Well, it looks like we’ve got the “it’s not a lockdown” lockdown starting today and I thought I would let you know of the latest updates and changes that have been made.
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.
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.
Your local council should be in touch with you automatically about these grants. For those in Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions today, these grants will be backdated to when your area went into the tier.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
This has been extended until December. This was due to end on 31 October. The Grant will ensure employees receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Businesses will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, employers will be asked to cover National Insurance and employer 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 Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
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 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 November.
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.
As SEISS grants are calculated over three months, the uplift for November to 80 percent, along with the 40 percent level of trading profits for December and January, increases the total level of the third grant to 55 percent of trading profits. The maximum grant will increase to £5,160.
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
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.