Coronavirus measures

Coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS)

The CJRS (furlough scheme) will be extended to run until 30 September 2021, providing employees with 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. Up to the end of June, the current 80% government payment level will be maintained (capped at £2,500 a month), with employers responsible for NICs and pension payments. The government payment will then drop to 70% in July and 60% in August and September (with the monthly cap reducing proportionately).

Self-employed income support scheme (SEISS)

The SEISS will also be extended to September 2021. A fourth SEISS grant will run from 1 February to 30 April, worth 80% of three months’ average profits (capped at £7,500). This grant will be claimable from late April.

A fifth grant, claimable from late July, will cover the period May to September. It will be worth 80% of three months’ average profits where the claimant’s turnover has dropped by 30% or more. Where the fall in turnover is less, the grant will be limited to 30% of profits (capped at £2,850). Eligibility for both grants will be extended to include those who were self-employed in 2019/20 and who have filed a tax return for that year.

Universal credit

The temporary £20 a week increase in universal credit will continue to be paid until 30 September 2021. The suspension of the minimum income floor (MIF) for self-employed claimants will continue until the end of July 2021. The MIF will be gradually reintroduced from August, but the DWP will use discretion not to apply it on an individual basis where a claimant’s earnings continue to be affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

Those claiming working tax credits will receive a one-off payment of £500.

Recovery loan scheme

From 6 April 2021, a new recovery loan scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million. The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those that have already received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes.

Restart grants

The government will provide restart grants in England of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gyms. Local authorities in England will be given an additional £425 million of discretionary business grant funding.

Business rates reliefs

The 100% business rates relief for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England will continue to 30 June 2021. It will be followed by 66% business rates relief from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties. Nurseries will also qualify for relief in the same way as other eligible properties.

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