November 13, 2020
Welcome to our weekly wrap. This week we’ve rounded up the latest news and business insights, including claims for the extended Job Retention Scheme, topping up your Bounce Back Loan, Government announcements, funding for UK nations and news of a Scottish Budget date.
CJRS extension – claims portal open
Employers wishing to make Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims relating to periods beginning on, or after, November 1, 2020 can now apply after the online portal went live this week.
Employers across the UK can claim whether their businesses are open or closed, and the claims process remains largely unchanged from the initial version of the CJRS.
The extended CJRS will operate as the previous scheme did, in several respects:
- Employers must report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days
- Employers will need to report actual hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period
- For hours worked, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts
It is now mandatory for claims to be submitted by the 14th day of the month following the period that the claim relates to.
Where the 14th day falls on a non-working date, the deadline is shifted to the next available working date
Bounce Back Loan top-ups now available
From Wednesday this week, participating lenders in the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) are now able to offer smaller businesses across the UK a ‘top-up’ to their existing Bounce Back Loan if they originally borrowed less than the maximum amount available to them.
The Bounce Back Loan top-up will be available from several large lenders, with others anticipated to make the top-up available in due course.
The top-ups are only available from a borrower’s existing BBLS lender. A borrower can apply for a top-up that is for the lesser of £50k or 25% of the annual turnover the borrower certified in their original successful BBLS application form, minus the value of their original loan.
The emergency scheme was unveiled in May to support smaller businesses during the pandemic, offering loans of up to £50,000, with the value of the loan fully guaranteed by the government.
Pensions dashboard delayed
The Government has delayed the implementation of its new online pensions dashboard, which will enable people to view all their pensions in one place.
The pension system was initially set to take effect in 2019, but the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) recently revealed that a fully operational dashboard system will be available from 2023.
The scheme will allow individuals to view their pension information online, securely and in one place.
According to the MaPS, testing and development of the pensions dashboard system will begin in 2021, with voluntary onboarding and testing being available from 2022.
Scottish Budget date agreed
The Scottish Government’s Budget will be published on January 28, 2021, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced earlier this week.
It follows the UK Government’s decision to postpone its Autumn Budget until an unspecified date in the new year. Ms Forbes described the forthcoming Budget as ‘one of the most important since devolution’. She also said that the Chancellor’s decision to delay the UK Autumn Budget until next year, along with other factors such as any EU exit deal and also the evolving situation with Covid-19 makes it necessary to publish the Scottish Budget 2021-22 in early 2021, rather than later this year.
‘It is my task to prioritise our resources as effectively as possible to drive the country’s economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19) while also managing the ongoing impact of the virus‘
Employer incentive announced for businesses in Wales
Economy Minister Ken Skates this week announced a major new employer incentive to help recruit apprentices.
Businesses in Wales will be able to claim up to £3,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25, available to businesses that are employing a young apprentice for at least 30 hours per week.
Welsh businesses could also receive £1,500 for each new under 25 year old apprentice they employ for less than 30 hours a week.
For workers aged 25 and over, businesses can access £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire on a 30 hour or more contract, and a £1,000 incentive for apprentices working less than 30 hours.
The announcement is part of the Welsh Government’s £40m proactive jobs and skills package to support businesses and workers post-Covid, helping to rebuild the economy and respond to the effects of the UK leaving the EU.
Due to the fast moving nature of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we are endeavouring to cover as much of the critical news as possible. If you are self-employed or run a business and need assistance and advice on how the recent announcments could make a difference to you or your business, feel free to get in touch with the experts at Morgan Reach. Our business growth experts at Morgan Reach will guide you through what support is available for you or your business as well as the latest news that may affect you.