COVID-19: Wednesday Update: Job retention scheme, BDA writes to GDC on difficulties with CPD and Chancellor on the Self-Employed

COVID-19: Wednesday Update: Job retention scheme, BDA writes to GDC on difficulties with CPD and Chancellor on the Self-Employed

Updated advice on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where the Government is offering all employers access to a grant which will cover up to 80% of the total cost of wages. The GDC has offered few crumbs of comfort about mitigating the retention fee. The BDA has asked the GDC for leniency regarding registrants’ ability to comply with CPD requirements this year. The Chancellor has spoken of help for self-employed.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Accountants UNW have updated their advice[i] on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Government is offering all employers (whether they be sole traders, limited liability companies, partnerships or charities) across the UK access to a grant which will cover up to 80% (subject to a cap of £2,500 per employee) of the total cost of the wages of their workforce who remain on payroll but are temporarily not working due to the coronavirus outbreak. The government is hoping that this measure will help avoid employers making staff redundant.
For a grant to be obtained in relation to a specific employee, that employee needs to be designated (by the employer) as a “furloughed” employee. At present, there is no definition of “furloughed” employee in employment law. However, the government has indicated that that to be “furloughed”, the employee needs to remain employed, but be asked by the employer not to undertake any work for them.

Other questions answered in this guidance include:

·         Which workers can be included?

·         How is the 80% / £2,500 cap calculated?

·         Can an employee insist on being designated a furloughed worker?

·         Can an employer designate some employees as furloughed workers and not others?

·         How long can the period of furloughing last? 

See link below. GDPUK is grateful to UNW for allowing us to post this advice.

GDC advice update

In a lengthy message to dental professionals[ii] the GDC says that the central role which it has as a regulator is to protect patient safety and to maintain public confidence in dental services. It ads: “The onset of COVID-19 doesn’t change that, but it is changing - and will continue to change - how we do it in practice.”

They also say that with the exception of the small number of cases, where there is an immediate perceived risk to patient safety, almost all fitness to practise hearings have now been postponed.

On the subject of the Annual Retention Fee while expressing sympathy for the ‘severe financial stress’ that the profession will be under, the GDC says that ‘it is not an issue that we able to solve by unilateral action’.

BDA calls on GDC to for leniency over CPD

The BDA has written to the GDC[iii] to ask for ‘leniency’ regarding registrants’ ability to comply with CPD requirements this year. It says that, like many other organisations, they have cancelled local and central meetings, workshops, seminars and conferences which registrants might have relied upon for their personal development plans and CPD compliance.

Chancellor speaks out on financial support for self-employed 

In response to urgent questions on financial support for the self-employed, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has told the House of Commons:  

  • The Government is working urgently on solutions for self-employed. Help is coming, but policy is very complex and should not be rushed
  • Self-employed are all eligible for the business interruption scheme
  • VAT has been deferred
  • The Universal Credit enhanced rate is available to all self-employed, which includes housing support
  • Self-assessment tax payments have been deferred until January 2021.

[i] https://mailchi.mp/unw.co.uk/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

[ii] http://xl80w.mjt.lu/nl2/xl80w/5q8sp.html?m=ANAAAGrq0CYAAchjP0YAALFDB9QAAYCr3vcAm8KAAA7KkABeeQwsqAa_NfjoTpGD_VwRo8zrpwAOlQI&b=a051a129&e=387a4521&x=3kCM6eNdMDv-eiQ8R5WsSwXSX6uCNZRbs21rYb13vo0

[iii] https://www.bda.org/advice/Coronavirus/Documents/Letter%20to%20Ian%20Brack%20CPD%20requirements%20230320.pdf

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