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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: 31 July: Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus is aimed to protect jobs by giving employers the opportunity to claim a one-off payment of £1000 for all eligible employees.

On 31 July 2020, HMRC published further details with regard to the eligibility requirements and how employers can claim the bonus.

Registers of Scotland are now accepting deceased person’s Wills for registration again, a welcome development in the winding up of estates, ensuring the protection and preservation of Wills following a death.  

It has been just over a month since the courts began accepting Confirmation (Scottish Probate) applications again.  While initially done through a series of regional “hub” courts, they can now be submitted to the same local court as they would have been before the lockdown.

On 26 June 2020 HM Treasury issued an additional Treasury Direction highlighting the new rules which are to apply under the amended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

The new Direction confirms that the original CJRS will end on the 30 June with the amended CJRS, which allows for ‘flexible furlough’ arrangements, to apply from the 1 July. The scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

On 18 June 2020 the First Minister confirmed that the Scottish Government was ready to move the country into Phase 2 of the route map out of Covid-19 ‘lockdown’.   This announcement was followed up on 23 June 2020 with new guidelines relating to the housing market that stated  "From 29 June 2020, all home moves are permitted, provided they can be carried out safely." 

The published Phase 2 changes for the property market include the resumption of physical viewing by potential buyers or tenants of properties for sale or lease.  Selling agents will be allowed to re-commence visits to properties, subject to restrictions designed to keep all parties safe, in order to provide a valuation and marketing advice and to record details of the property to enable them to prepare a Schedule of Particulars.

On Friday 12 June 2020, HMRC issued further guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”). This guidance outlines the details of the ‘flexible furlough scheme’ which can be utilised from the beginning of July. Under the flexible furlough scheme, employers can bring back furloughed employees on a part-time basis while still being able to receive funds under the CJRS in respect of the hours the employee is not working.  

Flexible Furlough Scheme

Covering the phasing in of employer contribution and flexible working

On Friday 29 May 2020, the Chancellor set out more details on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will operate over the summer and autumn following the prior announcement of an extension of the scheme to the end of October 2020.

The Government has introduced The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill which contains a number of measures to help business through the Coronavirus Pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. As well as containing temporary measures to ease the administrative burden on companies by, for example, giving more time for companies to file their accounts, it also includes significant changes to insolvency law.

Based on the First Minister’s statement today and the document available on the Scottish Government website entitled “Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis”, it would appear that consideration will be given to re-opening Scotland’s housing market during Phase 1 of the plan with a  view to some restrictions in relation to house moves potentially being lifted in Phase 2.

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