COVID-19 Update: Summary from the Chancellor’s address

In Accountancy, News by Caroline

Update as of 18 March 2020:

We thought it would be useful to set out the points outlined by the chancellor last night.

  • Support for businesses who are paying sick pay
    • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
    • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
    • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
    • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
    • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force
    • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible
  • Support for businesses who pay business rates
    • Business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for 2020/21 tax year
    • £25,000 grant provided to businesses in the hospitality and leisure industry with rateable value of £15,000 to £51,000
    • Any enquiries on eligibility  directed to local authority
  • Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
    • One off grant of £10,000 to businesses eligible for Small Business Rates relief or rural relief
    • Local authority will contact business
    • Provided funding to authority will be given in early April
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
    • Temporary loan scheme delivered by British Bank
    • Launches next week
    • Government provide lenders 80% guarantee on loan
    • Government won’t charge for this guarantee
    • Supports loans up to £5 million
    • First 6 months loan interest free as government will pay interest for that period
  • Support for businesses paying tax
    • May be eligible for support for both businesses and Self employed
    • Case by case basis
    • Covid 19 helpline 0800 0159 559
  • Insurance
    • Businesses covered for both pandemics and government ordered closure should be covered
    • Advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient for claim
    • Businesses encouraged to check insurance policies most businesses are unlikely to be covered

This covers the points raised and there will be more to follow.

We hope the above is beneficial to you and should you need our help please do not hesitate to telephone us.

Richard Gold and Ben Eley