With lockdown number two starting on Thursday 5 November, the government has announced new measures to help businesses keep going. The main announcement is the extension of the Job Retention Scheme, which is reverting back to the levels of support during August, offering businesses more generous financial help than they would have received under the postponed Job Support Scheme.
Job Retention Scheme
The Job Support Scheme has been postponed and the Job Retention Scheme has been extended until March 2021.
Key points of the Job Retention Scheme:
- All employers are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme.
- As long as the employee was on the payroll at 23:59 on 30 October 2020, they can be furloughed.
- Employees do not have to have been previously furloughed to be eligible.
- Businesses will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis or furlough them full-time.
- If employers fully furlough employees, the government will pay 80% of their current salary up to £2,500.
- If employers choose to flexibly furlough, the government will cover 80% of the hours not worked.
- Employers must pay all National Insurance and employer pension contributions.
- Employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
- Employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
- The level of support is expected to be reviewed in January 2021.
Increased support in November for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme
In line with the increased support for employers, the third SEISS grant covering November, December and January will now be 80% of 3 months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. The grant will be available from 30 November 2020.
Extension to Government-Backed Loan Schemes
There has been a further extension to the application deadlines for the CBILS and BBLS as well as the CLBILS and Future Fund, giving people more opportunities to access funding if they need it. These schemes will now be extended until the end of January 2021.
The government has also announced existing Bounce Back loans can be topped up if businesses did not apply for their maximum in their application (to the maximum under the scheme rules) should they need additional finance. Details on how to top up loans have not been given at the moment but we will continue to update this page as further information is announced.
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.
Mortgage payment holidays were set to end on 30 October, however, this has also been extended. Borrowers who have not yet had a mortgage 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.