We’re one month into our return to the office and our team are happy to be back working under the new normal conditions and assisting clients through this difficult period.
Our clients are generally busy working their way through the changing furlough situation, finding the correct tipping point to bring back workers in stages. A number of our clients are using the flexible furlough scheme in order to do this. As it stands, furlough will continue to the end of October, with employers contributions set to increase each month.
You can find all the latest Barnett Ravenscroft and business news in our newsletter below. If you would like to talk through any particular points, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Barnett Ravenscroft Client Meetings
We have been delighted to welcome a number of clients back to our office for meetings over the last month. Our meeting rooms are Covid-secure and we’re looking forward to seeing many more of you throughout August.
We are also fully set-up to offer virtual meetings through Microsoft Teams, so do let us know if you would prefer to meet with us virtually (an option many clients have already took up).
Barnett Ravenscroft Payroll Team
After more years than she probably wishes to acknowledge, Carol Sutton is taking a well deserved retirement from Barnett Ravenscroft. Carol has been a wonderful colleague of ours and a true asset to our Payroll team, loved by many of our clients. We all wish all the best in her future. Dawn and Brenda will be heading up the Payroll team moving forwards and are on hand to look after you.
New small business grants
Thousands of smaller businesses in England are set to benefit from £20 million of new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government has announced.
Small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 – £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track.
The support will be fully funded by the Government with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially and the support will be fully funded by the government from the England European Regional Development Fund and distributed through local enterprise partnerships (LEP) Growth Hubs, embedded in local areas across England.
LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses, set up in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to help determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth and job creation within the local area.
Activities supported through the £20 million can include:
- One-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus,
- Grants (£1,000 – £5,000) to help businesses access specialist professional advice such as HR, accountants, legal, financial, IT and digital, and to purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify.
You can read more information about this new grant on the Govt website here.
Job Retention Bonus – Latest News
The government is introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment, after the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020.
The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between the 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021.
An employer will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus for any employees that were eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and they have claimed a grant for. Where a claim for an employee was incorrectly made, a Job Retention Bonus will not be payable.
All employers are eligible for the scheme including recruitment agencies and umbrella companies.
Employers should ensure that they have:
- complied with their obligations to pay and file PAYE accurately and on time under the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system for all employees
- maintained enrolment for PAYE online
- a UK bank account
Employers must keep their payroll up to date and accurate and address all requests from HMRC to provide missing employee data in respect of historic Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims. Failure to maintain accurate records may jeopardise an employer’s claim.
You can read more information about the Job Retention Bonus on the Govt website here
Making a registering a lasting power of attorney (LPA) during the Coronavirus outbreak
If you want to make an LPA now, you can still do so while observing government guidance on social distancing, self-isolating and shielding.
Making a LPA is an important decision that you should think about carefully. An LPA needs to be signed and witnessed by several people.
Once the LPA has been signed, you need to send it to the Government for registration. It may then be around 8 weeks before you get the registered LPA back and can start using it. This includes a 4-week waiting period required by law.
Video-witnessed wills to be made legal during Coronavirus Pandemic
The Government is to legalise the remote witnessing of wills – making it easier for people to record their final wishes during the coronavirus pandemic.