Financial Support & Returning to Work Guidance
In this week’s Briefing we provide you with the latest guidance on some of the financial support packages available to you as SMEs. We have also included links to important health and safety guidance for those returning to work.
- The revised Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
- Extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – the ‘Furlough’ scheme
- Employers’ Compulsory Covid-19 Assessments + Additional Guidance
Last week we set out the changes to the SEISS, which are designed to provide extra financial help for self-employed people. In case you missed it, here’s a link to that posting: BL-SEISS-info
Originally, HMRC announced that they would initiate contact with people who they believed met the criteria for this scheme.
However, they are now inviting people to start their claim by completing an online form – and here is the link: SEISS-Online-Claim .
Before you make your claim you need to check your eligibility by assembling the information laid out in our previous posting: BL-SEISS-info.
HMRC aim to make payments directly in to people’s bank accounts by Monday 25 May.
As with the other recent Government support schemes, the expected high volume of applications may mean that some delays may occur.
It is also possible that some people who believe that they have a legitimate claim and complete the online application may be initially incorrectly rejected.
This should only happen in a small number of cases and may be triggered by something as simple as a minor error in completion of the application form.
We therefore strongly urge you double-check the information you enter on the claim form.
If you believe that your claim has been wrongly disallowed you should contact HMRC directly to discuss your claim by following this link: contact HMRC
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has now provided updated information on this scheme, which was originally due to end on 30 June. Here are the changes:
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until 31 October
- Furloughed workers across the UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500
- New flexibility will be introduced from August to help get some furloughed employees back to work
The current CJRS will continue unchanged until 31 July.
Thereafter, changes will allow more flexibility. From the beginning of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time, with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.
The employer payments will subsidise/substitute the contribution the Government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.
By 31 May, the Government will issue guidance on how these revised arrangements will be structured.
The Government is also exploring ways in which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period up to 31st October and, following continued consultation with interested parties, will issue further guidelines ‘as soon as possible’.
We will let you know the content of these guidelines as soon as they are published.
EMPLOYERS’ COMPULSORY COVID-19 ASSESSMENTS + ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE
With more people returning to their places of work, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a set of legal requirements with which employers must comply to keep their staff safe.
Information and details about these compulsory risk assessments can be found here: HSE-Risk-Assessments
In addition, the Government has issued useful advice and guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the pandemic. The guidance covers 8 Key sectors:
- Construction and Other Outdoor Work
- Factories, Plants and Warehouses
- Laboratories and Research Facilities
- Offices and Contact Centres
- Other Peoples’ Homes
- Restaurants/Cafes Offering Takeaway and/or Delivery Services
- Shops and Multi-Outlet Branches
- Vehicles & Allied Activities
Detailed guidance on each of these 8 sectors can be found here: Key-Sector-Guidance
STAY IN TOUCH AND GET HELP
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