Quite aside from how your Family Christmas plans have been affected by COVID-19 , the Chancellor has been busy trying to put stepping stones in place to support business contend with tough conditions for what seems likely to continue for some months to come


Coronavirus Job Retention Extended Again

In a surprise move, the Chancellor has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is to be further extended until 30 April 2021.

News of the extension to the scheme has come earlier than expected, as previously the Chancellor had committed to reviewing the level of support available in January 2021. In his statement made on 17th December, the Chancellor confirmed that the review had come earlier to “provide certainty to businesses so that they can plan for the remainder of the winter and New Year”.

  1. Has Anything Else changed?
  • Government have confirmed that the eligibility criteria for the scheme, the grant levels available and employer contributions all remain the same.
  • The scheme means that the government will continue to pay 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked until 30 April 2021.
  • Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked.


Government Guaranteed COVID-19 Schemes

In his statement, the Chancellor also confirmed that deadlines for applying for government-guaranteed COVID-19 loan schemes (CBILS, CLBILS and BBLS) had now been extended until 31 March 2021.

The extension is to ensure that businesses can continue to access monetary support in order to grow and recover.

You are strongly advised to review your cashflow projections as soon as practicable – with commitments made to HMRC for Time to Pay arrangements and the 12 month capital repayment holidays on BBLS and CBIL rapidly approaching for some, you should re-evaluate the cash needs of your business urgently.

If you need more support, please contact us – and remember you are able to top up facilities and replace a BBL facility with a CBIL facility (although you must settle the BBL facility out of a successful CBIL application).


Budget 2021 Date Announced

Also within his statement, the Chancellor confirmed that Budget 2021 will take place on 3 March 2021 and will provide further information on COVID-19 support packages.