Additional government support was announced last week for businesses and employees impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) across the UK.
This includes a new Job Support Scheme, extending the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, extending the VAT cut (from 20% to 5%) for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans.
Job Support Scheme
A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November to protect jobs where businesses are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.
The Employer will continue to pay the wages for the hours their staff work. For the hours not worked, the Employer and the government will each pay one third of their usual wages (capped at £697.92 per month). The Employer will need to meet their share of the pay for unworked hours and all the National Insurance contributions and statutory pension contributions, from their own funds. This means that employees will receive at least two thirds of their usual wages for the hours not worked.
To be eligible, employees must:
- have been registered on the PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee must have been made to HMRC on or before 23 September 2020
- work at least 33% of their usual hours. The government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold after the first three months of the scheme.
Further eligibility criteria is available on GOV.UK by searching ‘Job Support Scheme factsheet’.
The Job Support Scheme will be open to employers across the UK even if you have not previously applied under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which closes on 31 October.
The Job Support Scheme will start from 1 November and you will be able to claim in December. Grants will be paid on a monthly basis.
The scheme will operate in addition to the Job Retention Bonus. You and your employees can benefit from both schemes in order to help protect viable jobs.
Extension to the reduced rate of VAT for Hospitality and Tourism
The government has extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) to tourist attractions and goods and services supplied by the hospitality sector. This relief came into effect on 15 July 2020 and will now end on 31 March 2021 across the UK.
VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme
If you deferred payments that were due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, then these payments need to be made to HMRC by 31 March 2021. You can use the New Payment Scheme to spread these payments over equal instalments up to 31 March 2022. Alternatively, you can make payments as normal by 31 March 2021 or make Time To Pay arrangements with HMRC if you need more tailored support.
New Self-Assessment Self-Serve Time To Pay Scheme
If you deferred paying your July 2020 Payment on Account, you will need to pay the deferred amount, in addition to any balancing payment and first 2020/21 Payment on Account, by 31 January 2021. This may be a larger payment than you usually pay in January.
If you’re unable to pay your Self-Assessment (SA) bill in full by 31 January 2021, you can set up a Time to Pay payment plan of up to 12 months online without speaking to us. If you have SA tax debts of up to £30,000, you’ll able to access this Time to Pay facility through GOV.UK and will get automatic and immediate approval. If your SA debts are over £30,000, or you need longer than 12 months to repay your debt in full, you will still be able to use our Time to Pay arrangement by calling HMRC.