The government has made announcements of new measures to help support the nation during these unprecedented times. Measures of support have never been at this level before.
The job retention scheme
The government will be helping employed people retain jobs by providing a grant to employers of 80% of the employee’s salary up to £2500 per month per employee. A system will be launched ASAP to be able to claim.
Deferred tax and VAT payments
VAT payments becoming due will be delayed until after 30 June 2020. Any payments on account for self-assessment due 31 July 2020 are being delayed until 31 January 2021. There will be no interest or penalty charges. There is no need to apply for either of these. They will apply automatically.
Sick pay support
For staff off ill due to COVID-19 SSP will be able to be claimed with no sick note, no normal 3 waiting before claiming and employers will be able to recover the SSP in full as long as they have fewer than 250 employees. This claim is limited to a period of 2 weeks. We are expecting this claim to be administered via the payroll process which software providers will need to design and implement.
Business rates holiday
For those businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors there will be a rates holiday period. This will be automatically applied to your next rates bill.
For retail, hospitality and leisure businesses there will be a cash grant of up to £25000 made available. That is a £10,000 grant if your rateable value is less than £15,000. Or a £25,000 grant if your rateable value is between £15,001 and £51000. Local councils will contact you regarding your eligibility.
For other businesses, if you qualify for small business rates relief then you will be entitled to a £10,000 grant. Again local councils will contact you in early April.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
If your business cannot get a traditional loan then banks will be able to use this loan scheme to underwrite your loan and provide favourable terms including interest-free for 12 months. Keep an eye on the British Business Bank for up to date info.
If you’re self-employed or not eligible for SSP
If you are self-employed or not-eligible for SSP you can claim Universal Credit or the new style Employment and Support Allowance.
You can access the full latest government guidance for businesses here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses