On 31 October 2020, as Boris Johnson was announcing an initial 4 week national lockdown, the Chancellor was already making plans to change and extend support measures for businesses and individuals’ during this difficult period. A number of our clients have asked us to clarify the announcements, which come just days after Rishi Sunak himself announced changes to Governmental support outlined in his speech in September 2020.
We know it can be difficult for you to keep up with the changes, so we are providing a summary of what we know at this time.
We can confirm an extension to CJRS (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme), beyond it’s planned cessation date of 31 October 2020. The scheme was due to be closed in it’s previous form, after being scaled back to cover 60% of salaries during October 2020.
For November 2020, under the scheme, furloughed employees will now receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Businesses will also be required only to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions, which make the criteria more appealing than its scaled down version in October.
Flexible furlough will be available, but the level of government support will return to the levels given in August.
For Employees to be eligible:
- Employees must have been “on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020. This means a real time information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before that date.”
- Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
Also employers can still choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant level of 80%.
The government’s planned JSS (Job Support scheme), which was scheduled to replace CJRS, has now been postponed until the furlough scheme ends, which will be from December 2020 at the earliest.
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:-
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants of £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks.
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants of £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks.
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants of £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
Mortgage payment holidays will no longer end today. 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.
We are expecting further details in due course, and will keep you updated, but in the meantime please speak to a member of our dedicated tax team at WHA and we will be happy to help.