For updated information surrounding the Coronavirus please check the government website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Coronavirus: Government furlough scheme extended
The UK government has announced their scheme to pay the wages of people on furlough due to the coronavirus pandemic will be extended to October. Furloughed employees will continue to receive 80% of their monthly wages up to £2,500. The scheme will also support the transition back to work, allowing employers to bring furloughed employees back part time. However, from August the government will ask companies to “start sharing” the cost of the scheme from August.
Coronavirus: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
HM Revenue & Customs has started to contact people who may be eligible to receive the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) by letter, text or email detailing how to make an online claim from 13th May (beware of scam messages). Successful claim payments will reach bank accounts by 25th May, or six working days after the claim is made. To be eligible for support, individuals need to earn at least half of their income through self-employment and have annual trading profits of no more than £50,000. They must have traded in the 2018-19 tax year and submitted their self-assessment tax return for that year on or before 23rd April 2020.
Coronavirus: Government’s plans to ease lockdown restrictions
This week the Prime Minister announced that those in England who could not work from home should be “actively encouraged to go to work”. If an employer requires their staff to return, they still have a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees while working by making adaptations. The government has issued new guidance on how different workplaces should be made safe for staff.
Coronavirus: Lifetime ISA (LISA) withdrawal penalty removed for a year
Lifetime Isas were introduced for people saving up for their first home or for their retirement. Withdrawals, other than for buying a qualifying home or reaching 60 years old, are subject to a penalty of 6.25%. To help people access money during the coronavirus, the penalty has been removed until 5 April 2021, backdated to 6th March 2020.
Coronavirus: Banks give extensions on mortgage offers
All lenders have agreed to offer 3 month extensions on mortgage offers to customers who have exchanged but not completed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Barclays is giving customers six month extensions, although the bank will need to be told about any change in circumstances which could affect income, such as being furloughed.
Coronavirus: Scam awareness – cold callers
Scammers are targeting older people with cold calls or letters, knowing that many in this age group currently have limited contact with relatives, who would normally prevent them from falling victim to such scams.