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NFSP COVID-19 news - 24 September 2020

Sep 24, 2020 |

Update on face covering requirements

The Government has provided clarification on where in retail environments face coverings are required - as follows:

  • Face coverings are not required if there is a physical barrier between you and the customer – that includes counter-top Perspex screens and fortress positions.
  • Face coverings are not required in non-customer-facing environments such as a stock room.

The NFSP's understanding is that this applies to all regions in the UK.

In Scotland specifically, face visors/shields are not deemed to provide adequate protection and if you are based in Scotland you and your staff must wear a face mask in all customer-facing environments.

Please remember that you are responsible for ensuring that the working environment is COVID-secure for you and your staff. As a result, face coverings may be required if you have multiple staff working in the same space – for example behind the same counter screen or in the same fortress position, or together in a stock room.


New support measures announced today

Today the Chancellor announced new measures to support employees and the self-employed through the winter.

The following is a summary of two of the key measures – the new ‘Job Support Scheme’ and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The NFSP will provide a comprehensive summary of all the measures announced today once further information becomes available.


New ‘Job Support Scheme’

The furlough scheme will end on 31 October as scheduled.

A new Job Support Scheme for employees will begin on 1 November – designed to allow businesses to keep people in work on shorter hours.

Employees must work at least a third of their hours and be paid for that work by their employer as normal.

Of the remaining hours not worked by the employee, Government will pay one third of those wages and the employer another third.

The Treasury has released the image below as an example.



The NFSP has re-worked the Treasury’s example as follows:

  • An employee would normally work 36 hours a week.
  • They work 33% of those hours (which is 12 hours a week) and are paid for those as normal by their employer.
  • Of the remaining 24 hours, Government will pay for a third of those (which is 8 hours) and the employer pays for another third (which is 8 hours).
  • In total the employee is paid for 28 hours of their normal hours (20 of which is paid for by the employer and 8 by Government).

Other points to note about the new Job Support Scheme are:

  • You can use this scheme even if you didn’t use the furlough scheme.
  • You will be able to claim for the Job Retention Bonus Scheme as well as making use of the new Job Support Scheme

The NFSP and our partner organisation HR:4UK will hold an online event in the coming weeks to talk through the new Job Support Scheme and answer any questions you might have. Details of this event will be shared on all the NFSP’s communications channels.


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

  • SEISS is to be extended until 30 April 2021.
  • The grant will be limited to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for SEISS and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19.
  • The first grant will cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total (running between November 2020 and January 2021).
  • An additional second grant is available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April.
  • The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.