As the second lockdown begins, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined financial support that will be made available to business owners to help combat the financial impacts of Covid-19.

Extended Job Retention Scheme

In breaking news just announced today (Thursday 5th November). Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the furlough scheme until the end of March.

Mr Sunak said the scheme will pay up to 80% of a person’s wage up to £2,500 a month. He told the Commons that the government will review the policy in January.

The chancellor said his intention was “to give businesses security through the winter”.

“The security we are providing will protect millions of jobs,” he added.

He said the scheme would apply throughout the UK, saying the country had “a Treasury for the whole of the United Kingdom”.

As part of the revised scheme, anyone made redundant after 23 September can be rehired and put back on furlough.
  • This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. There will be a short period when we need to change the legal terms of the scheme and update the system and businesses will be paid in arrears for that period.
  • The CJRS is being extended until December. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.
  • As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
  • Further details, including how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, will be provided shortly.
  • The Job Support Scheme will be introduced following the end of this scheme.
  • To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
    *As under the current CJRS rules:
  • Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
  • Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
  • When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
  • Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
  • For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with an increase in funding from 40% to 80% of trading profits, covering November to January announced, up to a maximum of £7,500.

Claims will be available to be made from the end of this month.

We will provide further details over the coming days when it becomes available.

Mortgage Holidays

Mortgage payment holidays will continue. 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.

The FCA will announce further information on Monday.

Business Grants

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 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.

Today’s announcements are only part of the government’s world-leading economic response to coronavirus – the largest package of emergency support in post-war history – to protect, create and support jobs.

The furlough scheme protected over nine million jobs across the UK, and self-employed people have received over £13 billion in support. This is in addition to billions of pounds in tax deferrals and grants for businesses.

Local Restrictions Support Grants

Businesses required to close due to the national lockdown restrictions from 5 November to 2 December 2020 can now apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant online.

These grants are being delivered through local authorities and the amount of financial support you receive depends on the rateable value of the business property that you occupy.

Grants for certain other businesses that are not required to be closed will be available in the near future.

Please see below the Covid-19 business support grant details below:

Local Restrictions Support Grants (for closed Businesses)

Local Restrictions Support Grants for eligible businesses that have had to close under national lockdown restrictions are now available for online applications here.

A business can apply if it falls within one of the following categories:

  • Non-essential retail
  • Leisure
  • Personal Care
  • Sports facilities
  • Hospitality

The support grant is based on the rateable value of the business premises – the amount payable for every 28 days of lockdown period is as follows:

  • Rateable value of £15,000 or less £1,334
  • Rateable value is over £15,000 and less than £51,000 £2,000
  • Rateable value is £51,000 or more. £3,000

Local Restrictions Support Grants (for Businesses that have remained open)

Local Restrictions Support Grants for eligible businesses who were open, but severely impacted by restrictions on socialising, which have been in place since 1st August 2020 will be made available soon. This grant will cover the period which was subject to local lockdown restrictions, now known as Tier 2 or High Local Covid Alert Level.

Details of eligibility criteria and how to apply should be available soon.

Additional Restrictions Grant

Various Local Authorities have confirmed that this grant will be available to businesses which are excluded from the other grant schemes. This will be a one-off payment for local authorities in financial year 2020/2021 and is to be used in 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 and will not be renewed. This may include:

  • businesses that are not legally required to close, but are severely impacted by restrictions
  • businesses which are required to close, but are not registered for business rates
  • Details of eligibility criteria and how to apply should be available soon.

Local authority areas

The covid-19 business grant funding, application process and eligibility criteria for all areas may differ so it is important to check with the local authority applicable to you so that you do not miss out on the financial support available.

You can view the business grant funding details for other local authorities using the links below:

Please note that this information could be subject to change as further details are announced.

Further information

For all the latest support and further information you can check the government website here.

We’ll update this page and continue to update you as we hear more information. For further support, you can also join our whatsapp support group, full of business owners in the Wakefield and West Yorkshire area who are in a similar position.

Join here