Support Packages Update – 31 JULY 2020
On 25 March the Government introduced a support package for private sector employers with employees, as well as the self-employed. Subsequently on 17 April, a second set of support measures were announced.
Despite a sharp drop off in demand for all programs following the easing of restrictions from 11th May 2020, it is clear that some sectors continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic.
The measures will now continue to be in effect until 30 September 2020 and may continue to be applicable to your situation if you or your business was, or continues to be, adversely impacted by the Pandemic as outlined in summary below. In addition the extension will support continuing demand for the schemes where KEMH instructs symptomatic individuals and their households to isolate.
FIG will continue to support these claims for isolating individuals, subject to the following:
- The individual meeting all of the relevant Scheme guidelines.
- A check with KEMH to confirm the individual was told to isolate and the period of isolation.
For the avoidance of doubt, claims will still be processed beyond this date to allow for appropriate supporting evidence to be collected.
Unemployment Subsidy Scheme
The unemployment subsidy system has an effective date of March 20 and those who lost their job since that time because of the Pandemic will still be eligible to apply to the programme subject to programme criteria.
COVID-19 Business Grants Scheme
The Business Grants Scheme will continue to be in effect from May 1 to September 30 2020.
Going forward, the grants programme will continue to be of relevance to eligible businesses throughout the original 90 day programme window who:-
- have to remain shut due to government guidance (such as bars, cafes and restaurants) or;
- continue to experience revenue reductions of more than 20% due to the pandemic.
Furlough Programme and Self-Employed Income Supplement Programme
The provisions of the first set of measures as they related to non-essential workers staying home expired on April 23.
Under the terms of the new Furlough Programme and the Self-Employment Income Supplement Programme, employers and the self-employed are still able to claim reimbursement, subject to the programme criteria, from April 24 onwards until such time as the effects of the pandemic on the ability to work are no longer apparent.
The programme would still be applicable for the hospitality trade as one example of a type of business that continues to be affected due to the requirement to stay shut.
Treasury staff are continuing to process the final applications for the original scheme and will be working those for the Furlough and Income Supplement as rapidly as possible.
The original application and accompanying documentation for all support measures can be viewed below.
April 17 ECONOMIC SUPPORT MEASURES
The Government is now ready to take applications for the Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Supplement Scheme and the Business Grant Scheme.
The schemes, announced on April 17, are part of a package representing a comprehensive approach to addressing the cash flow needs of private sector workers and households and the liquidity needs of micro, small and medium sized businesses over the next three months, as they adjust to the economic effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Guidance Documents are now available at the following:-
Covid-19 Job Retention “furlough” scheme for businesses and employees
Under this measure, if an employer is unable to operate or have limited or no work for the employee because of Covid-19, and if the employer and employee both agree, the employer would be able to keep the employee on the payroll at 80% of salary. This is known as being ‘on furlough’.
- With respect to employees, the new scheme will cover:
- 80% of salary for furloughed employees for a period of up to 90 days
- 80% of salary for employees on reduced hours, proportional to the percentage of hours not worked, for a period of up to 90 days.
Covid-19 Self-Employed Income Supplement Scheme
- With respect to self-employed workers the new scheme will cover:
- up to 80% of the last two years’ average net monthly earnings, seasonally adjusted as necessary, for a period of up to 90 days and at a rate of up to £2,500 per month.
Covid-19 Business Grant Scheme
Some businesses may face high solvency risks due to a significant or critical reduction in demand for their goods or services. The government would provide financial support with two different types of direct, non-repayable grants.
These grants are targeted at:
- Micro and Small Businesses (below £500,000 in turnover)
- Micro, Small and Medium Sized Businesses in the Hospitality Sector and the Human Health and Social Work activities sectors (below £1,000,000 in turnover)
The Business Grant Scheme application process is being delivered by the Falkland Islands Development Corporation on behalf of FIG. See the below link:
Unemployment Subsidy System
A new unemployment subsidy system will be targeted at workers who are dismissed as a result of the crisis. This measure will provide financial reassurance to those who have been dismissed, through no fault of their own, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The unemployment subsidy will cover 60% of the last monthly salary for a period of up to 90 days
- There will be a cap of £2500 per month
All payments will be considered taxable in the hands of recipients.
This measure will have an effective eligibility date of March 20, 2020
March 25 SUPPORT PACKAGE
Applications can now be made for the Falkland Islands Government’s support package that was announced on 25 March 2020 for private sector employers with employees, as well as the self-employed who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government is doing this to reinforce and support the strong public health action which the Falkland Islands Government is taking to protect the population and minimise the social and economic impact of this challenging issue.
How to apply:
Application forms along with other guidance are available through:
Falkland Islands Government - scroll down on this page.
Falkland Islands Development Corporation - www.fidc.co.fk/library/covid-19
The Falkland Islands Development Corporation (FIDC) is tasked to develop the commercial sector of the Falkland Islands by being one of the principal partners delivering the Economic, Rural and Tourism Strategies.
If you need assistance filling out the forms, contact Sian Davies, Business Development Officer, at FIDC telephone 51211.
Relevant documents will be translated into Spanish and Filipino and posted to the websites within the next few days.
The package provisions apply to the following categories.
- All employees with symptoms who are advised by KEMH to self-isolate for 14 days will continue to be paid by their employer (regardless of whether they are entitled to leave or sick pay). Employers will be able to seek reimbursement of the costs of this measure from the Government, up to a cap of £1,250 for the 14 calendar days per employee for the period of isolation.
- All self-employed people with symptoms who are advised in writing by KEMH to self-isolate for 14 calendar days will similarly be able to claim a sum of up to £1,250 for the 14 calendar days of self-isolation.
- All “vulnerable” self-employed people who are advised in writing by KEMH to self-isolate for an initial period of 3 months, and who are unable to work from home, will be able to claim a sum of up to £2,500 per month for the period of isolation.
- All “vulnerable” employees who are advised by KEMH to self-isolate for an initial period of 3 months, and who are unable to work from home, will continue to be paid by their employer (regardless of whether they are entitled to leave or sick pay). Employers will be able to seek reimbursement for this measure from the Government, up to a cap of £2,500 per employee per month for the period of isolation.
- When private sector employees without symptoms are
- a) advised by KEMH to self-isolate due to a household member being symptomatic with a fever and with that household member having been advised by KEMH to self-isolate; or
- b) advised by the government to stay home due to being classified as a non-essential worker.
- and who in both instances cannot work from home, they will continue to be paid by their employer (regardless of whether they are entitled to leave or sick pay) for a period of up to 14 days.
- When self-employed people without symptoms are
- a) advised by KEMH to self-isolate due to a household member being symptomatic with a fever and with that household member having been advised by KEMH to self-isolate.
- or b) advised by the government to stay home due to being classified as a non-essential worker,
- and who in both instances cannot work from home, they will be able to claim a sum of up to £1,250 for a period of up to 14 calendar days.
All funds will be considered taxable and subject to the usual deductions from payroll.
If employees or self-employed persons are able to work from home during any period of isolation, we would expect them to do so and not to claim re-imbursement from Government.
These measures are designed to ensure that everyone can make the right choice to take necessary public health measures, for the benefit of all, whilst ensuring that the impact on the economy is minimised.
The Government will be announcing further measures to assist the private sector more generally within the next several days.
In addition, the Government continues to offer a range of benefits and allowances to Falkland Islands residents through the Department of Health and Social Services.