New lockdown rules, furlough extended and more

**Updated 5/11/2020**

Halloween wasn’t as we expected this year, with Boris promising announcements when families were already trying to make the most of not being able to celebrate as they usually would.

There had been a lot of speculation about whether or not England would go into another lockdown, especially seeing France go back into lockdown on Thursday.

So here’s what we know so far about the new lockdown rules:

1. Lockdown imposed from Thursday 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020

  • This may be extended if the R rate does not come down
  • Scientific data shows that if we do nothing, we could be in a worse position than in March and April 2020

2. You should not leave home, except:

  • for education
  • for work, if you cannot work from home
  • for exercise and recreation outdoors
  • for medical reasons
  • to shop for food and essentials
  • to care for others

3. Businesses who must close:

  • Pubs, restaurants and bars, but you can still offer takeaway and delivery
  • Gyms and leisure facilities
  • Personal care facilities (beauty salons etc)
  • Non-essential retail – but you can offer delivery and click-and-collect services

4. Organisations who can stay open:

  • Hotels and accommodation, only for guests travelling for work
  • Childcare, nurseries, schools and colleges
  • Construction and manufacturing
  • Motor mechanics
  • But work from home where you can
  • More Government info here on new national restrictions

5. Furlough scheme extended

  • The new Job Support Scheme has been delayed, and furlough extended to 31 March 2020
  • Employees can be furloughed if they were on a payroll filed with HMRC by 23:59 on 30 October 2020
  • The Government will continue to pay 80% of the employees’ wages up to £2,500
  • Employers will pay their national insurance and pension contributions
  • Flexible furlough is still allowed
  • If you made someone redundant after 23 September you can re-employ them
  • This will be reviewed in January 2021
  • The Job Retention Bonus (JRB) previously payable for employees still on the payroll at 31 January 2021 has been delayed
  • More detail from HMRC here

6. 3rd self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) to be increased to 80%

  • For November 2020 to January 2021 the grant has been increased to 80% of your average profits
  • This had previously been reduced to 40% of your average profits
  • The grant is still based on your 2018/2019 tax return
  • It will be paid in one lump sum for the 3 month period
  • You can claim online from 30 November 2020
  • You must have been previously eligible to claim
  • You have to declare that you intend to continue to trade
  • Eligibility is the same as the previous SEISS grant (see our previous blog for the deets)
  • There will be a 4th grant due for the 3 months from 1 February 2021

7. Business grants

  • Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG) will be available for businesses forced to close
  • Grants calculated for each 2 week period closed, and based on your rateable value as follows:
    • up to £15,000 the grant is £667 every 2 weeks
    • between £15,001 and £50,999 £1,000 every 3 weeks
    • above £51,000 should receive a grant of £1,500 every 3 weeks
  • Find your rateable value here, you’ll need your business postcode
  • You can also check your eligibility for the grant here

8. Mortgage holiday extended

  • This was due to end 31 October 2020
  • You can apply for a mortgage repayment holiday for 6 months
  • Speak to your mortgage provider

This is a tough time for businesses, who are already struggling to recover from the previous lockdown

We urge you to make a plan, get your cashflow sorted, so that you can plan for any problems.

Think of ways you can still sell to your customers and clients if you are forced to close.

Keep an eye on our updates.

As always, we are here for you, and our core purpose is to see you through this.

Please make sure you have joined our private Small Business Facebook Page, as we are live updating here, as soon as we know more.

Also make sure you’re signed up to our mailing list, so that you get the latest updates.

Stay Safe