New Support From The Government

This week, the Chancellor set out a new package of support for businesses to help you through this difficult time.

We have put together an easy-to-read summary of the key points to make it easier for you to see what they are so that you can make decisions for your business. We’ve also included the latest announcements on the changes to the furlough scheme.

Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) Changes

Month Employees can be furloughed Minimum Wages That Can Be Paid To Employee Government Contribution Maximum Government Contribution Per Month Minimum Employer Contribution Employer National Insurance and Pension Contributions Paid By
July Part-Time or Full-Time 80% 80% £2,500 0% Government
August Part-Time or Full-Time 80% 80% £2,500 0% Employer
September Part-Time or Full-Time 80% 70% £2,187.50 10% Employer
October Part-Time or Full-Time 80% 60% £1,875 20% Employer

New Announcements

Job Retention Scheme Bonus
  • For employees who have been furloughed. If you bring them back to work and they earn over £520 a month in November, December and January, you will be entitled to claim a £1000 bonus from the government for each employee in February.
Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
  • During August, in participating restaurants/ bars/ cafes, you can get 50% off the costs of your meal and non-alcoholic drinks (up to £10 a person) for any Eat-In meals bought on Monday to Wednesday each week.
  • The government will open a website where business can register for the scheme online, with the funds they claim back paid within five working days.
VAT Reduction
  • From 15th July to 12th January, the VAT rate is being cut from 20% down to 5% on eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks (not including alcohol) from restaurants, cafes and pubs, and similar premises.
  • It also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos. This should mean prices in these areas are reduced.
Stamp Duty
  • The threshold at which you pay stamp duty when buying a new home will increase from £125,000 to £500,000, so the cost of buying a home will be lower.
Green Homes Grant
  • From September, vouchers will be available of up to £5000 (or £10,000 for the poorest) for energy-saving home improvements such as home insulation and double glazing.
  • These vouchers will cover 2/3 of the costs with homeowners paying the last third (but the costs will be fully covered for the poorest).
Kickstart Scheme
  • If you are looking to take on new staff, there is a new Kickstart scheme if you choose to take on a young person (age 16 – 24) who are on universal credit and at risk of unemployment, for a 6-month work placement.
  • They must be employed at the national minimum wage and for at least 25 hours a week (though you can top this up). The government will cover the cost of their wages for the six months (along with extra funding to cover pension contributions and employers national insurance).
  • You can apply from next month, with the first jobs to start in the autumn.
Training Placements
  • Companies will be given £1000 for each new trainee work experience placement they offer to 16-24 year-olds.
  • Employers do not need to pay the trainee.
  • The government has not yet confirmed the minimum length of the training placements but under existing schemes, it is a minimum of 100 hours.
  • Companies will be given £2000 for each new apprenticeship they offer for under 25’s. And £1,500 for each new apprenticeship they offer for over 25’s. This scheme opens from 1st August.
  • Apprentices do have to be paid at the national minimum wage (£4.15 per hour).
  • These grants are in addition to the £1000 grants already given for taking on an apprentice aged 16-18, or up to 25 if they’re on an Education, Health and Care plan.
Arts Sector Funding
  • £1.57 billion has been announced for grants and loans for the arts sector to help keep theatres, galleries, museums, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues running.

Further details on these and all other schemes announced by the government over the past few months can be found here.

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