24th September 2020
JOB SUPPORT SCHEME
The Chancellor has just announced additional support measures for business including a replacement for the Job Retention Scheme which comes to an end on 30th October. A summary of the key points is below.
New Job Support Scheme
- To be eligible, an employee must work at least 33% of their normal hours. For the other two thirds of the hours, the Government will pay a third and the employer will pay a third, so in total, an employee will receive 77% of the full pay (ie, the government will be paying 22.5% of wages)
- The scheme will run from six months from 1stNovember
- Large businesses will have to prove that they’ve been adversely affected by Covid to be eligible for the Job Support Scheme.
- The scheme will be available to all businesses and all employees, regardless of whether they have been part of the CJRS in the past
- Please see the link to the HM Treasury Announcement on the Support package which has a few more details https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-outlines-winter-economy-plan
- The Self Employment Scheme will be extended on similar terms, covering 20 per cent of average monthly trading profits via a government grant.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans
- The application deadline for all coronavirus loan schemes – including the future fund – has been extended to 30 November
- Bounce back loans can be extended from 6 to 10 years under a Pay as You Grow scheme
- Businesses also move to interest only payments or suspend payments if they are “in real trouble” for up to six months.
- A new successor loan scheme will be launched in January
- The reduction in VAT to 5% from accommodation, hospitality and attractions is being extended to the end of the financial year.
- Businesses who deferred their VAT will no longer have to pay a lump sum at the end of March next year. They will have the option of splitting it into smaller, interest free payments over the course of 11 months
RESTRICTIONS ON OPENING HOURS
- The Regulations to bring into law the requirement for restricted businesses to close between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m, which includes pubs and amusement arcades, have been published and come into effect today in England. I have not yet seen the Scottish or Welsh Regulations but they are expected to be very similar. Please note that the restrictions do not apply to Motorway Service areas. The Regulations can be found here https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1029/pdfs/uksi_20201029_en.pdf
- We are about to write to Ministers to explain that there is no need for AGCs to close. I will be writing to Division 3 members shortly seeking extra information to support our lobbying and asking you to write to your MPs/MSs/MSPs.
A number of members have asked if staff in enclosed cash desks are required to wear masks. The Regulations refer to spaces open to the public (so that the requirement does not apply to back office staff). I would suggest that an enclosed space is not open to the public within the meaning of the Regs but I suggest members check with their local EHO as they are the enforcement body.
TEST AND TRACE (ENGLAND AND WALES)
- The NHS Test and Trace App is live. Arcades need to have the NHS QR Code on display. Customers will need to download the App to use it. The link to do so is here from the Apple App store https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1520427663 and here from Google Play store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.nhs.covid19.production