With most coronavirus restrictions now lifted across the UK, a number of government schemes introduced to support small businesses will close at the end of September. Here’s a rundown of what’s changing.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the ‘furlough scheme’, allows employers to reclaim some of their employees’ wages if they have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The CJRS will effectively close at the end of September, but employers will still be able to submit claims in October for employees who were furloughed during the final month of the scheme. Employers must submit claims for September on or before 14th October 2021 and must make any amendments on or before 28th October 2021.
After 28th October, the scheme will be fully closed and employers won’t be able to make further claims. More information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is available on the government’s website.
Self Employment Income Support Scheme
The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allows many self-employed people who have been financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic to claim support in the form of taxable grant payments.
The fifth and final application window for the SEISS opened in July and will close at the end of September, so business owners looking to claim must do so on or before 30th September 2021. From October 2021, business owners will no longer be able to claim financial support using the SEISS.
More information about the Self Employment Income Support Scheme is available on the government’s website.
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is a government initiative to repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) they have paid to current or former employees because of coronavirus.
The scheme will close at the end of September, but employers will still be able to claim for employees who were off work during the final month of the scheme, so long as they do so on or before 31st December 2021.
More information about the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is available on the government’s website.
The reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism
In 2020, the government announced that a reduced rate of 5% VAT would apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes and similar premises. The same reduction was announced for the supply of accommodation and for admission to attractions. This reduction ran from 15th July 2020 and will end on 30th September 2021.
From 1st October 2021, the government is introducing a new reduced rate of 12.5% VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions. This new rate will remain in place until 31st March 2022. You can find more information about the new reduced rate on the government’s website.
To stay up to date with the latest news, take a look at our small business coronavirus hub.