Posts Tagged ‘coronavirus’

Preparing to move out of lockdown – measures for businesses & individuals

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

With more than 70% of UK private businesses having furloughed their staff and other financial help sought in the forms of loans and rate holidays, businesses should now plan for their post-lockdown futures. Many office-based roles will be done more remotely, prompting the need for a serious rethink about location and IT. Amongst all the uncertainty, here are some steps to consider as we transition out of lockdown:

Prepare to welcome back furloughed/part-time staff

With the Chancellor’s announcement on 12th May that the furlough scheme is extended until the end of October, businesses can start welcoming back furloughed staff on a part time basis from August. Of course, this is dependent on suitable protective measures in place. Has a COVID-19 risk assessment been carried out? Ensure you communicate this to all staff, including specific information such as who is allowed into the office on which days, where employees will sit to observe social distancing rules and hygiene procedures such as how frequently & when to use hand sanitiser and more frequent emptying of bins. Until the end of July the government is covering 80% of wages (capped) but from Auguust employers are expected to share more of this cost and pay a percentage towards the ‘furloughed’ salary. More details to come at the end of May.

 Adjust the business plan

Many businesses have already adapted to survive and continue trading, with management addressing the issue of what happens when we’re out of this crisis. Those without robust and reliable online platforms have suffered and customers have gone elsewhere, possibly forever. Teams are addressing practical issues such as how to continue manufacturing using technology but adhering to social distancing. Identify different markets and where possible, expand your model to sell beyond your usual customers. Rework the figures to calculate the new profit margins of selling via various platforms. Business plans aren’t set in stone and should be changed when the facts change, which they most certainly have in recent weeks.

Update your IT

Organisations quick to adapt online include those as diverse as interior design services, schools, DIY stores and professional service firms. With millions having switched to working remotely, for large swathes of the economy this will become the new normal post lockdown. Remote meetings of all magnitudes are conducted via apps such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom & Webex, saving hours spent commuting to meetings which can instead be accessed in seconds (much better for the environment too…). Now is the time to invest in more robust IT systems and cloud sharing/storage such as One Drive and Dropbox. Not only will this allow business to continue as smoothly as possible, it provides far more flexibility in the future for both customers and employees. Firms offering flexibility around working hours and locations are perceived as far more attractive propositions and will attract the best candidates. Trekking into the office 5 days a week will soon be consigned to the past.

Reconsider your office space

Will headcount be the same post lockdown? If not, consider moving to a smaller premises providing options for hot desking and remote working. Consider switching to online/cloud storage rather than hard copies. This results in either saved storage costs or extra office space – does this business need that extra space for new staff/ventures or could it downsize? Also consider relocating if being in the centre of town is no longer a priority.

Rotate your furloughed staff

It is possible to rotate staff on furlough, to avoid the same people doing all the work on only marginally more pay with the rest not required to work at all. This ensures staff retain their skills and avoids resentment within the team. Bear in mind there is a minimum claim period of 3 weeks per furloughed employee.

Stay close to your clients & customers

Build customer loyalty by helping them as much as possible and keeping in touch with their situations. This is an incredibly challenging time requiring communication between both parties to help each other out. How businesses treat their customers now will be remembered for a long time to come.

Furloughed staff can take on other jobs

With a shortage of fruit pickers in the UK and the busy harvest upon us, furloughed workers are being urged to take second jobs picking fruit. The peak demand for pickers will be June and you’ll need to get permission from your current employer before taking on a second temporary job.

Get the accounts & tax compliance done early

We’re urging businesses with a March ’20 year end to consider getting all possible compliance done now, freeing up time post-lockdown to grow the business. The same goes for individuals who are now able to submit their 2019/20 self-assessment tax returns. Of course, the sooner HMRC receives your return, the sooner you receive any tax refund due.

Reopen the business using appropriate social distancing measures

Not all work can be done from home. What measures can your business reasonably adopt to reopen the business and get it moving again once restrictions are eased?

Stock volumes

Get an accurate picture of stock levels and reassess how much really needs to be held. Could you renegotiate storage facilities?

Contact Julia Gallagher or Anna Madden if you’d like help with any of the above issues or call 01527 558539.

lockdown

A summary of help for businesses & individuals affected by the Coronavirus

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

This is our summary page with useful links and info to help those affected by the Coronavirus.

HMRC Coronavirus Helpline 0800 0159 559 / 0800 024 1222

The Business Support helpline 0300 456 3565

Our summary of Help for businesses including info on the Job Retention Scheme, VAT payment deferrals, deferrals for filing statutory accounts, applying for finance under the CBILS and grants.

Relaxing of Insolvency Rules and how they help businesses

Deferral of VAT payments for businesses

Job Retention Scheme and how to furlough employees and directors

Applying for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS)

Help for the self employed including details of the Income Support Scheme

Useful HMRC & council links:

Claiming a grant under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Applying for a Business Support Grant with Worcester City Council

Business Grants from Bromsgrove District Council

Business Rate reductions from Worcester Council

Business Rate reductions from Bromsgrove District Council

Statutory Sick Pay – an employer’s guide

HMRC Summary of measures for businesses affected by Coronavirus

Guidance for employers & businesses

Guidance for employees – can your employer use the Job Retention Scheme?

Claiming for your employees’ wages under the Job Retention Scheme

Self employment – claiming a grant through the Income Support Scheme

Self employment – what happens if you can’t pay your tax bill on time

Grant funding for smaller businesses

We are here to help and answer your questions. Contact Julia Gallagher or Anna Madden who will be able to explain what help is available to you as an individual or business and how the latest changes affect you. Announcements are being made daily and we are endeavouring to update our website for the latest news.

Thank you for your patience.

Coronavirus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus – insolvency rules relaxed

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

More flexible insolvency rules to help businesses affected by the coronavirus

Under new insolvency rules announced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma, businesses will be allowed greater flexibility throughout the coronavirus crisis to continue trading. The measures are designed to give the affected company breathing space, whilst ensuring creditors get the best returns but the company still has access to supplies and materials.

During the moratorium, the key measures are:

  • A temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions without the threat of personal liability should the company end up insolvent
  • Proposals to protect creditors & suppliers to ensure they are paid, including protecting the supplies enabling trade to continue
  • A new restructuring plan agreed on by the creditors
  • Breathing space from creditors enforcing their debts whilst the company looks to restructure or undergo rescue
  • Greater flexibility over holding AGMs during the affected period

We welcome these measures which are designed to give businesses the best chance of survival during the coronavirus crisis and in a position to ‘bounce back’ once the worst of the pandemic is behind them. Directors are being encouraged to be resourceful, enterprising and consider new options for staying afloat which under normal circumstances would be caught by these provisions. The temporary suspension will apply retrospectively from 1 March 2020.

Mr Sharma was clear to reassure us:

“However, to be clear, all of the other checks and balances that help to ensure directors fulfil their duties properly will remain in force.”

Businesses which were due to hold AGMs are able to hold these in a manner that is compatible with public health guidance, most likely online and using the phone for proxy voting.

We are here to offer you business advice during the coronavirus pandemic and can help with your insolvency questions.

Please contact Anna Madden to find out your options and put you in the best position to get through the challenging weeks ahead. 01527 558539. Government Insolvency Service.

Insolvency rules

Insolvency rules

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and how to furlough employees & sole directors

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), government is to step in and cover staff wages (capped) for employees who were on the payroll at 19th March 2020 and otherwise at risk of redundancy due to the coronavirus pandemic. This will be in the form of an initial grant (CJRS V1) payable from 20th April 2020 and cover up to 80% of an employee’s wages up to £2,500. A second grant will be available (CJRS V2) for the 3 months to the end of October with the employer expected to contribute more. The affected employees are ‘furlouged’ (given a leave of absence) and retained for when the business needs them again. This is an online service (do NOT try to claim via phone). Click here to claim your grant.

Key points:

  1. Furloughed members of staff must not work for the employer during the period of furlough. This agreement should be in writing and confirmation provided by both the employer and furloughed employee.
  2. Furlough is from 1 March 2020, so is to be backdated. It will last until the end of October with employers expected to share the costs from 1 August as part-time employees are phased back into the workplace. Note that while the scheme is backdated to the beginning of March as it is intended to support all those employed then, a firm will only be eligible to claim the grant once they have agreed the furlough with their staff and staff have stopped working for the employer. This will of course be subject to employment law in the usual way.
  3. It is available to employees on the payroll at 19 March 2020 and included on the employer’s Full Payment Submission (FPS) before this date. You can claim for full-time and part-time employees, employees on agency contracts and employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts. The scheme also covers employees who were made redundant recently if they are rehired by their employer. Our understanding is that currently, no claims can be made for annual payrolls.
  4. The employer will need to be registered for PAYE online in order to make the claim. You can register here.
  5. All UK businesses are eligible, ‘any employer on the country, small or large, charitable or non-profit’ to use the Chancellor’s words. This includes recruitment agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE) and public authorities.
  6. The scheme pays a grant (not a loan) to the employer.
  7. The grant will be paid to the employer through a new online system from 20 April 2020.
  8. The employer will pay the employee through payroll, using the Real Time Information (RTI) system as usual, as required by the employment contract. This contract may be renegotiated but that is a matter for employment law. So RTI system reporting of payroll will continue as normal.
  9. Scheme will be administered by HMRC:
    • Relevant employees must be designated as furloughed employees.
    • Employers will submit information to HMRC through a new online portal.
    • As this will take time to build, businesses should look to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support cash flow in the meantime. The narrative used in the information released so far says ‘if your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19 they may be able to access support…’. This is a conditional phrase which may relate to existing funds available to the employer. We do not yet know how these might be determined, nor whether there is a bar of some description.
  10. The maximum grant to the end of July will be calculated per employee and is the lower of:
    • 80% of ‘an employee’s regular wage’ and.
    • £2,500 per month.
    Plus the associated Employers’ national insurance contributions (ER NICs) on this amount and the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.
    Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included.
    This gives a maximum cap of £2,500 +£245 (ER NICs) + £59 (auto- enrolled pension contribution) = £2,804 of total possible grant that can be applied for per employee per month.
  11. August: Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 with employers paying ER NICs and pension contributions
  12. September: Government pays 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 with employers paying 10% of wages, ER NICs and pension contributions, making up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500
  13. October: Government pays 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875, with employers paying 20% of wages, ER NICs and pension contributions to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500
  14. Furloughed employees can not undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation, including providing services or generating revenue.
  15. To claim, you will need your ePAYE reference number, the number of employees being furloughed, the claim period, (start & end date), amount claimed, your bank account number and sort code, your contact name and phone number. You will also need to provide the following details for the employee/s being furloughed: NI number, salary, National Insurance & pension contribution info used to calculate the claim amount.
  16. Employers must pay at least the minimum Auto Enrolment employer pension contributions on behalf of their furloughed employees. But they can only claim back the minimum AE employer pension contributions on the earnings paid.
  17. From 1 July 2020 businesses have the option of bringing back furloughed employees into the workplace on a part time basis and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work. When claiming, employers will need to include the hours actually worked and the hours usually worked by the employee in the claim period.
  18. The scheme closes to new entrants after 30th June 2020, so employees must have been furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks by 30 June to qualify for CJRS V2 later payments.

How to furlough Sole Directors

Sole directors can take advantage of the Job Retention Scheme but only to the extent of their PAYE salary.

The scheme applies to sole directors as follows:

  • Dividends are NOT included as part of the amount which can be claimed
  • Sole directors mush have been created by 28 Feb 2020
  • A 2019/20 RTI report must have been filed by 19 March 2020
  • The director must stop working in the business on services or revenue-generating activities; only statutory duties can be carried out
  • The employers’ PAYE scheme must have been created and started by 28 February 2020 and you must also have a bank account in the UK. You must be on the payroll as at this date
  • Full time and part time directors on the payroll can claim the grant
  • A salary paid annually should be acceptable subject to certain filing deadlines
  • The director can claim a grant of up to 80% of the ‘regular wage’ or £2,500 (whichever is lower). This claim can be backdated to 1 March 2020
  • The ‘regular wage’ is taken as the higher of the same month’s earnings from the previous year or the average monthly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year

There are a number of other factors which should be considered and further information can be found on the GOV website – is your employer eligible for the furlough scheme? How to claim for employees’ wages under the furlough scheme. We are here to advise you specifically and help you get the help you need.

We appreciate there are various scenarios specific to your business and we can advise accordingly. Please email Julia Gallagher or call Julia on 01527 558539.

Job Retention Scheme

Job Retention Scheme

 

 

Applying for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

When applying for finance under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) our understanding is that you’ll need to pull together the information below before your application is considered. It’s worth noting that due to the high volume of enquiries, lenders tend to be dealing with existing clients first, so we advise you to approach your current bank if listed in the first instance.

The crux of whether a business will qualify for CBILS is the business has to be able to demonstrate it was a viable business before the pandemic and not an Undertaking in Difficulty as at 31.12.2019. To be successful, the balance sheet should be positive (no adjustments will be made to the balance sheet in respect of Directors’ Loan Accounts). The purpose of CBILS is to assist the customer during a period of business disruption due to the Coronavirus but the lender will need to understand and assess the business’ survivability during this period and the plans for resuming trading once they have got through this period.

A statement of assets and liabilities will need to be completed for each Director.

Copies of personal credit reports for each Director. These reports will need to be clean i.e. no CCJ’s/IVA’s/bankruptcy.

Management accounts up to end Dec 2019.

Certified accounts for the last 3 years (or as long as possible if trading for less than 3 years)

A list of the businesses existing debt including term loans, Invoice Finance, HP, Lease and overdrafts including amount, term, reason, lender, outstanding balance.

Serviceability will to be based on December 2019 management accounts and final accounts, subject to any seasonality. Minimum 1 x cover at EBITDA.

Balance sheet to be positive – Director’s Loan Account can be taken into account.

Open banking access will be required and there can be no unpaid items in the 3 months prior to 31 December 2019.

Cash flow forecast to determine amount of loan over next 6 months – no wages to be included.

Time to Pay is ok but if since Feb 2020.

More information about CBILS can be found on the British Business Bank website by clicking here. We will also be regularly updating our website and social media channels so please keep checking these.

Please contact us to discuss how we can help you through this challenging time and find out that financial help available to you and your business. 01527 558539 or email Julia Gallagher

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Coronavirus – deferral of VAT payments

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

VAT deferral

As part of the Government’s package of support for businesses, the Chancellor announced that VAT payments can be deferred for 3 months until 30 June 2020. This is open to all VAT registered businesses in the UK and is an automatic offer with no applications required to access this support. Businesses will have until the end of the 2020/21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period.

We wanted to alert your attention to the procedure if you currently pay your VAT via direct debit. 

If you pay by Direct Debit you should cancel this with your bank. You should do so in sufficient time so that HMRC does not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of their VAT return.

Should you wish, you can continue to make payments as normal during the deferral period. HMRC will also continue to pay repayment claims as normal. You must continue to submit VAT returns as normal.

If you wish to opt into the VAT deferral scheme, you can do this by:

1. Signing in to your VAT online account via the HMRC government gateway 
2. Following the ‘View your VAT account’ link under Making Tax Digital for VAT
3. Clicking on the ‘Payments and Repayments’ link
4. Cancelling the direct debit.

VAT deferral

VAT deferral

It is also recommended that you contact the bank to confirm the direct debit is cancelled to ensure that payment is not taken. In due course, you will need to set the DD up again. Your agent is unable to do this for you.

You should continue to file your VAT returns by the usual due date. Only payment is deferred.

Contact Julia Gallagher to discuss these changes or speak with your usual Curo contact.

Call us on 01527 558539 or [email protected]

 

Covid-19 – help for the self employed

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Helpline for the self employed: 0800 024 1222

Financial help for the self employed and individuals affected by Covid-19 is now available and comprehensive guidance is found on the GOV website.

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is in the form of taxable grants for the self employed and summarised as follows:

  • For the FIRST grant: HMRC will pay a grant initially worth 80% of average monthly profits over the last 3 years up to £2,500 per month (so tax years 2016/17, 2017/18 & 2018/19). To work out the average HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.
  • The first grant will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering the 3 months to May, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.
  • The first grant claims should be made by 13 July 2020.
  • The SECOND and final grant will be worth 70% of average monthly trading profits, covering 3 months of profits and capped at £6,570 in total; applications for this second grant open in August. Claimants for the second grant are required to confirm their business was adversely affected by Covid-19 on or after 14th July 2020. Claimants do not have to have claimed the first grant in order to claim for the second.
  • For the first grant, HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and start contacting individuals in the week commencing 4th May 2020. Check if you’re eligible here.
  • Cleaners, plumbers, electricians, musicians, hairdressers and many other self-employed people who are eligible for the scheme will be able to apply directly to HMRC for the taxable grant, using a simple online form, with the cash being paid directly into people’s bank account.
  • Individuals must already be in the self employment system.
  • The scheme is open to those with trading profits of £50,000 or less.
  • Those eligible must derive more than half of their income from self employment.
  • Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes.
  • Grants can only be made by claimants – agents cannot claim.

Under Time to Pay, the self-employed will get extra time to pay their tax liabilities, with late payment penalties and interest waived during the affected period.

The next self assessment payment due on 31 July 2020 will now be due by 31 January 2021. Eligibility is limited to the self-employed ie, the deferral does not apply to those that are in self assessment but are not self-employed. Our current understanding is that the deferral applies to any taxpayer who was self-employed in the 2018/19 tax year on which the payment on account is based. This is an automatic offer and no application is required. Self assessment returns should still be filed by their due date and it may be advantageous to file the 2019/20 return as soon as possible after 5 April 2020. This might facilitate planning for the tax payment due in January 2021 and perhaps crystallise any refund due, including as a result of any loss relief available.

Self employed people can now access full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay (£94.25 per week). The rules around attending Job Centres have also been relaxed. Applications for Universal Credit can be made via this link.

Banks have agreed a 3 month mortgage holiday for individuals affected by the coronavirus. Lenders such as Nationwide have acted swiftly to assist but please approach your lender in the first instance to ask about a mortgage holiday.

HMRC website has further details.

Please contact Julia Gallagher to discuss what the measures mean for you. 01527 558539.

individuals affected by coronavirus

 

 

Help for businesses affected by the coronavirus

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Following last week’s unprecedented Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced further measures to help businesses cope with the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

At a glance:

HMRC Coronavirus Helpline 0800 0159 559 / 0800 024 1222

The Business Support helpline 0300 456 3565

Applying for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (‘CBILS’)

Job Retention Scheme – how it will operate

Job retention scheme for employers affected by coronavirus – HMRC guidance

Statutory Sick Pay – an employer’s guide

HMRC Summary of measures for businesses affected by Coronavirus

Details:

  • The Job Retention Scheme was announced for employers, encouraging them to avoid making redundancies in the light of coronavirus. HMRC covers 80% of salaries via a grant, effective from 1 March 2020 and is capped at individual salaries of £2,500. Employers should identify affected workers as ‘furloughed’ (granted a leave of absence), notify them of this change and notify HMRC of the staff member and their salary details when applying for the grant. Important to note that workers are not ‘laid off’ as part of being furloughed. We will provide details of this once the scheme is up and running. There is no limit on the funding for this scheme. HMRC is currently setting up a new online portal to make the claim and we expect details shortly to come through. Details of how the scheme will operate here.
  • Companies can apply for a 3 month filing extension for their accounts if impacted by coronavirus. This must be done before the original filing deadline and an automatic 3 month extension will be granted.
  • An automatic 3 month extension is granted to to companies with a filing date between 27/6/20 & 5/4/21. The Confirmation Statement filing deadline has been extended from 14 days to 42 days; this is automatic and companies do not need to apply for it.
  • VAT payments are postponed for the next three months until 30 June 2020. The VAT will then be due at the end of the 2020/21 financial year i.e. 31 March 2021 for monthly payers or quarterly payers 31 March 2021, 30 April 2021 or 31 May 2021. There has been no mention of interest charges on any deferred VAT. Businesses should apply to suspend their direct debits via their VAT online account, then reinstate the DD in due course. All returns must still be filed on time and this postponement only applies to UK businesses and not foreign businesses with a UK VAT registration. More info on this here.
  • £330bn of low interest government-backed loans has been made available to all businesses to ease cash flow pressures when covering rent, suppliers, payroll expenses and stock.
  • SMEs can now borrow up to £5m under the ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ (‘CBILS’), up from the £1.2m limit announced in last week’s Budget. These are delivered by the British Business Bank with the government paying the first 12 months of interest. Loans can be applied for from 23rd March 2020 and the BBB advises approaching one of the 40+ accredited lenders with their proposal. See our separate page on CBILS for what info you’ll need and other useful advice.
  • All retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England are exempt from paying Business Rates for a whole year and enquiries should go through the local authority.
  • The 700,000 small businesses already eligible for 100% business rate relief and Rural Rate Relief will receive a grant of £10,000 to help with business costs. This was previously capped at £3,000 in last week’s Budget.
  • Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of between £15,000 but less than £51,000 will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000.
  • Banks have agreed a 3-month mortgage holiday for individuals hit by the coronavirus.

We are expecting and hoping for further support to businesses and individuals which gets cash to the front line quickly and will update you on these as and when we hear about them. These could include changes to employer NIC and further help for individuals who lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus.

We’d also urge you to check your insurance wording as pandemics are often excluded from cover.

Help for businesses announced in the Budget 2020

SME employers with fewer than 250 staff will be refunded up to 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) per employee providing certain conditions are met. These include adequate record keeping and that the sickness is coronavirus related.

Some small businesses affected by coronavirus will receive a 100% Business Rates discount for 2020/21. Relief has also been extended to the hospitality and leisure sectors. Pubs can claim a Business Rates discount up to £5,000, providing the pub has a rateable value below £100,000.

Time to Pay – The HMRC has a dedicated help line (0800 0159 559) with 2,000 experienced call handlers for those affected by the virus. Businesses and the self-employed will get extra time to pay their tax liabilities, with late payment penalties and interest waived during the affected period.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme – businesses will be able to access funding and overdrafts via this government backed initiative with the scheme supporting loans of up to £1.2m in value.

Help for individuals    

SSP will be available from day 1 of corona-related sickness absence or for those self-isolating.

Employers will relax the requirements around sick notes.

For those ineligible for SSP, it will be easier to access Employment & Support Allowance and the Universal Credit and this is claimable by those self-isolating or directly affected by the coronavirus.

Help for public services

The National Institute for Health Research will receive funding of £30m to carry out research into the virus and its effects. An additional £10m is available for diagnostic testing.

If your finances have suffered as a result of the coronavirus, we can help you understand what help you are entitled to. Please get in touch to discuss your options. [email protected]  or call 01527 558539.

businesses affected by coronavirus

Budget 2020 – Support for those affected by the coronavirus

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

Temporary measures to support the UK through the coronavirus

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a series of temporary measures to support individuals and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak, stating that whilst the effects may be significant, the government believed they were only temporary.

Help for businesses

SME employers with fewer than 250 staff will be refunded up to 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) per employee providing certain conditions are met. These include adequate record keeping and that the sickness is coronavirus related.

Some small businesses affected by coronavirus will receive a 100% Business Rates discount for 2020/21. Relief has also been extended to the hospitality and leisure sectors. Pubs can claim a Business Rates discount up to £5,000, providing the pub has a rateable value below £100,000.

Time to Pay – The HMRC is setting up a dedicated help line with 2,000 experienced call handlers for those affected by the virus. Businesses and the self employed will get extra time to pay their tax liabilities, with late payment penalties and interest waived during the affected period.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme – businesses will be able to access funding and overdrafts via this government backed initiative with the scheme supporting loans of up to £1.2m in value.

Help for individuals    

SSP will be available from day 1 of corona-related sickness absence or for those self-isolating.

Employers will relax the requirements around sick notes.

For those ineligible for SSP, it will be easier to access Employment & Support Allowance and the Universal Credit and this is claimable by those self-isolating or directly affected by the coronavirus.

Help for public services

The National Institute for Health Research will receive funding of £30m to carry out research into the virus and its effects. An additional £10m is available for diagnostic testing.

If your finances have suffered as a result of the coronavirus, we can help you understand what help you are entitled to. Please get in touch to discuss your options. [email protected] or call 01527 558539.

Coronavirus temporary measures

Coronavirus temporary measures