Government help during the Coronavirus outbreak

Friday 20th March 2020
(Updated: Friday 20th March 2020 17:55)

As we continue to learn more in the coming days and weeks about how the Government is helping businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak, we want to share this information with you to help ensure everyone can remain fully informed.

Helping People

People will be off sick during this time and the Government will refund Statutory Sick Pay, which has a rate of £94.50 per week (maximum), per person for two weeks from the start of sickness.

There isn't a system in place at the moment but it likely to be in the form of an enhanced credit via the PAYE system. Ensure that you are keeping detailed records of staff sick days.


The Government are working on packages for business that will provide support to prevent or reduce lay-offs, short-time and redundancies.

The details of what this support will look like have started to be made available; Government is to pay 80% of staff wages for those businesses told to close, up to £2,500 a month. Remember to stay in dialogue with your staff so that they feel informed and can be prepared.


Three month mortgage holidays are being offered for those who may struggle to keep up with payments.

No details of this have as yet been provided but speak to your mortgage lender in the first instance and they can work through things with you.

 

Help With Finances

CBILS - Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme:

  • Maximum loan value of £5m per business
  • Interest free for 12 months
  • Available to all businesses without the adequate security to support the level of borrowing needed

There is not a vast amount of information on this yet but we know it will be operated by the main banks, to which applications will need to be made that meet the lending criteria. Business will need to exhaust their own security first.

The Government has promised to make the process as simple and fast as possible for businesses to obtain these loans.


Large Business Load Fund - this will be made available to large companies. As yet the the terms for these loans has not been specified but they been promised to be favourable.

As yet the terms for these loans have not been specified but we do know that Government say they will be favourable and applications will be made through the Bank of England once details are finalised.


Time to Pay - HMRC are offering deferral of PAYE and VAT payments and have a dedicated helpline.

The Government has today (20/03/2020) announced that VAT payments due to be paid by businesses for the next quarter have been deferred until the financial year end 2020/2021.

The helpline number is 0800 0159 559 and is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm. You can also visit their website for more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19


Business interruption insurance - the Government is putting pressure on insurers to honour the spirit of their cover and to not restrict themselves to exact wording of policies.

Continue as normal to submit insurance claims in relation to business interruption through either your broker or directly to your insurer.


Grants of £10,000 are to be offered to small businesses to assist them during the Coronavirus situation.

The actual details of how these will be offered and business eligibility criteria are yet to be announced.

Useful Links

Information about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS):
https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

Information about Government help and advice:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses