Covid-19 -Job Retention Bonus & Further Measures

Following yesterday’s announcement, the Chancellor introduced the Job Retention Bonus.

A one-off payment of £1,000 payable to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Payable for each furloughed employee that remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. This bonus provides additional support to retain employees.

Eligibility

Employees will need to:

• Earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January

• Have been furloughed at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

• Have been continuously employed up until at least 31 January 2021.

The bonus can be claimed by employers from February 2021. This is once accurate Real Time Information data to 31 January has been received. 

Further information

Full guidance will be published in the autumn with more information about the scheme available by the end of this month.

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

Details on how to make a claim can be found here.

During August, diners can get 50% off Monday to Wednesday. The discount applies to meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person. Valid when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered.  Restaurants, cafes and pubs can sign-up for the scheme here.  Further guidance is available from HMRC.  The Government has provided marketing resources for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. There are posters, images and other promotional materials for use by establishments who are taking part in the Scheme.

VAT reduction for Hospitality and Tourism Sector

From 15‌‌‌ ‌July until 12‌‌‌ ‌January 2021, the UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% for the Hospitality and Tourism sectors. This is applicable to any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. It also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as admission to attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos.  Further details expected to be published later.

VAT Flat Rate Scheme

New flat rate percentages from 15 July until 12 January have been announced, which include:

  • Catering 4.5%
  • Pubs 1%
  • Hotels and accommodation 0%

Hospitality

If you supply food and non-alcoholic beverages for consumption on your premises, for example, a restaurant, café or pub, you’re currently required to charge VAT at the standard rate of 20%. However, when you make these supplies between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021 you will only need to charge 5%.

You will also be able to charge the reduced rate of VAT on your supplies of hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic drinks.

More information about how these changes apply to your business can be found in Catering, takeaway food (VAT Notice 709/1). 

New Plans to ensure pubs, restaurants and cafes offer both smoking and non-smoking outdoor options

People using pubs, restaurants and cafes will soon have greater freedom to choose non-smoking outdoor areas following an amendment tabled today to legislation in Parliament.

Under the Business and Planning Bill, the government had already set out a range of measures to help these vital businesses safely reopen and get staff back to work by making it quicker, easier and cheaper to operate outside.

The government will not ban outdoor smoking. Since the existing ban was introduced, businesses have invested heavily in their outdoor areas and banning outdoor smoking would lead to significant closures and job losses.

However, the new amendment will ensure that customers are given more choice by ensuring premises offer separate seating for smokers and non-smokers outside. However, today’s amendment will ensure that customers are given more choice by ensuring premises offer separate seating for smokers and non-smokers outside. For further information click here.

 

Hotel and Holiday Accommodation

You will also benefit from the temporary reduced rate if you:

  • supply sleeping accommodation in a hotel or similar establishment
  • make certain supplies of holiday accommodation
  • charge fees for caravan pitches and associated facilities
  • charge fees for tent pitches or camping facilities

More information about how these changes apply to your business can be found in Hotels and holiday accommodation (VAT Notice 709/3).

VAT on Admission charges to attractions

If you charge a fee for admission to certain attractions where the supplies are currently standard rated, you will only need to charge the reduced rate of VAT between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021.

However, if the fee you charge for admission is currently exempt that will take precedence and your supplies will not qualify for the reduced rate.

This applies to:

  • shows
  • theatres
  • circuses
  • fairs
  • amusement parks
  • concerts
  • museums
  • zoos
  • cinemas
  • exhibitions
  • similar cultural events and facilities

Examples of where the reduced rate may apply could be attactions such as:

  • a planetarium
  • botanical gardens
  • studio tours
  • factory tours

More information about how these changes apply can be found in VAT: Admission charges to attractions.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold increase

In England and Northern Ireland – increasing the threshold under which no SDLT is paid on the purchase of a main home from £125,000 to £500,000, with immediate effect until 31‌‌‌ ‌March 2021.

If you have any questions, we are here to help.

For more information, search 'plan for jobs' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

Kickstart Scheme

In order to support people finding jobs, the Chancellor announces the Kickstart Scheme, which will provide £2 billion to support the creation of “high quality” six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

The Government will provide employers that offer the placements funding equivalent to 100 per cent of the relevant level of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 25 hours a week. It will also cover the associated Employer NICs and minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.  Rishi Sunak also outlined additional measures, including funding for traineeships and employers that hire new apprentices, as well as funding for several careers and job-finding programmes.

The apprenticeships funding will provide £2,000 to employers in England for every apprentice hired under the age of 25 and £1,500 for each newly hired apprentice aged 25 or older. This funding is in addition to schemes already in place to support employers in taking on apprentices.