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Coronavirus: latest update for businesses and employers

Further to the Chancellor's announcements on Friday 20 March 2020 and updates since, the links below lead to a summary of the updated support and guidance available to businesses and employees:


 ·        a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme                

·         deferring VAT and Income Tax payments        

·         a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)   

·         a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England  

·         small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief 

·         grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000  

·         the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank 

·         a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans  

·         the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme  


The government guidance is written to provide a general summary of the help that will be available. It is, by necessity, short on the practical aspects, as these are still in the development stage.

However, some key points and considerations that we would highlight are as follows:

  • VAT deferral scheme - you must still file your VAT return by the usual due date but, need not pay the liability due. This deferment is stated to be automatic and, we understand that HMRC will not request Direct Debits payments during this period. However, if you normally pay by Direct Debit and, wish for certainty on this point, you may choose to cancel this payment arrangement and, re-start it after the relaxation is lifted.
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – please make sure you understand what ‘Furloughed’ employment means and, bear in mind that this is a change to the employment status of your workers. It needs to be explained and in some cases, negotiated with the employee. More details are on the government website. Furloughed Workers cannot undertake any work for the employer whilst furloughed.
  • Time to Pay – you will need to contact HMRC to agree any payment arrangement for PAYE, Corporation Tax or Self-Assessment.
  • Income Tax Deferral – the deferral of income tax due on 31 July 2020 is only available to those who are self-employed.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – speak to your bank first and they will guide you through the process.
  • Grant funding – you will be contacted by your local authority if you are eligible, you cannot apply for these directly.


To read the full narrative of the guidance concerning this support, please visit the Government website:-

COVID-19: support for businesses

COVID-19: guidance for employees 


There has been a significant amount of changes in a short period of time, and we will continue to provide updates and information as we learn about them on our website and on our Twitter feed. These announcements are often made without detail or specific processes which can lead to frustration at these extremely testing times.

We hope you, your families and employees stay safe and well.


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