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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin  29 May 2020

Friday 29th May 2020

This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19). All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support

  • Chancellor extends Self-Employment Support Scheme and confirms furlough next steps
  • Apply for the coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund
  • Reminder: Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) business webinars – find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure
  • New Updates and Guidance
  • Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Chancellor extends Self-Employment Support Scheme and confirms furlough next steps

Self-Employment Support Scheme

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced today Friday 29 May 2020, that the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended. A copy of the factsheet for SEISS and CRJS is available here.

Those eligible will be able to claim a second and final grant in August. The grant will be worth 70 percent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time. This is a month earlier than previously announced to help support people back to work. Individual firms will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, so that they can decide on the best approach for them - and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.

From August 2020, the level of UK Government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work. That means that for June and July the Government will continue to pay 80% of people’s salaries. In the following months, businesses will be asked to contribute a modest share, but crucially, individuals will continue to receive that 80% of salary covering the time they are unable to work.

The scheme updates mean that the following will apply for the period people are furloughed:

  • June and July: The UK Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything.
  • August: UK Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.
  • September: UK Government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,190. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.
  • October: UK Government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed.

Employers will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked. Employees who believe they are not getting their 80% share can also report any concerns to the HMRC fraud hotline. HMRC will not hesitate to take action against those found to be abusing the scheme.

Apply for the coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

Small and micro businesses in England with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Scheme. Your local council will run an application process and decide whether to offer you a grant. You can find more information here.

Reminder: Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) business webinars – find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure

Join a free webinar, hosted by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for information on how to make your workplace COVID-secure. The webinars cover a range of different types of workplace settings which are allowed to be open in England. You can also find the full written guidance for a range of different types of work and practical actions for businesses to take, based on 5 main steps here.

Recorded business videos and webinars are available on a range of topics. You can find links to them here.

Updates and Guidance

New

Regulating the waste industry during the coronavirus pandemic

The Environment Agency is continuing to protect people and the environment during coronavirus (COVID-19). Find out more here.

£5 million funding given to mental health community projects

Community projects supporting people with their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will benefit from their share of £5 million of additional funding. Find out more here.

Updates

Exporting personal protective equipment during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Goods exported from the European Union after midnight on Monday 25 May 2020 will no longer require an export authorisation. The export authorisation requirement for personal protective equipment expired on 25 May 2020 and will not be extended. Find out more here.

Apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Businesses can now borrow up to a maximum of £200 million. You can find out more here.

Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the drivers’ hours rules: all sectors carriage of goods by road

Update on the temporary relaxations of EU and GB drivers’ hours rules.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Offer coronavirus support

Tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using our online service.

Share the impact coronavirus is having on your organisation

Let us know how the outbreak is impacting your business. Please send your intelligence, including information and feedback on the safer workplace guidance, to intel@beis.gov.uk. Commercially sensitive information will be treated accordingly. Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice.

Help us shine a light on the stories of key workers

Tell us about key workers you know that are helping to keep the UK moving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please fill in this online form for key workers in the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, consumer goods, scientists/researchers, servicing, postal workers, and oil/gas/electricity/water/sewage/chemical workers.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.