General Business Help & Support News England - 20.09.2021

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


Claiming back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees.

HMRC have updated the guidance to confirm that employers can only claim for employees who were off work on or before 30 September 2021.

The online service you could use to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is now available.

See: Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Free Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Webinar

This webinar from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is designed to help employers understand Statutory Sick Pay Payments.

HMRC will look at who qualifies, how to calculate statutory sick pay and when to pay it, explain terms such as qualifying days and linking periods and highlight some of the differences in the rules about payments to employees who are sick or self-isolating because of coronavirus. This webinar takes place on 26 October 2021.

To register see: Registration (gotowebinar.com)

Live Events Reinsurance Scheme

On 5 August, the UK government announced that it is partnering with insurers to offer a cost indemnification insurance scheme which will make cover available against the cancellation, postponement, relocation or abandonment of events due to new UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to COVID-19.

The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme will support live events across the country — such as music festivals, conferences and business events — that are at risk of being halted or delayed due to an inability to obtain COVID-19 cancellation insurance. Cover will be available to purchase alongside standard commercial events insurance for an additional premium.

In order to be eligible, event organisers must purchase the relevant cover from participating insurers within the scheme. Event organisers must also have or purchase a standard events cancellation policy (or a policy which includes event cancellation coverage) provided at least in part by a participating insurer – the cover backed by the scheme will not be offered on a standalone basis.

  • Premium is set at 5% of the total value of insured costs (plus Insurance Premium Tax).
  • Claims will be subject to an excess of 5% of the value of the insured costs or £1,000 (whichever is higher) per policy.
  • Event organisers can purchase cover up to the full cost of their event, irrespective of when those costs are incurred.
  • Cover must be purchased at least 8 weeks prior to the event taking place. This requirement will however not apply for the first 12 weeks of the scheme.

The Scheme will run to 30 September 2022 with a review point in Spring 2022. Cover will be available to purchase through participating insurers. A number of prominent insurers in the Lloyd’s market, including Arch, Beazley, Dale, Hiscox and Munich are supporting the scheme, and the government expects more to follow. Event organisers can now start approaching these insurers to discuss their cover.

See: Live Events Reinsurance Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

UK Transition help for businesses

The Department for International Trade (DIT) have launched a new service for exporters. If you are a UK business and you want to sell goods or services abroad, use this service to ask the DIT export support team a question.

You can ask any question for your business, including on:

  • exporting to new markets
  • paperwork you need to sell your goods abroad
  • rules for a specific country where you want to sell services

See: Ask the export support team a question - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Check how to import or export goods

There is a new government tool check on how to import or export goods, which provides step by step tailored guidance. Use this service to get information about importing and exporting, including:

  • how to register your business for trading
  • which licences and certificates you need for your goods
  • paying the right tax and duty for your goods
  • how to make declarations for your goods to clear the UK border
  • which paperwork you need to keep

You will need to know:

  • where the goods are coming from or going to
  • the commodity code for the goods

See: Check how to import or export goods - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The use and risks of telephone surveys for monitoring, evaluation and research during COVID-19

Conducting surveys is one of the most effective methods for organisations collecting, monitoring, and evaluating research activity. Surveys traditionally involved face-to-face interviews, but the COVID-19 pandemic has meant telephone surveys have gained importance for organisations to continue generating evidence and ensuring informed decisions.

This guidance is for:

  • commissioners: donors and research and/or evaluation organisations and institutions commissioning data collection through phone surveys
  • suppliers and individuals conducting phone surveys
  • users: programme and policy decision-makers using information collected through phone surveys to take informed decisions

It aims to:

  • stimulate thinking and discussion for organisations to make better informed decisions on whether and how to use telephone surveys for data collection in the COVID-19 context
  • encourage commissioners and producers to establish mitigation strategies to address predictable risks and biases on telephone surveys
  • provide users of monitoring, evaluation and research products critical tools to better interpret evidence gained through phone surveys

See: How to assess the use and risks of telephone surveys for monitoring, evaluation and research during COVID-19 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update (CJRS)

Please talk to us about any issues you have with making a claim or preparing for the end of the scheme.

August furlough claims must be submitted by the deadline of Tuesday‌‌ ‌14 Sept‌‌ember.

For August and September, employers can claim 60% of furloughed employees' usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £1,875 per month per employee. They’ll need to contribute 20% from their own funds so that furloughed employees continue to be paid at least 80% of their usual wages in total, for the hours they do not work (up to a cap of £2,500 a month).

What you need to do now:

  • work out how much you can claim, and the contribution you will need to make to reach 80% of usual wages
  • submit any claims for August, no later than Tuesday‌‌ ‌14‌‌ ‌September
  • keep records supporting the grants they claim, in case HMRC need to check them
  • make sure you continue paying CJRS-related employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, and contact them if you are struggling to pay
  • prepare for the scheme closing on‌‌ ‌30‌‌ ‌September. Final claims for September must be submitted by Thursday‌‌ ‌14‌‌ ‌October.

See: Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

CJRS - Support available for employees if you are unable to bring them back to work.

There is UK Government support available for employees through the JobHelp website, offering a range of support, training and advice, to help people find their next opportunity. This includes the Kickstart scheme and other Plan for Jobs support measures, along with advice on learning new skills and sectors which are recruiting.

See: Plan for Jobs: skills, employment and support programmes for jobseekers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) update

If you are eligible for the latest SEISS grant you have until 30‌‌ ‌September to apply.

Reporting SEISS grants on tax returns:

SEISS grants are taxable and subject to National Insurance contributions, you should report any SEISS grants receivedon or before 5 April 2021 on the 2020-21 Self-Assessment tax return (filing deadline of 31‌‌ ‌January‌‌ ‌2022).

For most people, this means you need to report the first, second and third grants on the 2020-21 Self-Assessment if they were paid on or before 5 April 2021. The fourth and fifth grants should not be included in 2020-21 returns, as these were paid after 5 April 2021, and should instead go on the 2021-22 return (filing deadline of 31‌‌ ‌January‌‌ ‌2023).

Calculating turnover as a member of a partnership:

HMRC have been asked about customers who joined a partnership between April 2020 and April 2021. If you are in this situation, you need to work out the percentage share of the partnership’s turnover. It will be the same percentage of profit you took from the partnership in the 12-month period from April 2020 to April 2021. If you have other businesses, you should add the percentage share of the partnership to the turnover from these.

What not to include when calculating turnover for the fifth grant:

Anything reported as 'any other income' on tax returns should not be included when calculating turnover for the fifth SEISS grant. This includes things such as Universal Credit, maternity allowances, retirement income and foreign income.

You should also not include any previous coronavirus (COVID-19) support payments in the turnover, even though the payments may be taxable when calculating profit. COVID-19 support payments include:

  • previous SEISS grants
  • Eat Out to Help Out payments
  • local authority or devolved administration grants

See: Work out your turnover so you can claim the fifth SEISS grant - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Summary of updates to international travel

The UK government has issued a summary of developments on international travel and changes to the traffic light system during the summer 2021 recess period.

The summary covers the traffic light system, the Global travel taskforce news, managed quarantine service and testing.

See: Summary of updates to international travel - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

NHS COVID Pass

The requirements have been updated in the ‘Children’ section: children under 18 do not have to demonstrate their COVID-19 status for entry to domestic events or venues in England. Children aged 16 or over can get an NHS COVID Pass for travel but should follow the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to.

See: NHS COVID Pass - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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