Coronavirus update 9th July 2020
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy provides the latest information for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19). All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support
Access free support from experts and help your business recover from the impact of Coronavirus
The Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the government and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, gives small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery. Thousands of expert professional and business services advisers are on hand to offer free advice, until 31st December. Small and medium sized businesses can sign up, take the diagnostic tool and access support. Advice will focus on key areas:
- accounting and finance
- people and building a team
- planning, strategy and pivoting
- marketing, PR and social media
- technology and digital tools
Job Retention Bonus
The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees. To be eligible, employees will need to:
- earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
- have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31 January 2021.
Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021. More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn
Open consultation – Plastic Packaging Tax
At the March Budget, the government announced key decisions on the design of the Plastic Packaging Tax ahead of its commencement in April 2022. This included extending the scope of the tax to plastic packaging which has been filled before being imported into the UK (i.e. bottles which are filled with liquid). The tax will impact a wide range of industries including retail, construction and manufacturing. You can find out more information about how the tax might affect you in the consultation document. As a result of COVID-19 the consultation period has been extended by 3 months, with a new closing date of 20 August 2020. Read the consultation document and submit a response here.
How to treat certain expenses and benefits provided to employees during coronavirus
Information about ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests’ has been added here. If you’re providing testing kits to your employees, outside of the government’s national testing scheme, either directly or by purchasing tests that are carried out by a third party, no Income Tax or Class 1A National Insurance contributions will be due.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Reminder of key dates
- Claiming for employees furloughed on or before 30 June. Claim by 31 July for employees furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for periods ending on or before 30 June.
- Get ready for changes from 1 August. Employers will no longer be able to use a CJRS grant to cover National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed employees from 1 August. You can submit August claims in advance, from 20 July.
- Working out your claims. Use HMRC’s online examples and calculator to help work out what you can claim, for claims ending on or before 31 July. From 10 July you will also be able to use these to help you work out claims ending on or before 31 August.
- Made a mistake on your claim? You can now delete a claim online within 72 hours of submitting it.
More information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is available here
Coronavirus Update 28th May 2020
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live
The UK Government’s Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live on GOV.UK
If you’re an employer with fewer than 250 employees, you can now claim for Coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You can also speak to your tax agent about making claims on your behalf.
The repayment will cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP. For more information on eligibility and how to make a claim please visit GOV.UK
For more information about this Coronavirus support measure, you can also sign-up to HMRC’s Statutory Sick Pay Scheme Webinar.
New Updates and Guidance
Transport Secretary announces new measures to keep passengers safe
Funding to protect and increase transport services, level up infrastructure and regenerate local economies after the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Find out more here.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): immigration and borders
Updated to add Entering the UK and Coronavirus (COVID-19): travellers exempt from UK border rules guidance pages.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): business support grant funding – guidance for local authorities
Updated with version 2 of Local Authority Discretionary Fund guidance published – businesses who are eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are now eligible to apply for the scheme.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers
Addition of text ‘You should be prepared to remove your face covering if asked to do so by police officers and police staff for the purposes of identification.’
Tell HMRC about an option to tax land and buildings
HMRC have extended the time limit from the date the decision to opt was made. This now applies to decisions made between 15 February and 30 June 2020. Find out more here.
Coronavirus: MOTs due from 30 March 2020
Added information about what happens if you take your vehicle for its MOT and it fails when the extension has been applied.
Coronavirus update 24th March 2020
1. UK Government is issuing frequent updates on its advice to employers which can be seen at
2. Government advice for employees can be seen at
3. Government advice on the temporary restrictions to people’s free movement notified on 23rd March, can be found at
4. Government definition of key workers can be seen here and includes workers in the oil and gas sector for educational provision purposes
5. Government support for business includes
- a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
- a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
- a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
- a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
- the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
Further details can be found at: