As we reach the end of August, you can really feel the change in the season and the start of autumn. Normally, we’d be thinking about back to school and the start of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ about now but as with a lot of things, it will be a bit different this year.

One thing that has been reassuringly familiar though is how busy Cornwall has been this month. Lots of holidaymakers have been enjoying a bit of a break and our tourism and hospitality clients have been busy looking after everyone, which in turn leads to a busy payroll for us!

So whilst the Coronavirus updates pace of change has slowed a little, there are still some news this month, so here’s our update:

Furlough Scheme

As we mentioned in our blog last month, the flexible Job Retention Scheme has continued unchanged in August but modifications are due next week. From the 1st September, the scheme will only cover 70% of the wages of furloughed employees (down from 80%) as the support starts to taper off towards the end of the scheme. This means that employers will have to top up more of the employees’ wages or the employees will see a cut in the money they are paid.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The second phase of the SEISS opened for applications last week and self-employed people can now claim a second grant if their business was impacted by Coronavirus after 14th July 2020.

This time the grant will be calculated on 70% of average monthly profits over the last 3 years and will be paid in one lump sum to cover 3 months.

At the moment, there are no plans to extend the scheme further.

Grant schemes

Most of the grant schemes funded by central government have now closed to new applications although you can use this support finder tool to see if you are eligible for anything.

The Cornwall Growth and Skills Hub has just announced that a new Kickstart Grant scheme launches on 2nd September which will pay up to £5,000 to help businesses which have been affected by the pandemic to start to recover. More information can be found here.

Job Retention Bonus

People are beginning to come off furlough and return to work although it is clear that pressure on businesses is not easing off. The Chancellor recently announced a one-off Job Retention Bonus which is a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who was on furlough but who is still employed by the employer on 31st January 2021.

The bonus will be paid through the PAYE scheme from February 2021 so we will be looking after this for our clients early next year. More guidance is due next month but this page introduces the scheme.

There are signs that things are returning to some sort of normal as the summer comes to an end but the pandemic isn’t over by any means. We are still subject to social restrictions and new challenges will come up as children go back to school. But as always, we are here to help with any of your payroll queries and can still take on the overall management of your payroll which will be one less thing for you to worry about.