Thursday 26th March
Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19). See our Self-Employment page here
Wednesday 25th March
Companies to receive 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19
- As of 25 March 2020, businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts.This joint initiative between the government and Companies House will mean businesses can prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus. Click here to see full guidance.
- On 25th March it was announced that estate agents, letting agents and bingo halls are to be added to rates holiday: Click on link for further information https://www.gov.uk/government/…
Monday 23rd March
Guidance - Businesses and premises to close
On 23 March the Government stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. All non-essential premises must now close. Latest guidance issued by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government click here for the Guidance report.
Friday 20th March
The Government announced the following additional measures, we recommend you consider the additional support before closing businesses or making redundancies:
- Enforcing cafes, pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, theaters, gyms, leisure centers to close now, indefinitely, but can restaurants can provide take outs.
- Job protection- Government to help pay wages- any employer small or large, charitable or non profit is eligible for a grant. Can apply for a grant for 80% of salary up to £2500 a month, for workers kept on who cannot work due to Corona Virus shutdown. Grants backdated to March 1st. First grants within weeks but definitely by end of April. Grants to run for 3 months at least. No limit on number of employees. Employers may need to bridge the gap until receiving a grant by getting a loan and repaying it with the grant.
- Previously announced loan scheme will now be 12 months interest free, up from 6 month interest free previously announced
- Deferring next quarter of VAT payments April/May/June payable at end of 2020.
- Universal credit standard allowance and working tax credit element each increased by £1000
- Self employed can access Universal credit with no minimum income floor, essentially self-employed same sick pay as SSP.
- Next self assessment payments (July 20) deferred until January 2021.
- Housing benefit increased 30% to help renters
Last week saw the Government response to the COVID-19 crisis quickly ramp up, with advice to increase social distancing and self-isolation, and to work from home where possible. This has seen businesses in the hospitality, retail and leisure industry immediately impacted and in some cases in danger. However, on 17 March 2020 further support was announced for business and we will be updating and supporting clients daily.
With enforced shutdowns in effect in France, Ireland and much of Europe these measures are likely to increase and go on for months, so this is likely to be the most testing trading times of our lifetimes, but there are many steps that can be taken to both prevent the spread of the virus and ensure your business comes out of the crisis in the best possible shape.
We would ask clients not to make any major decisions such as putting a business up for sale or closing the business without speaking to us first, there may be options available.
Further support is being announced on an almost daily basis and while action may be imperative please give due consideration to possible support before implementing redundancies or business closure.
Your action plan
What your business can do -
- Make a plan to follow the latest government guidance and consider the long term impact on sales and operations. Consider possible home working and staff flexibility
- Consider the likely impact of staff absences due to sickness, isolation, childcare issues (schools may be forced to shut or relatives no longer able to give care)
- Plan cash flow with regard to the above points, consider if tax can be deferred, if finance will be required
- Consider your personal situation and outgoings and what you need to draw from the business
- Check insurance policies or speak with your insurer
- If staff hours must be cut consider contracts and legal obligations, get advice if necessary.
- Track COVID-19 related absence and sickness