FAQs: Coronavirus support for businesses

FAQs: Coronavirus support for businesses

We have put together some FAQs as a number of people have asked questions about what coronavirus business support is available to them.

Be aware that the government is still working on the finer points of the announcements made.

You will see that there are some instances where no information has been released. In these cases, please do come back to this FAQs blog as we will be updating the information as soon as we receive it.

If you cannot find the answer you’re specifically looking for, then do not hesitate to contact us.

You can also keep up with the latest announcements on the government’s website.

Job Retention Scheme

How do I claim the 80% employee retention scheme money?

There will be a portal released to enter all your details but as yet no further information has been released. The first step is to ‘furlough’ the employee.

When can I claim the 80% from the government for the employee retention scheme?  

We currently don’t know as the portal isn’t going to be released until the end of April. Please come back to this page as we will update this question with full details as soon as they are released.

How do I furlough an employee?

First of all, you need to consider which staff you want to furlough and which you will need to keep your business ticking over. Furloughing means the employee remains employed but they are not undertaking any work.
It’s not a term recognised in the UK – though is used commonly in the US – but the word means to “lay off or suspend temporarily”.
Furloughed employees technically retain their jobs but have ceased working. Doing this means they can be paid 80% of their salary up to £2,500 a month. It’s up to you whether you pay the remaining 20%.
Employees should be consulted on an individual basis and must agree to being furloughed. You can’t make the decision without your employees’ written consent.
Be careful when you furlough staff to ensure you are not discriminating and ensure you keep a clear record of your decision.
Remember, furloughed staff cannot work for you for the duration of the furlough.

Do I need to send the employees a letter informing them?

Yes, you can send a letter or email. It is best to speak to a HR professional to ensure you carry out furloughing correctly. There is also more information on the ACAS website.

I’m a director of a limited company, can I furlough myself and still carry out my directors duties?

There is no official guidance on this one yet, but if you are furloughed you are not able to work in your business. However, you are still allowed to carry out your duties as a director, such as filing paperwork to HMRC or Companies House .

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

How do I claim the 80% self-employed income support?

The government has said they will write to everyone who has submitted a tax return for the 2019 tax year that had self-employed income on.

Can I claim 80% of my profits if I’m a limited company?

No, this only applies to self-employed people. You can however claim 80% of your salary if you meet the furlough requirements. 

Once HMRC has been in touch with me regarding my self-employed earnings when will I get the money? 

Nothing official about the scheme has been released yet but it appears that it will be paid in June. You will receive three months’ of payments in one lump sum.
For full information, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

How do I claim the business rate grant? 

Do I qualify for the business rate grant?

The grant is to support those businesses who already pay little or no business rates. If your business occupies a property and you receive Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief as of 11th March, you are eligible.

How do I claim the business rate grant? 

This is being administered by your local council, that is the one where you normally pay business rates.
Newcastle Council: The grant can be applied for using this link: https://lnkd.in/dwz7khC
Gateshead Council: https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/businessrategrants
Northumberland Council: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Business/Rates/Business-rates-relief.aspx
North Tyneside Council: The grant can be applied for using the following link - https://lnkd.in/dCYtgVa. You’ll need a copy of a previous rates bill for some of the information required and your bank details handy to complete the applications.

Deferral of Tax payments

How do I defer my VAT payment?

This is now automatic! Just make sure you have cancelled the direct debit or it will still be taken automatically.

Statutory Sick Pay

Can I claim SSP back from the government for COVID-19 related sickness? 

You can claim 14 days’ SSP from the government, however, the process of how to make the claim and get the money back from the government has not been released yet.

What documentation do I need? 

Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-who-are-paying-sick-pay-to-employees

The advice we have shared with you is a guide only. It is correct at the time of publication, but be aware that the information is subject to change.

Some information has not been released from the government so please check with the relevant authority if you need further information.

You can also contact us if you would like more information. We will be keeping this blog updated as much as possible.

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