Please note that this article contains attachments at the end detailing the latest support available for people, businesses and charities in Scotland affected by Covid-19.
I appreciate that many of you are facing challenging circumstances and please bear with me as I endeavour to update at each opportunity - I understand that this may appear repetitive.
If any of you are employers or employees have specific issues and concerns, please email me with as much detail as possible on your specific situation if you have not done so already at firstname.lastname@example.org
I appreciate that Government advice and commitments are still at a very high level and that many business and employees have very precise and specific concerns. The UK and Scottish Governments have been working constructively and are committed to getting as much information and assistance out as rapidly and effectively as it can.
To view the latest Scottish Government guidance for businesses please click here.
The Job Retention Scheme (furlough) has been extended until the end of March 2021. Furloughed employees will continue to receive 80 per cent of their normal salary up to a maximum of £2,500. Employers will only have to pay employee National Insurance and pension contributions as part of the scheme. The UK Government will review the employer contribution in January.
Further information on the Job Retention Scheme can be found here.
The UK Government is extending its extending the VAT Cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors until 31 March 2021 and giving businesses more time to pay their deferred VAT payments.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is still open for applications. Please click here for more details on how to apply.
UK Government Bounce Back Loans for eligible small and medium businesses is still accepting applications until 30 November 2020. Click here to start an application. There will also be greater flexibility in Bounce Back Loan repayments through a new 'Pay as you Grow' scheme giving borrowers the option of repaying over an extended period of time up to 10 years.
If you are aged between 16 and 24, you may soon be able to find a new job thanks to the UK Government Kickstart Scheme. The UK Government is asking businesses to offer 6-month work placements to out of work young people and in return the UK Government will pay their salaries and national insurance contributions. Click here for further details on eligibility and how to apply.
Find Business Support in Scotland:
There is a specific Coronavirus (COVID-19) business continuity page available at: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice/ – this should be the first place businesses should look for assistance and is part of a joint response by Scotland’s Enterprise and Skills system (Agencies, Local Authorities, Scottish Government and business/industry organisations).
Scottish Government Helpline:
A helpline to handle urgent issues and more detailed questions that can’t be answered on the FBS site:
The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team.
Help and for business owners and their to employees find information on how to deal with concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace:
British Retail Consortium:
The BRC have produced a ‘Coronavirus Hub’ to provide operational guidance on issues like HR, competition law and cash flow: