The disruptions caused to the business sector by coronavirus has been colossal, meaning uncertainty about the future is rife, for small and big business owners alike.
To ensure that all businesses get a fair chance of survival, the government is offering continued support. This support is evolving massively, stretching above and beyond the initial types of help provided.
To help you understand the full scope of support available- for which you, as a business owner, may well be eligible- we have compiled this blog article to detail all forms of help out there, both new and continued!
The Job Support Scheme will be replacing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or ‘furlough’ scheme) from the 1st of November 2020, operating for a 6 month period.
The goal of the scheme is to help businesses facing less demand in the winter months, as a direct result of the pandemic, to retain their employees within the workforce.
The Job Support Scheme, as distinct from the Job Retention Scheme, places the responsibility of paying for hours not worked on all parties involved, not only on the government. It is split between the government (through wage support), the employer and the employee (through wage reduction).
For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual salary. For clarification, the term ‘hours not worked’ refers to the hours that an employee was contracted to work before the disruptions of coronavirus, but was unable to as a result.
The employer contributions to those unworked hours is set at 5%, with the minimum hours required set at 20%, meaning those working just one day a week will now be eligible.
This means that the government will provide up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to £1541.75 per month.
The cap is set above median earnings for employees in August at a reference salary of £3,125 per month.
If you would like to look at the government’s Job Support Scheme fact sheet, detailing more specifically the relevant information on eligibility and how to apply, simply click the link below:
This scheme is for businesses legally required to close in light of the pandemic. Through the scheme, the government will pay a grant of two-thirds of the normal pay of each eligible employee, up to a limit of £2,100 per month.
Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.
The bonus will be a sum of £1000 for every employee you furloughed and kept employed until the 31st of January 2021. This bonus will be a one-off, taxable payment.
You will be able to make a claim for the bonus from the 15th February 2021, up until the 31st of March 2021.
In light of recent changes, business grants are being extended to help cover open businesses in particularly affected sectors in high-alert level areas (i.e. tier 2), helping them stay afloat and protecting jobs.
This additional support consists of cash grants of up to £2,100 per month, primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas.
This additional funding allows Local Authorities (LAs) to support businesses in their constituencies, and the funding they will receive will be based on the number of hospitality, hotel, B&B, and leisure businesses in their area.
Local Authorities will also receive a 5% top up amount to cover other businesses that might be affected by the local restrictions, but which do not neatly fit into these categories. So, if your business is not within the stated categories, yet is still struggling as a result of coronavirus, it is worth applying anyway!
Businesses in Very High alert level areas (i.e. tier 3) will qualify for greater support whether closed (up to £3,000/month) or open. In the latter case support is being provided through business support packages provided to Local Authorities as they move into the alert level. The government is working with local leaders to ensure the Alert Level very high packages are fair and transparent.
The Kickstart Scheme has been designed to support young people at risk of long term unemployment by providing funding to employers who create job placements. Specifically, by paying 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 16-24 year olds. The scheme vows to distribute these payments for up to 24 hours of work a week per eligible employee, for up to 6 months.
Currently, start dates for placements may be staggered, but a placement must begin before December 2021 to receive the benefits of the scheme. The application must be for a minimum of 30 placements or more.
If your business does not have the capacity to create this many placements then you can seek help in carrying out your application from what is known as a kickstart gateway, who can act on your behalf after finding out about your plans/capabilities in creating valuable placements. This could include a local authority, charity or trade body.
Further funding is available for training and support.
The already existing Self-Employment Support Scheme is being extended from the 1st of November 2020 and will last for 6 months.
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. These will cover 40% of previous earnings.
With coronavirus cases on the up, it is certainly not unusual if your business has lost a substantial amount of money through granting sick pay.
Luckily, it is now possible to claim back statutory sick pay payed to employees due to the coronavirus. This allows you to claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP. You can complete your application here.
For more information on the support listed above, simply visit //www.gov.uk/ and search for the relevant scheme.
Alternatively, contact Gow & Partners on 01254 589799 and our team will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.