Furlough and SEISS grant changes re November lockdown

As a result of the latest lockdown, announced on 31 October, 2020, two important changes have been made to the above schemes.

Firstly, furlough (or Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, CJRS) was planned to end on 31 October, to be replaced by the JSS schemes, but has instead been extended for November. The furlough extension will see employers being able to claim 80% of furloughed employee wages, other criteria etc remain the same. Employees must have been on the employer’s payroll and details submitted to HMRC under RTI submissions before the end of October. **Update 5/11/20 – the furlough scheme has now been extended to March 2021 but the jobs retention bonus originally due for payment in February is now in doubt**

Secondly, there are two changes to the self employed income support scheme (SEISS). This is available to sole traders and partners who were eligible for the first two SEISS payments earlier in the year. Unfortunately, the eligibility criteria hasn’t changed, so those who were ineligible for the first two payments remain ineligible for the November onwards payments. The extension will last initially for three months from November 2020 to January 2021. The government will pay 80% of average monthly profits for November and then 40% of average monthly profits for December and January. The claims will be made monthly, with eligible sole traders and partners being able to claim from 30 November 2020 using their Gov.uk account. **Update 5/11/20 – SEISS scheme support has now been increased to 80% for each month instead of reducing to 40% – unfortunately still no change in the eligibility rules, so those excluded from claiming the first two payments remain excluded as things stand**

Details are, again, sketchy at this early stage, but hopefully more detail will be provided on the gov.uk website in due course.