk to us about getting Government support during these tough times. We are here to help and can work plans out with you.


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The CJRS will remain open until 31 March 2021. For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked.
The Government will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
Claims can be made by employers across the UK that meet the eligibility criteria.
We will update all our clients on the eligibility criteria after the 11 November expected details of how the scheme will be run.
If we processed your previous claims rest assured we will be updating our systems for the extended scheme and we will be able to estimate your claims under the new scheme shortly.

 

Similarly, support for millions more workers through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.
Already announced earlier this week are:

 

• Grants of up to £3,000 per month for businesses which are closed worth more than£1 billion every month
• £1.1 billion is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly
• Plans to extend existing government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund to the end of January, and an ability to top-up Bounce Back Loans
• An extension to the mortgage payment holiday for homeowners
• Up to £500 million of funding for councils to support the local public health response.


More information from the Government on yesterday’s announcement can be seen here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932977/ECONOMIC_SUPPORT_FACTSHEET_5_November.pdf


NHS Test and Trace in the workplace

In light of the lockdown in England guidance on NHS Test and Trace for employers, businesses and workers has been updated to show that everyone should work from home where possible during the increased national restrictions from 5 November 2020.
See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance?utm_source=91e2dae2-ec22-4a78-9b99-97d0b9045f04&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Working safely during coronavirus

As you would expect, the guides have been updated to include guidance on national restrictions from 5 November: Anyone who can work from home should and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals should not attend work for this period of the restrictions.
These 14 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Priority actions are outlined at the top of each guide.
See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19?utm_source=d7a4292d-6861-4aec-b61b-
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Advice for people in England with animals

Advice for pet owners and livestock keepers on looking after the welfare of animals during the lockdown has been updated. This advice applies to England only.
See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-people-with-animals?utm_source=5e51cab6-625f-4c0e-87b7-
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Information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses form the Rural Payments Agency (RPA)

As National restrictions will apply from 5 November, RPA confirm they are continuing to deliver the range of services to agricultural and rural communities across the country while the majority of their people work from home. 

Following government guidance, RPA inspectors will continue with most inspection work to ensure that they meet regulatory targets and do not cause any delay to payments. They will continue to follow COVID-19 Secure health and safety procedures (including social distancing and other approaches to reduce face to face contact) that they put in place earlier in the year.
See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-farmers-landowners-and-rural-businesses?utm_source=5778ce7f-dd82-42fc-b292-
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£134 million support announced to help UK businesses build back greener

The Government is to invest to keep UK’s greenest, most innovative businesses going during coronavirus pandemic.
This includes projects to service offshore wind turbines autonomously, using AI to reduce beer waste in the brewing process and converting seaweed into compostable packaging to tackle plastic waste are set to benefit.
See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/134-million-boost-to-help-uk-businesses-build-back-greener?utm_source=3016491b-5c51-4c47-9469-25f4029ac91e&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-
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The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) fast-tracks grants to help England’s ports and fishing industry

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Applications invited by MMO for grants to help ports or harbours impacted by Covid-19 pandemic and for health and safety equipment for fishing vessel owners.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is inviting applications for grants to help ports or harbours impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and to provide health and safety equipment for fishing vessel owners.
MMO has re-purposed the balance of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and allocated £500,000 to projects for ports or harbours and £300,000 to fishing vessel owners or licence holders for health and safety improvements.

Grants of up to £100,000 each are available for existing projects that are aimed at mitigating impacts of Covid-19 at ports and harbours and bringing benefits to the local area. Applications will be assessed and judged on a competitive basis with grants awarded to those best meeting the criteria and aims of this fund. The closing date for fully formed applications including all required documentation is 29 November 2020.

Awards of up to £50,000 each are available for health and safety improvements on board fishing vessels. This fund is open now and applications will be assessed and awarded on individual merit as and when they are received, until the fund is fully committed. The fund criteria is available here. Applicants are asked to note that their requests will only be considered once all the required documentation is received. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant for resubmission.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/the-marine-management-organisation-mmo-fast-tracks-grants-to-help-englands-ports-and-fishing-industry?utm_source=7e8b34a7-68d7-4a39-85fd-38aa8c6c48a8&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-
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