A little Coronavirus Business update of current schemes and support to help keep you on your feet.
Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
With Pubs, Bars and restaurants able to open inside from Monday the Eat out to Help out scheme comes into force. Discounts can be given Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3rd to 31st August once you’ve registered for the scheme.
You could be eligible if you sell food for immediate on-premises consumption.
This could include:
- public houses that serve food
- hotel restaurants
- restaurants and cafes within tourist attractions, holiday sites and leisure facilities
- dining rooms within members’ clubs
- workplace and school canteens
You can use the scheme:
- all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020
- to offer a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner)
- to claim the money back from the government
This includes soft drinks and/or packaged snacks, as long as they are for immediate consumption on the premises.
It doesn’t included Alcohol or tobacco.
There is no minimum spend requirement.
Be Big Brained
While temperatures soar and we all swelter, don’t let your good intentions melt away.
After all the uncertainty and financial worry of lock-down its vital that we all work smarter than ever before. Post lock-down, running a business will be challenging and making the right decisions at the right time will be crucial. You won’t be able to do this if you’re lost in a frenzy of activity.
Multi tasking has its merits, but to make key decisions you need ‘thinking space’. Your prefrontal cortex is a tiny 4% of your brain yet its your decision making engine. Overload it too much and you’ll feel strung-out and unable to think clearly, make plans or set goals. All skills you need most right now!
So how do you save your brain power?
Don’t waste your morning-fresh brain going through emails or dealing with multiple distractions. Instead work out your days priorities and tackle the most important or challenging first.
Make time to think – limit interruptions to conserve your brain power and you’ll get tasks done more quickly too.
Whenever possible, focus on one task at a time and set yourself a timescale. Delegate or temporarily put the rest on hold. Put your phone on Do not Disturb until you finish. You’ll do each one better and will cut down on ‘re-doing’ time.
Overload and Explode…
Every-time our door bell rings our dogs go into an unending chorus of yaps. Throw in the shrieks of 2 excited grandchildren and a screaming baby. With that, now try a complex calculation or a fiddly repair . Take it from me its impossible to even think and tempers can easily fray!
Please don’t let the yaps, shrieks and screams of your business sap all your brain power. To get through the tough times ahead use your most powerful tool to it’s best advantage. Because being busy and being productive are two very different things!
For more ideas read Your Brain at Work by David Rock
Self Employed Income Support
Claim the Second phase of the Self-employed income support grant from 17th of August and will be for 70% of your average trading profits.
The scheme’s been extended. If you were eligible for the first grant and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant from 17 August 2020.
You can make a claim for the second and final grant if you’re eligible. This is true even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.
Training and Employment in Wales
The Welsh Government have launched a £40 million skills and jobs fund.
The package will provide:
- more than £20 million to incentivise employers to recruit and retain 5,000 apprentices, increase the capacity of traineeship programmes and support more graduates to access work experience, work tasters and paid work placements
- almost £9 million to help workers access retraining and find new employment, including in areas of skills demand, through ReACT and the Union Learning Fund
- funding for traineeships, Working Wales and Communities for Work Plus will be increased to help match people to job opportunities and promote self-employment and new ways of working
- support for a new Barriers Fund, offering up to £2,000 to support people who may not have previously considered self-employment, in particular women, young people, people from BAME communities and disabled people
Further Furlough Changes
From 1st August Employers will no longer be able to claim Employers NI and Employers Pension, so you will need to cover this cost yourself .
Please Click Here to access the updated spreadsheet you need to complete for your August Furlough Claims. Please send back to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are FAQs that may help you.
What information do I need to provide for August payroll if my employees are on flexible furlough?
We will need confirmation from you of the exact number of hours and days that they have actually worked for the whole pay period. Also (if not provided previously) the attached spreadsheet confirming the days and hours they would usually work (contracted hours prior to original furlough date). If this is not known as your employees work on a variable basis then we will base this on the equivalent hours processed based on the furlough pay calculated (higher of the average earnings for 19/20 tax year or same earnings in the same month in previous tax year).
HMRC require the exact number of hours worked when submitting the claim, therefore we will need this confirmed by you, we will be unable to make any assumptions. If you provide us with information to submit in advance and your employees work more than what you have told us then we will need to recalculate your claim and you will have to pay some of the grant back to HMRC. Therefore please only provide us with information and approve the payroll approval request when you have certainty about the hours you need to claim for, this may result in you having to pay employees before the grant is paid to you as the claim may be submitted later in the month.
Do I have to put all of my employees on flexible furlough?
No, you can continue to keep some or all of your employees on full furlough which means you can continue to claim 80% of their usual wage for July, plus associated employer NI and pension. The new scheme is designed to enable you to bring back employees as required, which may mean reduced working hours or reduced staff numbers.
Can I put all of my employees on flexible furlough?
Only employees that have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks, taking place any time between 1 March and 30 June 2020, are eligible to be put on flexible furlough leave.
For the minimum 3 consecutive week period to be completed by 30 June, the last day an employee could have started furlough for the first time was 10 June. Unless you have an employee returning from statutory leave.
Can company directors be put on flexible furlough?
Yes, HMRC guidance states that company directors can continue to be furloughed from 1 July so long as you have previously submitted a claim for them in relation to a furlough period of at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June. If you are looking to utilise flexible furlough, we will need an idea of your usual working hours and confirmation of the hours actually worked. The furlough claim will then be worked out on a pro rata basis. As a company director we appreciate this may be difficult to provide and it may therefore be more appropriate to consider yourself as not furloughed if you are back to running your business as normal.
Is there a minimum time I have to bring my employee back (e.g. 1 day)?
No, employees can work as little or as often as required and furlough grant can be claimed for the difference between the hours they would usually work and the hours actually worked.
Can my employee refuse to come back onto a flexible furlough basis?
This is an HR matter, however some employees could be self-isolating and the Shielding rules are still in place in all parts of the UK until at least the end of July. If an employee is refusing to return to work, you should seek independent HR Advice.
For more Coronavirus Business updates, click here.
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