Furlough scheme extended for new national lockdown

Following the Government announcement on a second national lockdown in England, due to begin on Thursday 5 November, the Job Retention Scheme has been extended.

There will be many of you who are concerned about your livelihood and your businesses. We wanted to outline what financial support is available, including the extension of the furlough scheme, so that you are aware of the support that can help you during this difficult time.

Job Retention Scheme Extension (furlough)

The Job Retention Scheme has now been extended to cover the duration of the new national lockdown. The scheme payments will also be back at 80 per cent up to £2,500 per month.

The scheme will include all employees who were employed and registered with HMRC before 30 October 2020.

Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

If you are self-employed and your business has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, you may be able to benefit from the extension of SEISS.

An extra six months have been added to the scheme in two three-month periods; 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021 and again between 1 February 2021 through to 30 April 2021.

You will be able to claim 40 per cent of your average monthly profits up to £3,750 per three-month period.

Business grants

Mainly aimed at hospitality and leisure businesses that have been required to close due to COVID restrictions, however, if your business has needed to close or has been severely impacted by the restrictions, you may be eligible for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG).

View the Government fact sheet for more information on eligibility and grant amounts.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

Bounce Back Loans are still available for small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25 per cent of their turnover. There will be no interest to pay for the first 12 months of the loans.

Applications close on 30 November 2020.

Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus

Businesses that took advantage of the VAT deferral earlier in the year can now arrange to pay in interest-free instalments over a longer time period up to March 2022, instead of March 2021.

More information can be found on the Government website.

Job Retention Bonus Scheme

If you have employees who have come back from furlough and remain continuously employed until 31 January 2021, you may be able to claim a £1,000 taxable bonus for them.

To find out if you qualify, the scheme page has more information.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Government support is stated as being available to businesses across the UK however we understand that discussions continue between the Treasury and the devolved administrations as to eligibility in relation to the nature of the lockdown measures. As we have updates about this, we will ensure that our members know as soon as possible.