The Government have released more response and measures to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have put together below, a summary of the announcements to date and what we know so far.
What we already knew:
The following measures were announced in the Budget and have not (to date) been updated:
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to be paid from the first day of absence, not the fourth, where people have the virus or have to self-isolate, or care for such people.
- Support through Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance for self-employed people and others not entitled to SSP.
- Full funding of the cost of two weeks’ SSP for small and medium-sized employers whose workers have claimed SSP as a result of coronavirus.
- Businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress will be able to negotiate ‘time to pay’ arrangements with HMRC without incurring late payment penalties.
New Information from 17 March 2020:
- Any business that needs access to cash to pay their rent, salaries, suppliers, or to purchase stock, will be able to access a government-backed loan on “attractive terms” (which have not yet been specified).
- That support will be delivered to small and medium businesses via the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme (announced at the Budget), which will now provide loans of up to £5 million, with no interest due for the first six months.
- The scheme will be up and running by the start of next week.
**PLEASE NOTE, WE DO NOT YET KNOW HOW TO ACCESS THIS FUNDING BUT WE WILL ANNOUNCE MORE WHEN WE DO**
- Retail, hospitality and leisure sectors
- All businesses (not just those with a rateable value of less than £51,000, as previously announced), will pay no business rates for 2020/21.
- Those businesses with a rateable value below £51,000 will also be eligible for an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 (i.e. cash payment from the government) per business.
This means that every single shop, pub, theatre, music venue, restaurant , etc. will pay no business rates whatsoever for 12 months and, if they have a rateable value of less than £51,000, they can now get a cash grant as well.
- The 700,000 or so small businesses that are already eligible for 100% business rates relief will receive a grant of £10,000 (not £3,000, as previously announced) to help with business costs.
For those individuals in difficulty due to coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer at least a three-month mortgage holiday, so that people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage while they get back on their feet.
Separately, speaking in Parliament on Tuesday evening, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said: “The government is postponing the reforms to the off-payroll working rules, IR35, from 6 April 2020 to 6 April 2021.”