Industry Updates – COVID-19

Find COVID-19 guidance at https://www.nfda-uk.co.uk/guidance

5 November 2020

Government extends furlough scheme “until the end of March”

The Chancellor has confirmed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is to be extended “until the end of March” 2021 and will be accessible to all parts of the UK.

The current terms of the scheme include:

  • Eligible employees will receive 80% of their salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month
  • There will be no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions for hours not worked.
  • Businesses will be able to claim either shortly before, during, or after running payroll.
  • Claims can be made from 8am Wednesday 11 November.

The Government has also stated that the CJRS extension will be reviewed in January to “examine whether the economic circumstances are improving enough for employers to be asked to increase contributions.”

Eligibility

  • An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. (The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee).
  • Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under CJRS to make a claim under the extended CJRS (if other eligibility criteria are met)

What about the Job Retention Bonus?

The Treasury has confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus will not be paid in February and that they “will redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time.”

Further information and guidance

The Government will publish further information on accessing the extended CJRS shortly. Any amendments or updates will be found through on the following GOV.UK website:

UK Gov guidanceCheck if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

See also:

Press release Government extends Furlough to March

UK Gov factsheetEconomic support factsheet


3 November 2020

DVSA Confirms “MOT garages can remain open”

In light of upcoming national restrictions in England, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said in a bulletin on ‘What this means for MOT garages” that “MOT garages can remain open”.

The DVSA also reminded testers to ensure they follow guidance for MOT testers during the Coronavirus outbreak.

We will continue to monitor for any further updates on the status of garages during lockdown and will update members as soon as this information is made available.

20 October 2020

Wales enters national ‘firebreak’ lockdown

Following the announcement of the ‘firebreak’ national lockdown for Wales, the Welsh government has confirmed car dealerships are among the businesses that will need to close from 6pm on Friday 23 October to 9 November, however, servicing operations can remain open.

NFDA has written to Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, to request clarity about the legality of online purchases and ‘click & collect’.

We will keep our members updated.

On the closure of dealerships, aftersales services and MOTs, the guidance reads:

What shops are open?

All leisure and non-essential retail will be closed. This includes clothes shops, furniture shops and car dealerships among many others. A full list of types of business required to close will be available in our guidance on business closures.

Shops allowed to remain open include supermarkets and other food retailers, pharmacies, banks and post offices. However, wherever possible people should avoid unnecessary visits to these, and use alternative approaches such as online services and deliveries.

Can I still have repair and maintenance work done on my vehicle?

Yes, if this is necessary and cannot reasonably be deferred until after the lockdown period. Routine services should be deferred.

My MOT is due during this lockdown period – do I still have to get it done?

Yes, you will still need a valid MOT certificate if you need to use your vehicle for essential travel. If your MOT is not due during this lockdown period but you have an appointment booked, please consider deferring.

Am I allowed to use “click and collect” services?

Where shops are allowed to open, they are also allowed to provide a click and collect service. These should be provided in a Covid secure way. You should not travel long distances to access click and collect services.

Full guidance: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-circuit-break-frequently-asked-questions#section-53255

Business support made available

The Welsh Government has announced that businesses affected by the firebreak will have access to a new £300 million fund, which will open next week (exact date of scheme opening has not yet been confirmed)

  • Every business covered by the small business rates relief will receive a £1,000 payment.
  • Small and medium-sized retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, which have to close will receive a one-off payment of up to £5,000.
  • There will also be additional discretionary grants and support for smaller businesses, which are struggling.
  • The £80 million fund announced last week to help businesses develop in the longer term, will be increased to £100 million, which includes £20 million ring-fenced for tourism and hospitality.

15 October 2020

London, Essex, York and others to enter Tier 2 Covid Alert Restrictions from Saturday

The Government has today (15 October) confirmed that a number of regions, including London, Essex and York, will move into Tier 2 (High) of the local Covid alert system from midnight Friday 16 October.

Tier 2 involves additional restrictions on indoor mixing, travel and the operation of some businesses such as those in the hospitality sector.

The full list of Tier 2 restrictions can be found on the Gov.uk website here, including sections for businesses and venues and for going to work.

A postcode checker is available to inform users which level of local lockdown their area is operating under.

BBC News article listing all areas due to enter Tier 2: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54551596

Recent Headlines

New 3-Tier Lockdown System Announced for England

The PM today (12 October) outlined a new local COVID alert system for England, comprised of three categories – ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’, depending on local infection rates.

The PM set out the categories as follows:

Medium

Will cover most of the country and will consist of the current national measures, such as the Rule of Six and closure of hospitality at 10pm.

High

Reflects current interventions in many local areas. The PM explained that “this primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission, by preventing all mixing between different households or support bubbles indoors.”

“In these areas, the Rule of Six will continue to apply outdoors, where it is harder for the virus to spread, in public spaces as well as private gardens.”

Very High

“In these areas the government will set a baseline of prohibiting social mixing indoors and in private gardens… in each area, we will work with local government leaders on the additional measures which should be taken.”

“This could lead to further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment or personal care sectors.”

“But retail, schools and universities will remain open.”

Local Checker

The gov.uk website will feature a postcode checker so people can check the regulations in their area, with the information also available via the Covid-19 app.

We will inform members of any developments on this announcement.