COVID-19 - Update
As we all know, a lot is happening at the moment that will affect each and every one of us in both personal and business life. The situation and government “initiatives” and “advice” changes daily and there are a number of things that have been said by the government that I would like to highlight - but the speed at which things are changing some of this may be out of date before you actually read this!
IR35 rollout delayed by at least 1 year ...
As you may know the new IR35 system rolled out to “publicly funded” bodies a few years ago and this April (2020) it was intended to roll this out to all businesses - this has been delayed for at least 1 year to 2021. IR 35 relates to “contractors” and whether they are a “pseudo” employee or not.
If you're a business in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors ...
Local authorities have been asked to provide “grants” that will be funded by central government, but the guidance has not yet been issued to local authorities.
This guidance is due to be released in the next few days … importantly with details on how to claim.
Currently the self-employed are being directed to claiming benefits. Universal Credit is the main one - for the over 25’s this is £317 a month. The government has said that by removing the requirement to have been earning a minimum income will make claims easier. The government have also announced that Job Centre appointments will be cancelled for the next three months and its services will be available online.
If you are an employer
Your employees are entitled to SSP from day one of their absence from work if it is related to COVID-19. Your employees do not need to provide proof in the form of a fit-note and can self-certify for the first 7 days (NHS24 are trying to put a system in place to provide 'fit-notes' remotely). You can reclaim up to 14 days SSP however the means by which or the timescale involved has not been confirmed yet. If you need to 'close down' your business temporarily due to lack of work, you still have statutory obligations to your employees and I would strongly recommend you speak with someone qualified in HR to ensure that you are meeting your requirements as an employer. We are happy to put you in touch with an HR consultant we work closely with.
The following links are useful:
Every day information is changing and when I have something else that may be useful, I will send it. I do not intend to do daily updates - only when there is something useful to say. I have done this update because of the number of calls I have had from clients. I have booked myself on a BDO webinar on 31 March regarding help for businesses and the self-employed - this date has been set as the details should be available by then.
You can call the HMRC COVID-19 Scottish Business Helpline - 0300 303 0660 or online at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice/
A factsheet can be downloaded from gov.uk and at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19