Category Archives: Coronavirus (Covid – 19)

Here you will find the latest updates of guidance and help in connection with the Croronavirus (Covid – 19) situation


CHANCELLOR’S STATEMENT 24TH SEPTEMBER 2020 – COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS


CHANCELLOR’S STATEMENT 24TH SEPTEMBER 2020

COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

As reported earlier the chancellor set out his much-awaited plans in the continuing struggle against the coronavirus pandemic and the effect that lockdown restrictions are having on businesses and individuals.

We await publication of full details of the latest proposals which are expected to be made available later today.

Check back on the KSK website for further information once the finer details have been revealed.

Meanwhile here is a summary of what Rishi Sunak had to say.

We are now entering a new phase of living with this current crisis, with a warning that lockdown restrictions are going to be with us for at least the next six months.

Rishi acknowledged that people are afraid and exhausted by the ebb and flow of the seemingly ever-changing government restrictions and rules that are having an impact on all our personal and working lives.

Despite this Rishi reassured us that there are reasons to be optimistic, for this I fear we may have some time to wait.

A whopping £12bn has been spent by the government on “Test and Trace” that has finally been launched today, I do hope that this proves to be money well spent.

Rishi then went on to outline what his plans were to protect jobs and the economy: –

COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

A new Jobs Support Scheme will be launched for employees working and being paid for at least a third of their normal hours.  The government and employers will jointly increase their wages to cover two-thirds of their lost pay and the employee will keep their job.

Larger businesses must show that they have been adversely affected during the crisis.  Employers who have not previously used the furlough scheme will be eligible.

The new scheme will run for 6 months from November.

The existing grant for the self-employed will be similarly extended.

Bounce Back loan terms may be extended from six to ten years, reducing the outgoing payments to ease cashflow.

Payments can be made on an “interest only” payment and there will be options to suspend repayments for up to six months, credit ratings will be unaffected.

The government guarantee on Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans will be extended to 10 years and a new successor loan guarantee programme will be announced in January.

The temporary reduction of VAT from 20% to 5% on hospitality and tourism will now continue until 31st March 2021.

So has Rishi served a palatable dish of measures?  We will have to wait and see, meanwhile check back on www.ksk.co.uk for full details of the measures later.

Contact Paul Southward.


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS UPDATE (29.05.2020)


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS UPDATE (29.05.2020)

On Friday 29th May 2020 the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced more details about the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and we’ve outlined these below for you.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor has announced three changes to the job retention scheme:

  1. From 1st July 2020, the scheme will be made more flexible to enable employers to bring previously furloughed employees back part time and still receive a grant for the time when they are not working.
  2. From 1st August 2020, employers will have to start contributing to the wage costs of paying their furloughed staff and this employer contribution will gradually increase in September and October.
  3. The scheme will close to new entrants from 30th June.
  1. Part time furloughing

From 1st July 2020, businesses using the scheme will have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time – with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of their normal hours they do not work up until the end of August. This flexibility comes a month earlier than previously announced to help people get back to work.

Employers will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, and will be responsible for paying their wages in full while working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as the business needs, with no minimum time that they can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement agreed between a business and their employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, they will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. They can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two weekly cycles if preferred. Employers will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.

If employees are unable to return to work, or employers do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and the employer can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

  1. Employer contributions

From August, the government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered.

  • in June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICs) and pension contributions for the hours the employee doesn’t work – employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work
  • in August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 but employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs that they would have incurred if the employee had not been furloughed
  • in September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • in October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • the cap on the furlough grant will be proportional to the hours not worked.

Many smaller employers have some or all of their employer NIC bills covered by the Employment Allowance so will not be significantly impacted by that part of the tapering of the government contribution.

Around a quarter of CJRS monthly claims relate to wages that are below the threshold where employer NICs and auto enrolment contributions are due, and so no employer contribution will be required for these furloughed employees in August.

  1. Important dates

It’s important to note that the scheme will close to new entrants from 30th June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30th June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10th June for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30th June. Employers will have until 31st July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30th June.

Guidance and support

Further support for employers and agents on how to calculate claims with this extra flexibility will be available by 12th June, including webinars and detailed online guidance. For information about how to claim, go to GOV.UK and search ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. Please do not call us for more information, everything you need to know about this scheme will be published online on GOV.UK.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor also announced plans to extend the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for those people whose trade continues to be, or is newly, adversely affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Eligible self-employed people will be able to claim a second and final SEISS grant in August; this will be a taxable grant worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits for three months, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £6,570 in total.

The eligibility criteria for the second grant will be the same as for the first grant. People do not need to have claimed the first grant to claim the second grant: for example, their business may have been adversely affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus) more recently.

Claims for the first SEISS grant, which opened on 13th May, must be made no later than 13th July. Eligible self-employed people must make a claim before that date to receive the first SEISS grant (a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £7,500 in total). So far, we’ve seen over 2.3 million claims worth £6.8 billion.

It’s really important to note that as with the first SEISS grant, the eligible individual must make the claim themselves. If you attempt to make a claim on behalf of your client, this will trigger a fraud alert and will result in significant delays to payment. However, you can help to prepare your clients by ensuring they have the relevant information ready. The claims process is simple: we will calculate the amount of self-employment support individuals will receive, they don’t need to do this themselves.

More information about the second SEISS grant will be available on GOV.UK on 12th June.

In the meantime, please help us reach those self-employed people who could benefit from a SEISS grant now, by encouraging anyone you think might be eligible for the first grant but hasn’t yet made a claim to do so before 13th July.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.‌‌UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

Return to the KSK recent news pages to keep up to date with the latest developments.


GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS


GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

29th April 2020

Here are links to the government support links giving the latest guidance:

FUNDING AND SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

This links to the main finance support, covering:

  • Paying your employees
  • Paying sick pay
  • Paying tax
  • Business rates relief
  • Business support grants
  • Support for the self-employed
  • Support for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Support for large businesses

Here: financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS

SELF-EMPLOYED PEOPLE AND SOLE TRADERS

  • Claim a grant:

claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

  • Universal credit:

self-employment-and-universal-credit

  • If you cannot pay your tax bill on time:

difficulties-paying-hmrc

  • Continuing working -safe social distancing:

social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance

  • Relaxation for Drivers’ hours:

covid-19-guidance-on-drivers-hours-relaxations

  • Negotiating a mortgage payment holiday:

mortgages-coronavirus-consumers

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS

EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITIES

  • General guidance and safeguarding employees:

guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Claiming wages through the Job Retention Scheme

claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

  • Social distancing in the workplace:

social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Guidance:

employers-sick-pay

  • Claim back SSP:

claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Guidance if employee needs time off:

what-to-do-if-an-employee-needs-time-off-work-to-look-after-someone

  • Working from home – employee expenses:

check-which-expenses-are-taxable-if-your-employee-works-from-home-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak:

coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response

  • Advice for Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsors:

coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-tier-2-4-and-5-sponsors

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LINKS

MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS DURING CORONAVIRUS

  • Cleaning your workplace safely:

covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

  • Hand hygiene posters:

hand-hygiene/resources/

  • Temporary relaxation of rules to help businesses:

rules-that-have-been-relaxed-to-help-businesses-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

  • Construction sites and safe working:

remediation-and-covid-19-building-safety-update-27-march-2020

  • Farmers, landowners and rural businesses:

information-for-farmers-landowners-and-rural-businesses

  • Food businesses:

guidance-for-food-businesses

  • Freight transport industry:

covid-19-guidance-on-freight-transport

  • Medical and Healthcare industry:

mhra-guidance-on-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Shipping and seaports businesses:

shipping-and-sea-ports-guidance

  • Supported accommodation, residential care and home care:

residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance

  • Transport businesses:

guidance-for-staff-in-the-transport-sector

  • Avoiding and supporting scammers:

report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing

BUSINESS CLOSURES

  • Businesses that must close:

further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

  • Staying safe and continuing in business:

guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Holiday accommodation:

covid-19-advice-for-accommodation-providers

  • Closed businesses and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

CAN YOUR BUSINESS PROVIDE HELP?

  • Offer the help of your business:

coronavirus-support-from-business

All the links are correct at the time of publication, please reporting missing / broken links to Paul Southward.

If you need any further help or guidance on any of the matters above contact Paul Southward or your usual KSK contact.

Paul Southward's News Roundup

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Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp


CORONAVIRUS GOV.UK – SUPPORT

Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp

The UK Government has today launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp.

The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

This will help combat the spread of coronavirus misinformation in the UK, as well as helping ensure people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

The GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service is an automated ‘chatbot’ service which will allow the British public to get answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from government.

The service will provide information on topics such as coronavirus prevention and symptoms, the latest number of cases in the UK, advice on staying at home, travel advice and myth busting.

The service will also allow the government to send messages to all opted-in users if required.

To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as well as links to GOV.UK for further information.

Prof Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director, Public Health England, said:

“This service will help us ensure the public has a trusted source for the right information about coronavirus, updated with the latest public health guidance and providing assurance that they are not misled by any of the false information circulating.”

Matt Idema, Chief Operating Officer, WhatsApp, said:

“At difficult times like these, people are using WhatsApp more than ever to connect with and support their friends, family and communities. We are pleased to be able to provide the UK Government with the communications tools to help them answer the public’s questions about the virus with reliable, timely health advice, in order to keep people safe.”

Other recent Government communications include:

“Earlier this week the government texted people across the UK to inform them of the new rules announced by the Prime Minister on 23 March 2020. Details here –Here:

“The Government has also sent text messages to the vulnerable as part of the shielding package announced by the Prime Minister on 22 March 2020. Details here – Click Here: