Now we are going back into lockdown, the government has announced new plans to help those affected by not being able to work.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

This has been extended until 31 March 2021 which I’m sure is a relief to many. It was due to end 31 October, and was initially extended to cover the latest lockdown period, but today it has been extended to 31st March 2021 in the light of anticipated mass redundancies.  The Grant will ensure employees receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Any employee who was on the payroll at 30 October 2020 is eligible to be claimed for and they do not have to have been furloughed previously.

In addition, any employee who was made redundant after 23rd September 2020 can also be re-hired to be put onto the furlough scheme.

Businesses will be able to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, with employers covering NI and pension contributions.

As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.

The Job Support Scheme (JSS), which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

Government increases support for self-employed across the UK

The government is also increasing its support to the self-employed over the coming months and ensuring people get paid faster than previously planned.

To reflect the recent changes to the furlough scheme, the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be made more generous – with self-employed individuals receiving 80% of their average trading profits for the period 01 November 2020 to 31 January 2021.

To ensure those who need support get it as soon as possible, payments will also be made more quickly with the claims window being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.

The maximum grant is therefore now £7,500 for this period, according to the news issued at lunchtime on 5 November 2020. Since this announcement is hot off the press, there may be further amendments still to be announced.

To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

  • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
  • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

Mortgage payment holidays

Mortgage payment holidays will no longer end on 31 October. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

Business Grants

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.

Government loan schemes

More businesses will also be able to benefit from government loan schemes which have been extended to the end of January 2021, while firms can ‘top up’ existing Bounce Back Loans should they need additional finance.



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