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Ben Handley (6)
03 November 2020

Prime Minister’s Statement 31 October 2020 – The latest COVID-19 information!

The Chancellor prepares to announce further support measures

"Boris Johnson's statement" by Prime Minister's Office is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

We've updated the information in this blog to reflect the latest changes as of 6 November 2020.

The latest government announcement regarding a new national lockdown from Thursday 5 November until at least 2 December mean more changes to the available support schemes.

Extension of the Furlough Scheme and Postponement of the Job Support Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) or the Furlough Scheme as it is more commonly known, was due to end on 31 October 2020. However, this scheme is now being extended until the end of March 2021.

The Job Retention Scheme will continue to operate in the same manner as before. However, the level of grant available is being increased back up to the August levels.

This means the government will contribute 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 until 31 January 2021. The scheme will be reviewed in January, where the employer contribution amounts may be amended for February and March claims. Employers will continue to be able to claim for full-time furloughed employees as well a flexible claims for usual hours not worked.

Claims can be made from 11 November, for further information on the extension and how to claim click here .

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) which was previously announced as a replacement for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), was due to start on 1 November 2020. This has now been postponed until the CJRS ends.

Job Retention Bonus (JRB) delayed

The Job Retention Bonus scheme was due make payments in February 21 to incentivise keeping people in work until the end of January 21. With the extension of the furlough scheme (CJRS) until the end of March, the original intention is now not relevant. The JRB will now be rolled out at a later date.

Extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Scheme

In addition to the Furlough Scheme (CJRS, the chancellor has now announced an extension to the support grants for the self-employed.

The SEISS extension will be for six months running from 1 November to the 30 April 2021. The first grant covering November to January will cover 80% of average trading profits and be capped at £7,500.

Details regarding the second grant period from February to April will be released at a later date.

Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed premises

Local Authorities are being provided with funds to distribute to businesses forced to close due to the restrictions. Businesses will receive up to £3,000 per month depending on the Rateable value of the premises:

  • 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.

Mortgage Holidays Extension

The entitlement for borrowers to apply for a six-month mortgage holiday is also being extended as it was also due to end on 31 October.

For any borrowers who have not yet applied for a payment holiday, they will be entitled to a six-month pause in mortgage payments. Those borrowers who are currently in a payment holiday can apply to top up to six months without any additions being made to their credit files.

For further information on these announcements, please see GOV.UK's news story on the Furlough Scheme extension and Further Economic Support measures .

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