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the giftware association



The last time I wrote to you was at the end of June, and a lot has happened in the meantime - the furlough scheme changed to allow flexible furlough, restrictions were eased and tightened again, some of you unfortunately had to lose employees, some of you have recruited, and I had a wedding put back and then brought forward with 3 days notice. It's been a busy time for me professionally and personally.

How's it been for you? I am pleased to know that most of you are still in business and hope that will continue through this crisis.

Here are some things that may help with that:

CJRS - furlough as we know it ends on 31 October 2020. 30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for furlough ending on or before 31 October 2020.

Use this time to check with your accountant and payroll provider that your have claimed correctly - and have not under or over claimed.

Job Retention Bonus - a one-off payment of £1000 for every employee who was previously furloughed (and claimed for) who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021.
Again, check with your accountant and payroll provider on how to make this claim.

Job Support Scheme - this scheme operates from 1 November 2020 for 6 months (30 April 2021)
Its purpose is to protect viable jobs, to support businesses where there is work to be done but where they need more time for demand to recover. You cannot claim for employees who are made redundant (or placed on notice of redundancy) during this time.
The employee, being claimed for, needs to work at least 1/3rd (33%) of their normal hours, which you pay at their normal (contracted) rate. The unworked hours are split between you, the Government and the employee. You will pay, at a rate calculated in a similar fashion to the calculation used for the furlough scheme, 1/3rd of these hours, the Government 1/3rd (capped at £697.92), and the employee will take a reduction in pay of 1/3rd for the unworked hours. They will be assured a minimum of 77% of their normal wages.
This is not restricted to those who were furloughed, but the employee must be on payroll (and RTI) as at 23 September 2020. HMRC intends to inform the employees direct of the full details of the claim in relation to them.

Job Support Scheme - you will need to agree this in writing with the employees that are affected. This is to include reduced working hours, pattern of work, and the pay reduction they will be taking as a result of the scheme. I will be drafting letters as this approaches.
You can vary the hours worked throughout the 6 months, which will need a letter making the change, each time.
And, remember, the employee will be accruing holidays throughout this period (I would argue this is on their normal contracted hours), so think about how you want to manage these.
For calculations - this isn't my area of expertise, so consult your accountant or payroll provider.

Kickstart Scheme - looks to reduce long term unemployment within young people, aged 16 to 24 years old.

If you employ a young person, who is on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, you will receive 100% of minimum wage for 25 hours (including NIC and pension contributions) for 6 months. You can pay more and offer more hours.
The aim is for the young person to gain skills and experience (and hopefully, you'll keep them on).
I have a contact who can take you through the application process at no cost to you and source the additional support the young person might need - training, mentoring, coaching, internal and external (again, at not cost to you).

Getting back to work - I continue to have calls about working from home, not working from home, coming into work etc. This virus is not going away anytime soon and some of your team will be more nervous than others. I'm happy to discuss your individual circumstances, but remember:
Communicate, show empathy and do your risk assessments.

I'm still here to help - ask about Kickstart and Management Training and burden me with your HR concerns. A problem shared....

Keep well, keep sane, stay in business.

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