Key Government Resources Links
You can find an updating list of official resource links here.
Who is a keyworker?
The current list of keyworkers includes the following:
- Health and Social care (doctors, nurses, social workers, care workers, etc.)
- Education and Childcare (teachers, social workers, childcarers, etc.)
- Key Public Services (staff in the justice system, religious staff, frontline charity workers, etc.)
- Government (those assisting in the response to COVID-19 or essential services).
- Food and other necessary goods (including food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery and other necessary goods such as hygiene)
- Public Safety and National Security (including police and support staff, ministry of defence civilians and armed forces personnel, fire service and other security services.)
- Transport (drivers and pilots of air, water, road and rail)
- Utilities, Communication and Financial Services (those essential to keep services running including oil, gas, electric and water workers, IT and telecoms infrastructure, postal and delivery services, payroll and payment services)
This is not a complete list, if you have queries you can refer to the Government List of Keyworkers or contact us for more information.
Payroll – Coronavirus Job retention scheme and Statutory Sick Pay
Job retention scheme
This scheme is open to all UK employers, to enable them to continue to pay employees part of the wage/salary who would otherwise been laid off during the crisis.
How do I make a claim
Firstly designate any affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify these employees of this change. The change of the employees’ status must follow existing employment law and depending on the employees’ contract of employment, may be subject to negotiation.
The details then need to be submitted to HMRC of any employees that have been furloughed, together with their earnings through a new online portal.
We are awaiting further information of the full details required by HMRC.
How much will I receive
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Currently, the system to enable reimbursement is not set up and HMRC are working on this. We will keep you updated of progress and the final details once these are available.
Statutory Sick Pay relief package
The Government will bring in legislation which will allow small and medium sized businesses (under 250 employees) and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
The refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. SSP will come into effect from the first day rather than day 4.
Employers should maintain full details of staff absences and payments of SSP, employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.
The eligible period will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home come into force.
We will provide details of the rebate scheme once the Government announce this.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5million for SME’s through the British Business Bank. The loan scheme is expected to launch early in the week starting 23rd March, to help small and medium sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.
The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% for which the will be no loan guarantee charges. The business will need to be UK based, with a turnover of up to £45million and there will be some eligibility criteria to be met.
The full details of the scheme and a list of accredited lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website.
Once the scheme launches all the major banks are expected to offer the scheme, with 40 accredited providers in total. You will need to talk directly to your bank or the loan provider (not the British Business Bank) and discuss your business plan. This should be done as soon as possible.
If you already have a loan with monthly repayments, if necessary you can ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
Grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.*
Grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value of under £15,000*.
*Properties that will benefit from the relief will be premises that are wholly or mainly used as: Shops, Restaurants, Cafes, Drinking Establishments, Cinemas, Live music venues, Hotels, Guest and Boarding Premises, Self-catering accommodation and used for Assembly or Leisure.
Businesses will be supported by being able to defer VAT payments for 3 months. This applies from 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 and businesses do not have to make a VAT payment during this period.
This is an automatic offer and no application is required, however, if you make use of this support we would suggest you cancel your direct debit (do not forget to set this up again afterwards).
Taxpayers will then be given until 5 April 2021 to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds will be refunded as normal.
It should be noted that there has been no mention that VAT Returns do not have to be submitted on time. Businesses should, therefore, continue to submit VAT Returns by the due date.
We are currently trying to get clarification and will confirm this in a later update.
Self Assessment tax bill
Self-Assessment tax payments that are due to be paid on 31 July 2020, can be deferred until 31 January 2021.
This is an automatic offer and no application with required. There will be no penalty or late payment interest charged if you defer payment.
If you are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and currently have outstanding tax liabilities contact HMRC to discuss their Time to Pay offer.
Time to Pay
All business and the self-employed who are in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support.
This is arranged where appropriate on a case-by-case basis and is tailored to the individual’s circumstances.
If you have missed a tax payment or might miss your next one due to Covid-19, telephone HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 as soon as possible.
If you are concerned about future tax liabilities telephone nearer the time, so HMRC can concentrate on current tax liabilities first.
Self Employed Support
The self employed can, dependent on their income, see if it is appropriate to claim Universal Credit. Some restrictions and waiting times have been lifted during this crisis. It is normally the Jobcentre Plus who administer claims for this benefit. Further information can be found at the Jobcentre Plus website, who will be able to arrange a telephone or online consultation.
Supporting all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
- 12 month business rates holiday for 2020 to 2021 tax year (including Nursery businesses)
- Businesses that have insurance cover for both pandemics and Government ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.
- Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and exclude pandemics.
March 23rd, 2020