Following the Chancellor’s statement on 22nd October 2020, we have highlighted two government support schemes that we believe could be of interest to the construction community.
Announced on 22.10.20
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant has been given an Extension by the Government.
It will provide support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods:
To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:
A first taxable grant at the start of November will cover 40% of average monthly trading profits, with a limit of £3,750 in total. It will be paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits.
The second grant, with the same terms, will cover a three-month period from the start of February 2021 until the end of April 2021.
The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions.
Note: Self-employed people who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme.
However, job retention schemes offer options if you operate through PAYE.
There are more than five million self-employed people in the UK. Roughly a fifth of the self-employed are in the construction sector, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Announced on 22.10.20 - now delayed til furlough scheme ends 31st March 2021
The Job Support Scheme (JSS) replaces furlough (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). It was designed to help people who couldn’t do their jobs and prevent mass redundancies during lockdown.
When originally announced, the JSS – effective from 1 November 2020 – saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked. And it required employers to be working 33% of their normal hours.
However the announcement on 22 October about JSS (open) reduces the employer contribution to those unworked hours to just 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible. That means that if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the government would be contributing £543 and their employer only £44.
Employers will continue to receive the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus. The Job Support Scheme (Closed) for businesses legally required to close, remains unchanged.
To qualify, your staff must have been on your payroll since 23 September.
You can move them on and off the scheme, or ask them to work different hours, but each working arrangement must cover at least seven days.
You cannot make anyone on this scheme redundant or put on notice until after the JSS grant stops being claimed.
Employers will be reimbursed by the government for its share after salaries have been paid. The scheme will run for six months from 1 November, and then be reviewed.
Previous articles relating to government support during the Covid-19 crisis can be found here: