Grants & HR – Important Dates: 10th November
Please read on for two important updates relating to business grants and the furlough scheme.
Business Grant Update – Applications Open: November 16th
The Government has announced a new grant support package for businesses that have been forced to close due to the new Covid-19 national restrictions (November 5th, 2020).
Specifically, grants are for the following amounts:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants will be £1,334 per 28 day qualifying period
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k to £51k grants will be £2,000 per 28 day qualifying period
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants will be £3,000 per 28 day qualifying period
Eligible businesses are those that meet the following criteria:
- have a rateable value and pay non-domestic rates (business rates)
- have been forced to close by the government and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses. A full list can be found on uk
- were trading as of 4 November 2020
- are occupying a non-domestic premises on the ratings list as of 5 November 2020
Warwick District Council will begin to accept applications for these grants week commencing 16 November 2020. Please keep checking on this page for the application forms to become available.
For more information including the criteria, please click here.
Please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you have and we will seek to have them answered.
HR Update – Important Deadline: November 13th
Please see this helpful note below from our HR advisors – Absolute Works. This relates to business owners who have not yet furloughed themselves or a staff member and don’t know whether you might need to going forwards. In this case, it is recommended that an agreement is in place by the end of this week to be prepared in the case furlough is needed in future. Given the change to the flexible furlough scheme, it is also worth checking that any existing furlough agreements are sufficient for the future.
Guidance is being updated regularly so it always pays to check with your HR advisors if you have any questions. Also, if you do not have this support and this presents any questions for you please get in touch.
———Furlough Scheme Update———
We are writing to you to highlight an important deadline in terms of the furlough scheme.
If you intend to utilise the Job Retention Scheme for employees where you have not done so previously you must have an agreement in place where you intend to furlough or flexibly furlough those employees. These agreements can be made retrospectively (having effect from 1 November 2020) but only retrospective agreements put in place up to and including the 13 November 2020 may be relied on for the purposes of a CJRS claim.
What do you need to do?
If you already have in place a furlough agreement for the employees that you have furloughed or intend to furlough between now and the end of the scheme (March 2021) then check whether the agreement requires any amendments or whether your employees require a further letter/ communication to reconfirm their status.
If you do not already have a furlough agreement in place for employees you intend to furlough between now and the end of the scheme (March 2021) this need to be rectified. Please get in touch if you would like some support with this.
Other important things to note
- Employers do not need to place all of their employees on furlough and they can fully furlough employees if they wish. Employees cannot undertake any work for their employer during the hours that the employer records them as being on furlough.
- There is no minimum furlough period. Flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time. Employees can enter into a flexible furlough agreement more than once.
- Fully furlough employees – this means the employee does no work for the employer
- Flexibly furlough employees – this means employees can work for any amount of time, and any work pattern and claim the grant for the furloughed hours, with reference to hours the employee would usually have worked in that period
Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. When employers are making decisions in relation to the CJRS process, including deciding who to offer furlough to, employment, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.
To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached a collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed or flexibly furloughed.
- Make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
- Keep a written record of the agreement for 5 years
- Keep records of how many hours their employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (for example, not working), for 6 years
The employee does not have to provide a written response and employers do not need to place all their employees on furlough. Although, it is prudent to at least obtain an acknowledgement from the employee to save any future dispute or misunderstanding.
If you have any queries, or need any support with your HR and Employment Law, please let us know.
Steph & Alison