Over the past month as the United Kingdom’s COVID-19 reaction strategy adjusts to tackle the virus once more, how has the support the government are offering businesses changed? In order to help you understand the current support available we have summarised the key information below.
Job Support Scheme
This scheme was announced in order to protect jobs within businesses that are remaining open but are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19.
For those claiming under the Job Support Scheme (JSS), the government will contribute towards the wages of employees if they are working less than their normal hours. Employers will continue to pay the wages for the hours that employees work, employees must work a 33% minimum of their usual hours. For the hours not worked the employer, the government and the employee will share the cost, each contributing a third each of the wage for the unworked hours – the government contribution being capped at £697.92 per month.
Job Support Scheme Expansion
Earlier in October the government also announced the expansion of the JSS, in order to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of the new tier system put in place due to the coronavirus.
Under this expansion, affected businesses will receive grants towards the wages of employees who have been instructed to cease working. The government will pay two thirds of employees’ wages, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages, but do need to cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
Job Retention Bonus
Further information has been released regarding the Job Retention Bonus, employers will be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021. Employers do not have to pay this money to their employees.
It is important to note that employees must earn at least £1,560 between 6 November 2020 and 5 February 2021 and received earnings in the November, December and January tax months. Employees must also not be serving a contractual or statutory notice period on 31 January 2021.
This bonus will be claimable once the PAYE information has been submitted for the period up to 5 February 2021. We will let you know how you can make a claim when further guidance is published.
This bonus will still be claimable for an employee even if you claim support through the Job Support Scheme as long as the criteria for both schemes are met.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Closure
This scheme closes on 31 October and you will need to ensure that your final claim has been made on or before 30 November No claims will be able to be added or submitted after this date.
VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme
If you have deferred VAT payments that were due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 then these payments must be made to HMRC by 31 March 2021. However, the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme can be used to spread these payments over equal instalments up to 31 March 2022. Alternatively, you can make payments as normal by 31 March 2021, or make Time to Pay arrangements with HMRC if you are in need of more tailored support. More information around this is expected to be announced in the coming months.
Self Assessment Self-Serve Time to Pay Scheme
Self Assessment customers can now apply online to spread the cost of their tax bill into more affordable monthly payments without having to call HMRC. The online self-serve Time to Pay service has been increased to £30,000 to help ease any potential burden that the COVID-19 pandemic may be causing.
Once a personal tax return for the 2019-20 tax year has been completed, this online self-service can be used through GOV.UK. You can set up a direct debit and pay any tax that is owed in monthly instalments, up to a 12-month period.
We Are Here to Help
We appreciate that all of the schemes can become slightly confusing for many, at a time where you are at your busiest, making sense of and ensuring you meet the criteria of the schemes can be left on the back-burner.
We are here to help you and can take the reins of getting your the support you are entitled to.