Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1st September 2020

Dear customer,

We’re writing to remind you about changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from today and what this means for you.  

From 1‌‌ September HMRC will now pay 70% of usual wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.

What you need to do now

  • Continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant yourself.
  • The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if your employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in September, you are entitled to claim 70% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work up to £1,093.75 (50% of the £2,187.50 cap).
  • Continue to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds.

Make sure your data is right

It’s important that you provide all the data we need to process your claim. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect, so we want to help you get this right. We will get in touch if we see any employee data missing from your previous claims.

Claiming for 100 or more employees: use our template

It’s really important to use the right file type when uploading your data. The easiest way to ensure your file is in the right format is to use our template. To find it search ‘download a template if you’re claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌.UK.

If your file is in the wrong format – for example, an incorrect file type or too many or too few columns – it may be rejected. If your file is rejected, you’ll receive a message to say it has not been accepted and your claim will not be processed.

Fraudulent claims  

We have started to investigate CJRS claims where fraud is suspected. We will be paying particular attention to claims that differ from the PAYE data we hold and where we have received reports of fraud. Employees are encouraged to report their employer if they have reason to believe that they are abusing the scheme. They can do this anonymously if they prefer. For more information go to GOV‌.UK and search ‘report fraud to HMRC’.

More information

Guidance and live webinars offering you more support on changes to the scheme and how they impact you are available to book online – go to GOV‌.UK and search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’.

Our phone lines and webchat are still very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you may need is on GOV‌.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.

Protect yourself from scams  

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

I hope this information helps you and your business. We’ll continue to keep you updated on scheme developments over the coming weeks.

Yours faithfully

Jim Harra

Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary – HMRC

Events Calendar

 

Since the commencement of COVID-19 social events have not been possible and was reflected by all such events showing as “Cancelled until further notice” on our parish calendar.

As the lockdown is eased some events are returning gradually to our village halls and beyond.  Many, due to their nature will not be returning for some time.  The parish calendar is being updated to reflect those activities and events that are now taking place.

Currently numbers at events are restricted so do not just turn up.  Please contact the organisers to ensure you understand any special conditions of attendance, and to book your place.

Courier Fraud – Urgent information from West Mercia Police

Fraudsters are back in action claiming to be from the police, banks and fraud squads in order to extort money from the  vulnerable.

There have been a couple of incidents in Hereford where couples in their eighties have been targeted.
One man was conned into withdrawing an amount of cash from his personal bank account after being told his credit cards had been cloned. They then sent out two separate couriers to collect the cash from his home address.

In a second incident they asked for an amount of cash which has been collected by a “courier”. Before the individual was about to send over a much larger amount of cash West Mercia Police officers were able to step in and offer the support needed to the victim and prevent the transaction taking place.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright said: “This type of fraud often targets older and more vulnerable people and we would urge everyone to tell someone, by passing on the information about the bogus callers to relatives, friends and neighbours who may not have heard about the local telephone scam in operation.

“There are many alias’ that the imposters use but always remember that no police officer from any force or department will ever ask you to hand over money or transfer funds, regardless of their name or unit.”

The deception can also be carried out in several ways, such as –

  • A phone caller pretending to be a police officer who is investigating unidentified activity/ fraud in their bank account and that they must cooperate with the ‘investigation’.
  • The victim is then persuaded to withdraw funds and hand them over to the ‘investigators’, either by some remote means or in person to a courier.
  • The victim is told that if the bank cashier queries the large withdrawal that they are to say it is for a large purchase e.g. work/repairs in the home.
  • Alternatively the victim may be asked to hand over bank cards, vouchers or other valuable items. They may also be asked to transfer funds to another account, which is controlled by the fraudsters.

“These scams can be extremely convincing and manipulative. The fraudsters may give (alleged) crime numbers, investigation details, and job titles. They will always claim that the transaction must be done in secret. The fraudsters condition their victim not to trust bank branch staff, which can make it hard for those staff to help.”

“These calls are not genuine and payments should not be made. No legitimate bank/building society, police officer, or business will ever phone you to ask you to give them your card, your PIN, or your cash in the way we’ve described above.”

“Don’t trust anyone who calls you about your bank details. Always hang up and wait 10 minutes to ensure the call has disconnected.”

Stay Safe!

Supporting Walford Parishioners During Covid-19

The Walford Community Support Scheme has really shown how a rural support group can make such a difference to its’ parishioners who maybe isolated or lonely especially during the recent months of Covid-19.

The scheme was established in 2016 and has developed a fantastic group of volunteers who support our service users with everyday tasks in their homes for example collecting medication, taking people to appointments and encouraging service users to engage in our regular social gatherings and outings.

For so many the reality of Covid-19 and lockdown caused anxiety and confusion; the thought of not seeing friends and family was devastating.

But the WCSS swung into action with volunteers offering to go shopping or deliver much needed medication. The service users were all supported by regular befriending calls to check on their health and wellbeing. For many elderly service users modern IT technology is still to be mastered but a few challenged themselves with becoming more familiar with the internet and were amazed at the results – Zoom calls were deemed to be incredible!!!!

During the crisis the scheme was successful in applying for a grant from Herefordshire Community Foundation. As lockdown restrictions eased, we were able to ‘lift the spirits’ of our services users through our volunteers making special deliveries to their homes. Miffy’s Teashop in Ross put together the most delicious afternoon tea box, Audrey’s Fish Bar replaced our usual Fish ‘n’ Chip lunch with a home delivery and a ‘Treat Box’ containing local produce from Wye Valley Produce, Lodge Farm Kitchen and Franks Luxury Biscuits was gratefully received.  Service users were also provided with a material face mask and hand sanitiser to ensure their wellbeing when venturing out.

As time moves forward the scheme is hoping that it will be able to resume social gatherings under new guidelines, allowing friends to reconnect and to embrace any new members of the community who wish to join the scheme. Our hope is to use the grant funding to enhance our social gatherings, introduce new ‘ IT drop in’ sessions helping support service users with virtual appointments and to encourage younger members of our community who may also require support to be able to meet and enjoy the invaluable help our volunteers can offer.

The WCSS is so grateful to everyone who has supported the scheme since it was founded but particularly to our local volunteers who have reached out to help so many throughout the Covid-19 period, allowing our community to take care of those who are isolated or lonely.

If you know of anyone in the Walford Parish who may wish to be supported by the WCSS or if you would like to volunteer please contact us on 07493171430 or by e mail community@walford-pc.org.uk

 

Be Mackintosh

Community Support Coordinator

Video and Teleconferencing Guide

A few parishioners have experienced difficulties joining and taking part in council meetings being held by video conference.  It looks like we are going to be continuing with video conferencing for some time so the information below may provide assistance.

It is impractical to provide advice that will suit everyone as there are more than a dozen ways to join a meeting depending on your equipment, operating system and the meeting system being used.

Walford Parish Council currently use two video conferencing systems WebEx and GoToMeeting.

Details of meetings and their joining information are shown on the calendar, which includes which meeting system is being used.  Normally, if you are joining from a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone you just need to click on the “join meeting” button.  If you are joining by phone then dial the number and follow the verbal instructions.

That’s the simple bit!  Now you will need to allow the meeting software access to your microphone and camera.  The following videos provide the basic information for joining a meeting, if you need more information please got to the software providers website WebEx  or  GoToMeeting

WebEx quick start guide.

GoToMeeting quick start guide.

 

New Online Library Service

There is a new service which is available for all members of Herefordshire Libraries, and it is called “PressReader”.  You can access all newspapers and magazines from the UK and beyond and IT IS COMPLETELY FREE.  If you are a library member just go onto the Herefordshire.gov.uk website go to Libraries and start reading, if you are not a member it is easy to join online.