21 Aug

Mel’s COVID-19 Update: 8th August 2020

Mel’s COVID-19 Update: 8th August 2020

1. Job Retention Bonus

The government is introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment, after the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020.

The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between the 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021.

An employer will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus for any employees that were eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and they have claimed a grant for. Where a claim for an employee was incorrectly made, a Job Retention Bonus will not be payable.

All employers are eligible for the scheme including recruitment agencies and umbrella companies.

Employers should ensure that they have:

  • Complied with their obligations to pay and file PAYE accurately and on time under the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system for all employees
  • Maintained enrolment for PAYE online
  • A UK bank account

Employers must keep their payroll up to date and accurate and address all requests from HMRC to provide missing employee data in respect of historic Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims. Failure to maintain accurate records may jeopardise an employer’s claim.

Please click here to read more.

2. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) - Examples To Help You Calculate Your Employees' Wages

Check examples to help you calculate your employee's wages, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions if you're claiming through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here.

Remember to talk to us about any claims as we can estimate your claim for August, September and October in advance.

Individuals who are paid through PAYE but not necessarily employees in employment law, can continue to be furloughed from 1 July as long as you have previously submitted a claim for them for a furlough period of at least 3 weeks between 1 March and 30 June and submitted a claim for this by 31 July.

3. Providing Apprenticeships During The Coronavirus Outbreak

The Government has updated its guidance on apprenticeships.

This sets out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

It outlines the changes that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is making to the apprenticeship programme during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The information should be read alongside:

  • Guidance on financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19) - the salary support for furloughed employees, also applies to apprentices
  • Articles on the apprenticeship service for employers, training providers and end- point assessment organisations
  • Articles on the apprenticeship service for apprentices
  • Guidance from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) on the delivery of assessment

Please click here to find out more.

4. England - New Grants To Boost Recovery Of Small Businesses

Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from £20 million of new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has announced.

Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 - £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track.

The support will be fully funded by the Government with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially and the support will be fully funded by the government from the England European Regional Development Fund and distributed through local enterprise partnerships (LEP) Growth Hubs, embedded in local areas across England.

LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses, set up in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to help determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth and job creation within the local area.

Activities supported through the £20 million can include:

  • One-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus,
  • Grants (£1,000 - £5,000) to help businesses access specialist professional advice such as HR, accountants, legal, financial, IT and digital, and to purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify

Please click here to find out more.

5. MOT Update

Motorists are being encouraged to bring their MOT forward if it’s due in September, October or November 2020, to help beat the expected rush for tests.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is encouraging motorists whose MOT is due this autumn to get their vehicle’s MOT done as soon as possible to beat the expected rush for tests.

Cars, motorcycles and light vans that were due an MOT between 30 March and 31 July 2020 were given a 6-month extension to help keep motorists moving during the coronavirus pandemic.

Vehicles that are due an MOT from 1 August 2020 will not get an extension and will need to be tested as normal.

Please click here to find out more.

HGVs, buses and trailers have been given exemptions from needing an MOT, as tests were suspended because of coronavirus. This means that the deadline to get your MOT has changed.

You can now book an HGV, bus or trailer MOT as tests have restarted.

The deadline to get the test done depends on:

  • When the MOT was originally due
  • Whether you qualify for a 3-month or 12-month

Please click here to find out more.

6. Help & Support If Your Business Is Affected By Coronavirus

You can watch videos and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

Please click here to find out more.

7. Working Safely During Coronavirus

There are now 14 guides that cover a range of different types of work.

Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Further guidance will be published as more businesses are able to reopen.

Please click here to find out more.

8. Eat Out To Help Out Launches - With Government Paying Half On Restaurant Bills

Diners across the UK have seen their restaurant bills cut by as much as 50% from this week, as the government’s landmark Eat Out to Help Out scheme officially opened for business.

Anyone visiting a participating restaurant, café or pub on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August will receive the half price discount – keeping more money in hardworking families’ pockets and giving a vital boost to the UK’s hospitality sector.

The scheme – part of the government’s Plan for Jobs that will spur the country’s economic recovery from coronavirus – applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks, with a maximum discount per person of £10.

Please click here to find out more.

9. Ask HMRC to Verify You Had a New Child Which Affected Your Eligibilty For The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership, and having a new child affected the trading profits or total income you reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019, use the HMRC form to ask them to verify that you had a new child.

If you are already eligible for the grant based on your 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 Self-Assessment tax returns, how HMRC will work out your grant amount will not be affected.

If you are not already eligible you can ask HMRC to check if you had a new child which either:

  • Affected your trading profits or total income you reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019
  • Meant you did not submit a Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019

For this scheme having a new child is any of the following:

  • Being pregnant
  • Giving birth (including a stillbirth after more than 24 weeks of pregnancy) and the 26 weeks after giving birth
  • Caring for a child within 12 months of birth if you have parental responsibility
  • Caring for a child within 12 months of adoption placement

You must have been self-employed in the tax year 2017 to 2018 and have submitted your Self-Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020.

You must also meet all other eligibility criteria.

Please click here for more information.

I know all of these updates can be overwhelming, so if you have any questions on the above please reach out and we can help you with any questions you may have.

Mel Signature Red

During COVID-19 I want to ensure that everyone is as up to date as possible with regards to Government changes and support that impacts businesses. Please note that this update is correct as of the date of sending (8th August 2020).

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