Update on help for 2nd National Lockdown

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The original announcement on help available has now been updated for the third time and whilst this is extremely annoying and confusing the payments have been increased which is at least some comfort.  Updates taking account of the latest announcement on the 5th August are –

Furlough Scheme

The Job Retention Scheme has been extended to the 31st March 2021.  The grant will be 80% of the employees usual pay until the 31st January 2021.  Employees must be on the PAYE payroll on 31st October 2020 and an RTI submission made for that employee before 30th October 2020.  Which means that some employees will be eligible who weren’t before.  Neither the employee nor the employer needs to have previously used the Furlough Scheme, so employees can be put on furlough who have not previously been on furlough.  The employee can be on Flexi-Furlough or full Furlough.

What this effectively means for Synergy Payroll Clients is that the Furlough Scheme will be paid to employees through the payroll during the extended period and 80% of the amount paid to the employee will be claimed via the grant in the same way as has been done previously until the 31st January.  The government will review the scheme in January and decide how much employers can claim for February and March.

Further Furlough Extension information can be found by following this link

Business Rates Grants

  • Grants of £1334 per month will be available for those whose business has a rateable value of £15,000 or less where the business has been forced to close – this includes cafes and restaurants as well as non-essential shops.  This is to be paid through the local authority as was the initial £10,000. You can check how to apply by contacting your local authority or by checking their website.
  • Businesses with a rateable value over £15,000 (£15,001) and less than £51,000 (£50,999) on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £2,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
  • Businesses with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the commencement date of the widespread national restrictions, will receive £3,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.

This funding will be provided on a rolling 28-day basis for as long as national restrictions apply.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The self-employed income support scheme has been extended for 6 months from the 1st November to the 30th April 2021.  The grants will be paid in two instalments each of which will cover a 3 month period.

The payment for November, December and January will be calculated at 80% of 3 months average trading profits, capped at £7,500.  The details of the payment for February, March and April have yet to be announced.

You should note that the criteria has changed for the extended SEISS grants.  You are now required to state that your business has been ‘impacted by reduced demand’ in order to make a claim.

The conditions which apply are that you have to have been eligible for the previous SEISS grants, although you don’t need to have claimed them; you need to declare that you intend to continue to trade and that you are either currently actively trading, but ‘impacted by reduced demand’ due to Coronavirus, or were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to Coronavirus.

The new condition differs from the previous SEISS requirement where the trade had to be ‘adversely affected’ by Coronavirus.  With previous claims increased expenses could be taken into account when deciding whether a business was ‘adversely affected’, however the new condition is more restrictive as it means that you have to focus purely on the level of trade in the business in order to show that you have been ‘impacted by reduced demand’.

The claim for November, December and January will be open from the 30th November.  You should be able to make the claim through your HMRC Gateway account in the same way as with the previous grants.

For specific advice in relation to your personal circumstances please contact Koreen – e-mail koreen@synergyaccounting.co.uk or mobile 07531741287.


About the Author:

Koreen is a Member in Practice of The Association of Accounting Technicians, which means that she is both licensed and regulated by the AAT. However Koreen is also a Fellow Member which is an acknowledgement by the AAT of her senior status in terms of knowledge and experience.
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