Over the weekend, the Government have made announcements regarding an extension to
the Job Retention Scheme and the closure of certain businesses. Below is a brief update on the current position.
Extension to Job Retention Scheme
The existing Job Retention Scheme which was due to end on 31 October 2020 and has now been extended to 30 November 2002 (and possibly later – at the time of writing the Government’s guidance was last updated on 5 October 2020!).
Under the terms of the extended Job Retention Scheme, the business support has been improved and reflects the terms of the scheme on 1 August 2020. The Government will fund 80% of the employees wage up to £2,500 per month and the employer will be responsible for payment of the employer’s pension and national insurance costs.
To be eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme the employee must have been included on an RTI submission made on or before 30 October.
You must ensure that any employees who are to be retained on the furlough scheme are covered by a furlough leave agreement. Many agreements may have expired automatically at the end of October 2020 in line with the terms of the original scheme.
If you made an employee redundancy at the end of October, it is expected that you will be able to reemploy those staff and furlough them as you were allowed to do in March, however further guidance is awaited and you should not reengage staff until this is confirmed.
Further details are expected shortly. The limited details provided to date are available here.
Delay to Coronavirus Job Support Scheme
The previously announced Job Support Scheme will now start on 1 December 2020, subject to any further extensions to the Job Retention Scheme.
From 5 November 2020, certain businesses are required to close, including:
all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops;
indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks;
entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.
Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.
Hotels and other accommodation providers should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.
Further details can be found here.
If your business is required to close, you should ensure that all affected staff enter into a Furlough Leave Agreement with the employer otherwise the employer is likely to be liable for full pay throughout the business closure period. If your business is required to close then please contact us to ensure proper arrangements are made in advance of the closure.
Should you have any specific questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.