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Winter Economy Plan – Need to know

29 Sep 2020


This is a short briefing for directors on the Government's Winter Economy Plan

More detail is available on here. The IoD response to the measures can be found here.

Job Support Scheme 

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) starts from 1 November. Though it is also intended to prevent job losses, it is in significant aspects different from the furlough scheme (CJRS), which closes at the end of October. 

Under the JSS, a company can keep their employees on reduced hours (at least a third of their normal work hours). The company pays the employee for their working hours as normal, as well as an additional third of the hours not paid. The Government will also contribute a third of the salary that employees do not work. 

Firms using the JSS can still claim the Job Retention Bonus of £1000 for every furloughed employee they retain until the end of January. 

The JSS will run from 1 November and will last for 6 months. 

How do I apply? 

The full details are not available yet; however, the claim will be made on the website. 

Grants will be paid on a monthly basis. 

Self-employment income support scheme 

The SEISS has been extended to the end of January 2021 at a reduced rate. 

The self-employed can apply for a grant payment of 20% of their average monthly profits up to a cap of £1,875. A further grant may be made available to cover the period between February and April 2021. 

However, this scheme does not cover the self-employed who operate through limited companies.

How do I apply? 

It is expected the application process will be similar to the existing SEISS scheme. You can check your avialability here

Pay as you Grow 

The Government has announced it will ease repayment schedules for government coronavirus loans and tax deferrals. 

The length of Bounce Back Loans will extend from six years to ten, and businesses can also request interest-only periods of six months. 

The Government also said they ‘intend to give Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders the ability to extend’ these loans, also from a maximum of six years to ten. 

Tax cuts and deferrals 

Businesses who deferred their VAT bills will be able to use the ‘New Payment Scheme’ to make the payments in 11 interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year. 

The Government has also extended the 15% VAT cut for tourism and hospitality to the end of March 2021. 

Insolvency measures

The Government has extended a number of emergency insolvency measures, including:

  • Companies can hold AGM virtually until 30 December 2020;
  • Statutory demands and winding-up petitions are restricted until the end of the year.

Notably, however, the Government did not extend the suspension of wrongful trading rules for directors. Read more about our views on that here.

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