The Government have announced several new measures in an effort to safeguard jobs and help the economy –
1. Job Retention Bonus – There will be a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) for each furloughed employee that remains employed through to at least the end of January 2021. Employees need to earn at least £520 per month between November 2020 and January 2021, have been furloughed by the employer and claimed for under the JRS and be continuously employed until at least 31st January 2021. The bonus will be available in February 2021. More information will be available by the end of July with full details released later this year.
2. VAT Reduction – A temporary reduction in the rate of VAT to 5% has been announced for eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. A similar reduction will apply to holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, caravan and campsites, and attractions such as cinemas, zoos and theme parks. This will run from 15th July 2020 to 12th January 2021.
3. A temporary increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold from £125,000 to £500,000, meaning no SDLT will be payable on the purchase of a main home up to £500,000. The reduction applies immediately and runs until 31st March 2021.
4. Eat Out to Help Out – Diners can get 50% off meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating out at participating restaurants, bars, cafes etc during August. The establishment will need to have registered for the scheme in order to claim the 50%/£10 per head.
5. Previously announced changes to the JRS also start to come into effect. Claims for periods up to 30th June need to be submitted by 31st July. From 1st August JRS will not cover employers National Insurance or pension contributions.