Get answers to FAQs about the extension to furlough and self-employed income support schemes

So far 2020 has been a year of continual change. Just as we seem to get our heads around one support programme, it changes, and with the government’s Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme having been extended until 31 March 2021, you may have even more questions.

Here we answer some of your FAQs.

Job Retention Scheme

Is the Job Retention Scheme the same as the furlough scheme?

FAQs about the extension to furlough and self-employed income support schemes - 3 wooden blocks spelling out FAQs

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is the name given to the whole package of support the government introduced. There have been changes throughout the year, but the furlough scheme – which was due to end on 31 October 2020 – will be in place until the end of March 2021.

As part of the furlough scheme, what can my business claim for?

The extension now means that as from 1 November businesses can claim 80% of an employee’s salary, capped at £2,500 each month, until 31 January 2021. The scheme will then be reviewed by the government and an announcement about how much employers can claim in February and March will be made.

From 1 November 2020, you will need to pay National Insurance Contributions and pension costs for furloughed staff.

Can I put employees on furlough if they haven’t already been part of the scheme?

Yes – the extension means any employees who have not previously been furloughed are now eligible. Any of the below can be added to the scheme, whether they work full-time or part-time:

  • Employees
  • Workers
  • Agency workers
  • Apprentices
  • Those on zero-hour contracts

It also means employers can furlough staff who are temporarily unable to work due to being advised to shield by their doctor, childcare responsibilities or they have to care for a vulnerable member of their household.

What if I need to furlough someone I employed after 1 November?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to claim. You can only claim for those employed on or before 30 October 2020, and as long as you have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.

How do I make a claim?

Visit the GOV.UK website, which will guide you through how to calculate how much to claim and you will then be directed to the relevant page to submit your claim.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

I’m self-employed, can I also receive additional support?

Yes. The government has extended the scheme and gives those who are self-employed the option to apply for two further grants which cover:

  • The period between November 2020 to January 2021
  • The period between February 2021 and April 2021

To be able to receive the grants you:

  • Must have been eligible for the previous grants, although you do not have to have made a claim
  • Must declare you intend to continue to trade and are actively trading but have been impacted by Covid-19, or you were trading but due to Covid-19 you are temporarily unable to work

How much can I claim for?

The government grants are calculated at 80% of three months of average trading profits (which is an increase on the 55% that was previously announced). Each grant will be paid in a single instalment and capped at £7,500, and is taxable and subject to National Insurance Contributions.

How do I claim for a grant?

You can’t make a claim until 30 November 2020. It will then all be done online on the GOV.UK website. Before then, it might be worth pulling together the necessary information you may need. This includes:

  • Details of any Covid-19 related loans your business has previously received
  • Accounts that show your turnover has decreased or your costs have increased as a result of Covid-19
  • Any examples of work/projects that have been affected, delayed or cancelled due to Covid-19
  • Any dates where you had to close your business due to lockdown restrictions, or you/your staff were unable to work due to Covid-19

You can find out more information about what can and can’t be claimed for as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme on the government’s website. If you have any further questions, we’re happy to help

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