Another announcement – the changes seem to be coming thick and fast over the last few weeks, and just as we familiarise ourselves with one scheme, more changes are made.
This, however, will give some security to businesses that are forced to close, and those that historically struggle over the winter/post-Christmas months – more furlough!
That’s right – the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) has been extended until the end of March 2021. This will continue to be on a flexible basis, at 80% of gross pay, with no obligation to top up, however Employers will be liable for the National Insurance and pension contributions. It is, quite simply, the August rules which have been brought back in.
Employee eligibility – Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under CJRS to make a claim under the extended CJRS (if other eligibility criteria are met). An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
Employees that are re-employed: Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 (the day before the Job Support Scheme announcement) who were made redundant or stopped working afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made an RTI submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
This does mean bad news for anyone hoping for their Job Retention Bonus for keeping furloughed employees on their payroll. This may not reappear at any time though, as the word from the Chancellor was that ‘the government will redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time.’ We wait to see what that may be, if anything at all.
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – This has been increased from the originally announced 55% from November – January, and is now 80% of the average trading profits once again, up to £7,500. Any additional grant for February – April will be reviewed and an appropriate percentage set nearer the time.
Loan Schemes – The CBILs and Bounceback Loan Schemes have been extended to new entrants until 31 January 2021, and Bounceback loans, for those not taking the full £50k will now have the opportunity to be ‘topped up’.
In addition to this, mortgage holidays will continue to be available for up to 6 months, payment holidays for consumer credit products continue to be available, as does the 5% VAT reduction until 31 March 2021.
Let’s hope for no more changes now, so we can settle and get used to these new rules. As always we will continue to support you and submit your furlough claims.