10/14/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/15/2020 02:37
Published on: 14 October 2020
The Prime Minister has set out how the UK Government will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three-tiered system of local COVID-19 alert levels in England.
The Prime Minister has announced the new three tier alert system in outline, but undoubtedly there will be more detail that will follow over the next few days. British Marine is now reviewing the back to business industry guidance in reference to the changes.
Three tier alert level system
The Government announced the new three tier system for COVID-19 control, which came into effect on Wednesday. Every part of England will be designated as of the following three alert zones:
Local COVID Alert Level - Medium
This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place. This means:
Local COVID Alert Level - High
This is for areas with a higher level of infections. This means the following additional measures are in place:
Local COVID Alert Level - Very High
This is for areas with a very high level of infections. The Government will set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures.
The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:
People will be able to check what alert level any particular areas is in through an online postcode checker.
Job Support Scheme Guidance Updated
The Guidance for the Job Support Scheme has been amended to include businesses required to close as a result of the new Alert Scheme. It has also been updated to clarify the support for businesses with different rateable values.
Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme
The Government has published guidance on the Test and Trace Payment Support Scheme. People contacted through the Test and Trace system in England and told that they need to self-isolate are eligible for a £500 payment if they meet the following criteria:
People in England who do not fulfil the above criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment, could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if they meet the following criteria:
Visa Guidance Update
The guidance on applying for visas has been updated to say that customers can now apply for a visit visa from any VAC. Read more.
New Guidance on the Job Retention Bonus
Further information has been published on how businesses can claim the Government's Job Retention Bonus.
The Job Retention Bonus is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to you (the employer), for each eligible employee that you furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021.
You'll be able to claim the bonus between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021. You do not have to pay this money to your employee.
Who Can Claim?
You can claim the bonus if you're an employer who has furloughed employees and made an eligible claim for them through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Your employee must have been eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for you to be eligible for the bonus.
You can still claim the bonus if you make a claim for that employee through the Job Support Scheme. Guidance on the Job Support Scheme will be published soon.
If you have repaid Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant amounts to HMRC you cannot claim the bonus for any employees that you have not paid using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant because you have repaid all the grant amounts you claimed for them. This applies regardless of the reason why you repaid the grant amounts.
Employees You Can Claim For
You can claim for employees that:
If HMRC are still checking your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims, you can still claim the Job Retention Bonus but your payment may be delayed until those checks are completed.
HMRC will not pay the bonus if you made an incorrect Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim and your employee was not eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The Minimum Income Threshold
To be eligible for the bonus you must make sure that your employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold.
To meet the minimum income threshold you must pay your employee a total of at least £1,560 (gross) throughout the tax months:
You must pay your employee at least one payment of taxable earnings (of any amount) in each of the relevant tax months.
The minimum income threshold criteria apply regardless of:
The HMRC will check that your employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold and will check information you've submitted through Full Payment Submissions via Real Time Information (RTI).
If You Are Making Redundancies
If you make redundancies, you must comply with the normal rules for redundancy, which include using fair redundancy criteria. These rules apply even if this means that fewer of your employees are eligible for the Job Retention Bonus.
Further information can be found here.