Any business with fewer than 250 employees will have the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay (per employee) refunded by the government in full. It will also apply from day one rather than the usual day four of illness — even if individuals have no symptoms.
Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website.
A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.
Approximately 700,000 of the smallest businesses in England will be entitled to a one-off, non-repayable grant. Initially set at £3,000 in the Budget, this has now been increased to £10,000.
This is payable to those small businesses that are currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rate Relief. Any business eligible for those reliefs can apply for the emergency funding direct from their local authority.
If your business is eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief, you will be contacted by your local authority. You do not need to apply.
A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.
The Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as the government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.
You are eligible for the scheme if:
1. Your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £41 million per annum.
2. Your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria (see below).
The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.
You should talk to your relationship manager at your bank or finance provider as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched.
If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments, you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
The scheme will be available from early next week commencing 23rd March 2020.
Finance terms are from three months up to ten years for term loans and asset finance, and up to three years for revolving facilities and invoice finance.
Read the full details on eligibility here.
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
You are eligible if your business:
If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. If you’re worried about a future payment, please call us nearer the time.
The government has ruled that incoming IR35 regulations will not come into effect until 6 April 2021.
For full details, please visit the HMRC page, which is updated daily.