COVID-19: Autumn Update

PM Boris Johnson reveals COVID-19 Autumn/Winter plan

On 14 September the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the government’s plans to tackle Coronavirus throughout the Autumn and Winter period. He warned that “the pandemic is far from over and remains a risk“.

The government’s two step plan was made up of the following:

Plan A:

  • Those that have not yet taken up the vaccination will be encouraged to do so.
  • Vaccines will be offered to 12-15 years olds.
  • A booster jab programme will begin from next month. Eligibility for the vaccine will include those living in residential care homes for older adults, all adults aged 50 years and over as well as frontline health and social care workers.
  • Test and Trace programme to continue to identify those who test positive for COVID-19 and must self isolate.

Plan B:

The Prime Minister described the following measures as those “that we can call upon only if they are needed and supported by the data to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS”.

  • The wearing of face coverings to be legally mandatory in certain places.
  • The public urged to act more cautiously.
  • Guidance on working from home could be issued.
  • Vaccine passports could become mandatory for large scale events and other settings.

The Prime Minister added that the plan would “give us the confidence that we don’t have to go back to the lockdowns of the past”.

You can read the government’s full published plan here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to close soon

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will come to a close on 30 September 2021. For claims relating to August and September 2021, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

Deadline for claiming

Claims for September 2021 must be submitted by 14 October 2021. Any amendments must be made by 28 October 2021.

How to make a claim

You must have the following steps in place before you can make a claim:

  • Be enrolled for PAYE online
  • Your bank account number and sort code
  • The billing address on your bank account/statements
  • Your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • The number of employees you are furloughing
  • Each of those employee’s National Insurance and payroll or employee numbers
  • The full amounts of employee wages you’re claiming for
  • Keep your payroll up to date and report the leaving date for employees that stop working for you before the end of the pay period that they leave in
  • Comply with all requests from HMRC to provide any employee data for any past Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims

What happens after you have claimed

Once you have claimed, you will receive a claim reference number. HMRC will check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by BACs into your bank account within 6 working days.

What to do if you miss the claim deadline

For claim periods from 1 November, HMRC may accept late claims if all of the following applies:

  • You have a reasonable excuse (this would include a bereavement, a hospital stay or postal delays).
  • You have taken reasonable care to try and claim on time.
  • You have claimed without delay as soon as you were able to.

Full details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and how it works can be found on the Government website.

For further advice or support for your business, contact our Business Services team on 01903 234094.