Published on: 01 June 2020 in Industry

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Financial support update

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The financial support schemes supporting some freelance workers have been extended. See all the details below.

While Directors UK welcomes the extension of these two forms of financial support, it remains the case that many of our members and other self-employed workers are still being overlooked – in particular, self-employed workers operating as Ltd companies and those earning above the £50K cap.

Alongside our partners within the industry, we are lobbying the Government and continue to make the case for more wide-ranging support.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme extended for a second 3-month support period

Those directors eligible to claim the non-repayable grant from the government under the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will shortly be able to claim a second and final payment covering June, July and August worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits  - which is capped at £6570.  Applications will open in August. To apply, you will need the following:

  • Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • National Insurance number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password — if you do not have one you can create one as you apply
  • UK bank details (where a Bacs payment can be accepted) including: bank account number, sort code, name on the account, your address linked to your bank account

The grant is not repayable but is treated as taxable income and will be subject to self-employed National Insurance and will need to be included in your tax return.

If you’re self-employed but are taking a break from your trade at the time of application because of a new baby or adoption (or have done since 6 April 2019), you may still be eligible for the SEISS because HMRC will treat you as still trading. If you claim Maternity Allowance this will not affect your eligibility for the grant.

If you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work, or duties as an armed forces reservist.

Note: If you’re eligible for SEISS and haven’t yet applied for the first SEISS payment, you can still apply for this up to 13 July 2020.

The Money Saving Expert website has some useful notes if you have issues when applying.

Support under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended to October 2020

Workers currently furloughed by their own company or by another under the Coronavirus Job Retentions Scheme (CJRS), can receive support until 31 October 2020 – when the scheme will close.

Government payments will be scaled back from August when employers will be asked to contribute the pension and national insurance payments, whilst the government covers 80% of an employees salary (up to £2500).

For September the government will pay 70% of an employees salary (up to £2,187.50) and the employer will pay the other 10% of the furlough plus the national insurance and pension payments

For October, the last month of the scheme, the government pay 60% of an employees salary (up to £1,875) and the employer will pay 20% of the furlough plus the national insurance and pension payments.  

Applications for this furlough scheme close on 30th June. 

A new furlough programme is also being introduced from 1 July that enables employers to bring workers back to work in at a gradual way (for example for a day a week rather than for a full week) where the employer will pay as usual for the work done, and the government will pay up to 80% furlough for the rest. Applications for this furlough scheme open on 10 June 2020.  

Companies experiencing disruption due to coronavirus can furlough anyone they employ, provided that on or before March 19 they were on PAYE payroll and HMRC has been notified of payment via the RTI system. The scheme pays up to £2,500 a month per employee towards staff wages and aims to protect jobs that might otherwise be made redundant as a result of pandemic.

Businesses can still apply to furlough employees here.

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