Covid-19 Update - October 26th 2020
Monday, 26 October 2020
FAO: All Clients
Please find below an update on the latest government support schemes for employers, employees and self-employed.
The biggest change is in the Job Support Scheme which has been revised and split into two. These are detailed below.
Please contact us if you have any queries as like always the rules have not been 100% clarified.
Job Support Scheme
The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will open on 1 November and run for six months, until 30 April 2021. The government has said it will review the terms of the scheme in January 2021. There are two variations to JSS – JSS Open and JSS Closed.
JSS Open will provide support to businesses that are open where employees are working shorter hours due to reduced demand. Employees will need to work at least 20% of their usual hours. Employers will continue to pay employees for the hours they work, and the UK government will pay a contribution of 61.67% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. Employers will pay 5% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, and can top this up further if they choose. This means employees should receive at least two thirds of their usual pay for hours not worked.
The caps are reduced according to the proportion of hours not worked.
Employers will need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
JSS Closed will provide support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one of the four governments of the UK. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection-only services from their premises, and those restricted to providing food and/or drinks outdoors.
For JSS Closed, the UK government will fund two thirds of employees’ usual wages for time not worked, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month. Employers will not be required to contribute, but they can top up the government’s contribution if they choose to. Employers will still need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
Our clients will be able to make their first JSS claim in arrears from 8 December, for pay periods ending and paid in November. We will see if we can still make the claim on your behalf.
Employees will be able to check if their employer has made a Job Support Scheme claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account. Employees can set up a Personal Tax Account on GOV.UK, by searching 'Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up'.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension
The government has increased the support available under the SEISS Grant Extension – doubling the value of the first grant.
This brings support for the self-employed in line with that for employers under the Job Support Scheme Open.
The value of the first SEISS Grant Extension, covering the period November 2020 to the end of January 2021, will double. This means that the UK government will provide an initial SEISS grant based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, and capped at £3,750 in total.
To ensure that support will be targeted to those who most need it, SEISS Grant Extension will be available to self-employed individuals who temporarily cannot trade as well as those continuing to trade and facing reduced demand due to COVID-19.
HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in mid-November.
Job Retention Bonus (JRB)
This has not changed. You will be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee you furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria. Employers do not have to pay this money to their employees.
The bonus can be claimed between 15 February and 31 March. To do this clients must have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5 February 2021 on time.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – closes on 31 October
Please note that this scheme closes on 31 October and employers and any final claims need to be submitted on or before 30 November. Employers will not be able to submit or add to any claims after 30 November.