UPDATE: Coronavirus Financial Assistance Available - 14th October 2020

As the pandemic rolls on, it seems that the 'second wave' is well and truly here, with new localised lockdowns being announced almost daily.

Those financial support schemes first announced back in April have begun to taper out, and so new programmes have been launched to support those who continue to be impacted by Covid-19.

This week, we have heard more information about each scheme, the eligibility criteria, and how you can make an application.

New Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme coming to an end this month, the Government has announced a new scheme due to start as of 1st November 2020; the Job Support Scheme.

While the terms are somewhat different, this has been welcome news to employers and staff who had anticipated the end of the furlough scheme precluding inevitable job losses and redundancies.

Claimant businesses must continue to pay their employees for time worked at the regular rate. However, the cost of hours not worked - due to restricted opening hours, or scaled back operations, for example - are split between the employee through a wages reduction and the Government through the wage support scheme.

Eligibility for Job Support Grants

This scheme will be available for six months, with a review point scheduled in January 2021. Eligible employers must have a PAYE scheme registered on or before 23rd September 2020 to make a claim.

In terms of payment caps, the Government will finance up to a third of hours not worked, with a limit of £697.92 per month. The employer must also contribute up to a third.

For employees, this means earning at least 77% of their typical salaries, where the Government contribution hasn't met the maximum limit.

The rules are:

  • Employees must have been on the employer's payroll since 23rd September 2020 or before.
  • An RTI must have been filed with HMRC before this date to qualify.
  • Staff must work at least 33% of their regular hours - which will increase after three months.

We are yet to see any guidance about the intricacies of the 'usual wages' calculation but anticipate this being similar to the calculation bases used for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Grants are paid in arrears, meaning that it isn't possible to claim in advance of running payroll and paying staff wages. Once an RTI report has been filed with HMRC for the period, the grant application can be submitted.

Extended Job Support for Closed Businesses

The scheme also offers an extension, aimed at those businesses that have been required to close their premises due to Coronavirus restrictions.

In this case, the Government will fund two-thirds of employee salaries, with a maximum of £2,100 per month.

Under this scheme, employers are not required to contribute towards wages. They will, however, need to cover NICs and pension contributions payable.

To qualify, employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.

Local Restrictions Support Grant

With tighter restrictions being imposed in cities and regions across the UK, cash grants have been announced.

Local Restrictions Support Grants can be claimed by businesses that have been required to close due to a local lockdown.

The grant is available up to £3,000 per month, and businesses may file a claim following two weeks of closure.

Values claimable depend on the rateable value of the business premises:

Rateable Premises ValueSupport Grant Claimable
Below £15,000£667 per two weeks of closure - £1,334 per month
£15,000 - £51,000£1,000 per two weeks of closure - £2,000 per month
Over £51,000£1,500 per two weeks of closure - £3,000 per month

Claims for Local Restrictions Support Grants must be made through the respective Local Authority.

As changes develop and financial support scheme announcements are made, the SAS team will endeavour to keep you up to date and informed.

In the meantime, should you require any support with managing payroll, keeping bookkeeping up to date during business disruption, or need professional advice with any aspect of managing your company finances, feel free to give our team a call at any time.

Likewise, if you have any queries regarding this information, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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