As you may expect, the announcement of a second national lockdown has resulted in some further changes to the support measures in place for individuals and businesses. The key points are as follows:

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)/ The Job Support Scheme (JSS)

It was previously announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) would come to an end on 31 October. This was set to be replaced by the new Job Retention Scheme from 1 November onwards. However, following the announcement of a second national lockdown, it was confirmed that the current scheme will remain in place for another month (until 30 November) and the new Job Support Scheme will be introduced on 1 December.

The support provided under the CJRS has been scaled back over the past few months, however this will be increased back to 80% for furloughed employees.

The key points under the scheme are:

  • Employees will be paid in full by their employer for any hours worked as normal.
  • For any hours not worked, furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary, up to a maximum of £2,500.
  • As was previously the case, employers are able to top up this amount should they choose to do so.
  • Employers will be required to cover the cost of employer national insurance and pension contributions.
  • Employees must have been on an RTI submission made to HMRC on or before 30 October 2020 to be eligible.
  • The government will announce shortly when claims can be made for November.
  • Employers and/or employees do not need to have used the scheme previously to be eligible.

As was previously the case, it is important that employers keep detailed records of an employee’s pay and any hours not worked to make the claim.

The Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

It was previously announced that self employed individuals eligible for the SEISS would be entitled to 40% of their average trading profits for the November, December and January. The month of November has now been increased to 80% in line with the furlough scheme.

The key points are:

  • The eligibility conditions for the grant are identical to the first two grants paid earlier in the year, although relevant individuals do not necessarily need to have made a claim previously.
  • The grant will be paid in one instalment to cover November, December and January.
  • The rate at which the grant will be paid is 80% of average trading profits for November and 40% for December and January. This amounts to an average of 55% for the three month period.
  • The maximum amount of the grant is £5,160.
  • To be eligible, individuals must declare that they intend to continue trading but have currently been impacted by Coronavirus.
  • It was announced that claims could be made from 14 December onwards but this has now been moved forward to 30 November.

Business Grants

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following grants:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.

As with the previous lockdown, these grants will be administered by local authorities. Therefore we would advise eligible businesses to review their local authority website for further guidance and details on any application process.

Mortgage Holidays

Finally, it was also announced that the option of agreeing a mortgage payment holiday will no longer end on 31 October as previously announced. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday. Those who have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch should you require any further information.

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