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27 January 2021


We will try to keep this page updated as far as possible during the current crisis


STAY AT HOME. From 5 January 2021, mainland Scotland moved from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. Some islands will remain at Level 3.

FURLOUGH SCHEME FURTHER EXTENDED TO APRIL 2021. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now run until the end of April 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. Similarly, support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be extended, with the fourth grant covering February to April 2021, and the government-guaranteed Covid-19 business loan schemes extended until the end of March 2021. (17 December 2020)

HARDSHIP FUND FOR CREATIVE FREELANCERS. This fund administered by Creative Scotland will close at noon on Monday 1 February 2021.

PRODUCTIVITY CLUB is delivered by SCDI in partnership with Scottish Government and aims to support businesses to increase their individual productivity. The Club is free to join and members come from across Scotland representing businesses of all sizes and all sectors. (26 October 2020)

CHANGES TO THE JOB SUPPORT SCHEME. The scheme will begin on 1 November 2020. Under the revised scheme, employers will pay less and staff can work fewer hours before they qualify. See also articles by Anderson Strathern, Harper Macleod and on the BBC website explaining the changes and how the scheme will operate (22 October 2020)

SELF-ISOLATION SUPPORT GRANT. Applications for the Self-Isolation Support Grant have opened for low income workers who are asked to self-isolate and would lose income if they needed to isolate. (13 October 2020)

JOB SUPPORT SCHEME EXPANDED. Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work. The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees' salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month. The scheme will begin on 1 November 2020 and will be available for six months, with a review point in January 2021. (9 October 2020)

JOB SUPPORT SCHEME. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new scheme to support viable jobs when the Job Retention Scheme ends. The new scheme will run from 1 November 2020 until 30 April 2021. (24 September 2020)

THE CULTURE ORGANISATIONS AND VENUES RECOVERY FUND. This £15m fund will close for applications at noon on Thursday 24 September 2020. (17 September 2020)


£59 MILLION FUNDING PACKAGE. Culture and heritage sectors are to benefit from a £59 million funding package to protect jobs and help the industry weather the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The culture funds will be delivered through Creative Scotland and follows on from the previously announced £12.5 million Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund and £2.2 million support for Grassroots Music Venues. It comes as part of the £97 million in UK Government consequentials for the culture and heritage sectors. (28 August 2020) 

SELF EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME. If you're eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020. (17 August 2020). The Money Saving Expert website has useful advice on applying for this scheme.


WORKPLACE RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL. The Scottish Government has published risk assessment guidance and a tool for staff across all industries which should be used by employers to support staff and line managers to understand and carry out effective risk assessments. (27 July 2020)

THE COVID-19 PULSE CHECK REPORT: The Impact of COVID-19 on the UK Publishing Industry provides a snapshot of the current state of the industry (24 July 2020).

JOB RETENTION BONUS. The government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. This was included in its policy paper A Plan for Jobs 2020 (8 July 2020). Anderson Strathern have published an update (15 July 2020) on the job retention scheme including the bonus.

£1.57 BILLION SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR CULTURAL AND HERITAGE ORGANISATIONS. These new funds announced by the UK Government include an extra £97 million for Scotland. (5 July 2020)

LIFELINE SUPPORT FOR PERFORMING ARTS VENUES. A targeted £10 million fund to support Scotland's performing arts venues has been announced. It will be run by Creative Scotland, who will publish full details shortly. (3 July 2020)

CREATIVE COMMUNITIES. A new programme from Inspiring Scotland that aims to support and empower communities to develop cultural activities. The programme will distribute up to £600,000 to support communities to develop new initiatives involving culture and creative arts for the period October 2020 to June 2021. Applications close on 12 August 2020. (1 July 2020)

HIGH STREET SHOPS RE-OPEN. The public are being encouraged to shop local as retail businesses across the country prepare to re-open on 29 June 2020. (29 June 2020)

RETURNING TO WORK SAFELY. The Scottish Government has issued guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely. (24 June 2020)

GRADUAL INTRODUCTION OF PHASE 2 IN SCOTLAND. This includes the provision for all retail premises with outdoor entrances and exits to re-open from 29 June 2020. (18 June 2020)

PUBLISHING SCOTLAND'S SUBMISSION to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee of the Scottish Parliament in response to its call for views on the impact of Covid-19 on Scotland's culture and tourism sectors. (June 2020)


  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will close to new entrants on 13 July 2020. The scheme will be extended with those eligible able to claim a second and final grant capped at £6,570 in August. 
  • The Job Retention Scheme will close to new entrants on 30 June 2020. This means that the final date by which an employer needs to agree with their employee and ensure they place them on furlough is 10 JuneFrom 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part time. From 1 August employers will have to pay ER NICs and pension contributions. The Government's contribution will further reduce from 80% of qualifying wages (to end of August) to 70% in September and to 60% in October. 

ROUTE MAP FOR MOVING OUT OF LOCKDOWN IN SCOTLAND. A route map setting out a phased approach to easing lockdown restrictions while still suppressing coronavirus (COVID-19) has been published by the Scottish Government (see the document on the Scottish Government website). it gives details of a gradual four-phase move out of the current state of lockdown. (21 May 2020)

UK GOVERNMENT ADVICE ON WORKING SAFELY DURING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19). Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic (11 May 2020). Includes specific advice for offices and shops. See also Health and Safety Executive latest advice including guidance on working safely at home. 

CALL FOR VIEWS ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON SCOTLAND'S CULTURE AND TOURISM SECTORS. The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry on the impact of COVID-19 on Scotland's culture and tourism sectors and is seeking your views (28 April 2020).


ACAS GUIDANCE ON FURLOUGH. ACAS has updated its guidance on furlough and qualifying start dates, following HMRC publishing new details on 15 April 2020. ACAS also has a template furlough letter to download.

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