Mel’s COVID-19 Update: 9th February 2021
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 date of publishing (9th February 2021).
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The CJRS has been extended until 30 April 2021. Claims for furlough days in January 2021 must be made by 15 February 2021. You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.
HMRC has updated its examples to help calculate employee’s wages, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions if you are claiming through the CJRS. A new example has been added for calculating wages for different types of pension scheme.
The guidance for employers on the steps to take before calculating a claim has also been updated to give more information about non-monetary benefits and employer pension contributions under salary sacrifice schemes.
Providing apprenticeships during the COVID-19 outbreak
There is a new version of this guidance ‘Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ with updated information on face-to-face training and when to consider a break in an apprenticeship.
This document is for providers, employers, assessment organisations and apprentices.
- the temporary flexibilities which have been applied during the coronavirus (COVD-19) outbreak; and
- how and when apprentices can safely train and undertake an assessment in the workplace and educational and assessment settings.
Getting support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations
Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations are providing coronavirus related support for specific sectors. There are now added details for the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association and the Mineral Products Association.
On this webpage you will find a list of organisations you can speak with to get advice. Many of these organisations are also happy to respond to non-member queries related to coronavirus.
Many of these websites also include sector-specific guidance and Q&A. This list does not cover all trade associations and business representatives.
What to do if you’re employed and cannot work – guidance for employees
The Department for Work and Pensions has updated its guidance for employees if they are employed and cannot work.
In addition to the Furlough scheme it details that employees might also be able to get:
- New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you’re under State Pension age, you usually work less than 16 hours a week and have made enough National Insurance contributions over the last 2 to 3 years.
- Universal Credit if you or your partner are under State Pension age and you have less than £16,000 in savings – you might be able to get it at the same time as New Style JSA.
- Pension Credit if both you and your partner have reached State Pension age.
Kickstart Scheme Grant
If you're an employer looking to create job placements for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme. The scheme has changed, and you no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply directly for a grant. You can now apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant by either:
- applying online yourself.
- getting help from a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the Kickstart Scheme.
There is a new guide for employers and this can be seen here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/958223/kickstart-scheme-employer-guide.pdf
Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs - England
The deadline for applications for the Christmas Support Payment has been extended to 28 February 2021.
The Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs supports pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food and had been severely impacted over the festive season due to temporary local restrictions. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of £1,000 from their local council in areas that were under Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions.
Local councils will use their discretion to identify the right businesses to receive this funding.
Register to order coronavirus tests for your employees – England
Use this service to get the forms you need to order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests for your employees. Do not use this service if you or your employees have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should order an individual test and stay at home.
You can register to order tests if:
- your business is registered in England
- you employ 50 people or more)
- your employees cannot work from home