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WELCOME TO THE LATEST NEWS ON BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS AND THE ECONOMY

With further lock-down measures announced in Scotland and more expected in England, Wales and Northern Ireland the Government has published its latest experimental data on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and society.

The main points are that nearly a fifth (19%) of businesses intend to use increased homeworking as a permanent business model in the future and between 25 September and 2 October 2020, total online job adverts increased from 59% to 61% of their 2019 average, their highest recorded level since 3 April 2020.

What is clear to us is that our clients are moving towards a “Digital” business environment. This trend has been accelerated by Covid-19. We have considerable experience with helping clients to move their bookkeeping and accounts functions online and many, if not all, are seeing dramatic changes in how they run their businesses because of real time accounting and banking functions. Talk to us about how we can move your business into the digital age. We will be delighted to help!

CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION, JOB SUPPORT AND BONUS SCHEME – EMPLOYER UPDATE

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – The 30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit CJRS claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims.

See:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?utm_source=83805d34-432c-419a-9944-6689bfb7ee2e&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

The job support scheme (JSS) will open on 1 November 2020 and run for 6 months.

The company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the cost of hours not worked will be split between the employer, the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job.

The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third. This will ensure employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages, where the Government contribution has not been capped.

Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/job-support-scheme

If your business is eligible for the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) You will be able to claim it between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021.

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-claim-the-job-retention-bonus-from-15-february-2021

A step by step guide is available for employers here:  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/923875/Coronavirus_Job_Retention_Scheme_step_by_step_guide_for_employers.PDF

  

We will keep you informed of how the JSS will work as soon as we get details. If we make the claims for you then we will also be able to estimate the amounts of the claims in advance using our calculators. Please talk to us about how we can help.

SELF-EMPLOYED AND SOLE TRADERS – UPDATE

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allowed you to claim a first taxable grant. Applications for the first grant closed on 13 July 2020.

The second taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Applications for the second grant are now open. Make your claim from the date HMRC give you. If you are eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

The scheme is being extended from 1 November. The grant extension is for self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. HMRC will provide a taxable grant covering 20 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.

HMRC are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Job Support scheme.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. HMRC will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

The grants are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

ENGLAND – TRAVEL CORRIDORS

On 3 October, the Government announced further changes to the list of countries, territories and regions from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate.

Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, Poland and Turkey removed from the England travel corridors list.

See:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors?utm_source=1b748d84-37c3-40b1-9371-488e26201687&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

GUIDANCE FOR FOOD BUSINESS

This has been updated and changes made include businesses closing at 10pm, collecting NHS Test and Trace information and working from home.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

PACKAGE OF SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE TO DEFER THEIR STUDIES

This document is for students who had planned to start higher education this year but who have had to defer until next year.

The package of support provides opportunities to:

  • gain new skills
  • undertake work placements in the public, private and voluntary sectors
  • undertake additional learning
  • get career development support

See:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/package-of-support-for-students-who-have-to-defer-their-studies/package-of-support-for-students-who-have-to-defer-their-studies

TASKFORCE FOR SAFE RETURN TO GLOBAL TRAVEL LAUNCHED

Work is to begin with industry on how to safely reduce self-isolation period with testing. The taskforce will also consider a wide range of other measures to support the travel sector including developing a global framework to make travelling easier.

The Department for Transport and the Department of Health and Social Care have been working with clinicians, health experts and the private testing sector on the practicalities of testing international arrivals.

The next step is to develop an operationalised approach, which is why the government is creating the Global Travel Taskforce to work at pace with industry on implementation and to identify options to reduce the self-isolation period while protecting public health.

The taskforce will accelerate work to inform proposals on a future testing regime and develop options for how this could be introduced.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/taskforce-for-safe-return-to-global-travel-launched?utm_source=73c90090-f8e7-4f9c-b669-e7f6ae3685d4&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate