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Important updates for Government Support available to Businesses

4th June 2020 11am

Dear all,
 
The last 10 days has seen more changes to the help and assistance available to businesses, with the three keys areas relevant to our clients being detailed below.  As always Claire and Chelle are on hand to provide support and guidance.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Closure of the first Furlough Scheme and the Opening of the Second Furlough Scheme
The full detail around the furlough schemes can be found below however it is very important that you understand and appreciate that the first furlough scheme will close on the 30th June and that in order to any employee or director to be furloughed as part of the second scheme – they must have already been furloughed as part of the first scheme.

It will not be possible to make a claim for a NEWLY furloughed employee/director from the 1st July.

This means that you have until the 10th June to take the opportunity of furloughing a member of staff (including directors) who has not previously been furloughed.  The minimum furlough period is 3 weeks.  The 10th June date provides enough time to qualify for the minimum furlough period prior to the closure of the first furlough scheme.
 

Second Scheme Headlines:

  • 10 June: last day an employer can put an employee onto furlough for the first time
  • 30 June: closure of the scheme to employers who have not already claimed
  • 1 July: employers given flexibility to bring employees back to work part-time whilst accessing CJRS for any of their normal hours not worked, starting so-called ‘flexible furloughing’
  • 31 July: end of current CJRS funding level (80% of salary up to £2,500 per month, plus employer NICs and auto-enrolment pension contributions funded)
  • 1 August onwards: CJRS funding remains at to 80% of salary/£2,500 per month but employers will be required to pick up the costs of the NICs and auto-enrolment pension contributions
  • 1 September onwards: CJRS funding reduces to 70% of salary/£2,187.50 per month.  As well as NICs and pension contributions, employers will be required to pick up 10% of salary costs
  • 1 October onwards: CJRS funding reduces to 60% of salary/£1,875 per month.  Employers will be required to pick up NICs, pension contributions and 20% of salary costs
  • 31 October: end of CJRS scheme
  • We are expecting more detailed information on the 12th of June.
Remember that employers will need to have an agreement with staff about flexible furlough arrangements.

Links

Chancellor Extends Furlough Scheme
Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
What work can I carry out as a furloughed Director?

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended – with those eligible able to claim a second and final grant capped at £6,570.  The grant will be worth 70% 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.

If you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020. We have contacted all of our clients who we believe are eligible to make the first claim, these same clients will be eligible to make the second and final claim.

The online service for the second and final grant is not available yet. We will update this guidance to let you know when you can make your claim.
 

Links

Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
Check if you are Eligible to claim

Coronavirus Discretionary Grants Fund

The top-up fund supports small and micro business and charities that are not eligible for other grants schemes.  This will include many businesses that were excluded from the Business Rates Claims, provided that you can demonstrate the need for the business to support fixed property costs.

York Council opened their applications page on Monday 1st June
Selby District Council opened their applications yesterday

Links

York Council Guidance
Selby Council Guidance
Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund – Guidance for local authorities

Planning for the new normal

This has and will continue to be one of the most extraordinary events to impact on our business and personal lives, things will never be the same again. So much focus has been on handling the situation day by day that it seems as if the days and weeks have run into one – before we have realised it  – here we are in June! And so before we know it, the new normal will be upon us – take this time to plan and get ready to be up and running.

Here at CGA, the team continues to work from home and this will remain in place until early September.  The office continues to be closed to external visitors, although Claire and I (working from the office) have enjoyed the odd client (take that whichever way you want) carrying out a “knock and run” drop off of information (pre-planned of course) – accompanied by a distant wave.

For those of you that have visited our offices, you will know that we are lucky enough to have 3 meetings rooms in addition to our workspace and plenty of beautiful outside space. Our future plans include a re-designation of 2 of the meeting rooms into workspaces for the team and moving the furniture about to create one large meeting room at the end of the premises (we are keeping our comfy sofas). We intend to allow the team to continue to work from home on a temporary basis, sharing office working and home working to minimise the number of bodies in the office.

The office will remain closed to visitors until the new year and even then visits to the office will only be of an essential nature.

We like so many of our clients have become dab hands with various Meeting software Apps and these newfound skills will become part of everyday life. Terms such as Zoomdoom (the failing of the software at a critical meeting point),  Zoomroom (the area of your office/space visible to the camera which is always spotless despite the chaos of the rest of the area), Videobombing (that awkward moment when the kids wander into your video meeting) – we have already heard several such stories which we cannot repeat here!

We have new hand sanitising stations and lots of new signage and are currently in the process of upgrading our 16-year-old phone system so that all of the team are accessible with ease and calls can be quickly and efficiently answered and redirected. With only 2 of us in the office, it would appear that a telephone conspiracy is at work – 1 call sparks 3 others and the mobiles ring too!

We are hoping to qualify for a digital enterprise grant for some of the upgrade, don’t forget there is other support out there for businesses not just the support from the Government, many Business Representative Organisations and Trade Bodies are also useful support links.

We are very grateful to Bridge HR who have worked to help us prepare our Covid19 Office Policy, which not only provides legislative guidance but more importantly creates a practical common sense document that we can actually work with.

As the lockdown continues to ease we must all play our part to ensure that the safety and protection of those around us continues to be paramount – all it takes is a bit of planning and a lot of common sense!

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CGA can be contacted at any time for advice and support.

Don’t forget! Our office closes at 2pm every Friday as a reward for our hard working team. If you urgently need to contact us, our mobile numbers are the best method when we are away from the office.
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