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COVID-19 GOVERNMENT SUPPORT NEWS

Below is our weekly roundup of changes to government support information generally and for businesses, employers and the self-employed.

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from July
The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of your furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, to the end of June.
In July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees' usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.
You will need to pay the 10% difference in July, and 20% in August and September, so that you continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
For the hours not worked you can choose to top up your employees’ wages above the 80% level or cap for each month if you wish, at your own expense.
You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it is best to make a claim once you are sure of the exact number of hours your employees worked, so you do not have to amend your claim later.
Conditions of claiming CJRS grants
You must pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC. This is a condition of claiming the grant, and not doing so will mean you will need to repay the whole of the CJRS grant and you may not be able to claim future CJRS grants.
Flexibly furloughing employees
If your business continues to be affected by coronavirus, you do not need to place all your employees on full furlough. You can also use the CJRS flexibly if you bring your employees back to work for some of their usual hours. You can claim a portion of your employee’s usual wage costs for the hours spent on furlough only.
As a reminder, you must not claim under the CJRS for any hours that your employees work. HMRC are carrying out compliance checks to identify error and fraud in claims.
Claims for furlough days in May 2021 must be made by 14 June 2021.
If you need help in planning ahead for future claim periods, please contact us.
For more on the CJRS see: Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you are making your own CJRS claims the template with the details of the employees, you are claiming for (on or after 27 May 2021) has been updated by HMRC.
See: Download a template if you're claiming for 16 to 99 employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

VAT Deferral Reminder– join online by 21 June
The VAT deferral new payment scheme is open for all businesses who deferred paying VAT due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and were unable to pay in full by 31 March 2021.
21 June is the last day you can join this scheme. If you join by this date you can apply to spread these payments across up to eight instalments.
You can join online here: Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you have deferred paying VAT, you may be charged a 5% penalty and/or interest if you do not join the VAT deferral new payment scheme by the deadline of 21 June, pay in full by 30 June, or get in touch with HMRC to make an alternative arrangement to pay by 30 June 2021.
See: One month left to join VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Private providers of COVID-19 testing: what you need to know
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is aware of private-sector (non-NHS) providers who are undergoing UKAS accreditation in order to provide COVID-19 testing services to companies or individuals.
Individuals with coronavirus symptoms should self-isolate immediately and get an NHS Test and Trace test to check if they have coronavirus.
Free NHS testing is for individuals with symptoms or who have been advised to take a test by a medical practitioner or a public agency.
Individuals who do not fall into these categories and require a test for other reasons, such as fit-to-fly, can contact providers for general COVID-19 testing below to book a private coronavirus test at their own expense.
Employers should refer to the list of providers for general COVID-19 testing below if they wish to partner with a third-party provider undergoing UKAS accreditation to provide workforce testing. For private-sector employers and third-party providers looking to set up their own workforce testing sites, please read the guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers.
The organisations on the lists do not constitute fully UKAS accredited providers but have demonstrated compliance with the applicable minimum standards, as they progress through the accreditation process.
Each scheme has different minimum standards, which means a test provider of general COVID-19 testing may not meet the minimum standards for Test to Release for international arrivals and/or day 2 and 8 testing for international arrivals.
The lists are not exhaustive. Some organisations which have self-declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for the type of testing service they offer have decided to opt out from being published on these lists.
Organisations may be taken off the lists if they are at any time found to be non-compliant with any of the minimum standards for the test service they are providing.
See: Private providers of COVID-19 testing: what you need to know - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad
Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status allows you to show others that you’ve had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine when travelling abroad to some countries or territories. A full course is currently 2 doses of any approved vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccination status is available to people who live in England and are registered with a GP.
You can get your vaccination status in digital or paper format.
See: Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Red, amber and green list rules for entering England
Countries rated as red, amber or green for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rules you must follow to enter England have been updated.
What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive. The webpage below lists countries and territories as red, amber or green and tells you what you must do if you have been in those countries or territories.
See: Red, amber and green list rules for entering England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)