It feels like we are constantly chasing our tails trying to keep up with Government tweaks or U-turns this year.

Just last month we tried our best to break down the winter economic plan to help businesses near us in Crediton prepare for this month’s changes.

That included an extension to the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) and supposedly a new job support scheme (JSS) coming in on 1 November 2020.

The SEISS has since been improved, while the JSS was tweaked before being kicked into the long grass just hours before it was due to start.

The improved SEISS goes ahead as planned (more on that later). For employers, the furlough scheme gets an initial one-month stay of execution as England prepares to go back into lockdown.

Furlough scheme extension

While announcing a month-long lockdown for England with effect from 5 November 2020, news broke that the furlough scheme will remain open.

Initially this will be until 30 November 2020 but it would not surprise us if the initiative extends further at a later date should lockdown last longer than four weeks.

Last month, the Government paid 60% of furloughed workers’ wages up to £1,875. Employers paid employer NICs and workplace pension contributions.

Now, for November 2020 at least, the furlough scheme will revert back to the levels last seen in August 2020.

That means the Government pays 80% of wages up to £2,500. Employers still pay employer NICs and workplace pension contributions for the time furloughed.

The longer lockdown goes on, the higher the chance of another extension to the furlough scheme. Watch this space.

SEISS improvement

Towards the end October 2020, the Chancellor improved the third taxable SEISS grant, covering 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021.

Last month, we said the amount available was based on 20% of your average trading profits up to a cap of £1,875. This was accurate at the time.

It was then based on 40% of average trading profits up to a maximum of £3,750 in total for the three-month period. This has since been abandoned, too.

What does this mean now? The third round of grants, for which applications will open on 30 November 2020, will be worth:

  • up to 55% of average monthly trading profits
  • capped at an overall maximum of £5,160.

Should lockdown restrictions remain in England beyond 2 December 2020, these rates are likely to change further.

Details of the fourth taxable SEISS grant, which covers the three months from 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021, are yet to be announced.

While we are unable to claim any of this support on behalf of you or your business, we are happy to talk through any of these measures. Contact us on or call 01363 773191 to find out more.

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