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Support for Businesses | The Winter Economy Plan

Employment Law

As the government’s furlough scheme comes to an end there has been increased pressure from many businesses and industries for further support to enable businesses to protect jobs and manage their finances through an uncertain winter.

This week the government announced a package of targeted measures to help support businesses and employees over the coming months:

New Job Support Scheme

From 1st November the government will be introducing a new job support scheme aimed at supporting the wages of people in work and helping employers bring employees back into the workplace. The scheme will run for 6 months.

Employees will need to work a minimum of 33% of their usual hours and must not be on redundancy notice. The employer will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but for every hour not worked the employer and the government will each pay one-third of the employee’s usual pay. The government contribution will be capped at £697.92 per month. This will mean employees will receive at least 77% of their pay where the government contribution has not been capped. The employer will be reimbursed in arrears for the government contribution.

The scheme is open to all employers with a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme. All Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) will be eligible, however, large businesses will be required to demonstrate that their business has been adversely affected by COVID-19.

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

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme Grant Extension

The SEISS grant will be extended for 6 months from 1st November to April 2021 and is limited to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19.

The extension will be in the form of two taxable grants. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. This initial grant will cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single installment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total. The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

Help for the Hospitality and Tourism Sectors

Business vector created by pikisuperstar – www.freepik.com

The government is extending the temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) from 12th January to 31st

March 2021. This will continue to apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises, supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK.

Extension of Government-backed Loans Schemes

The government is extending four temporary loan schemes to 30 November 2020 for new applications. This applies to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)  and the Future Fund. Borrowers will also be offered the choice of more time and greater flexibility for their repayments under some of the schemes.

New Payment Scheme for deferred VAT and Self-Assessment Tax

The government will give businesses which deferred VAT due in March to June 2020 the option to spread their payments over the financial year 2021-2022. The government will also give the self-employed and other taxpayers more time to pay taxes due in January 2021, building on the Self-Assessment deferral provided in July 2020.

The Hegarty Solicitors employment law team are experienced in dealing with all types of employment issues. Whatever your situation, we can help.

If you have any questions or require advice regarding any aspect of employment law please contact Martin Bloom on 01733 295 632 or email martin.bloom@hegarty.co.uk 

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