Extension of Furlough Scheme
The current terms of the furlough scheme will remain unchanged until the end of July, but from August onwards it will allow greater flexibility to phase furloughed employees back to work.

Part-Time Option From August
While the finer details have yet to emerge, the Chancellor said this “greater flexibility” would enable employers currently using the scheme to bring workers back part-time. Employers who choose to do this will be asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff, which will replace the government’s contribution.

But as always, the devil is in detail, as Blick Rothenberg’s Heather Self raised: “Enabling part-time work is welcome, as it will permit a gradual return to work. But the Chancellor said this would only be available to businesses ‘currently using’ the scheme – it is not clear what the cut-off date will be for businesses still considering whether they need to furlough employees.”
 
Employers Sharing the Costs
The government will also ask employers to share the costs of paying people’s salaries and more details about the extension will follow by the end of May. With the original end of June cut-off creeping closer, employers were looking to the Chancellor today for clarity on the furlough scheme before the 45-day redundancy consultancy period kicked in.

Any Questions?
If you would like to discuss how the extension of the furlough scheme affects your business, please contact us. We're happy to help.
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Bounce Back Loan for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
The government’s coronavirus Bounce Back Loan is available to businesses affected by COVID-19 from 4 May 2020.

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.

The loans are to be 100% government-backed. Businesses can apply for 25% of their turnover. Loans can be paid back over a maximum period of six years, with no repayments or interest due within the first 12 months. The government is negotiating a low rate of interest with the accredited lenders who will deliver the scheme.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “There will be no forward-looking tests of business viability; no complex eligibility criteria; just a simple, quick, standard form for businesses to fill in.” Businesses will be able to apply via an online form and will receive loans within 24 hours of approval.

Who is Eligible?
You can apply for a loan if your business:
  • is based in the UK;
  • has been negatively affected by coronavirus; and
  • was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019.
You are not able to apply if you are already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). In addition, this funding is not available to state-funded schools (primary and secondary), public sector organisations, plus banks, insurers and reinsurers. (Insurance brokers are able to apply.)

Applying for a Bounce Back Loan
Details of how to apply will be available in time for the launch date of 4 May 2020. Watch this space!

In the meantime, please contact us if you have any queries. Plus, you are welcome to review the support available to business during the current times by visiting our COVID-19 Update page.
 
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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chancellor announced a series of measures to support businesses and their employees.

One of those measures is the CJRS, that allows employers to claim 80% of the wages of staff (up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee) that they have furloughed (been put on temporary leave).

HMRC is working at pace to deliver the service that will allow businesses to make a claim. Businesses, and agents that are authorised to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters, will be able to claim. However, file only agents, including Payroll Bureaus, will not be able access the service due to data protection reasons.
 
Service Launch
We are told the service will be ready to launch on 20th April 2020.

For most clients we are registered as Agent so will be able to make the claim on your behalf, should you need us to.  We have identified a small number of clients we are not registered as Agent for and for those we will be updating HMRC over the next couple of days.

PLEASE NOTE if you receive a code from HMRC naming us as Agent we will need the code straight away

If we do not receive the code in time then you will have to make your own claim.

It is also worth mentioning that at the moment there are a number of phishing e-mails relating to furloughing of staff so please DO NOT follow a link and enter any information.

Find out more:
The latest guidance on CJRS can be found on GOV‌.UK by searching for 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme'.

 
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COVID-19 Government Update
 
On 1st April 2020, the government issued several updates as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on business support grant funding
Page summary
Guidance for local authorities setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).
Change made
Updated information on state aid, monitoring and reporting requirements, post payment checks, eligibility of charities.
Time updated
10:49am, 1 April 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): business support grant funding – guidance for businesses
Page summary
Guidance for businesses setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).
Change made
First published.
Time updated
11:05am, 1 April 2020

MHRA guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Page summary
We are producing guidance for industry covering the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Change made
Added link to new guidance on ‘MHRA regulatory flexibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19)’
Time updated
11:08am, 1 April 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to the Care Act 2014
Page summary
Changes to the Care Act 2014 to help local authorities prioritise care and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Change made
Added email address at the end of section 6. 
Time updated
2:36pm, 1 April 2020

Slides and datasets to accompany coronavirus press conference: 1 April 2020
Page summary
Press conference slides and datasets used by The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP.
Change made
First published.
Time updated
5:11pm, 1 April 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): induction for newly qualified teachers
Page summary
Guidance about changes to newly qualified teacher (NQT) induction during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Change made
First published.
Time updated
5:17pm, 1 April 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings
Page summary
Guidance and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) in educational settings for staff, parents and carers, pupils and students.
Change made
Added ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): induction for newly qualified teachers’.
Time updated
5:18pm, 1 April 2020

Business Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 1 April 2020
Page summary
Business Secretary Alok Sharma gave the 1 April 2020 daily press briefing on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Change made
First published.
Time updated
6:06pm, 1 April 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): notification of data controllers to share information
Page summary
Notification of data controllers in healthcare organisations, GPs, local authorities and arm’s length bodies that they should share information to support efforts against coronavirus (COVID-19).
Change made
First published.
Time updated
6:17pm, 1 April 2020

FCO privacy notice: coronavirus (COVID-19) repatriation flights
Page summary
This notice explains how the Foreign & Commonwealth Office processes personal data relating to special charter flights during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Change made
First published.
Time updated
6:30pm, 1 April 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people
Page summary
Questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people.
Change made
Updated guidance on educational provision over the Easter holidays.
Time updated
6:46pm, 1 April 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): early years and childcare closures
Page summary
Guidance for local authorities, early years settings and childminders about childcare provision following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Change made
Updated to clarify the income support available and the requirements for providing safe, quality care for vulnerable and critical workers’ children.
Time updated
9:44pm, 1 April 2020
 
 
 
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