SUPPORT :- WHO, WHAT & WHEN?
Updated: Nov 4
Following additional support, announced on Monday in the House of Commons by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, we have outlined all the closure measures and economic support here as they apply to your business and staff.
The new measures apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, the government will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.
DO I HAVE TO CLOSE?
Businesses and venues which must close
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:
Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges
Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks, theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes
Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect
Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals
These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:
education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that it part of their normal provision)
childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
blood donation and food banks
to provide medical treatment
for elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios)
for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
for the purposes of professional film and TV filming
Businesses and venues which can remain open
Other businesses are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods or services, including:
Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences.
Petrol Stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.
Banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers and money transfer businesses
Launderettes and dry cleaners
Medical and dental services
Vets and pet shops
Agricultural supplies shops
Storage and distribution facilities
Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.
Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.
Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.
All office-based staff should continue to work from home wherever possible.
All other workers who cannot work from home should maintain Covid secure working conditions
The measures outlined are outlined below and include:-
Furlough month £2,500 cap at 80% - employers pay only pensions and NICs
Self-employed £5,160 cap for three months
Bounce Back and CBILS loans extended to January 31st 2021
Area Restriction Grants nationally between- £1,334 and £3,000
Discretionary L.A. Grants of between £934 and £2100
SUPPORT IN SCOTLAND WALES & NORTHERN IRELAND
Extension of CJRS Scheme, Self Employment Scheme, Loans and Mortgage Holidays are all UK wide.
Self-employed claims from November 30 of up to £5,160
Increased support under the third instalment of the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, with people receiving 80% of average trading profits for November
Grants claims window opening November 30
As SEISS grants are calculated over three months, the uplift for November to 80 per cent, along with the 40 per cent level of trading profits for December and January, increases the total level of the third grant to 55% of trading profits.
The maximum grant will increase to £5,160.
This provides broadly equivalent support to the self-employed as we are providing to employees through the government contribution in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November and then the Job Support Scheme in the two subsequent months.
To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:
Have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
Declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
Are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
Were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
This follows the CJRS being extended until December. This provides broadly equivalent support to the self-employed as is being provided to employees through the government contribution in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November and then the Job Support Scheme in the two subsequent months.
The loan schemes will be extended to applications until January 31st 2020.
Those businesses who have already successfully applied for a Bounce Back loan can top up to the value for £50,000
AREA RESTRICTIONS GRANT NOW AVAILABLE NATIONALLY TO BUSINESSES CLOSED
The government will make allocations to Local Authorities later this week, giving them the cover they need to start making distributions and funding will follow week beginning November 8.
Businesses that are forced to close due to national or local restrictions will receive up to £3,000 per four weeks.
Initially the local councils posted an LRG application form for those businesses that were closed by Tier 3 local restrictions, many of those are now live.
Following this a form will be posted for those businesses that were closed from November 5th.
Local Restriction Grant Closed Application pages will be added as they go live here :-
GRANT LEVEL AND FREQUENCY
You will receive support for every two weeks your business is closed, and this will be paid every two weeks that you are required to remain closed.
Rateable value and support per 2 weeks per 4 weeks
£15,000 or under £ 667 £1334
£15,001-£50,999 £1000 £2000
£51,000 or over £1500 £3000
You can find the rateable value of your premises on your latest business rates bill
DISCRETIONARY GRANTS TO OTHER BUSINESSES WITH A SEVERE DROP IN FOOTFALL
1.1bn given to Local Authorities, will be distributed on the basis of £20 per head of population, via one-off discretionary payments.
This is one-off funding and intended to support businesses more broadly, as a key part of local economies, who would not otherwise be eligible and whether they were rateable businesses or not.
Some of this funding has already been provided to local areas that entered into Tier 3 and Tier 2, but are a number of issues with this grant in reality.
No guidance on the earliest eligible start date of when," severe drop in footfall," applies to the grant has been provided as yet to local authorities and they must all make their own policy.
This means a lot of hard work and in reality the amount available to each local council, and therefore to thousands of potential applicants is relatively small. It can be appreciably under £500,000 per authority, in some cases.
Central Government initially suggested that support should be based on 70% of the local restrictions grants, but the final decisions are made by each Local Authority dependent on their level of funding.
The number of those business locally, along with the amount of any grant available mean the suggested grants per applicant in the table below may well not be achievable.
EARLY RESTRICTIONS GRANTS
Businesses who were previously closed in areas under local restrictions measures will be able to apply for a local authority grant retrospectively backdated to August.
In Lancashire this is likely to apply in the main to businesses in Blackburn and Darwen and Preston who were under local restriction the earliest.
These backdated grants will be made available at 70% of the value of the national closed grants up to a maximum of £2,100 per four weeks for this period
Tier 2 kicked in in most of the rest of Lancashire only on 14th of October and Tier 3 on October 17th.
Rateable value of premises per 2 weeks per 4 weeks
£15,000 or under £ 467 £ 934
£15,001-£50,999 £ 700 £1400
£51,000 or over £1050 £2100
Applications will be made available in due course from the local authority websites.
This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. There will be a short period needed to change the legal terms of the scheme and update the system and businesses will be paid in arrears for that period
The CJRS is being extended until December. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.
As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
Further details, including how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, will be provided shortly.
The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends. The Job Support Scheme will be introduced following the end of the CJRS. Additional guidance will be set out shortly.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted.
All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.
To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020.
This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
Those on the employer payroll on September 23rd and subsequently made redundant can be rehired on the CJRS extension ( confirmed in the House of Commons by Stephen Barclay on November 3rd)
*As under the current CJRS rules:
Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agee any working arrangements with employees
Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.
80% WAGES AND MINIMAL EMPLOYER COSTS
For hours not worked by the employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions and should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.
As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
Mortgage payment holidays were due to end on October 31 but have been extended.
Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.
This will mean that:
those who have not yet had a payment deferral will be eligible for 2 payment deferrals of up to 6 months in total
those who currently have an initial payment deferral, will be eligible for another payment deferral of up to 3 months
those who have resumed repayments after an initial payment deferral will be eligible for another payment deferral of up to 3 months