Employees & Self-Employed

Employees – understanding your rights at work.

Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, have launched a new website aimed at helping workers impacted by COVID-19 measures to get the relevant advice and support they need and understand their rights at work, including advice on working safely, furlough, working from home, flexible working, holiday, SSP and other useful guidance.

Visit www.acas.org.uk/rights-at-work for more information.

Employment & Benefits Support

The Department for Work and Pensions has launched a new website, to provide clear, factual information on employment and benefits support with advice on housing, furlough, sick pay and self-employment, alongside advice and FAQs for employers, those already claiming and those making a new claim. Find out more

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until 31 March 2021.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers  starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employers can use the portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

  • Furloughed workers across the UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500.
  • From August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.
  • The employer payments will substitute the contribution HMG is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.
  • Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, which will continue for a further month.
  • Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5% of total employment costs.
  • The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come in on Sunday 1st November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

Additional guidance will be set out shortly.

Self-Employed Support

The grant for Self Employment Income Support is being extended from 1 November 2020. The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. 

  • The government will provide two taxable SEISS grants to support those experiencing reduced demand due to COVID-19 but are continuing to trade, or temporarily cannot trade.
  • It will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS grant one and grant two, and meets the eligibility criteria.
  • Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering 3 months. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021. The government will pay a taxable grant which is calculated based on 80% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £3,750.
  • The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April 2021. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

For information regarding SSP, furloughing staff and other HR questions, please visit our Legal & HR page.

Self-assessment: self-assessed income tax payments due in July 2020, will now be deferred to January 2021.