Yesterday the government announced it will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus.
Job Support Scheme
In recognition of the challenging times ahead, the Chancellor said he would be increasing support through the existing Job Support and self-employed schemes, and expanding business grants to support companies in high-alert level areas. When originally announced, the JSS – which will come into effect on 1st November – saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked, and required employers to be working 33% of their normal hours.
Today’s announcement reduces the employer contribution to those unworked hours to just 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible. That means that if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the government would be contributing £543 and their employer only £44.
We know that there are many accountants out there who are charging for the additional service of organising your staffs JSS 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 will also be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee you furloughed and claimed for through the Job Retention Scheme (JRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31st January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria. You do not have to pay this money to your employee. You will be able to claim the bonus between 15th February and 31st March. To do this you must have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5th February 2021 on time.
The Chancellor has also announced approved additional funding to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions, and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for Local Authorities moving into Tier 3 which, if scaled up across the country, would be worth more than £1 billion.
These grants could benefit around 150,000 businesses in England, including many of you who run hotels, restaurants, B&Bs and many more who aren’t legally required to close but have been adversely affected by local restrictions nonetheless.
Local Authorities will receive a funding amount that will be the equivalent of:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants of £934 per month.
- For properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000, grants of £1,400 per month.
- For properties with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 and over, grants of £2,100 per month.
- This is equivalent to 70% of the grant amounts given to legally closed businesses (worth up to £3,000/month
However, it will be up to Local Authorities to determine which businesses are eligible for grant funding in their local areas, and what precise funding to allocate to each business.
Businesses in Very High alert level areas will qualify for greater support whether closed (up to £3,000/month) or open. In the latter case support is being provided through business support packages provided to Local Authorities as they move into the alert level. The government is working with local leaders to ensure the Alert Level very high packages are fair and transparent.
Self Employed Grants
Today’s announcement increases the amount of profits covered by the two forthcoming self-employed grants from 20% to 40%, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750. This is a potential further £3.1 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April.
Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering 3 months. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021. The government will pay a taxable grant which is calculated based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £3,750.
The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April 2021. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course. It will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS grant one and grant two, and meets the eligibility criteria.
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