With yet more coronavirus restrictions being implemented daily as part of the Government’s new three-tier lockdown system, many businesses may be struggling to know where they stand.

 

While Summer’s furlough scheme was a widely-published broad brush approach to avoiding mass redundancies, it’s important to note that there is still support there – if you know where to look.

 

So, to make it simple (because we could all do with a little simplicity right now), here’s a quick guide to what’s on offer.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This ends on October 31st, although, during this month, businesses can still apply for a grant to cover up to 60 per cent of an employee’s wage, allowing them to work on a part-work, part-furlough basis.

 

As part of this scheme, employers are still required to pay the employee at least 80 per cent of their wages when not working, and 100 per cent while they are – while still only receiving 60 per cent of this back.

 

The final date of submissions for support is November 30th, and there is no obligation to retain employees if it is unviable after the scheme.

 

Job Support Scheme (JSS)

This is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses where staff are working less due to reduced demand, but still managing at least a third of their pre-lockdown hours.

 

Employers will pay staff for the hours they do work, while the Government and the employer will each cover one third of the pay for the lost hours, with the employee forgoing the last third.

 

The grant will be capped at £697.92 per month, and will run for six months from November.

 

Enhanced Job Support Scheme

For businesses that are required to close due to lockdown restrictions, such as those in the hospitality industry, the Government will pay two-thirds of their wages, up to £2,100 a month.

 

However, employees must be off work and not carry out any duties whatsoever for at least seven consecutive days – if they do, the original JSS will apply.

 

Job Retention Bonus

This is a £1,000 one-off grant to firms for each employee they placed on furlough who was ultimately retained by the company when business improved.

 

The bonus is equivalent to a 20% wage subsidy for the employment costs of the average furloughed worker, and is designed to encourage employers to retain as many employees as possible.

Further details of how the grants can be applied for are expected in January 2021.

 

Premises Grants

Support has also been introduced for the beleaguered arts and hospitality industries, whose premises were/are forced to close under lockdown restrictions.

Grants, which it is important to note are taxable, are calculated according to the building’s rateable value, and are paid every two weeks through the relevant local authority.

 

We know these are worrying times for businesses. If you have any queries about any of the above schemes, please get in touch on 01642 244090 or email info@chuhanandsingh.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.