Government announces Job Support Scheme to replace furlough from 1 November

The government’s furlough scheme, brought in at the start of lockdown, has been a lifeline to many businesses and saved the livelihoods of millions. The furlough scheme comes to an end on 31 October and the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has revealed that the new Job Support Scheme will replace it.

The Job Support Scheme will initially run for six months from 1 November until 1 May 2021. It is designed to top up the salaries of staff that businesses are unable to bring back into full-time work. Employees must work at least one-third of their regular contracted hours to be eligible. The government and employer will each pay one-third of the remaining wages to the staff member, meaning the employee takes home at least 77% of their pay. While at the height of the furlough scheme, the government paid 80% of workers’ wages, under the new scheme it will pay a maximum of 22%.

The Job Support Scheme is available to small and medium-sized businesses (often defined as organisations with 250 employees or fewer). Large businesses are also eligible so long as they can prove their revenue has fallen as a result of the pandemic.

Employees must have been on the firm’s payroll since 23 September and they can be moved on and off the scheme, or work different hours. Each working arrangement must cover at least seven days.
Workers cannot be made redundant or put on notice while a Jobs Support Scheme grant is being claimed on their behalf and, as with the furlough scheme, employers will be reimbursed by the government after the work has been done.

In addition, to further minimise unemployment, the UK government will also give firms:

  • £1,000 for every furloughed employee kept on until at least the end of January
  • £1,500 for every unemployed 16-24 year-old given a ”high quality” six-month work placement
  • £2,000 for each under-25 apprentice taken on until the end of January, or £1,500 for over-25s

Michael Copeland, senior area manager at Practice Plan parent company Wesleyan, the specialist financial mutual for dentists, commented on what the new scheme might mean for dental practices: “The Chancellor’s new measures will be welcome news for dental practitioners, many of whom are struggling to recover from impact of  lockdown. The Job Support Scheme announced today could help practices avoid redundancies and protect vital patient care services. It could also provide a further incentive for practices to bring back furloughed staff– supporting the profession’s efforts to resume a wider range of services.

“Extensions to the repayment terms of Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans will also help practices as they can keep essential cash in their business for longer. Together, steps like these will support the sector’s ongoing recovery – so essential to the wider wellbeing of the nation.”

NASDAL: More than half of UK dental practices rely on Government loans

A recent NASDAL (National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers) survey has found that 52% of UK dental practices have relied on either CIBLS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) or BBLS (Bounce Back Loan Scheme) from the government.

The survey was carried out last month and a sample of 121 practices (with a total fee income of £88 million) was taken from NASDAL accountant member practice owning clients on a random sampling basis. The survey found that:

  • 11% of practices have taken out CBILS loans, mainly private practices
  • The average CBILS loan is £105k (12% of fee income)
  • 41% of practices have taken out BBLS loans, covering all types of practices.
  • The average BBLS loan is £49k (7% of fee income).

The average loan is £32k (4% of fee income) and overall, 52% of dental practices have taken advantage of Government backed Covid loans.

 Alan Suggett, specialist dental accountant and partner in UNW LLP who compiles the goodwill survey, commented, “these findings don’t surprise me and reflect what I have found when speaking to dental clients. The CBILS application process was particularly arduous and difficult and this meant that in my experience, those practices that applied for CBILS loans really did need the funds. BBLS however, required just a couple of ticks and the money was in the account 48 hours later. I suspect that a large number of applicants did so on a ‘just in case’ basis and will be happy to pay the money back in full next year.

“One of the major concerns that NASDAL had when we reported to the short life working group (SLWG) headed up by Deputy CDO England, Jason Wong, was that most dental practices are fundamentally sound businesses and to see a good number in potential difficulty purely because of capital loan repayments, is a real concern. That is why it was key for us that in the recommendations, a government guaranteed loan support scheme to underpin lenders confidence in supporting dental practices and dental laboratories at risk was included.

“When the CIBLS and BBLS repayments become due next year, we will see how many dentists and practices are in difficulty.”

NASDAL COVID SURVEY RESULTS

Number of Practices in survey   121  
Total Fees     £88,418,701  
Total NHS Fees   £35,948,501 41%
Total Private Fees   £52,470,200 59%
Total COVID Support Borrowings   £3,822,000  
Average Support Borrowings (Per Practice)   £31,587  
Percentage of Borrowings to Total Turnover   4%  
         
Number of Practices with CBILS   13 11%
Total Fees (of Practices with CBILS)   £11,896,317 13%
Total NHS Fees (of Practices with CBILS)   £1,941,133  
Total Private Fees (of Practices with CBILS)   £9,955,184 84%
Total CBILS Borrowing   £1,369,000  
Average of CBILS Borrowings to Number of Practices with CBILS £105,308  
Percentage of Borrowings to Total Turnover (of Practices with CBILS) 12%  
         
Number of Practices with BBLs   50 41%
Total Fees (of Practices with BBLs)   £34,481,458 39%
Total NHS Fees (of Practices with BBLs)   £15,198,902  
Total Private Fees (of Practices with BBLs)   £19,282,555 56%
Total BBLs Borrowing   £2,453,000  
Average of BBLs Borrowings to Number of Practices with BBLs £49,060  
Percentage of Borrowings to Total Turnover (of Practices with BBLs) 7%  

Henry Schein Named to Fortune Magazine’s ‘Change the World’ List

Henry Schein, Inc. announced today that it has been named to Fortune magazine’s “Change the World” list, an annual ranking of companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. Henry Schein was recognised for its role in helping to create the Pandemic Supply Chain Network (PSCN), a public-private partnership aimed at saving lives by strengthening the resilience of the global health supply chain in response to pandemics. Henry Schein serves as the PSCN’s private sector lead.

The PSCN, co-founded by Henry Schein, is a public-private initiative that brings together the private sector and global organisations – including the World Health Organization, World Economic Forum, the United Nations World Food Programme, the World Bank, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, UNICEF, and approximately 60 health care manufacturers and suppliers – to embrace a common commitment to a cause. Since the PSCN’s inception, Henry Schein, as private sector lead, has worked intensively to develop a platform for data sharing, market visibility, and operational coordination for health care products to more effectively match global demand with global supply. The trust-based relationships built between sectors through the PSCN has been crucial in enabling the sharing of information and facilitating the ability of key stakeholders to navigate together the supply chain challenges caused by global pandemics.

“Henry Schein is driven by a sense of purpose and mission, and we are honoured to be named to Fortune magazine’s ‘Change the World’ list for our enduring commitment to these values,” said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein. “Since our founding in 1932, Henry Schein has been guided by the belief that we can align our strengths as a business with the needs of society to make a positive difference. Through the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, we have had the opportunity to work with leaders from all sectors of society to help create a safer world through more effective pandemic preparedness and response.”

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in late 2019, the PSCN has taken an active role in developing critical tools to strengthen the supply chain, including advocacy, procurement, and product recommendations. Henry Schein’s long-term leadership in the PSCN enabled the Company to deploy insights in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically advocating for and disseminating guidelines for proper usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) to promoting the judicious use of PPE. The Company’s collaboration with its PSCN partners reinforces Henry Schein’s commitment to public-private partnerships as a means of addressing complex societal issues.

Fortune magazine’s “Change the World” list celebrates companies and leaders that embrace corporate purpose and recognise how it can add value to business and society. Fortune evaluates the companies by measurable social impact, business results, degree of innovation, and corporate integration. To view the entire list, please visit: https://fortune.com/change-the-world/.

For more information, visit Henry Schein at www.henryschein.com, Facebook.com/HenrySchein, and @HenrySchein on Twitter.

Scottish Dental Care Group to acquire two new practices

The Scottish Dental Care Group is set to acquire two new practices by October as part of its ambitious growth plans, after securing a £1.75 million funding package from Bank of Scotland.

Despite the recent pandemic forcing the temporary closure of each of its existing 11 practices, Scottish Dental Care Group acquired a new practice in the central belt during lockdown, with a further one in the final stages of completion. Its practices are currently located across Glasgow, Dumfries, Oban, Inverness, Bishopton and Cardonald.

The business sought support from Bank of Scotland to fund the new acquisitions as part of its wider growth plans to purchase a new practice each quarter throughout 2020 and 2021. The Group also has existing funding in place should any further changes be needed to ensure the practices comply with future government guidance in relation to Covid-19.

The planned acquisitions will bring an additional 23 members of staff to the Group, totalling 91 nursing and clerical staff, 44 dentists and hygienists. The new NHS and private practices will also welcome around 20,000 new patients, bringing the total number to almost 100,000 across Scotland.

Philip Friel, SDC Group’s clinical director, said: “We’ve been very specific in terms of our group structure and ambitions for growth. While no one foresaw the current global pandemic, that same robust structure and management regime stands us in good stead to progress with our growth plans across the country. This is only possible with the support of our extended teams who have demonstrated outstanding cohesion throughout. It’s an exciting time for us, and we hope to return to normal practice soon, and continue growing into 2021 and beyond.” 

Christopher Friel, director of SDC Group, added: “Last year we focused on consolidating our existing practices and processes, as well as refinancing the group with Bank of Scotland which meant that when Covid-19 hit, we were in a strong position. We use a single supplier for all of the practices, from using the same electricity provider to the same manufacturer of clinical materials, meaning that once we’ve acquired a new site, the logistics of bringing that practice into the group are very straightforward.  This process also allows us to focus our efforts on the needs of our new team members and patients.”

Mark Sim, relationship director at Bank of Scotland, also commented: “Parts of the healthcare sector, particularly pharmacies, have been extremely busy throughout the pandemic. However, it has been more damaging for dental practices that have been forced to close their doors to weather this challenging time. SDC Group is a great example of a business that already had strong foundations in place and now, with our support, is ready to continue normal operations quickly as soon as it is permitted. We will continue supporting the firm with its ambitious expansion plans over the next 24 months, and hopefully see SDC Group become one of the sector’s key players over the coming years.”

Luke Barnett Laboratory Now Working with Boutique Whitening

Luke Barnett Laboratory are delighted to announce that they are now working alongside Boutique Whitening. In what has been seen as a new chapter in teeth whitening, Luke Barnett’s superior trays, coupled with Boutique Whitening’s industry-leading expertise are a formidable combination, that will offer patients the best possible results.

The Luke Barnett Centre has consistently championed the production of precision-engineered trays. Perfectly formed trays with a perfect seal ensures that we can deliver beautiful white smiles every time.

CEO Luke Barnett commented, ‘After a decade of supplying our friends at Enlighten, we are delighted to be able to offer our high-quality trays to a wider audience. Going forward, we will be working alongside Boutique Whitening to provide our bespoke whitening trays, which perfectly complement their fantastic range of gels. The importance of a high quality, well fitted whitening tray cannot be overstated in delivering the results that patients demand.’

CEO of Boutique Whitening, Prem Sehmi added, ‘From the moment we started speaking to Luke, we knew that this someone with incredible knowledge and experience that could only be of benefit to our clients and their patients.’

To find out more, please visit www.lukebarnett.com/laboratory/news-pr/luke-barnett-laboratory-now-working-boutique-whitening-0 or call 01923 251537.

Towergate Health & Protection predicts a significant rise in businesses offering dentistry benefits

With dentists across the UK beginning to open their doors to patients, a significant backlog of people needing dental treatment as a result of the pandemic, and costs of treatment likely to increase – offering access to dental care is set to become one of the most popular health and wellbeing benefits, predicts Towergate Health & Protection.

Brett Hill, Distribution Director at Towergate Health & Protection, said: “With most dentists forced to shut due to Covid-19, only treating or referring urgent cases, businesses and employees alike will want to get back on track with dental care now that surgeries are gradually reopening. With access to NHS dentistry about to become more difficult than ever, and costs for private dentistry expected to rise, we are likely to see an increase in businesses investigating options available to support staff with their dental health, such as providing greater financial support for check-ups and treatment.”

Supporting increased cost

Dentists may well look to pass increased cost – due to additional spend required for Covid-19 infection control – on to patients. As a result, businesses will be looking at ways to help employees manage the additional financial burden by providing benefits that can support this outlay. Dentist surgeries are having to invest in PPE, to meet Public Health England requirements for operating safely, and won’t be able to see as many patients as before – to adhere to social distancing and cleaning regulations. Some associated costs will need to be transferred to the patient, and dental benefits – such as cash plans or those included within private medical insurance – can help employees with covering the expenditure.

Minimising related absence

Employers will also be keen for those staff suffering with non-urgent requirements to be treated as soon as possible, for their personal wellbeing, and to return to work more quickly and comfortably. As dentists work through the lockdown-induced backlog, demand for services may outstrip supply – so delays are to be expected. Waiting for slots to become available, the increased time required to physically attend appointments, and inability to work because of dental health issues can increase dentistry-related absence; but benefits can help with affordability if treatment is required – potentially preventing further delays from returning to work.

Hill added: “Employers will be very aware of the health concerns their staff may have faced during lockdown and will be eager to support them as restrictions are being lifted. With dental surgeries beginning to reopen across the UK, a key way for businesses to support staff will be by helping them to afford treatment and check-ups. By providing benefits, such as dental insurance or health care cash plans, businesses can support employees with getting their health back on track – in turn, potentially improving wellbeing and absence.”

NASDAL: “Beware 31st January tax pitfalls”

Last week saw the Summer Economic Statement delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Rishi Sunak concentrated very much on job support, job creation and job protection with temporary tax reductions targeted specifically at the hard-hit hospitality sector and at the sluggish residential property market.

There was relatively little of direct relevance to the dental sector and Charles Linaker, a tax partner with NASDAL members UNW, says that the most important Covid-19 measure of which dentists need to be aware is a measure announced previously in relation to their 31 July payments on account due under Self-Assessment.

“The majority of dentists will have had average earnings above the limits which might have rendered them eligible for help under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and so, for them, the main measure of relief is the opportunity to defer their second payment on account for tax year 2019/20, due at the end of July, until next 31 January 2021, which was brought in as a response to Covid-19. By now, most dentists should have received their Self-Assessment statements from HMRC showing that their 31 July payment has been deferred automatically to 31 January 2021.

This has been done so that HMRC’s IT systems do not automatically charge late payment interest on any 31 July 2020 payment on account paid between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021. In other words, while it remains an option to make the payment as normal, should dentists choose not to, so as to preserve cash at this uncertain time, they need take no action to inform HMRC and will not be at risk of interest or penalty charges so long as the amount has been paid by no later than 31 January 2021.”

Linaker continued, “of course, it may be argued that deferring until 31 January 2021 is doing no more than putting off the evil day and that there will then be a doubling up of tax payments, because the first payment on account will then be due for tax year 2020/21. But that is to overlook the fact that there is a long standing facility, of which many dentists may never have needed to take advantage previously in their professional careers, to make a claim to reduce the 2020/21 payments

on account for 31 January 2021 and 31 July 2021, on the grounds that current year profits for 2020/21 will be reduced significantly compared to those for the preceding year 2019/20. Given the timing of lockdown as a result of Covid-19, this is likely to be a facility which many dentists will want to make use of and they should ensure they liaise with their accountants well before 31 January 2021, so that appropriate calculations can be made to justify a claim to reduce their 2020/21 payments on account.”

Centre for Dentistry jobs saved as practices sold

150 staff from dental practice group, Centre For Dentistry Ltd have seen their jobs safeguarded with the sale of 15 practices to individual dentist buyers.

Despite a strong private patient base, the onset of Covid-19 meant the business was no longer viable and Neil Vinnicombe and Simon Haskew of Begbies Traynor’s Bath office were appointed as joint administrators on 3rd June. Their work with the landlord and the associate buyers meant that the practices were transacted within a month with legal support from Osborne Clarke in Bristol. 

Commenting on the news, Neil Vinnicombe, partner at Begbies Traynor in Bath said: “This is a fantastic result that will not only preserve employment for the majority of the workforce but also provide continuity of care to the practices’ significant patient base, which has been built up over the past decade. It will also maximise the outcome for the creditors and provide new tenants for the landlord.

“It is particularly heartening to achieve a sale in the current economic climate when mass redundancies and business closures are being made. Thanks to the collaboration of all parties, these established practices now have the opportunity to thrive under new management.”

Lisa Riley CEO of Centre for Dentistry added: “We would not have been able to complete the sales without the work of the administrators. Their ability to cut through issues we were facing with the landlord and focus on the timetable necessary to protect staff and patients was hugely effective.

“While it is sad to see the Centre for Dentistry journey come to an end, having built a strong private patient base, it is heartening to see our associates become business owners and benefit from the work they have put into building their own practices.”

Examining what the Chancellor’s Summer Statement 2020 means for dentistry

Michael Lansdell is a founding partner at specialist dental and medical accountants Lansdell & Rose and a chartered accountant. Here, he discusses the main points from the Chancellor’s Summer Statement delivered on 8 July, which outlined new measures to support business and workers.

Rishi Sunak’s Spring Budget was on 11 March, just two weeks before large parts of the economy were shut down completely. Now, four months later, your practice may have reopened and hopefully you are feeling positive, proactive, and prepared for whatever might come your way. Here’s a brief guide to the Summer Statement and which of the interventions could be of particular interest to practice owners and dental professionals.

Furloughed workers

If you are a dental practice owner who has furloughed staff, you will probably already know that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is being phased down starting from August, when more of the cost of furloughing will be passed onto the employer. The CJRS has already been extended twice, but the Chancellor confirmed he still intends for it to finish in October, as planned.

What is new is a Job Retention Bonus in the form of a one-off £1,000 payment, for every employee you bring back and who remains continuously employed until the end of January 2021 (you’ll get your bonus from February onwards). Any furloughed individual you return to work must earn more than £520 a month, on average between the end of the CJRS and the 31 January.

Work placements, trainees, and apprentices

There are to be new payment bonuses attached to employers who offer the above, which could all certainly be of interest to practice owners and enrich your workplace for a multitude of reasons. First is the Kickstart Scheme, which aims to provide new, six-month, quality work placements for young people aged 16-24. Government funding for each job will cover employers’ costs, including 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus employer NICs and minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

There will also be bonuses for employers who offer traineeships/work placements for 16-24-year olds and for those who hire new apprentices – for every new apprenticeship, you could receive up to £2,000.

A Stamp Duty showstopper

This announcement was the headline grabber; the UK housing market had – unsurprisingly – ground to a near-halt in the first half of the year. So, as had been widely expected, from 8 July – 31 March 2021, there is to be a temporary cut on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on residential property in England and Northern Ireland, increasing the zero-rate band to £500,000 with all bands being revised. For additional properties, or corporate residential properties of over £40,000 though, you’ll still need to add 3% to the relevant SDLT rates.

To sum up…

Generally, we’re all now wanting to regain lost ground from lockdown and, of course, the current picture will also look different from wherever you are in the UK. We might feel that we’re facing the great unknown, but although things might “seem” different, a successful business is always one that has been built on sensible and solid practises, protocols and processes, and is able to adapt and respond intelligently to changing and challenging circumstances.

What I do know is that at Lansdell & Rose, our dental clients are very happy to be back at work! We offer a full portfolio of accountancy services and will also give you specialist, quality advice with business support and planning for now and the future.

From the very start of the pandemic, those who adopted a confident and decisive approach have stood out from the rest and this is what every dental practice owner and dental professional who wants to gain the maximum benefit from their business and optimise their personal finance, should be aiming to achieve.

For more information please visit www.lansdellrose.co.uk.

Stephen Price promoted to Managing Director of Takara Belmont (UK) Ltd

Stephen Price has been appointed Managing Director of Takara Belmont (UK) Ltd and will take up the role from 1st July 2020 as current MD Takashi Hoshina returns to Japan to take on an International role within the corporation.  Stephen has held the position of Director at Takara Belmont since 2006.

“During my tenure here at TBUK, we have achieved many things. We have enhanced the Dental product range with tbCompass and Voyager 111, which are now two main products in the UK market,” Takashi commented. “We have had to adjust our strategy for Brexit and today we are facing huge challenges with the Coronavirus, but we will come through this together and my new job in Takara Belmont is to integrate our international business in USA and Europe, which I am optimistic towards because of what I have learned from the UK in the past 8 years.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Stephen’s calibre and experience to lead Takara Belmont UK. Stephen has a solid understanding of our products and markets, a proven track record and is a strong communicator with deep leadership capabilities. ”

Stephen added: “We are at a critical moment and we need renewed leadership to successfully implement our strategy and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead.”

Upon his return to Japan, Takashi will be responsible for the business expansion in both Europe and the USA.