Covid-19 Business Update 15 –  Thursday 9th July 2020

Following our previous update on 26th June, please find below notable changes that have been released via

Jobs and Training

Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been open since March, and will wind down flexibly and gradually, supporting businesses until October.

It is beneficial for everyone, including the individual, to prevent skills from fading and to maintain strong employment relationships.

Therefore, the government is introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to reward and incentivise employers who keep on their furloughed employees.

The government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021.

To be eligible, employees will need to:

  • earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
  • have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021.

Further details about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.


For the next six months, the government will pay businesses up to £2,000 for every new apprentice under 25.

It will also pay £1,500 for every new apprentice above 25 hired.
Further details about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.

VAT Reduction

From 15‌‌‌ July until 12‌‌‌ January 2021, the government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol.

This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

The government has increased the threshold in England and Northern Ireland under which no SDLT is paid on the purchase of a main home from £125,000 to £500,000, with immediate effect until 31‌‌‌ March 2021.

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