What Support is Available for Businesses from the UK Government
For businesses that have incurred hardships as a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the UK government offers much-needed financial support. There are initiatives available to all sizes of businesses to help survive this tough time.
As well as impacting peoples’ physical and mental health, the pandemic is also having a big impact on business operations. Staying at home is a measure taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus cases; however, it has significantly slowed down many businesses.
Thankfully, to help protect jobs, help those who have been laid off, and ease the stress for businesses with cash flow problems, the government has introduced many important financial initiatives for businesses of all sizes.
The Furlough Scheme
If you are unable to maintain your current staff due to coronavirus, you can furlough employees and claim to cover wages for those workers. If they cannot work for one of many reasons, such as caring for children who are not in school because of COVID-19, as an employer you can apply for staff to get a percentage of their usual wage.
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can apply for a grant that covers 80% of their normal monthly wage, with a cap of £2,500 per month. On that wage, employees also receive certain benefits: the Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions.
This scheme, which began March 1st, covers three months but can be longer if businesses need it. If your small to large business has not yet claimed this grant, you can still do so.
You can claim for the temporary layoff of employees on your PAYE payroll until and including February 28th. New hires after the 28th do not qualify for the furlough and, thus, cannot be claimed under this initiative.
Any type of employment contract is applicable, such as part-time, full-time, flexible, zero-hour, and agency contracts. Foreign nationals also can be furloughed.
Other Forms of Government Assistance
Loans, cash grants, and tax relief options are also available to businesses of all sizes to help navigate through the coronavirus outbreak.
For example, the UK government supports businesses by deferring VAT payments temporarily. For the Valued Added Tax payments due between March 30th and June 30th, you can defer payment for three months.
Also deferrable is a self-assessment payment. Rather than paying it on by July 31st, your business can pay it in January 2021, if unable to do so sooner because of COVID-19.
Financial support also exists for businesses currently paying sick pay to staff who were sick from March 13th onward. The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme applies to current and former employees.
For businesses in retail, hospitality, and leisure industries, cash grants are available for as much as £25,000 per property. That maximum value applies to a rateable property value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000. If your property value is £15,000 or less, then the grant is £10,000.
Eligible businesses for the above-noted cash grant can contact their local authorities with questions. To be approved, your business must be based in England.
The above list is not exhaustive. See the full list of government business support to find out what is available to your business during the coronavirus outbreak.
As well, the Bank of England offers several measures for business continuity and to help prevent long-term economic harm due to COVID-19. For example, they have cut their interest rates to 0.1% for cheaper business loans.
They also are working alongside the HM Treasury to support large companies by providing them with cash to cover their corporate debt. This money can help your big business to pay employee wages, as well as to pay suppliers. Find online all of the Bank of England financial measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Helping You at JVR Consultancy
Our team at JVR Consultancy is available to help you through this difficult time. As well as providing information about financial initiatives available to businesses of all sizes in the UK, we also continue to provide a range of service offerings.
Reach out to us for compliance support with any of our compliance services, such as Achilles BuildingConfidence, UVDB, ISO, RISQ or GDPR. For our Gap Analysis consultations, we currently offer this service remotely. All of our employees are working from home with the latest technologies, using secure protocols.
During this uncertain economic time, our staff are here to support you. Count on the JVR experts to help prepare your business for future opportunities following COVID-19. Contact us today to start the process.