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Latest Updates On COVID-19 – September 2020

The month of September has been complex, with multiple local lockdowns and the rise of the second wave amongst the re-opening of the economy, there are growing concerns about the coming months. With a lot to take in, here is a breakdown in all the relevant information for you and your business.

Chancellors Winter Economy Plan 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the government’s plans to supports businesses and protect jobs. Announcements include the introduction of the Job Support Scheme, extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and a 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism industries.

A breakdown of the Chancellor’s speech in Parliament can be found here:

Job Support Scheme

This is the second phase government support measure for businesses after the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which finishes on 31st October 2020. This new scheme will begin on 1 November 2020 and run until April 2021. The employer nor the employee needs to have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HM Treasury describes the scheme through the following:

“The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. The company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the burden of hours not worked will be split between the employer and the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job.”

The following information is from the ICAEW, further information can be found here

“The scheme will give support to those businesses which, while having enough work to continue to employ their workers, are facing reduced demand likely to continue into the winter months. The employer must continue to pay workers for hours worked, but support through the new JSS is available for the cost of the hours not worked.”

“The government will make a grant to the employer equal to the cost of one third of hours not worked up to a cap of £697.92 per month. The employer will bear the cost of a further one third of hours not worked. It seems likely from the above that the employee is unlikely to receive anything further for the remaining one third of hours not worked although further detailed guidance and legislation is expected to give more clarity about whether the employer could top up the salary further.”

Guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Key information, including changes in September and October and the introduction of flexible furlough can be found here:

Job Retention Bonus

This one-off payment was announced in July 2020 with employers receiving £1,000 for every employee for whom a valid claim was made under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. This can be claimed from 15th February 2021 to 31st March 2021. Further information can be found here: