COVID-19 Government support update for w/c 8 Feb 2021

Below is our weekly roundup of changes to Government support information for businesses.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The CJRS has been extended until 30 April 2021. Claims for furlough days in January 2021 must be made by 15 February 2021. You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

HMRC has updated its examples to help calculate employee’s wages, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions if you are claiming through the CJRS.

A new example has been added for calculating wages for different types of pension scheme.


The guidance for employers on the steps to take before calculating a claim has also been updated to give more information about non-monetary benefits and employer pension contributions under salary sacrifice schemes.


Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs – England

The deadline for applications for the Christmas Support Payment has been extended to 28 February 2021.

The Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs supports pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food and had been severely impacted over the festive season due to temporary local restrictions. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of £1,000 from their local council in areas that were under Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions.

Local councils will use their discretion to identify the right businesses to receive this funding.


Film & TV Production Restart Scheme 

Many film and television productions have been paused during the pandemic due to a lack of insurance against coronavirus-related losses, such as filming delays when cast or crew members are ill. The £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, launched in October 2020, means productions are protected against these delays, giving them the confidence to resume filming.

So far, more than 160 productions from across the UK have been approved by the scheme, supporting over £680 million of economic activity and 19,460 direct jobs on productions – from actors and directors, to hairstylists, runners and set designers. New film, Boxing Day and Sky’s Breeders, are just a few of the many projects which have been able to continue filming.

Productions signing up to the scheme are required to pass eligibility checks and supply evidence to show that they cannot return to work without this support, as well as adhere to the scheme rules and industry guidance on safe working.

The Film and TV Production Restart Scheme is available to compensate productions starting or restarting production and covers losses due to delays or abandonment as a result of coronavirus.

This is a temporary measure, supporting productions which commence filming before 30 April 2021 and for coronavirus-related losses through to the end of June 2021. The deadline for claims if registered is 30 June 2021.

There will be a total cap on claims per production of £5 million, and productions will need to pay an appropriate excess when seeking to claim under the scheme, as well as an appropriate fee when joining the scheme. Productions will also need to purchase insurance to cover non-coronavirus risks to ensure their production is adequately insured.

Productions will need to provide evidence that they cannot return to work because of a lack of insurance.


Kickstart Scheme Grant

If you’re an employer looking to create job placements for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme. The scheme has changed, and you no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply directly for a grant. You can now apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant by either:

  • applying online yourself.
  • getting help from a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the Kickstart Scheme.

There is a new guide for employers, and this can be seen here.

Getting support from Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations are providing coronavirus related support for specific sectors. There are now added details for the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association and the Mineral Products Association.

On the webpage below, you will find a list of organisations you can speak to for advice. Many of these organisations are also happy to respond to non-member queries related to coronavirus.

Many of these websites also include sector-specific guidance and Q&A. This list does not cover all trade associations and business representatives.


Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

There is a new version of this guidance ‘Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ with updated information on face-to-face training and when to consider a break in an apprenticeship.

This document is for providers, employers, assessment organisations and apprentices.

It describes:

  • the temporary flexibilities which have been applied during the coronavirus (COVD-19) outbreak; and
  • how and when apprentices can safely train and undertake an assessment in the workplace and educational and assessment settings.

Private providers of coronavirus testing

The lists of and information about approved suppliers of private testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19) has been updated.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is aware of these private sector (non-NHS) providers who may be able to conduct tests for the presence of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

Providers are listed in alphabetical order. They have declared that they meet the Government’s minimum standards for providers of Test to Release for international travel or minimum standards for private sector providers of general COVID-19 testing (the Declaration).


What to do if you’re employed and cannot work – guidance for employees

The Department for Work and Pensions has updated its guidance for employees if they are employed and cannot work.

In addition to the Furlough scheme, it details that employees might also be able to get:

  • New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you’re under State Pension age, you usually work less than 16 hours a week and have made enough National Insurance contributions over the last 2 to 3 years.
  • Universal Credit if you or your partner are under State Pension age and you have less than £16,000 in savings – you might be able to get it at the same time as New Style JSA.
  • Pension Credit if both you and your partner have reached State Pension age.


NHS Test and Trace in the workplace – England

The guidance on what to do if you or someone you employ is contacted by NHS Test and Trace, including self-isolation and financial support has been updated to include a section on when to contact your local health protection team.

The employer’s guidance covers sector-specific recommendations on reducing the risk of transmission, the required risk assessments employers should undertake, what to do if an employee develops symptoms and ordering a test and alerting close contacts if the test is positive, self-isolation and contacting local health protection teams.


Register to order coronavirus tests for your employees – England

Use this service to get the forms you need to order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests for your employees. Do not use this service if you or your employees have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should order an individual test and stay at home.

You can register to order tests if:

  • your business is registered in England
  • you employ 50 people or more
  • your employees cannot work from home


If you require any assistance relating coronavirus (COVID-19) and your personal financial or business circumstances, please email or contact your usual Beavis Morgan client partner.