This week we focus on the main schemes available to help employees, workers, the self-employed and small businesses through the pandemic.
Help for workers & employees
Extended Job Retention Scheme (‘furlough’) – for workers unable to work due to partial or full closure of their workplace
The Government will cover 80% of wages for hours not worked, up to £2,500 per month. Employers must pay National Insurance and pension contributions. Employees can work part-time – employers must pay normal pay for all hours worked. The employee must have been on the payroll before 30.10.2020. The Job Retention Scheme will last until 31.3.2021.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – for employees unable to work due to sickness, self-isolation or shielding
SSP is payable if you are an employee with average earnings £120 per week AND you cannot work because of illness. SSP is paid by the employer. If you or somebody in your household/support bubble has Covid symptoms or a positive Covid test result OR NHS Test & Trace have instructed you to self-isolate OR you cannot work because you are shielding, SSP is paid from day one. If you have a non-Covid illness, SSP is paid after 4 ‘waiting days’. You cannot claim SSP if you are in quarantine after returning from abroad.
Self-isolation support payment for workers on low incomes
If you are employed or self-employed in receipt of a qualifying benefit (see below), have a positive Covid test result or a notification from NHS Test & Trace to isolate AND are unable to work from home, you can apply for a one-off lump sum of £500.
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Employment & Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
There is also a discretionary payment scheme for working people who are not in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits
Claim via the Council’s website: https://rebrand.ly/cmsq8 In order to claim, you must have a unique 8-digit reference number provided by NHS Test & Trace. You must have a bank account to receive the payment.
You can claim the £500 payment for each time you are required to self-isolate. Members of your household can also claim if they meet the criteria.
These payments are designed to stop transmission of the virus by encouraging workers to self-isolate if they have symptoms or a positive Covid test result. They provide some financial support if you are unable to work from home and would lose income.
Our Advice & Advocacy Service can advise and help you make claims. Call 0121 685 8510 for appointments and details of our fees.
Remember that it is a legal requirement to self-isolate if you are notified by NHS Test & Trace. You can be fined £1-10K for failing to stay at home.
Help for the Self-Employed
Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – extended
The SEISS is intended to support viable traders who are facing reduced demand due to lockdown. The Government will pay self-employed workers a taxable grant worth 80% of average trading profits for the period November-January, capped at £7,500. You must have submitted your 2019 tax return. You will be able to claim from 30.11.2020. A second grant covering February-April will be available – details to be announced.
Please heed HMRC warnings about scams. You should only respond to messages in your Government Gateway.
Deferred self-assessment income tax payments
Self-employed people will be able to defer income tax payments that were due to be paid in July this year to January 2022, an extension of 18 months. You do not need to request this – HMRC will offer the extension to you.
Universal Credit for self-employed people unable to work due to illness
Self-employed people who have Covid symptoms or are self-isolating may claim Universal Credit
Support for small businesses
Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG)
For businesses that
- provide face-to-face services to customers on-site AND
- were trading as normal before Tier 2 restrictions were imposed on 9.9.2020 AND
- were forced to close for at least 3 weeks when Birmingham was placed in Tier 2 High Alert Level AND
- pay business rates on their premises
The Council will pay a grant of £1000 per 3-week period starting 9 Sep will be paid to business with a rateable value (RV) below £51k + £1,000 for each additional 3-week period.
A grant of £1,500 per 3-week periold for businesses with a RV above £51K + £1.5k for each additional 3-week period
Applications for LRSGs will be made to the Council via its website https://bit.ly/38zqnrA
Your business is not eligible if
- You can continue to operate because your business is not customer-facing
- You closed by choice, not because you were required to
- You were not permitted to open anyway
Other financial help from the Government
To find out what other financial help is available for small businesses, use the Government tool https://rebrand.ly/pzlj9
Birmingham City Council https://bit.ly/3ktx7JC
Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce https://bit.ly/2JZwHy9
Charity Tax Group https://bit.ly/3eZr4vA
On Monday 9.11.2020, US pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced ‘first ‘milestone’ vaccine offers 90% protection’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54873105
There are still many questions including long term immunity, and the British Government has stated that the vaccine must pass UK safety tests before it is licenced for use here. However, it is widely seen as good news. The Government is working out the priority list for who receives the vaccination – we hope to report this in the next Update.
- The vaccination will not be compulsory
- The Pfizer vaccination will not be given to children
Home test kits
The Government has engaged credit reference agency TransUnion to process orders for home testing kits. This is to prevent fraud and multiple ordering. People with no credit history in the UK have been unable to get a home testing kit. Going to a walk-in or drive-through test centre are the only options.
To get a free NHS test, call 119 or book online
The test is only free if you have symptoms.
Councils in the West Midlands have issued a survey to test opinion on testing and vaccination.
The R number in Birmingham is currently 1.3
To check case and death rates http://ukcovid19.nw.r.appspot.com/
“职位保留计划”将被延长 – 适用于因工作场所部分或全部关闭而无法工作的受雇人士
如果您的员工每周平均收入约为120英镑，并且因生病而无法工作，该员工符合支付法定病假工资的条件。法定病假工资由雇主支付。 如果您或您的家庭/支持泡泡中的有人出现新冠症状或新冠测试结果呈阳性，或者NHS测试与追踪部门要求您进行自我隔离，或者您因为居家屏蔽而无法工作，法定病假工资从第一天开始计算。 如果您患有新冠肺炎以外的其他疾病，法定病假工资则需要在4个等待日后开始支付。 如果您是从国外回来后需要居家隔离，此类情形则不能申请法定病假工资。
我们的远程咨询服务可以为您提供建议和帮助您申请隔离补助金。 欢迎致电0121 685 8510预约，并查询远程咨询服务的收费标准。
自雇人士补助金 – 将被延长
英国税务局HMRC提醒您当心欺诈 – 您只需要在政府在线服务Government Gateway注册的帐户中与英国税务局HMRC进行回复或联络。
Gov.UK 英国政府网站 https://bit.ly/2UnRbTd
Birmingham City Council伯明翰市政府 https://bit.ly/3ktx7JC
Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce大伯明翰商会 https://bit.ly/2JZwHy9
Charity Tax Group慈善税务联盟 https://bit.ly/3eZr4vA
对于疫苗大家仍有许多疑问，比如长期免疫效果如何。英国政府已声明，疫苗必须先通过英国安全测试，然后才能在英国使用。 总体来说，疫苗的上市是一个好消息。 政府正在制定谁接受疫苗接种的优先次序 – 我们希望在下一次疫情快讯中报告。
政府已聘请信贷咨询机构TransUnion处理家庭新冠病毒检测包的订单。 这是为了防止欺诈和多重订购。 在英国没有信用记录的人无法获得家庭病毒新冠检测包，他们唯一的选择是去步行检测点或驾车检测点进行检测。