As businesses reopen and the economy starts moving, the government has launched a number of initiatives to aid businesses in their recovery and protect employment.
We urge all companies to check the following links to see whether they are eligible for Government support. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. Equally if you have any feedback on any of the Government schemes that you think would be useful for us to build into our ongoing conversations with Government, please let us know.
The following measures are detailed below:
- Job Retention Bonus
- Kickstart Scheme
- Apprenticeships and Training Schemes
- Job Retention Scheme
- Support for the self-employed and freelancers
- Loan Schemes
- Workplace safety
- Further guidance and information
Job Retention Bonus
Employers who keep furloughed employees on through to the end of January 2021 will be eligible for a £1000 retention bonus. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (October 2020) and the end of January 2021. Payments will be made from February 2021. Further detail about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.
Employers who create new positions for 16-24 year olds will be able to claim back funding equal to 25 hours of minimum wage per week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrollment contributions. Further details about how to claim for the scheme have not yet been announced.
Apprenticeships and Training
Companies hiring apprentices aged 16-24 will be eligible for a £2000 bonus, or £1500 for apprentices over 25. Employers will also receive £1000 to take on trainees. Further details about how to claim for the scheme have not yet been announced.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency has taken a number of steps to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis on apprenticeships, including allowing the modification of assessments, extending assessment time frames, and support for apprentices made redundant. More information can be found here.
Job Retention Scheme
As of 1 July, furloughed employees are able to return to work on a part-time basis through ‘flexible furlough’. They will continue to receive 80% of wages up to £2,500 p/m through a combination of government support and employer contribution. Employers will need to pay employees for the days worked (e.g. 2 p/w) and government will subsidise the remaining amount.
With the introduction of ‘flexible furlough’, companies cannot put any new employees on furlough.
From 1 August, employers will need to pay NI and pension contributions for furloughed employees. Government will continue to pay 80% of wages, up to £2,500.
From September 1st employers will need to contribute 10% of wages, while government will cover 70%, up to £2,190.
From October 1st employers will need to pay 20% of wages, and government will cover the remaining 60%, up to £1,875.
The scheme is set to end on 31 October.
You can claim for this scheme here.
Government loan schemes, including CBILS, large CBILS and Bounce Back Loans, are still open for applications. You can see more details about the different loan schemes here.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme
On 1 August, self-employed and freelancers will be entitled to a taxable grant worth 70% of their 3-month average profit over the last 3 years, up to £6,570. This is a renewal of the previous SEISS grant, adjusted to 70% to be in line with the job retention scheme.
Payments will be provided on the basis of average earnings from the financial years 2016-17,17-18 and 18-19.
To be eligible you must:
- Make more than 50% of your income from self-employed activity
- Earn less than £50,000 p/a
- Have been self-employed in the 19/20 tax year (with a tax return for 2019)
- Continue to be self-employed for the 20/21 tax year
You can claim here.
Workplace Specific Guidance
BEIS have issued workplace specific guidance for businesses on safe operating procedures. The guidance for offices can be found here, all other workplaces, here. All employees who can continue to work from home are asked to do so.
Further information and resource pages
Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland
Department for International Trade & UK Export Finance
Department for Health information on COVID-19
Covid-19 Business Support
Covid-19 Business Support Finder Tool
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Guidance for Employers and Businesses
HMRC COVID-19 helpline regarding tax issues: 08000 241222 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)
Business Support Helpline: 0300 456 3565 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)