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Flexible furloughing starts on job retention scheme
Posted on: 8th July 2020
On 1 July, changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) saw flexible furloughing introduced, so employees will no longer have to be furloughed for a minimum period of three weeks. Following the change the CJRS has more flexibility to allow claims on a pro rata basis. Employers will be able to permit employees to work some of the week and be furloughed for the rest. An employee needs to have been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks between 1 March and 30 June to be eligible for furlough from 1 July. Additionally, after 1 July, employers may be subject to a cap on the number of employees that can be claimed for in a CJRS claim they are able to make. The CJRS changes have effect from 1 July until the closure of the scheme on 31 October. Parents returning from statutory maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave and bereavement leave are broadly exempt from the CJRS furlough changes. So parents who are returning to work over the coming months will be eligible for the CJRS despite the scheme closing to new entrants on 30 June. Additionally, from 1 August, the level of the grant will be reduced each month. From August the employer will need to pay employer national insurance and pension contributions for the time the employee is furloughed. For August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 proportional to the hours the employee is furloughed. For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to £2,187.50, and for October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum of £1,875. During these months employers will have to top up employees' wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to the £2,500 cap. Internet link: GOV.UK publications
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Summer Economic Update
Posted on: 9th July 2020
On 8 July 2020, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak made a speech entitled “Summer Economic Update” where he unveiled further Government supports and he unveiled the Government’s plan for jobs which he described as the “Second phase in in the Government’s economic response to the crisis.” Here are the highlights and we will update you on the details in the next few days as the Government publishes the specifics of the supports. The “Plan for Jobs” PDF can be seen: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/898421/A_Plan_for_Jobs__Web_.pdf   Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Job retention Bonus The CJRS ends in October and the Chancellor looked to cushion expected redundancies with the announcement of a Job Retention Bonus (JRB). The new scheme will give employers £1,000 for each previously furloughed employee they retain and keep in employment until January 2021, as long as they are paid at least £520 a month. Further details of the scheme are expected later in July.   Kickstart Scheme and measures to help people find work In order to support people finding jobs, the Chancellor announced the Kickstart Scheme, which will provide £2 billion to support the creation of “high quality” six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The Government will provide employers that offer the placements funding equivalent to 100 per cent of the relevant level of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 25 hours a week. It will also cover the associated Employer NICs and minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions. Rishi Sunak also outlined additional measures, including funding for traineeships and employers that hire new apprentices, as well as funding for several careers and job-finding programmes. The apprenticeships funding will provide £2,000 to employers in England for every apprentice hired under the age of 25 and £1,500 for each newly hired apprentice aged 25 or older. This funding is in addition to schemes already in place to support employers in taking on apprentices.   Value Added Tax reduced rate for hospitality and tourism sectors The Chancellor outlined a VAT rate cut for the Hospitality and Tourism sectors from 20% to 5%. The measures relate specifically to food and non-alcoholic drinks and to accommodation and admission to attractions, with further details expected to be published later. The VAT rate change comes into effect on Wednesday 15 July 2020 and will be in place temporarily until 12 January 2021.   Eat Out to Help Out The “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme will provide a discount of 50 per cent of up to £10 a person on eat-in meals, including non-alcoholic drinks, at participating establishments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the month of August. Restaurants, cafes and pubs can sign-up for the scheme on a new website on Monday 13 July 2020.   Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday There is a temporary cut in residential Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) from 8 July 2020 by raising the nil-rate band from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021. The Treasury estimates that, as a consequence, around nine in 10 people buying a main residence will pay no SDLT. If you purchase a residential property between 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021, you only start to pay SDLT on the amount that you pay for the property above £500,000. These rates apply whether you are buying your first home or have owned property before. The 3% higher rate for purchases of additional dwellings still applies on top of revised standard rates above for the period 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021. Further details can be found on SDLT changes here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/stamp-duty-land-tax-temporary-reduced-rates   Contact Us We will keep you up to date with these and other measures as the Government releases further details. Please talk to us if you need any help during this time.  
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