Updates on job retention scheme (furlough), national lockdown restrictions and the traineeship scheme

Today, there have been a number of updates that may affect Blackburn BID businesses.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough)

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021.
  • Claims for furlough days in January 2021 must be made by 15 February 2021.
  • You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.
  • If your employer claims for periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, HMRC will publish details of their claim on GOV.UK. to:
    • meet transparency commitments
    • deter fraudulent claims
  • HMRC publish claim details monthly. You can view the latest data for claims made through the scheme https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employers-who-have-claimed-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
  • You can request that HMRC does not publish details about your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim, if you can show evidence that it would result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to:
    • You or anyone living with you
    • An individual associated with your business or anyone living with them
      • Examples of individuals associated with your business include:
        • an employee
        • a director, officer or employee of that company
        • a partner, officer or employee of that partnership
        • a member or employee of a limited liability partnership
        • a settlor, trustee or beneficiary of a trust
  • You must make this request yourself, agents cannot do it for you.
  • HMRC will not publish any of your details until a decision has been made and you’ve been informed.
  • To submit a request, you’ll need your:
    • employer Government Gateway ID and password
    • employer PAYE reference number
    • business name
    • contact details
  • You must provide evidence of why you think there would be a serious risk. Evidence can be:
    • written details of why you think publication could lead to the threat of violence or intimidation
    • a police incident number if you’ve already been threatened or attacked
    • photos of a previous threat or attack
    • evidence of possible disruption or targeting
    • any other material which can support your request
  • You only need to submit one request for claim periods, and you can submit it here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ask-hmrc-not-to-publish-your-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-claim-details

Update on national lockdown restrictions

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a statement in the House of Commons. He confirmed that whilst so far the current lockdown appears to be driving the R rate down, they don’t yet have enough data to know exactly how soon it will be safe to re-open our society and the economy, nor do they have enough data to judge the full effect of vaccines in blocking transmission, or reducing hospital admissions or deaths.

The overall picture should be clearer by mid-February, and the government will carry out their review of restrictions as planned at this time. 

During w/c 22 February, the government will set out the results of their review and a gradual and phased approach to easing restrictions.  The plan will begin with “the most important principle of all – that re-opening schools is the National priority”. 

Bearing in mind that there will be 2 weeks’ notice given of children and teachers returning to face-to-face learning, the PM has said that “It will not be possible to re-open schools immediately after February half-term”.  

Subject to the continuing success of and progress with the vaccination programme, Boris Johnson said that the government hope to begin the re-opening schools beginning 8 March.  He went on to say that other restrictions will start to be lifted then or thereafter as and when the data permits.

Traineeship Employer Incentive Scheme now open

The Employer Incentive Scheme for trainees is now open.  Employers in England are being invited to apply for a new cash incentive to help them take on new trainees.

The Incentive will support young people to gain the skills and experience they need, helping them to get a job, an apprenticeship, or pursue further study. 

A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement. It can last from six weeks up to one year, although most run for less than six months. They focus on developing employability skills, alongside additional English, maths and digital skills, combined with a work placement lasting a minimum of 70 hours. 

This scheme will help businesses with the cost of delivering high-quality trainee work placements. This includes providing facilities, uniforms or helping with travel costs.

Businesses offering new traineeship opportunities will receive the £1,000 bonus for every trainee they take on, up to a maximum of 10 trainees.

Employers can claim the cash incentive for all work placements that have been completed since 1 September. 

You can find more information and the registration form here:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-young-people-to-develop-the-skills-for-apprenticeships-and-sustainable-employment-framework-for-delivery and here  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traineeship-employer-incentive-registration-form

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