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COVID-19 Update 2nd March 2021

  • Kick Start Scheme Update

The guidance on the kick Start Scheme has been updated again with more information on what businesses can spend the £1500 setup costs and employability support grant on. The funding is given for each person employed through the scheme and can be spent on:

    • training and employability support (provided by the employer, Kickstart gateway or another provider)
    • IT equipment and software
    • uniform or Personal Protective Equipment

There is also further detail on what happens if the placement leaves the job placement early. In this situation, the employer must tell DWP as soon as possible if the placement:

    • leaves their job placement before the end of the 6-month period
    • needs to temporarily leave their job placement (for example for special leave or coronavirus-related restrictions)

DWP may be able to extend the funding period if the young person has to temporarily stop working while if they leave permanently, DWP will pay the grant until the end of the month that they stopped working.


  • Setting Up “Time to Pay” Self-Assessment Payments

HMRC’s guidance on self-assessment payments has been updated to say that “Time to Pay” arrangements can be set-up online for amounts up to £30,000 up to 60 days after 31 January 2021 without having to contact them. When you have filed your return you’ll need to wait at least 72 hours before you can set up your Time to Pay arrangement online.

Late payment penalties are charged when tax remains unpaid for 30 days, 6 months and 12 months after the payment due dates. You can avoid the penalties if you enter into a Time to Pay arrangement before they become due and you pay all the tax owing under that arrangement on time. For Self Assessment payments that were due on 31 January 2021, you will avoid the first late payment penalty if you set up a Time to Pay arrangement by 2 March 2021. The 6 month and 12 month penalties can be avoided if you pay all the tax owing under that arrangement on time.


  • Global Travel Taskforce

The Transport Secretary held the first meeting of the new Global Travel Taskforce today. This new iteration of the Taskforce is undertake one of the four reviews that the Prime Minister announced when he published the Road map on 22nd February. Specifically, the Taskforce has been asked to:

    • consider policy proposals to set out a possible pathway to safely reopen international travel, taking account of scientific and clinical data
    • in partnership with industry, develop an implementation plan for the adoption of any recommendations to enable government, industry and consumers to prepare for when any decisions are taken
    • consider how to implement recommendations from the previous Global Travel Taskforce, such as bubbles, to facilitate tourist and business travel
    • ensure that any shorter-term changes act as a bridge to longer-term objectives on delivering vaccine certification to facilitate travel (noting this work is being conducted in parallel) and global standardisation of border measures

The taskforce will report to the Prime Minister on 12 April with an implementation plan to follow.



  • Letter to Food, Drink and Environment Services

The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, has written to Food, Drink and Environmental Services businesses encouraging them to have their staff tested for coronavirus by registering for free testing kits provided by the government.
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