Further Government Support
Updated: 10th November 2020 at 12:35pm
You can download two toolkits to help amplify important messages about the current situation to your colleagues and networks.
The toolkit for business support can be found here
The toolkit for protecting against the spread of the virus can be found here
Guidance for employers, businesses and workers on test and trace can be found here
A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus. Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.
Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work - but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary. In order to support only viable jobs, employees must be working at least 33% of their usual hours. The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month. The Job Support Scheme will be open to businesses across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme, with further guidance being published in due course.
Agents who are authorised to do PAYE online for employers will be able to claim on their behalf.
Payments of £500 are available for residents who have received a notification from NHS test and trace to self-isolate, providing that period of self-isolation started on or after 28 September 2020.
The payment is to support those on low incomes, who would also lose income as a result of self-isolating, and to encourage people to get tested if they have symptoms.
The scheme will operate until 31 January 2021.
Eligibility for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment is restricted to people who:
- have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
- are employed or self-employed;
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
- are currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
Find out more and apply here.
The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors will be extended to the end of March next year. In addition, business who deferred their VAT bills will be given more breathing space through the New Payment Scheme, which gives them the option to pay back in smaller instalments. Self-assessment taxpayers will be able to benefit from a separate additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility, meaning payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme 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.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is open until 31 March 2021.
The scheme has now closed to new entrants. Employers are now only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3-week period prior to 30 June.
Unless you’re making a new claim for an employee who is a military reservist or is returning from statutory parental leave, you can only continue to claim through the scheme if:
- you have previously furloughed the employee for 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June
- you submitted your claim before 31 July
From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500).
**The HMRC portal to make claims is NOW OPEN**
HMRC have produced this step by step guidance on how to make a claim. There is also a calculator to help you work out your claim. The system can process up to 450,000 applications per hour and employers should receive the money within 6 working days of making an application.
You can access the service here
Small firms can now access 100% taxpayer-backed loans.
This scheme offers firms loans up to £50,000 within days of applying and requires filling in a two-page self-certification form online.
The loan terms mean that no capital or interest repayments will be due for one year. Instead, the government will pay the interest for the first 12 months.
Businesses who took out a Bounce Back Loan will be given the option to repay their loan over a period of up to ten years through a new Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system. Interest-only periods of up to six months and payment holidays will also be available to businesses.
Find out more about the scheme here
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
CBILS has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. The changes mean even more smaller businesses across the UK impacted by the coronavirus crisis can access the funding they need.
Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who would have previously met the requirements for a commercial facility but would not have been eligible for CBILS. Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme.
This significantly increases the number of businesses eligible for the scheme. The expanded scheme will be operational with lenders from Monday 6 April 2020.
The new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £200m to firms with an annual turnover of between £45m and £500m. This will give banks the confidence to lend to many more businesses which are impacted by coronavirus.
British Business Bank operates CBILS via its accredited lenders. There are over 40 of these lenders currently working to provide finance. They include, high-street banks, challenger banks, asset-based lenders, smaller specialist local lenders.
CBILS gives the lender a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments to encourage more lending in the form of term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders will be given the ability to extend the length of loans from a maximum of six years to ten years if it will help businesses to repay the loan.
Find out more about CBILS here
Find out more about CLBILS here
If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.
For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.
Find out more about eligibility and how to access the Income Tax scheme here
Legislation is to be brought forward to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.
Small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, can now apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.
Employers are able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service.
Find out more about the eligibility criteria for the scheme here
A 100% business rates discount for most retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year will be introduced.
This is irrespective of the rateable value of the property.
Find out more about eligibility and access the scheme here
**Please note – THERE IS NO ACTION FOR YOU. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019/20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.
A 100% business rates discount for all properties occupied by providers on the Ofsted Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage for the 2020 to 2021 tax year will be introduced.
This is irrespective of the rateable value of the property.
Find out more about eligibility and how to access the scheme here
Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.
This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.
Find out more about eligibility and accessing the scheme here
The Future Fund will provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.
These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
The scheme will be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank.
**NOW OPEN for applications**
The scheme is open for applications until the end of January 2021.
Find out more about applying for the scheme here
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
Find out more about eligibility and accessing the scheme here
Financial support for cultural organisations that were financially stable before Covid-19, but are now at imminent risk of failure.
This funding is to ensure that, by 31 March 2021, successful applicants are either fully or partially reopened, or operating on a sustainable, cost efficient basis, so that they are able to reopen at a later date.
Find out more about eligibility and how to apply here
Measures put in place to protect businesses from insolvency will be extended to continue giving them much-needed breathing space during the coronavirus.
A new Practice guide 80: useful information for conveyancers provides information about changes made to facilitate conveyancing and registration before and during the coronavirus outbreak.
From 8 June 2020, new regulations will be in force requiring transport operators to ensure that passengers travelling to England from outside the common travel area are provided with public health information throughout the passenger journey. New guidance sets out the information that must be provided to passengers, and the manner in which it must be provided.
New guidance has been published to help providers of higher education in England to understand how to minimise risk during the coronavirus outbreak and provide services to students. You can find the guidance here
The Universities Minister has also set out measures to support international students and the higher education sector including flexibility on visa regulations, and announcing the appointment of Sir Steve Smith as an International Education Champion to boost the numbers of international students in the UK. You can find more information here
The introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed for a period of 5 months from 1 October 2020 until 1 March 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the construction sector. You can find more information here
To support final decisions on furloughing staff before the 10 June deadline for notifications, supplementary guidance for the research sector has been published. It applies to those involved in research, including research organisations in receipt of public funding.
Healthcare providers can order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the portal to top up their existing supplies for COVID-19 in an emergency. The PPE portal can be used by small social care and primary care providers. Providers who can use the service will receive an email invitation to register. Find out more here
Companies House have updated information on strike-off policy. From 1 June 2020, there will be an exception to the suspension of strike off activity. In cases where our law enforcement partners have concluded that companies are no longer in operation following an investigation, the registrar will continue with strike off action for those companies. Find out more here
The government wants help from businesses to increase testing capacity in the UK as part of its strategy to protect the NHS and save lives. We want to hear specifically from companies who can manufacture and supply:
- consumables and equipment for coronavirus testing, in particular test kits (such as nose and throat swabs, transport media and vials) and RNA extraction lab consumables (such as reagents, plates and pipette tips)
- new or existing types of coronavirus tests for antigens or antibodies.
- public or private sector organisations that can offer laboratory capacity.
Find out more here