Following the Prime Ministers announcement on 31st October, people and businesses across the UK are being provided with additional financial support as part of the government’s plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak. These latest updates mean that many business up and down the country will have to close. The categories of businesses forced to close under the new restrictions are near-identical to those required to close following the initial announcement of ‘Stay at Home’ measures on 23rd March 2020.
The Government has confirmed that the following businesses will be required to close from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December 2020:
- all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
- indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
- entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
- personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
Supermarkets, food shops, garden centres and a limited group of other retailers that sell ‘essential’ goods and services will be able to remain open if they follow COVID-secure guidelines. Meanwhile, ‘non-essential’ retailers will be able to open for click-and-collect and delivery only.
Furlough/Job Retention Scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – will remain open until December. We know that there are many accountants out there who are charging for the additional service of organising your staffs JRS pay. At Nordens, we won’t be. We know that everyone is trying to stay above water right now, so we don’t want you to worry about another cost. We are more than happy to get the paperwork started to ensure your staffs pay through the Job Support Scheme at our cost.
Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, which will continue for a further month. Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5% of total employment costs.
Grants will cover 80% of a furloughed employee’s usual wages, capped at £2,500 a month, while employers will be required to cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions. They will not be required to contribute to employees’ wages, as had been required in September and October. Luckily, neither the employer nor the employee needs to have used the CJRS previously to use the extended scheme.
Employers will need to agree full furlough or flexible furlough arrangements with employees in accordance with employment law and their contracts of employment. Full guidance on the extended scheme is expected to be published imminently. The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends. Additional guidance will be set out shortly.
Mortgage payment holidays will no longer end today. Following the introduction of the new Coronavirus restrictions in England, the Government has confirmed that mortgage payment holidays will still be available to borrowers impacted by Coronavirus.
Borrowers affected by Coronavirus will be entitled to a six-month mortgage payment holiday. Those that have already benefitted from a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top this up to six months without a record being made on their credit file. The FCA will announce further information shortly.
The Chancellor has also announced approved additional funding to support cash grants of up to £3,000 per month primarily for businesses who may have to close due to the new restrictions across the country. These grants could benefit around 370,000 businesses in England, including many of you who run hotels, restaurants, B&Bs that will be closed for a second time.
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
However, it will be up to Local Authorities to determine what precise funding to allocate to each business in their local areas. Businesses that seem likely to remain in Very High alert level areas past the one month lockdown, will qualify for greater support (up to £3,000/month). The government is working with local leaders to ensure the packages are fair and transparent.
With all of these new announcements and schemes, it is important to consider how this affects your business and seek advice at the earliest opportunity. Both the government and banks will need all of your paperwork to be up to date and in order to consider you for any loans or grants. Make sure that you have sent everything in to us, in order and on time so that we can assist you with the best deals. Contact us today for further information on this grant on 02085300720 or email email@example.com