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From close of business tonight, all pubs, clubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and gyms have to remain shut, and this will be reviewed on a MONTHLY basis.  This is going to have an immediate and serious impact on the economy and the way we live our lives.  The government are asking for the public to please take this seriously and immediately cease all unnecessary travel, to work from home where possible and ensure you are maintaining a 2 metre distance from all individuals when you have to travel.

The chancellor has tonight issued a package to support employers, and the self employed in the coming weeks and months, I have detailed these below.

Currently we do not have any specifics on how to apply for these grants, other than they are currently working on putting live an online application process.  We have heard that this may not happen until April.  Rest assured that when information does become available and an application process is confirmed, we will be supporting you through this process.

What support is available?

Job Retention Scheme
It was announced today that the government will pay your employee wages by way of a government grant for 80% of the monthly pay for employees not working, up to a value of £2,500 per month per employee.

There will be no limit on the funding available, all businesses will be able to apply if they are employers.

It is targeted to be available by the end of April, as always we will need to wait confirmation that the Scottish Government will roll out the same support with the fund made available to them.

Grants and Loans
The interest free period tied to the loans being made available has been increased to 12 months and these funds will be made available from 1st April in Scotland. Grants to be issued by local authority from the 1st April also.

HMRC Tax Payments Delayed
Any VAT payments falling due between now and 30th June will be waivered, the balances will need to be repaid but HMRC are giving businesses until the end of the next financial year 5th April 2021, to repay these balances. The next Self Assessment payment on account in July 2020 is being deferred til January 2021. You will still be required to file your VAT returns and self assessments, it is only the payment of these which will be waivered for the present time.

Universal Credit for the Self Employed
HMRC are encouraging the self employed who have no work at the present moment or newly unemployed due to the Corona impact to claim Universal Credit which will now be paid at the same rate as the SSP (£94.25 per week). You can apply here .

Just Employment Law

We have been using JUST Employment Law for all employment and HR related matters for the last 3 years, and they have been invaluable to our business, always at the end of the phone to ensure you never leave yourself at risk as an employer.

We have been receiving lots of employment related queries due to the current situation, and whilst I have some experience in this area due to being an employer for quite some time myself, they are much better placed to give you the specialist advice you need at this time in relation to any terminations.

They have prepared a comprehensive document that I can send out to you free of charge, if you email me directly on and they are putting a reduced rate and term in place to anyone that wants to sign up for their services at the present time.

About the author

Emma Armstrong

Emma Armstrong

Emma has worked in finance for over 15 years, becoming a self-employed Bookkeeper 11 years ago, and training to become a Certified Accountant before launching B-Able in 2012.

Emma is dedicated to providing her clients with reliable business support.