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On Saturday 31 October 2020, the Prime Minister announced that from 5 November until 2 December 2020, the government is imposing new restrictions that require people to stay at home unless for very specific reasons, not to gather with people they do not live with and for certain businesses and venues to close. 

These include:

  • All non-essential retail, including, but not limited to, clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines.

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

A full list of the business closures is expected to be published in the coming days.

Attending Work

The Prime Minister advised that everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. 

Where people cannot do so for example, those who work in for in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing, they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace. 

Employees who were previously identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to work from home. If they cannot work from home, they are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). 


To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30 October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.

As under the current CJRS rules:

  • Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees
  • Employers can claim for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS
  • When claiming the CJRS for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days
  • Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
  • For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will not now be introduced until after the CJRS ends. 

Business Grants

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for grants.

It is expected that the national lockdown will be voted on by Parliament in the next few days, should this result in any changes to the information we will update you accordingly. 

For further specific guidance, please contact us on 0333 400 7920 or email enquiries@employassisthr.co.uk.

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