You must have  heard the word UNPRECENTED almost as much as Coronavirus recently!  Well it is –never has there been so much POTENTIAL support from the Government for business. The team here at Lyness are focused on helping you through these times – stay positive , keep focused and don’t panic- help is at hand.  Here  you will find a summary of the financial packages made available by the Government to help businesses through these difficult times. However it’s not always as easy as it seems – talk to us about how you can access help for you and your business.

New announcements are being made daily!!
So check with us first on any of the help available below as it may have changed!

Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme is a six month initiative, replacing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which ends on 31 October, running from 1st November 2020 to 30th April 2021.

Unlike the July 2020 extension of the furlough scheme this replacement is open to all businesses across the UK whether or not they used the furlough scheme.

When announcing the scheme Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the furlough scheme must end and the Job Support Scheme act as replacement because the support must “adapt and evolve” to support viable jobs as he said “I can’t save every job, no Chancellor could”.

Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus is a £1000 one of taxable payment made to the employer for each employee who undertook a period of furlough (via the Job Retention Scheme) and has remained in continuous employment with that business until 31 January 2021.

The bonus will be claimable between 15 February and 31 March 2021 and does not have to be paid to the employee.

Employers can claim this bonus whether they use the replacement Job Support Scheme or not.

Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough)

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was initially launched by the Government in March 2020 to help businesses affected by Covid-19 support their workforce in the event they were unable to provide work for them.

The scheme allowed employers to furlough their workforce and apply for a grant covering 80% of each employee’s wages costs up to a maximum of £2500 per month plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

Why You Should Check
Every Furlough Claim You Made

The end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 31 October 2020 will coincide with a huge push from HMRC to investigate incorrect and fraudulent claims.  They are under pressure to recoup incorrectly claimed money as soon as possible as this will help support the funding of the ongoing schemes.

Many companies making large claims have already received HMRC “nudge letters” advising them to check their claims to avoid penalties.

A 90 day window has been given from the date of a claim to make corrections.

Tax Payment Deferrals

Self-Assessment Tax payers were initially offered the opportunity to defer their second payment on account for the 2019/20 tax year from the usual 31 July deadline to 31 January 2021 when the tax payer would be making their balancing payment for that tax year.  

As part of the Winter Economy Plan it was announced that tax payers with up to £30,000 of Self-Assessment liabilities due on 31 January 2021, whether or not they chose to defer could be paid in 12 month instalments under the time to pay arrangements meaning the final payment would not be due until 31 January 2021.

VAT Deferral

The government announced temporary changes to VAT payments due between 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020 to help businesses to manage their cashflow.

Between those dates you could choose whether to defer the payment to a later date or pay the VAT due as normal.

The period covered meant every business had one quarter of VAT which they could defer with no penalties or interest on deferral.

Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

It was announced in the Winter Economy Plan that the deadline for applications for CBILS has been extended to 30th November 2020.

CBILS was introduced to provide financial support to businesses who are losing revenue and seeing their cash flow disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through CBILS the government guarantees 80% of the loan.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Applications for this scheme will close on 30th November 2020.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was announced on 27th April 2020 to provide further government assistance for small businesses. 

Under this scheme businesses can apply for loans covering 25% of their turnover up to a maximum of £50,000.

And this time they are 100% government backed, with no repayments and no interest or fees for 12 months!

Lyness Cash Flow Planning Tool

Download this great tool to plan your cash flow- identify if you think you will have a shortfall in the crucial next few months and beyond. Then if you need a cash flow gap to be filled talk to us!

Click Here to Download

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

This scheme was announced to support people who are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus.  The initial grant was available to claim no later than 13 July 2020 with a second grant announced a s claimable no later than 19th October 2020.

Only applicants who received the initial grant were made eligible to receive the second grant. available.  

The second taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

You must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG)

The Local Restrictions Support Grant supports businesses that were trading normally and providing services in person to customers from their business premises before being ordered to close for at least 3 weeks due to local restrictions imposed by government.

LRSG is for businesses will normally be paying rates on their premises although local councils can at their discretion also provide funding for businesses that don’t pay business rates.


You must first talk to your employees to gain their agreement to varying their employment contract to accept being placed on furlough. To qualify for the grant you must confirm the arrangement in writing to the affected employees and keep a record of this for 5 years.

To avoid the potential for fraud the government have said an employee must have been on your payroll on 28th February 2020.

You can furlough any employees who were full time, part time, on flexible or zero hours contracts, and on agency or fixed term contracts.

Yes they can but each period of furlough must be for a minimum of 3 weeks. They cannot perform any work for your organisation although the government has confirmed they can undertake training courses or voluntary work. 

Furthermore than can continue with a second job if they have one or take a new one during the furlough period if their contract with you allows it.

Your 80% grant will be based upon your employee’s regular salary plus associated Employer National Insurance contributions plus their minimum employer pension contribution on the subsidised wage total.

You can claim any amounts of compulsory commission however this can only relate to backdated sales as they cannot complete any new ones whilst under furlough.

The government will be issuing a calculator but the calculation is based upon an employee’s actual monthly wage before tax.  If the employee has variable wages the following applies:

For employees who have been on the payroll for 12 months or more prior to the claim the claim is the higher of either the corresponding earnings from the same month last year or the average monthly earnings for the 2019/20 tax year

For employees who have been on the payroll for less than 12 months it is the average monthly earnings of their period of work

You should run your payroll as normal, your employees will still be required to pay PAYE, National Insurance and pension contributions at the auto enrollment minimum through the scheme.

The latest target date HMRC have given for having the portal up and running to register your furloughed employees is April 24th so your payments will not begin to be refunded until sometime after that, although no timescale has been given.  In the meantime you will need to continue to pay wages as normal.

In both cases you would be able to furlough the employee although you will need to obtain their agreement as with any employee.

Furlough is ordinarily for people for whom you are unable to provide work, however this category of employee may be in a job that is not redundant but due to special circumstances cannot work. The government has confirmed that if they are unable to work from home they are eligible for furlough.

Directors are able to furlough but the same rules will apply as for other employees,  you will not be able to do any work outside your statutory duties.