The Government has now updated its published guidance for yesterday’s announcements. More detail can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
- Statutory Sick Pay is extended for small employers (fewer than 250 employees) so that it kicks in from the first day that employees are ill or asked to self-isolate and will cover up to 2 weeks of sick leave. Employers will then be reimbursed by the Government for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay. At present, the mechanisms for reimbursing employers are not in place and may take a number of months to be confirmed.
- Confirmation that businesses in the retail; hospitality; and leisure industries operating from small premises with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 may be eligible for grants of up to £25,000. Businesses are encouraged to contact their local authority to apply for these.
- In addition, such businesses will receive a rates holiday for 2020/21. Further guidance will be provided to authorities by 20 March and businesses should expect to hear from their local authorities after that. Businesses in the retail sector may be rebilled for 2019/20.
- Regardless of industry, businesses that currently qualify for Small Business Rates Relief will be paid a one-off grant of £10,000. These businesses will be contacted by their local authority and do not (and cannot) apply for this amount.
- Confirmation that the Business Interruption Loan Scheme will provide loans of up to £5m to SMEs from next week. The first six months of the arrangement will be interest-free. This will be managed by the British Business Bank and more information can be found here, although please note that the guidance doesn’t yet appear to be updated for yesterday’s announcements: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/
- HMRC’s Time to Pay service now has a dedicated helpline for businesses affected by Coronavirus and in need of support in paying their taxes. This number is 0800 0159 559.
If you have any questions regarding these measures or any of those previously announced, please feel free to contact us.