Update on COVID-19 Government Support


With the second national lockdown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday announced additional support for businesses affected by COVID-19:

Job Retention Scheme

The Job Support Scheme has been postponed, and instead the Job Retention Scheme has been extended, so that eligible employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.  The Scheme will run from 1st November 2020 until the end of March 2021.  The Government will review the Scheme in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.  

  • Businesses will have flexibility to use the Scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full-time. 
  • The employee does not have to have been furloughed previously to be eligible; but they must have been on your PAYE payroll on 30th October 2020, and you must have made a PAYE Real Time Information submission to HMRC between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020. 
  • Where an employee was on the payroll on 23rd September 2020 (the day before the Job Support Scheme announcement) and were then made redundant or stopped working afterwards, they can be re-employed and furloughed.
  • There will be NO employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions for hours not worked.
  • The Scheme will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll. Claims can be made from 8am Wednesday 11 November. Claims made for November must be submitted to HMRC by no-later than 14 December 2020. Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month.

Full guidance on the Scheme will be available on 10th November. 

Job Retention Bonus
As the Job Retention Scheme has now been extended, the Job Retention Bonus will not now be paid in February.  The Bonus will be re-considered at an appropriate point.  

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
For the period November 2020 to January 2021 this Scheme has now been increased to a grant of 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500.  The Government has also brought forward when you can claim this grant, to 30 November 2020.  There will be a fourth SEISS grant covering February to April; the level of this grant will be announced in due course.

Local Grants
Businesses in England with premises that are forced to close due to national or local restrictions such as retail and hospitality, will receive up to £3,000 per month.  This grant will be paid by your local authority, at their discretion.  The Government has already provided this grant to those local authorities that entered Tier 3, but they are providing further funding, including sufficient funding for backdated cash grants for businesses in Tier 2/3 areas in England, so that those businesses in hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors that suffered from reduced demand between 1st August and 5th November will receive backdated grants at 70% of the value of grants up to a maximum of £2,100 per month for this period.

Local authorities should start announcing the funding available next week. 

Guarantee Loan Schemes
The deadline for applications for the following Loan Schemes has been extended to the end of January 2021: Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Future Fund, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme rules have also been adjusted to allow those businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. the lower of £50,000 or less than 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan. Businesses will be able to take-up this option from next week.

We will continue to keep you informed of any updates from the Government in terms of their COVID-19 business support. 

Castletons Accountants

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