As businesses slowly start to see a return to normal trading activity, some of the support introduced by the Chancellor during the pandemic is coming to an end, and businesses will need to take action to prepare.
There are 4 main areas where Government support is coming to end on 30 September 2021:
The CJRS ends on 30 September 2021The CJRS is due to cease on 30 September 2021. Employers must then decide whether to:
- Bring furloughed employees back to work under their existing contracts.
- Agree changes to employment contracts with furloughed employees.
- Terminate the employment of furloughed employees. Normal redundancy rules will apply.
In each case, employment, equality and discrimination laws must be considered.
It is also important that financial forecasts are amended to take account of changes once the furlough scheme ends, including revising your breakeven calculations - read our guide on how to manage your breakeven.
Read our article here which explains options for businesses at the end of the furlough scheme.
COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebate scheme ends on 30 September 2021This rebate scheme is now due to end on 30 September 2021. Eligible employers must make all claims for periods to 30 September 2021 by 31 December 2021 or face missing out on the rebate.
From 1 October 2021, the pre-COVID rules will apply, and employers will have to cover the cost of SSP for staff who cannot work because they are affected by Coronavirus, with no government support. SSP is currently £96.35 per week for up to 28 weeks.
Since the suspension of the rule which allows employers to avoid paying sick pay for the first three days of illness, implemented at the start of the pandemic, has not been repealed, employers will have to continue to pay SSP from the first day of sickness, putting them in a worse position than before the pandemic.
Temporarily reduced VAT rate in hospitality sector ends 30 September 2021VAT rate increase from 1 October 2021 applies to hospitality businesses and the VAT rate is schedule to increase from 5% to 12.5%.
The rate was reduced to 5% on 15 July 2020 as part of the government’s package of measures to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is increasing to 12.5% from 1 October 2021, with the standard rate of 20% due to return from 1 April 2022.
Relevant businesses should focus on preparing for 1 October and taking steps to ensure VAT is accounted for correctly, thus reducing the risk of errors and potential penalties.
Stamp Duty holiday ends 30 September 2021This is strictly actually not related to business as it only applies to residential properties, but since July 2020 there has been Stamp Duty reduction on house purchases, which has been phased out until 30 September 2021. From 1 October, home buyers have to pay stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland at the levels that were in place before the holiday was introduced.
If you’re trying to figure out how much you will pay in stamp duty, try out the government’s calculator.
If you have any questions on any of these Government support measures, please get in touch.
Information correct as at time of publishing – 29/09/21. No action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice.