Latest News: COVID-19 – 24/3/20
Firstly we hope everyone reading this update is well and safe, as your insurance broker we want to help provide our customers with information issue by the government to help you through these difficult times
What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
Support for Employers
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. All UK businesses are eligible.
How to access the scheme
You will need to include all affected employees as furloughed workers and notify your employees of this change, changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and employment contracts with the employees.
HMRC need to be notified about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal which has not been set up yet. More information to follow.
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Systems have not been set up to reimburse employers but more information to follow soon.
There will be a deferral period for VAT periods from 20th March 2020 to the 30th June 2020. There is no application required will be done automatically. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-2021 tax year to pay any VAT tax liabilities due. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
Self-Assessment balancing payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. If you are self-employed you are eligible. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the period.
If there is an outstanding amount of income tax due, such as 31st January 2020 payment, get in touch with HMRC as they will take a case by case approach to defer payments or split payments.
Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
Employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. 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. Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP. An isolation note will suffice as proof from the employee from NHS111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website. A rebate scheme to employers is being developed.
Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
An introduction of business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020 to 2021 tax year will be introduced. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible. There is no action required. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible
Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. Any enquiries on eligibility should be directed to the relevant local authority.
Keep safe & Keep washing those hands!