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Covid 19 Emergency Measures announced for Business, Employees and Self Employed

Main features of the business and wage response measures announced by the Chancellor on Fri March 20th. Updated March 26th.

Job Retention Scheme (updated March 26th)

  • Government setting up the Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme. Any employer, including charities,  can access Government grants to cover wages for those workers kept employed, but not working due to the corona virus. The grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month.
  • The scheme, open to any employer in the country, will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and will be open before the end of April for at least 3 months.
  • Contractors and freelancers paying PAYE may be able to access this scheme by contacting their employers from February and asking this employer to furlough them.

Of specific interest to Self Employed:

  • The Universal Credit minimum income floor has been suspended, so it is now accessible to all including the self employed, equal to the statutory sick pay (SSP) for employees.
  • Universal Credit will be increased £1,000 a year for the next 12 months
  • Tax credits will also increase by £1,000 a year for the next 12 months
  • The Self Assessment payment date has been moved to next Jan 2021.
  • This next quarter's VAT payment will be deferred. No business will pay VAT from now to mid June. You'll have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.If you wish to avail of this you will still need to cancel your direct debit to HMRC if you have one.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme that was announced in the Budget will be made available from this coming Mon and will now be tax free for 12 months, instead of the previously advised 6 months.

Rent

  • Nearly £1bn of support by increasing the housing benefit and Universal Credit, so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30% of market rents in your area.
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