Smarter Business News – Furlough Update & Self Employed Grant Extension

The Chancellor has just made an announcement regarding the Furlough Scheme and- to our surprise, an extension to the Self-Employed Income Support Grant. As part of our ongoing regular communications we can bring you up to date with this news and other items from the past week:

  • Furlough Scheme – The Chancellor set out the details of how employers will be asked to help pay the wages of furloughed staff in the coming months and announced the details of the flexible, part furloughing of staff scheme:
    • As we go forward employers (as was expected) will start to contribute to furlough pay
      • Employees will see no changes to the scheme
      • June & July – No changes to the current scheme for employers
      • August – Employers will be required to pay the employers national insurance and employers pension element of the furlough pay (generally this is a relatively minor sum)
      • September – Employers will be required to pay the above, plus the Government will contribute 70% of the 80% furlough pay with employers meeting the other 10%
      • October – The 10% employers’ contribution will rise to 20% i.e. the Government will pay 60%, the employer 20%
      • November – The scheme will end
    • Flexible Furlough
      • From 1 July employers will be able to part furlough employees e.g. if an employer wanted to bring a member of staff back for 2 days a week (cost borne by the employer), this could be done, and the other 3 days could continue to be furloughed
      • IMPORTANT – As part of this measure the furlough scheme will be closed to new employers and employees from 1 July. As we understand it this is effectively 10 June, as any furloughed employees must been furloughed for 3 weeks prior to 1 July i.e. from at least 10 June
  • Self Employed Income Support Grant – The Chancellor made a surprise announcement of the extension of this grant for a further 3 months. The grants already made relate to the 3 months to the end of May. The Chancellor has announced an additional grant for the 3 months to the end of August!
    • The application process will be the same and applications will be sought in August
    • The first grant was paid at 80% of average taxable profit. This second grant will reduce this to 70% of average taxable profit
  • Company Directors / Newly Self Employed – In his closing statement the Chancellor suggested there were some groups that the Government were unable to help, such as Company Directors and newly self-employed, but that they had announced a massive package of measures and it was time to move on. This seems to have closed the door on any further announcements of help and assistance to any groups currently not supported by the Government
  • Coronavirus Discretionary Business Rates Grant Funding – We mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, it was a new initiative announced by the Chancellor and we have been awaiting more details:
    • Devon District Councils (Teignbridge, Mid Devon, etc) have started to release details of their proposals and applications:
      • Mid Devon LINK HERE >>
      • Teignbridge – Still not seen an update to their website, CHECK FOR UPDATES HERE >>
    • Torbay LINK HERE >> Applications opened up last week
  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme – This was announced by the Chancellor back in March, but as from Tuesday 26 May the scheme is now up and running. Employers are able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid in relation to Coronavirus from the 13 March, for up to a 2 week period. We are already working with most relevant employers to make the reclaim. Please note that this only impacts non furloughed staff, so for most employers is relatively minor.

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Best wishes and stay safe!