Scottish Textile News
The Scottish Government has today (21 May) published its COVID-19 Framework for Decision Making which lays out the Scottish Government’s decision making process and potential timescale for easing current restrictions.
The plan outlines four phases for removing Covid19 based restrictions. The full Framework can be read here.
Phase 1 states that where businesses are reopening employers should encourage staggered start times and flexible working. Phase 2 would see an easing of restrictions on non-office based working and Phase 3 would see the start of the opening of retail. Tourism would start to reopen across Phases 3 and 4.
The government have committed to reviewing whether it is safe to move to the next phase of the plan every three weeks. Phase 1 is not expected to start until the first review on 28th May.
A new online service to allow employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments will be launched on May 26th.
The scheme will allow small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP.
Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
Employees do not have to provide a doctor’s fit note for their employer to make a claim under the scheme.
The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks of SSP and is payable if an employee is unable to work because they:
Get ready to claim
What you’ll need;
You can claim for multiple pay periods and employees at the same time. The start date of your claim is the start date of the earliest pay period you’re claiming for. The end date of your claim is the end date of the most recent pay period you’re claiming.
Where an employer pays more than the current rate of SSP in sick pay, they will only be able to reclaim the SSP rate.
Employers can furlough their employees who have been advised to shield and are unable to work from home. Once furloughed, the employee should no longer receive SSP, where an employee has been notified to shield and has not been furloughed, the rebate will compensate up to 2 weeks of SSP from 16 April 2020.
The government today announced the new UK Global Tariff regime that will be applied to products imported into the UK from 1st January 2021. The tariffs will apply to imports from countries where the UK does not have a trade deal.
For the fashion and textile sector there are almost 1,200 tariff lines. Under the new regime 67% of these will remain complete unchanged. Virtually every single fashion line will remain at 12% and the vast majority of yarns and fabrics will continue to attract an import duty of between 4 – 8%.
A further 15% of fashion and textile tariff lines have been simplified with, for instance, the import duty on silk ties falling from 6.3% to 6% and the rate on bras falling from 6.5% to 6%.
In total 203 tariff lines will drop to zero, in the vast majority of cases this is on products where the UK has little or no UK manufacturing e.g. the import duty on silk yarn will from 4% to 0% and that on terry towelling fabric will drop from 8% to 0%.
Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT said: ‘’UKFT campaigned vigorously against the last proposed UK tariff regime as it failed to provide UK manufacturers with a level playing field and at the same time threatened to increase the amount of very cheap, disposable fashion imported from overseas.
“We welcome the new UK Global Tariff regime precisely as it addresses our two fundamental concerns. Our UK manufacturing base has received assurance that it can continue to trade on an equal footing and while consumers will still be able to benefit from the duty free arrangements with countries such as Bangladesh, there is not going to be a huge influx of super cheap fashion with all the environmental damage that could entail. However, we also urge the government to reach a positive conclusion to the negotiations with the EU – a market that accounts for 76% of our exports and 35% our imports.’’
A full list of the new UKGT for fashion and textiles can be viewed here.
From today (Wednesday 13 May 2020) self-employed individuals whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500), paid in a single instalment.
If you are eligible you will be able to make your claim on a specified date between 13-18 May, based on your Unique Tax Reference number.
HMRC has assigned eligible self-employed individuals a specific date to apply on and this can be checked on HMRC’s online checker at any time here.
People will not be able to apply before their claim date but can make a claim after that day.
The claims process is simple, and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May 2020, or within six working days of completing a claim.
In order to make a claim you will require the following information:
Under SEISS, those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.
You can check your eligibility using the new online checker tool. Once the online check is complete, those who are eligible will be given a date when they can submit their claim.
The claims service will open on 13 May and those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, or within six working days of completing a claim.
There is further guidance available on how HMRC will calculate payments here.
From tomorrow (1 May 2020), PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.
A £100 million package of additional grant support for small and medium sized businesses and newly self-employed people is now open for applications.
The three separate funds will be administered by local authorities and Scotland’s enterprise agencies and will begin to pay out grants in early May.
The funds can be accessed via the www.FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot website.
Details of the new support packages are as follows;
Grants of £2,000 for those who became self-employed after April 2019 and are not eligible for UK support. Will be managed by local authorities.
· £20 million Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund
Grants of up to £25,000 for small and micro creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of business rates relief. Will be managed by the Enterprise Agencies with support from Creative Scotland and VisitScotland.
· £45 million Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund,
Providing bespoke grants and wrap around business support to viable but vulnerable SMEs who are vital to the local or national economic foundations of Scotland.
A new online portal from Skills Development Scotland on the My World of Work platform helps to connect people with thousands of free-to-access online learning materials.
Find out more here
China Market Update: Opportunities and Impacts on Consumer Behaviour from COVID-19
Thursday 7th May, 9:30-10:30am
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional drivers of China’s economy may be struggling but the country’s consumers keep spending. As one of the first markets globally showing signs of economic recovery, what opportunities can China offer for Scottish consumer companies?
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has confirmed that grant funding for the newly self-employed suffering hardship and SMEs in distress will be available in the coming days.
The £100 million fund to support the self-employed and SMEs announced last week will be broken into three separate funds as follows:
The recently self-employed, who are excluded from the UK’s scheme but suffering hardship, will be able to receive £2,000 grants. For creative, tourism and hospitality companies of up to 50 employees not receiving business rates relief, there will be rapid access £3,000 hardship grants or larger grants up to £25,000 where it can be demonstrated support is needed. The support and larger grants for pivotal SME enterprises will depend on the specific need of the enterprise and be developed by the relevant enterprise agency with wraparound business advice and support.
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