Has the Job Retention Scheme been extended?
The Chancellor announced in his Spring Budget that the furlough scheme would be extended until the end of September 2021.
British Marine understands that for employees there will be no change to the terms and they will continue to receive 80% of their salary, for hours not worked, until the scheme comes to an end.
Businesses will be asked, as they re-open, to contribute towards the cost - starting with 10% in August and 20% in September.
Further advice on this update is available to read here.
- Check Which Employees Can Be Furloughed
There is separate guidance detailing how the employment status of workers impacts on a businesses ability to furlough them. Some of the key points here are:
- For employees on Fixed Term Contracts, if fixed term contract has not already expired, it can be extended or renewed for claim periods after 1 November 2020
- If the employee’s fixed term contract expired after 23 September, they can be re-employed and claimed for as long as the other relevant eligibility criteria are met.
- Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst on furlough.
- For claim periods after 1 November 2020, a new employer is eligible to claim in respect of employees of a previous business transferred if the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership. The employees being claimed for should have been employed by their prior employer on or before 30 October 2020 and transferred from them to their new employer on or before 1 September 2020
- If you made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 23 September 2020 you can re-employ them and put them on furlough.
- The government is reviewing whether employers should be eligible to claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods and will change the approach for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, with further guidance published in late November.
- Calculate How Much You Can Claim
This is the online calculator that will help you determine how much you can claim. The key points here are:
Once you have calculated how much you can claim, there is a separate online portal for making an application. The cut-off dates for claims are:
Claim for furlough days in
Claim must be submitted by
14 December 2020
14 January 2021
15 February 2021
15 March 2021
14 April 2021
How does the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme work?
Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme
The Government has published guidance on the Test and Trace Payment Support Scheme. People contacted through the Test and Trace system in England and told that they need to self-isolate are eligible for a £500 payment if they meet the following criteria:
• they’re employed or self-employed
• they’re unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
• they’re currently receiving at least one of the following:
• Universal Credit
• Working Tax Credit
• income-based Employment and Support Allowance
• income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income Support
• Housing Benefit
• Pension Credit
People in England who do not fulfil the above criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment, could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if they meet the following criteria:
• they have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
• they are employed or self-employed
• they are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
• they are not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit
• they are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating
What help is available for the self-employed?
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension
In his Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced that COVID-19 support for the self-employed would continue until the end of September, with a fourth grant covering the period February to April, and a fifth and final grant from May onwards.
British Marine understands that the fourth grant will provide three months of support at 80% of average trading profits. For the fifth grant, claimants will continue to receive grants worth three months of average trading profits, with the system open for claims towards the end of July. The grants will be tapered - with the full 80% grant available to individuals whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more. Individuals whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will instead receive a 30% grant.
Further information can be found here.
Following the announcement of the four week national lockdown in England and the extension of the full furlough scheme the government announced an enhanced financial package for the self employed:
The UK Government has announced that the self employed grant is increasing to 80% of trading profits covering November to January for all parts of the UK. This provides equivalent support to the self-employed as we are providing to employees through the government contribution in the CJRS. It is calculated based on 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500.
• This is £7.3 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. This comes on top of £13.7 billion of support for self-employed people so far, one of the most comprehensive and generous support packages for the self-employed anywhere in the world.
• Timing: HMRC will pay this more generous grant sooner than planned and in good time for Christmas – the window for claiming a grant will open on 30 November, two weeks earlier than previously announced.
• The Government has already announced that there will be a fourth SEISS grant covering February to April. The Government will set out further details, including the level, of the fourth grant in due course.
Who can claim
To be eligible for the grant extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:
currently be eligible for the the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
declare that they are currently actively trading and intend to continue to trade
declare that they are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus in the qualifying period (the qualifying period for the grant extension is between 1 November and the date of claim)
What the grant extension covers
The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.
The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. HMRC will provide a taxable grant covering 20 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.
HMRC are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Job Support scheme.
The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. HMRC will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.
The grants are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions.
Where can I go for further information on the support available from Government?
The Government has launched a dedicated website with full details of the support available and more information on how to apply for each of the measures. Please click here to visit this website.
Have additional Recovery Loans been announced?
Yes. The Chancellor announced the Recovery Loan Scheme in his Spring Budget.
This scheme will replace the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back loans.
Businesses will be required to demonstrate their viability for a loan of between £25,000 and £10 million. The Government will continue to provide a guarantee to lenders of 80%.
British Marine would advise its members to contact their bank to discuss eligibility.
What are the Restart Grants?
The Chancellor announced £5bn of further grant funding in his Spring Budget. These 'Restart Grants' will be available from April and are designed to support firms in the retail, hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors with immediate cash flow concerns as a result of the restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19.
The Restart Grants will replace the local restrictions grants.
Through the scheme, non-essential retail businesses will receive grants of up to £6,000, whilst hospitality and leisure businesses that may open later will receive grants of up to £18,000.
British Marine understands that businesses must pay business rates in order to qualify. Businesses which do not pay business rates may be able to benefit from the Additional Restrictions Grant.
Members are advised to contact their local authority to discuss the funding available to them.
What grants are available?
Leisure, Hospitality and Retail Grants
Earlier this year the UK Government announced a series of grants for businesses based in England. For businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value up to and including £15,000 are entitled to receive a grant of £10,000 per property.
Businesses in the leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will be eligible to receive a grant of £25,000 per property.
The Government has published updated guidance on the application of the grants for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. British Marine has been working closely with Tourism Alliance to ensure that many of our members, although not mentioned in the guidance, are recognised by local authorities as eligible recipients which fall into the intended category and receive this relief.
We are pleased that following our work with Tourism Alliance, the Local Government Association has subsequently confirmed that marinas, boat hire and passenger facilities do fall into the intended category and should, in its view, be eligible for this relief.
British Marine would advise its members to contact their Local Authority if they are unsure on the classification of their business or would like further clarification.
Guidance issued by the Government to businesses on the grant eligibility can be found here.
For more information on the cash grant for businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors please click here.
Small Business Grant
The UK Government has also provided additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates. This is because these firms are either in receipt of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRF) or tapered relief. Businesses must operate from premises.
This is a one-off cash grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses in England.
For more information on this grant, please click here. Please also contact your Local Authority for more information.
For our members based outside of England, please check the information from the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive. This is because some aspects of business support are devolved. More information can be found on our Coronavirus hub.
I’m not eligible for most of the support announced by Government, can British Marine help?
British Marine is fully aware that some of the measures announced by the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations will not be available to every member business.
We are committed to supporting our members throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to do all we can to ensure they receive the support they need.
Since the pandemic began, we have engaged with several Government departments requesting urgent financial support for businesses in the leisure marine sector.
For more information on our lobbying activities, and to get in touch with a member of the public affairs team, please visit our Coronavirus Hub.
Has VAT been reduced?
Yes, but only for the tourism and hospitality sectors. The reduction was announced by the Chancellor in 2020.
British Marine can advise its members that providers of holiday accommodation are eligible for this reduction. Houseboats are included as a form of holiday accommodation, as are holiday hire boats. VAT across these eligible sectors is now, as a result of the measure, 5%.
The VAT reduction was subsequently extended by the Chancellor in his Spring Budget. As a result, the 5% rate of VAT will now come to an end on 30 September 2021. After this date VAT in these sectors will increase to 12.5% for a period of six months, before returning to the standard 20% rate in April 2022.
I’ve been refused a grant by my local authority, what should I do?
British Marine is aware that some of its members have been refused grants and others are finding it challenging to prove their entitlement.
We would advise our members to appeal any refusal if they are able to, and evidence the statement from the Local Government Association which says that, in its view, marinas, boat hire and passenger boat facilities should be eligible for the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grants.
Where this is unsuccessful, we would advise our members to discuss their eligibility for other sources of funding. This may include grants for businesses required to close, or discretionary funding from local authorities.
Has the UK Government announced loans specifically for smaller businesses?
Yes. Last year the UK Government announced a new ‘Bounce Back Loan’ for smaller businesses.
The scheme is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses by allowing them to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. These loans include a 100% Government-backed guarantee.
Our members should note that the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced changes to the loan in September. British Marine can advise members that a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment scheme is being introduced to provide greater flexibility for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan. The changes include:
- Extending the length of the loan from six years to ten;
- Permitting interest-only periods of up to six months;
- Introducing payment holidays for businesses most in need
The Chancellor has also announced that the deadline for applying for a Bounce Back has now been extended until the end of November.
The loans are being delivered through a network of accredited lenders.
For information on these loans and details of how to apply can be found here.
Our members should note that this loan will shortly be replaced by the Recovery Loan Scheme.
Have additional discretionary grants been announced?
Yes. Last year the Business Secretary announced further funding for small businesses. These discretionary grants were provided by local authorities and were designed to help businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. These grants
, which were up to £25,000 in value, were specifically for businesses which were not eligible for the Small Business Grant or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant.
British Marine would advise its members which found themselves ineligible for the other types of grants to contact their local authority to discuss their eligibility for other sources of funding and financial support.
Will I have to pay Business Rates?
The UK Government has extended its business rates holiday for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector. This extension is in place until the end of June 2021.
For the remaining nine months of the year, business rates in England will be discounted by two-thirds.
British Marine would advise its members to contact their local authority for further information.
Is my business classified as a Leisure Business / Does my business qualify for the Business Rates Holiday?
The rates relief is a billing authority (Local Authority) matter and not set by central Government.
Government guidance to Local Authorities outlines which properties will benefit from the relief. These include hereditaments mainly used:
a. as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
b. for assembly and leisure; or
c. as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.
Chandleries and boat showrooms would fall within the scope of shops.
The Government has published updated guidance on the application of business rates relief for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.
Last year, British Marine worked closely with Tourism Alliance to ensure that many of our members, although not mentioned in the guidance, were recognised by local authorities as eligible recipients and receive this relief.
We were pleased that following our work with Tourism Alliance, the Local Government Association confirmed that marinas, boat hire and passenger facilities do fall into the intended category and should, in its view, be eligible for this relief. This advice applies in England and Wales.
In March 2021, during his Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced that the business rates holiday for businesses in these sectors was being extended until the end of June. Then, for the remaining nine months of the year, business rates for the above sectors will be discounted by two thirds.
British Marine would advise its members to contact their Local Authority for further clarification and details of billing.
I am a small boating business with no premises, and I don’t pay business rates. Do I qualify for any of the grants?
Last year the UK Government announced a series of grants for businesses in the leisure and hospitality sectors. These grants were intended for businesses which have premises and, under normal circumstances, would be required to pay Business Rates. Regrettably, businesses in these sectors which do not have premises (and therefore do not pay Business Rates) are ineligible for these grants.
British Marine recognises the importance of providing financial support to businesses in the industry which do not qualify for these grants. This is why we lobbied the UK Government and Devolved Administrations to request specialist financial support for the industry, which takes into account the costs that our members do have to pay.
We were therefore pleased that discretionary funding has been made available to businesses which do not pay business rates and further financial measures were announced in the Chancellor's Spring Budget.
Businesses should contact their local authority to discuss the financial support available to them.
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