This week the blog I was intending to write has been shelved. In its place is a blog about Rishi’s latest help to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 but specifically for employers and their employees.
There is a “What to do now list” at the bottom of this blog and on our Instagram and Facebook page too which can help you focus on what we believe employers need to do now.
What changes are happening to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)?
The Furlough scheme is to end ”flexibly and gradually” - what does this actually mean? From 1st July your staff can be brought back on "flexible furlough" and then from 1st August, Employers National Insurance contributions or Employers Pension contributions can no-longer be claimed for.
What are the impacts of upcoming Furlough scheme changes?
The changes mentioned above are the first step for the financial support currently available for Employers to be gradually withdrawn so make sure you factor these costs into your cashflow and budget from September when the PAYE and Pension payments will be due to be paid.
If you have made a mistake on your furlough claim you have 72 hours to delete and potentially resubmit. Use the calculators on the HMRC website to check through your workings.
You can submit your August CJRS scheme claim from 20th July and the payments from HMRC should still take approximately 6 working days.
HMRC are also reviewing potential fraudulent claims. Harsh penalties will be imposed on any employers who have flouted the rules. Just so you are aware, HMRC will be contacting various employers to check through their claims. More on this next week.
What help is there for any staff being brought back from Furlough?
For any staff you are planning to bring back from furlough there is the job retention bonus of £1,000 which will be available to all Employers who have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
Each employee needs to earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for this November, December and January 2021;
Eligible staff must have been furloughed at any point and claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - legitimately;
Employees must be employed until 31st January 2021;
Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31 January has been received;
If you need to know more:
Further information will be available by 31st July and full guidance by this Autumn;
What is the Kickstart scheme and who is it for?
The next assistance is for any employers looking to recruit staff aged between 16-24 who are currently claiming Universal Credit and who are at risk of long-term unemployment. These will be eligible for the kickstart scheme and funding will be available for each six-month job placement and will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week and employers will be able to top this wage up.
Applications can be made from next month.
What support is available for an apprentice?
If you are looking to take on an apprentice there is already a £1,000 Government payment that provides for new 16-18 year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
On top of this Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice hired under the age of 25.
How will the Construction industry be helped by the greener homes investment?
Landlords and homeowners can apply for a greener home grant to improve the energy efficiency of their home. This should provide a boost for anyone in trades or construction.
As an employer, what do I need to do now?:
Below is a checklist of ideas we think you would benefit from reviewing now, if you are a client we will be discussing these with you in the coming weeks:
Make sure any CJRS claims for June have been inputted by 31st July;
For any staff on "Flexible Furlough" make sure you keep records of dates and times your staff have been working for you should you need to use this scheme;
Check your workings with the HMRC calculator before you submit any claims;
Plan your work for the rest of the year and see if you could benefit from either a new employee or an apprentice;
If you are in the Construction industry look into how you could offer “Green” services and how to promote yourself. Remember to factor in any training you might need to do;
Check through all of your evidence to support furlough claims and calculations including letters to employees and have them to hand should an inspector call;
If your employees have returned from furlough then make sure you have made a list of who you would be potentially be able to claim the £1,000 job retention bonus for;
If you are now back in business and still have employees on furlough, put in place a plan for them to return to work or look at potential redundancies;
Any other news?
Yes lots! We are sure once the full guidance has been published there will be even more to let you know of. We put a post up on Instagram and Facebook on Wednesday, if you didn’t see it, here’s what you missed!
VAT cut to 5% for hospitality, food, accommodation, cinemas caravan parks etc to 12th January 2021, this should be helpful for any Christmas parties - sadly alcohol is excluded
"Eat out to Help out" - 50% vouchers to individuals up to £10 per head from Monday to Wednesday
Doubling work coaches in Job centres - these will help support the apprentice scheme
Stamp Duty cut immediately for house purchases up to £500k until 31 March 2021, this might buy a shed if you are London.
Next steps will be the Autumn budget where we may find out how these schemes and any other are to be funded. As always, If you have any questions about this or any comments, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.