Scotland: Guidance and Support
See below for Scotland’s close contact guidance, tier system information, and financial support options to help salons affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic...
Tier Restriction System
- Level 0: Meeting indoors - eight people from three households, most businesses open. Close contact services and mobile close contact services are permitted.
- Level 1: Meeting indoors reduced to 6 people from 2 households, but still a responsible degree of normality. Close contact services and mobile close contact services are permitted.
- Level 2: Limits on hospitality and no meeting indoors. Close contact services in-salon are permitted, but mobile close contact services are not permitted.
- Level 3: Much of hospitality closed. Close contact services in-salon are permitted but may be subject to additional protective measures. Mobile close contact services are not permitted.
- Level 4: Non-essential shops closed, but six people from up to 2 households can still meet outdoors. All salons and services are to be closed.
The current areas in each level are:
Level 1 - close contact services and mobile close contact services are permitted
- Western Isles
- Orkney and Shetland
Level 2 - Close contact services in-salon are permitted, but mobile close contact services are not permitted
- the Borders
- Dumfries and Galloway
- Argyll & Bute
- East Lothian
Level 3 - Close contact services in-salon are permitted but may be subject to additional protective measures. Mobile close contact services are not permitted.
- North Ayrshire
- The City of Edinburgh
- Perth & Kinross
Level 4 - All close contact services are to close - Salons must close from 6pm Friday 20th November for 3 weeks, with restrictions being lifted on the 11th December
- City of Glasgow
- East Refrewshire
- East Dunbartonshire
- West Dunbartonshire
- North Lanarkshire
- South Lanarkshire
- East Ayrshire
- South Ayrshire
- West Lothian
From 2nd November, business that are required to close by law in Scotland will be eligible for grants every four weeks for as long as the restrictions are in place.
Based on businesses ratable values, grants will be for either £2,000 or £3,000. Businesses that can remain open but are affected by the restrictions will be eligible for grants worth £1,400 or £2,100. These will be delivered to businesses via their local council.
- A grant of £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on ratable value) for business required to close by law, payable every four weeks for the duration protective measures are in place
- A hardship grant of £1,400 or £2100 (depending on ratable value) for businesses that remain open but are specifically required to modify their operations by protective measures, payable every four weeks for the duration measures are in place
These grants will be provided regardless of level, to eligible businesses, and paid in fortnightly installments (subject to discussions with local authorities)
Job Support Scheme
Rishi Sunak has announced today (05.11.20) the extension of the UK wide furlough scheme until the end of March 21. He confirms it will pay 80% of salaries. He stated that the policy will be reviewed in January, “to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more”. The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will replace the furlough scheme once this ends. To read more on the extended furlough scheme and eligibility, click here.
The Job Support Scheme provides different types of support to these businesses so they can get the right assistance, at the right time, according to their situation. Businesses that are operating but facing decreased demand can get support for wages through JSS Open. Those businesses that are legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK can get the support they need through JSS Closed.
With the Job Support Scheme, the employee will need to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours and the employer will continue to pay them as normal for the hours worked. Alongside this, the employee will receive 66.67% of their normal pay for the hours not worked - this will be made up of contributions from the employer and from the government.
The employer will pay 5% of reference salary for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, with the discretion to pay more than this if they wish. The government will pay the remainder of 61.67%, of reference salary for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. This will ensure employees continue to receive at least 73% of their normal wages, where they earn £3,125 a month or less.
For employers that have been legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK, these businesses can claim using JSS Closed to support the wage costs of employees who have been instructed to cease work.
Each employee who cannot work due to these restrictions will receive two thirds of their normal pay, paid by their employer and fully funded by the government, to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month, although their employer has discretion to pay more than this if they wish.
Employers will be able to access the Job Support Scheme if:
- They have enrolled for PAYE online
- They have a UK, Channel Island, or Isle of Man bank account
Additional eligibility criteria will apply depending on whether the employer is claiming a JSS Open grant or JSS Closed grant.
Eligible employers will be able to claim the Job Support Scheme grant for employees who were on their PAYE payroll between 6 April 2019 and 11:59pm on 23 September 2020. This means an RTI Full Payment Submission notifying payment in respect of that employee must have been made to HMRC at some point from 6 April 2019 up to 11:59pm 23 September 2020.
- Employers can only claim for employees that were in their employment on 23 September 2020. If employees ceased employment after 23 of September 2020 and were subsequently rehired, then employers can claim for them.
- Employees can be on any type of contract, including zero hours or temporary contracts.
- Employees do not need to have been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to be eligible for the Job Support Scheme.
- Employers will be able to top up employee wages above the level of minimum contributions at their own expense if they wish.
- Employers cannot claim both JSS Open and JSS Closed in respect of a single employee for the same day.
Who can claim JSS Open
Employers facing decreased demand can claim JSS Open
In addition to the general Job Support Scheme eligibility criteria, employers are eligible to claim the JSS Open if:
- an employer can demonstrate their turnover has remained equal or fallen to show they have been adversely affected due to coronavirus
- some, or all, of their employees are working reduced hours - employees must still be working for at least 20% of their usual hours
Who can claim JSS Closed
In addition to the general Job Support Scheme eligibility criteria, employers are eligible to claim JSS Closed if their business premises at one or more locations has been legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK.
Employers are only eligible to claim for periods during which the relevant coronavirus restrictions are in place. Employers will not be able to claim JSS Closed to cover periods after restrictions have lifted and the business premises is legally allowed to reopen. They may then be able to claim JSS Open if they are eligible.
Eligible employers will be able to claim the JSS Closed grant for employees:
- whose primary work place is at the premises that have been legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK
- that the employer has instructed to and who cease work for a minimum period of at least 7 consecutive calendar days
This is not a complete list of employee eligibility requirements for JSS Closed and further guidance will be published by the end of October.
JSS Closed temporary working agreements
Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to their employment contract by written agreement. When employers are making decisions in relation to the process, including deciding who they should instruct to cease work, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.
To be eligible for the grant, employers must have reached written agreement with their employee (or reached written collective agreement with a trade union where the relevant terms are determined by collective agreement) that they have been instructed to and agree to stop working for a minimum of 7 consecutive calendar days. The agreement must be available for view by HMRC on request.
Employers must maintain records relating to the terms of these arrangements for each employee. They must:
- notify the employee of the agreement in writing
- make sure that the agreement is consistent with employment, equality and discrimination laws
- keep a written record of the agreement for 5 years
- this agreement must be made available to HMRC on request
- The employee must agree to the new arrangement.
Employers cannot claim for an employee who has been made redundant or is serving a contractual or statutory notice period during the claim period.
Paying employee taxes and pension contributions
The Job Support Scheme grant will not cover National Insurance contributions (NICs) or pension contributions. These contributions remain payable by the employer.
Employers must deduct and pay to HMRC income tax and employee NICs on the full amount that is paid to the employee, including any amounts subsequently met by a scheme grant.
Employers and Employees must also still pay pension contributions in accordance with the applicable pension scheme terms, unless the employee has opted out or stopped saving into their pension. If applicable Student Loan deductions and the Apprenticeship Levy must also still be paid.
Get ready to claim
Employers will be able make their first claim from 8 December 2020 on GOV.UK.
Employers will be able to claim from 8 December, covering salary for pay periods ending and paid in November. Subsequent months will follow a similar pattern, with the final claims for April being made from early May. More detail about this process will be published in guidance by the end of October 2020.
Agents who are authorised to do PAYE online for employers will be able to claim on their behalf.
Close Contact Services Guidance
Full details on the guidance that salons and freelancers must follow during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.
Quick guidance summary:
- You must complete a risk assessment for your salon
- Where possible, you must keep a social distance of 2m
- Maintain handwashing/sanitization
- Face coverings are mandatory for clients and for staff. A face covering is defined as any type of protective clothing which covers a person’s nose and mouth, which includes fabric face coverings, scarves and visors. In the Scottish close contact checklist, (which you can download here) it states: Staff should wear a visor in addition to a face covering. Visors are recommended but face masks are mandatory.
- You cannot ask a client/customer to remove their face covering. No treatment should be performed that requires the face covering to be removed. This includes treatments that your service might routinely provide. Whilst beauty therapists are able to operate, certain therapies should not be performed if they break other guidance or regulations. This means treatments that require the removal of a face covering should not be offered or carried out, even if the client is exempt from wearing a face covering and the area is exposed. Current professional advice is that, for safety reasons, close contact services should not be performed where face-coverings cannot be worn.
- Use a consistent team pairing/bubble system
- Maintain a high level of hygiene throughout the salon
- Encourage clients to use hand sanitizer or hand washing facilities as they enter the premises or before treatment.
- Clients must wear masks.
- When booking an appointment, asking the client if they can attend on their own, where possible.
- Adjusting how people move through the premises to reduce congestion and contact between clients, for example, queue management or one-way flow. This may only be possible in larger salons.
- Operating an appointment-only system.
- Encouraging clients to arrive at the time of their scheduled appointment.
- Seeking to avoid skin to skin contact with colleagues, and clients if not crucial for the treatment, and wearing gloves where possible.
COVID-19 related screening questions to be asked of clients ahead of their appointment, including:
- Have you had the recent onset of a new continuous cough?
- Do you have a high temperature?
- Have you noticed a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell?
If the client has any of these symptoms, however mild, they should stay at home and reschedule their appointment.
NHS Scotland Test and Protect
You must collect your clients/customers details either through a booking system or manually on the day of their appointment.
The gathering of contact information in a secure and safe manner from clients/customers or visitors to premises, will assist NHS Scotland's Test and Protect service to identify and contact individuals who may have been exposed to the virus, and request them to take appropriate steps to prevent the potential onward spread of the virus. The data will also be helpful to the NHS and key local partners to manage and contain location-specific outbreaks.