Reopening of further businesses and venues in England postponed
The Prime Minister has announced
that until 15 August at the earliest, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed, and that indoor performances will not resume.
Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will also not be permitted. Data on the prevalence of the virus in the community in England will continue to be carefully reviewed in order to move forward with the intention to open up these higher risk settings as soon as possible.
While we know that tackling the public health emergency must be the priority, these announcements - made at short notice - will be a hammer blow to business and consumer confidence at a time when many firms were just starting to get back on their feet.
Business communities need as much clarity as possible from government if they are to plan ahead and rebuild their operations in the coming months. Ministers must also consider extending support to all firms, many of whom will be forced to close for an even more prolonged period, as well as targeted measures to help businesses placed under localised lockdowns.
Job Retention Bonus
As previously advised the government is introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment, after the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020. The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between the 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021.
Last Friday further information about the Job Retention Bonus was announced and can be found here.
We are advised that full guidance will be published by the end of September.