What a start to the year! Barely have we had the opportunity to settle into 2020 and break our New Years Resolutions, that we are hit with a Global pandemic and a lockdown which has changed the very fabric of how businesses operate.
We aim to provide you updates on Government initiatives throughout this time so do check back regularly!
Below a summation of the initial Government Reponses confirmed thus far.
The government has announced that IR35 implementation into the private sector will be postponed for 12 months and will now come into effect on 6th April 2021.
Hopefully this will provide some much-needed breathing space, and businesses can relax in the knowledge they can continue to operate without fear of immediate change to employment working practices.
Statutory Sick Pay
Employers with less than 250 employees will be able to recover two weeks of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to employees who are off work due to coronavirus implications, from HMRC
- SSP is payable from the first day of sickness, when it relates to COVID-19
- Employers should keep records of such absences, but a sick note is not required.
- The SSP is only reclaimable where the employee is earning at least £18,000 per annum.
Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grants (£25,000)
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.
A business rates holiday will be introduced for the 2020-2021 tax year.
Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March
Small Business Grants (£10,000)
Small businesses operating from commercial properties who are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) will be provided with a one-off £10,000 grant.
Your local authority will contact you directly – you do not need to apply.
The funding will be released to local authorities in early April
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The government will back businesses loans to small and mediums sized businesses for up to £5 million.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims)
Businesses will receive a 6-month holiday on interest payments on these types of loans.
The scheme is scheduled to launch next week and will be delivered by the British Business Bank.
Support for Tax Payments
All business, including self-employed individuals, who are struggling to pay their outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support via HMRCs “Time to Pay” service.
HMRC will review these on a case-by-case basis and the outcomes are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
HMRC have set up a dedicated helpline for those affected by COVID-19 who, as a result, are concerned about being able to pay taxes due.
The helpline number is 0800 0159 559
We advise clients to check with their insurance providers as insurance policies differ significantly.
For those businesses affected by government-ordered closures (Theatres, Pubs and other Social Congregation Areas), the insurance industry has confirmed this will be sufficient to make a claim.
However, for those businesses operating outside of the above criteria, “business interruption” may not apply as most insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and specifically exclude pandemics.
We at Alfred A Malnick & Co are working hard (from home) to provide you will updates as soon as they are released by Government. Should you have any questions, please do get in touch with us.