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Coronavirus- Business Overview

Updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, measures that are being put in place and how they will affect you and your business.

The Government has detailed its ongoing plan to handle the current situation in the document The next chapter in our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

Published July 2020.

The next chapter in our plan to rebuild:

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

PDF

Face Coverings

Face coverings are now mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England. The rule also applies to many employees in retail and hospitality industries.


Read government advice on how to make you own face covering

Guidance for Better Mental Health

The coronavirus might affect not only your physical wellbeing but also your mental health. Take a look at a discussion about guarding your mental health during the coronavius pandemic from rehab4addiction. 


Find out more 

Latest

The government's basic message of wash hands, cover face, make space is still in effect. However, as announced on 22nd September, the government is putting new coronavirus measures in place.

  • A wider range of businesses and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
  • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
  • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

Details of these new measures are summarised below.

Wash Hands

Cover Face

Make Space

Face Coverings

  • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings.
  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings.
  • People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
  • Face coverings and visors worn in close contact services will now become law.
  • Staff working on public transport (and taxi drivers) will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

Business and ​Work

  • Any employee who can perform their usual work from home, should now do so.
  • Businesses selling food or drink must be closed between 10pm and 5am. However, delivery services such as takeaways can remain open.
  • Food and drink must be ordered from, served at, and eaten at a table.
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally.

Meeting People Safely

  • Support groups must be limited to a maximum of 15 people.
  • Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six (some exemptions apply to sports for people with disabilities).
  • Some exemptions will be made for the purpose of informal childcare.
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people. Other significant standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits, with the exception of funerals.

Find out more about these measures

Working safely during coronavirus

Find out about local measures

Our Services

At this time, we're working hard to support our clients in the best way we can. We're doing this in the following three ways:

1

Social Distancing

Please note that we are currently not arranging any face-to-face meetings. Our team and Subcontractors are working from home and maintaining contact in other ways.


We can stay connected over the phone or arrange a video meeting using Skype or Zoom.


We have also added a booking feature on our website allowing you to book a virtual meeting or conversation with us.

2

Keeping You Updated

We are working hard to contact our clients to inform them of new government measures or direction that specifically applies to them, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).


We are also ensuring that helpful advice can be found on our website and by logging in to your online portal.


Sign in to your online portal here

3

Supporting You

Many of our clients have been able to apply for financial support as part of government measures.


We are working hard to guide our clients through the process and help to access the help you're entitled to. Our clients can speak with us to discuss the Job Retention Scheme and its affects to your business.

Please Note: If you are self-employed, we cannot calculate what you are entitled to as part of the Self- employment Income Support Scheme. Your eligibility for this scheme and the amount you receive are determined by HMRC. On request, we can provide your figures from previous financial years and guidance on applying for Universal Credit. 

Find out more about our online services

Plan for Jobs

The Government's 'Plan for Jobs' aims to help UK recovery by supporting, creating and protecting jobs.

Sporting Jobs

  • Job Retention Bonus. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.
  • Kickstart Scheme. A new £2 billion Scheme will also be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.
  • A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships. as part of this plan, businesses will be given an additional £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25.

Creating Jobs

  • £8.8 billion of work on new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects will be brought forward. As part of this package homeowners and landlords in England will be able to apply for vouchers from a Green Homes Grant scheme this year to pay for green improvements such as loft, wall and floor insulation. This plan also includes a programme to fund green improvements to public buildings, including schools and hospitals and a plan to carry out work on local roads.

Protecting Jobs

  • Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme will provide a 50% reduction for sit-down meals in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday every week throughout August 2020. This scheme has now finished.
  • The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will also be cut from 20% to 5%. 
  • Temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021. In England and Northern Ireland nearly 9 out of 10 people getting on or moving up the property ladder will pay no Stamp Duty.

Find out more about the government's Plan for Jobs

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

The government's income support scheme has already issued an initial grant to sole traders and partnerships that have been adversely affected by coronavirus. The government has extended this scheme, in an amended form, to supply a second and final grant.

It is now too late to claim the initial SEISS grant.

However, this scheme is being extended, and you may be able to claim a second and final grant in August 2020.

Your eligibility will be determined in the same way as the first grant. If you make a claim for the second grant you will have to confirm that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

This grant will be a taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

You can claim for the second and final grant even if you did not make a claim for the first grant.


You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and all of the following apply:

  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021 
  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus


If you want to claim the second and final grant you must make your claim on or before 19 October 2020.

Make a Claim

Please note: If you make a claim, you must process the claim for yourself- your accountant cannot make a claim for you.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The provision for businesses to furlough employees is being gradually phased out and will stop at the end of October 2020. Employers can now bring staff back to work gradually whilst furloughing staff on a flexible basis.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.


The timetable for changes to the scheme is set out below:

  • There are no changes to grant levels in June.
  • For June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours the employee is on furlough, as well as employer National Insurance Contributions (ER NICS) and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work.
  • For August, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough.
  • For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
  • For October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October 2020.


Job Retention Bonus

As part of the government's Plan for Jobs, UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021

Find out more about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Business Loans

Businesses that require further financial support to deal with the affects of coronavirus may be eligible to apply for a loan. The British Business Bank is now making business loans available as part of the government's plan to support businesses.

Future Fund

  • Convertible loans from £250,000
  • From £125,000 to £5m in government support
  • Third-party investors must at least match government support, with no maximum investment limit
  • Companies need to have previously raised £250,000+ in equity investment

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

  • For small to medium businesses, micro businesses and other businesses requiring smaller loans
  • Looking for between £2,000 and £50,000
  • Term loan repaid over six years
  • No set-up fees and first 12 months of interest payments covered by government
  • No repayments during the first 12 months

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

  • For smaller businesses with a turnover of less than £45m

  • Looking for up to £5m in finance
  • Business loans, overdrafts, invoice finance & asset finance available
  • First 12 months of interest and lender-levied fees covered
  • More than 50 accredited lenders

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

  • For larger businesses with a group turnover of more than £45m
  • Looking for up to £200m in finance
  • Business loans, overdrafts, invoice finance & asset finance available
  • Repayment terms of up to three years
  • Delivered by lenders accredited by the British Business Bank

Find out more about these schemes

Get More Info

Get more information by following the links below

Sign up for Coronavirus email updates from gov.uk

Sign Up

Other Useful Links

Article form MoneySavingExpert

Article from UnderstandingUniversalCredit.gov.uk

Article from Citizens Advice

Homepage for government advice about Coronavirus

View latest Coronavirus news from the BBC

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