Covid-19

The Coronavirus outbreak has brought tragedy in many forms. Firstly, it has brought human tragedy to hundreds and thousands of people worldwide. And now it has made its mark on the global economy.
In this month’s blog, we aim to provide employers and business leaders with advice following the latest news of the fast-paced outbreak which has put the country in temporary lockdown.

The Strains of the Coronavirus

For the last 3 months, Coronavirus has hit the headlines. At the beginning of January, cases of pneumonia became common in Wuhan, China. It was soon dubbed Covid-19, and on the 11th of March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an international pandemic.

In recent days, the country has been forced to declare a national lockdown to help reduce the spread of the virus, following in the footsteps of the rest of the world. Employers and their staff have been thrown into the unknown. One strain is the crash in the global stock market, which is causing fears of the destruction of economic growth. Companies such as Bank of England have already slashed their interest rates to make borrowing cheaper in order to encourage spending which will then boost the economy.

Government Update on Business Support

On the 11th March, the UK s Budget Chancellor outlined his plans to provide support for businesses. He introduced a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme which allows a business to apply for a loan up to £5 million with 80% of losses covered by the government, without fees. The first 6 months of this can be accessed with no interest fees.

For businesses with less than 250 employees, the government will refund the cost of a 14-day SSP payment in full, giving 2 million businesses up to £2 billion to cover the costs of a large-scale sick leave due to potential self-isolation.

For business owners or those self-employed with outstanding tax liabilities or financial distress, a helpline has been set up. If you need support with your taxes due to the Coronavirus outbreak, HMRC s helpline can offer you some relief. HMRC will discuss your circumstances with you, with the possibility of setting up an instalment arrangement.

Small businesses that pay little or no rates are eligible for a Small Business Rates Relief which is a £10,000 grant. Also, their National Insurance bills will be reduced by £850. However, local authorities will not be providing this until early April.

For full information, visit the government website.

How to Keep Your Employees Safe

The government have set a list of measures to guide you and your employees in these difficult times. As an employer, it is difficult to know whether or not you are making the right decisions. In order to keep your employees safe, please take a look at the government website for guidance.