Need To Know: Your Business Updates for January 2021

  • 01 Jan 2021

Welcome to the January 2021 'Need to Know' update. You'll find the latest key information on the job retentaion scheme, government funding, and new Covid testing centres for export to the European Union.

Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021. Claims for furlough days in December 2020 must be made by 14 January 2021. You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

If you cannot maintain your workforce because your operations have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant to cover a portion of their usual monthly wage costs where you record them as being on furlough.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021. You can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

 

You can claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as you have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. This may differ where you have made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 23 September 2020 and you have subsequently re-employed them.

All employers with a UK, Isle of Man or Channel Island bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim.

You can find out more by clicking here: http://bit.ly/3nhyMn7 

Six UK projects to receive share of £8 million to create the world’s first net-zero emissions industrial zone by 2040

Six projects across the UK will receive a share of £8 million in government funding as part of a drive to create the world’s first net zero emissions industrial zone by 2040. Projects in the West Midlands, Tees Valley, North West, Humber, Scotland and South Wales will see local authorities working with industry to develop plans to reduce carbon emissions, with one scheme alone - across the North West of England and North East Wales - aiming to create over 33,000 new jobs and more than £4 billion of investment as it bids to become the world’s first net zero industrial zone.

A net zero industrial zone will see all industries in a region collectively reducing their carbon dioxide emissions to as close to zero as possible using low-carbon energy sources and new technology like carbon capture.

 

All 6 areas receiving funding have high concentrations of industrial activity and will get a share of up to £8 million towards the development of decarbonisation plans.

Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK is leading the world’s green industrial revolution, with ambitious targets to decarbonise our economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“As we continue to level up the UK economy and build back greener, we must ensure every sector is reducing carbon emissions to help us achieve our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

“This funding will help key industrial areas meet the challenge of contributing to our cleaner future while maintaining their productive and competitive strengths.”

Decarbonising UK industry is a key part of the government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution, which is laid out in its Ten Point Plan and Energy White Paper and is set to create 220,000 jobs as we build back greener over the next decade.

“The Industrial Clusters Mission aims to support the delivery of four low-carbon regional zones by 2030 and at least one net zero green hotspot by 2040, kickstarted by the government’s £170 million Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge.

The six winners will now produce detailed plans for reducing emissions across major areas of industrial activity, where related industries have congregated and can benefit from utilising shared clean energy infrastructure, such as carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and low-carbon hydrogen production and distribution.

All the winners have produced initial plans for reducing emissions across major industrial clusters across the UK and, in subsequent years, will build on these preliminary successes by bringing together industry and public sector bodies in a comprehensive effort to devise a route to net zero emissions.

To read more go to: http://bit.ly/3ojecUD

Government opens further COVID-19 testing locations for hauliers heading to France

The government is taking further steps to help hauliers get tested before they travel to Kent or any port heading to France, in an effort to reduce disruption for drivers as they carry goods across the Channel.

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, announced the creation of 10 new testing locations across the country, with a further 10 opening on 3 January 2021, and more being added this week.

 

In addition, to help hauliers cross the Channel as quickly as possible, the government is offering to help any business to set up a testing centre at its own premises to ensure trucks heading for France depart ‘COVID ready’.

The Department of Health and Social Care will support this, including the provision of testing kits entirely free of charge, and any business able to take advantage of this offer is urged to do so to avoid the risk of delays waiting for tests either in Kent or at the public sites.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “As a result of the heroic efforts of hundreds of military and civilian personnel who have worked hard over the past 10 days, we have made incredible progress in clearing the queues of drivers left stranded as a result of the French government’s actions.

“If we are to keep traffic flowing in Kent, it is essential drivers are tested before they travel down to the area and that they have a Kent Access Permit before heading to the border, and these new testing centres both at service stations and inside businesses, will help reduce delays.”

Tests will be available at the information advice sites the government has set up for hauliers around the country, originally to provide advice about the requirements for travelling to the continent after leaving the EU. Now military personnel will be at 10 of these sites to provide COVID testing for haulage drivers, providing a negative result in the required 72-hour window before arriving in Kent, fast-tracking their access to the ports.

To read more, go to: http://bit.ly/2L3hUn8

Measures to stop non-biodegradable waste heading to landfill in Scotland

Plans to ban all non-household biodegradable waste from entering landfill by 2025 have been set out in the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan update.

 

A ban on household biodegradable waste being sent to landfill is already in place and the Climate Change Plan 2018 – 2032 commits to consulting on extending this to cover business and non-municipal waste.

The proposals are part of a package of measures aiming to reduce food waste by one third by 2025 and recycle 70% of all waste by 2025.

Key initiatives include:

  • restrictions on the supply of specified single use plastic items, which are currently being consulted on
  • a proposed charge on single use disposable beverage cups
  • legislation to increase the carrier bag minimum charge from 5p to 10p next year
  • consultations in 2021 on electronic waste tracking, a mandatory national food waste reduction target and the mandatory reporting of Scotland’s food surplus and waste by food businesses
  • the establishment of a £70 million fund to improve local authority recycling collection infrastructure

Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Our commitment to tackling the twin-crises of climate change and biodiversity loss is unwavering and is central to our green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is clear that by transitioning to a circular economy and sending less waste to landfill, we will reap both environmental and financial rewards.

“For example, research has shown that 10,000 tonnes of waste can create 296 jobs in repair and reuse or 36 jobs in recycling compared to just six jobs in landfill or one job in incineration.

“Emissions in the waste sector are currently around 1.9 megatonnes per year. We have made good progress in reducing this but we can do better.

 

“By taking simple steps, such as cutting down on food waste or choosing reusable rather than single use, individuals as well as manufacturers and companies, can all do our bit to move away from Scotland’s throwaway culture, help reduce our contribution to climate change and build a more circular economy.”

Read more at: http://bit.ly/2XfWTI8

 

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