Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 23rd, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update May 23

The government has provided further clarification on a couple of different items over the last couple of days.

1) Job Retention Scheme

The government has updated the guidance in regards to who is eligible for the Job Retention Scheme in regards to the date an employee was with their employer. There is now a chart on the guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-employees-you-can-put-on-furlough-to-use-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme that shows the date an employee was on an employer’s payroll, when the date of the RTI submission was, and whether they are eligible or not. The table is under the section “Employees you can claim for”.

They have also updated this guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme to explain what functions can be tested on the calculator when trying to check the amount you can claim. Employers are now able to claim for employees who have received top-ups or discretionary payments while they have been furloughed. The government has also made it clear that the amount claimed for NICs cannot be more than 13.8% of the grant claimed for wages.

2) The new Discretionary Fund Grant that Local Authorities are able to issue

It has also been announced that the new Discretionary Fund Grant that recently went live, is now able to be claimed by those who were eligible for the Self-Employed Income Scheme payment. Up until today, those who had received the SEISS grant were not eligible, but that information has now been changed to state that anyone who has received the SEISS grant, is eligible to receive assistance through the Discretionary Fund Grant. This has been clarified in Section 29 and 31 of Version 2: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887239/Local_Authority_Discretionary_Grants_Fund_-_guidance_for_local_authorities_-_version_2.pdf

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 19th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Limited Covid 19 Update May 19

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is finally set to be open from May 26th, 2020!

This scheme allows small- and medium-sized businesses, with fewer than 250 employees, to be able to recover the costs of paying statutory sick pay for coronavirus-related illnesses. They will be able to claim for the funding for eligible periods of sickness from 13/03/2020.

There are guidelines about what you need to keep in order to make this claim – dates when the employee was sick, which dates are qualifying days, the reason they were off work and the employees NI number. You must keep all of these records for 3 years after you receive the payment for your claim. You can read more about how to check whether you are eligible here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-back-statutory-sick-pay-paid-to-employees-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

The scheme will cover 2 weeks of SSP at a rate of £95.85/week and it covers all types of employment contracts: full-time, part-time, agency contracts, flexible and zero-hour contracts.

There is more information in the news briefing here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-statutory-sick-pay-rebate-scheme-set-to-launch

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 14th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update May 14

Yesterday, the government published the guidance for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund – this is the information the government provided to LAs. This funding is for those businesses who do not meet the criteria for other grants that have been provided like: Self Employment Income Support Scheme, Small Business Rate Relief Grant, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant – there are further grants listed within the document. Local Authorities will be able to issue grants for £10,000, £25,000 or any value under £10,000 and it will be up to the LA to decide how much they give to a business.

Businesses that this grant is designed to help are those small and micro businesses (as defined in Section 33 Part 2 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and Companies Act 2006), those with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs, businesses that are able to demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income due to Covid-19, and businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value/annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000. The government has asked Local Authorities to prioritise businesses in shared offices or flexible working spaces, regular market traders with fixed building costs, bed and breakfasts that pay Council Tax instead of business rates, and charity properties that receive charitable business rates relief. The business must have been trading on 11/03/2020 in order to be eligible.

This is a taxable grant, the money does not need to be paid back but it does need to be declared on your accounts and your tax return as income.

It doesn’t state how you apply for this grant, but as it is provided through the Local Authorities, I expect you need to contact your LA and ask them how you apply.

The full document can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885011/local-authority-discretionary-grants-fund-guidance-local-government.pdf

It was also announced yesterday by John Glenn (the Economic Secretary to the Treasury) that businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and are struggling to ensure they are able to maintain their insurance cover, will get help from the government. The government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance which will help businesses to keep their supply chains moving. The full article can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-support-businesses-through-trade-credit-insurance-guarantee

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 13th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update May 13

Yesterday, the Chancellor announced that the Job Retention Scheme was being extended until the end of October. They didn’t give many details, and have said that further details on changes to the scheme and such will be made available at the end of May. What they did say was that the scheme wouldn’t work in the same way it does now from August. There will be more flexibility introduced which will allow employees to return to work part-time and employers will be asked to help contribute to the costs of the furlough scheme. The chancellor has said that staff will still be eligible for 80% of their salary, up to a maximum of £2,500, while furloughed. Until the end of July, the JRS will operate exactly how it does right now.

The government also released a step-by-step guide on how to make a claim through the Job Retention Scheme. You can access that document here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884664/Coronavirus_Job_Retention_Scheme_step_by_step_guide_for_employers.pdf

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 12th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update May 12

Last night the government released guidance on how business owners can make their workplace safe for staff and customers which consisted of 5 key points:

  1. Work from home if you can:
    The message is still that if at all possible, people should continue to work from home.
  2. Carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions:
    Employers will need to carry out covid-19 risk assessments to establish what guidelines need to be put into place. The government is asking that owners publish their results on their websites, and all businesses with over 50 employees must do so.
  3. Maintain 2 metres social distancing where possible:
    Employers are being asked to re-design their workspace so that it’s possible for everyone to have 2 metres between them – this could be done by staggering start times, having one-way walkthroughs, or changing seating layouts.
  4. Where you cannot maintain 2 metres social distancing, manage transmission risk:
    If the workspace cannot be redesigned to ensure a 2 metres social distancing, then employers should look at putting actual barriers in place to help this – shift patterns, less staff in the building, making it so staff aren’t facing each other.
  5. Reinforcing cleaning processes:
    Owners will need to ensure that their workplaces are cleaned more frequently and provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser at entry and exit points. A downloadable notice has been included in the guidance documents for employers to display in their workplace.

The whole article can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-launched-to-help-get-brits-safely-back-to-work?utm_source=9b81f82c-c1c9-4121-9d1b-3456ead7138c&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

The government has also then published 8 documents (one for each sector) on specific guidance that those types of businesses must follow. If your business falls under more than one category, you will need to ensure you follow all of the guidance in all of the guides:

Construction and other outdoor work: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/construction-and-other-outdoor-work

Factories, plants and warehouses: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/factories-plants-and-warehouses

Labs and Research Facilities: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/labs-and-research-facilities

Offices and contact centres: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/offices-and-contact-centres

Other people’s homes: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes

Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery

Shops and branches: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches

Vehicles: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/vehicles

Each of the documents covers things like how to use the guidance, what do they mean by that category, thinking about the risk, who should go to work, social distancing, managing customers, visitors, staff, cleaning, PPE, managing your workforce, inbound and outbound goods and where to obtain further guidance.

It is important that you make sure that you are following the latest guidance in regards to keeping staff and customers safe. Spot checks will be made on businesses that open to ensure they are following the guidance.

It is important to note that the businesses that can open from May 13th are still limited to only those in essential retail, this does not include pubs, cinemas or hairdressers.

It is really important that everyone understands that at any point in time, the restrictions can be brought into force again with very little notice.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 11th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update May 11

Yesterday evening the government announced a loose plan outlining how the UK is going to start coming out of lockdown. The Prime Minister made it clear that from Wednesday, May 13th some restrictions would start to be lifted and only if all of the numbers continue to improve – infection rate, cases, deaths – will other restrictions be lifted – at this stage nothing is set in stone beyond May 13th.

Only where someone’s job cannot be done from home AND social distancing can be practised properly, should that person return to work from May 13th. The government gave construction and manufacturing as examples.

Today, the government released a 60-page document providing further guidance on the government’s plans for opening u the UK. A link to the document can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884171/FINAL_6.6637_CO_HMG_C19_Recovery_FINAL_110520_v2_WEB__1_.pdf – it is quite a lengthy document and has a lot of information included in it.

However, I have included some of the important bits that specifically relate to work and businesses for you. These are direct quotes from the article.

Step One; From May 13th

For the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their
normal physical workplace, wherever possible. This will help minimise the number of social
contacts across the country and therefore keep transmissions as low as possible. All those who
work are contributing taxes that help pay for the healthcare provision on which the UK relies.
People who are able to work at home make it possible for people who have to attend workplaces in
person to do so while minimising the risk of overcrowding on transport and in public places.

All workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open.
Sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open should be open, for example this includes food
production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in
laboratories. The only exceptions to this are those workplaces such as hospitality and nonessential retail which during this first step the Government is requiring to remain closed.

As soon as practicable, workplaces should follow the new “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines, as set out
in the previous chapter, which will be published this week. These will ensure the risk of infection is
as low as possible, while allowing as many people as possible to resume their livelihoods.

It remains the case that anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household
where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work. Those people
should self-isolate, as should those in their households.

Step 2: no earlier than June 1st

Opening non-essential retail when and where it is safe to do so, and subject to those
retailers being able to follow the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. The intention is for this to
happen in phases from 1 June; the Government will issue further guidance shortly on the
approach that will be taken to phasing, including which businesses will be covered in each
phase and the timeframes involved. All other sectors that are currently closed, including
hospitality and personal care, are not able to re-open at this point because the risk of
transmission in these environments is higher. The opening of such sectors is likely to take
place in phases during step three, as set out below.

Step 3: no earlier than July 4th

The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises
that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty
salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places
(such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas). They should also meet the
COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may
prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part. Nevertheless the Government will wish to open as many
businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows.

In order to facilitate the fastest possible re-opening of these types of higher-risk businesses and
public places, the Government will carefully phase and pilot re-openings to test their ability to adopt
the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. The Government will also monitor carefully the effects of reopening other similar establishments elsewhere in the world, as this happens. The Government will
establish a series of taskforces to work closely with stakeholders in these sectors to develop ways
in which they can make these businesses and public places COVID-19 Secure.

The government has provided a lot of financial support for a large number of businesses during the Covid-19 situation, and as they start to re-open the economy and people can start to go back to work, they will start to wind down the various schemes, but no actual dates or processes for doing this have yet been released.

There is another document that has been released which covers a number of FAQs as to what you can and cannot do from Wednesday, May 13th. You can access the document here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do. The main sections that focus on work are Sections 3 and 4.

It is important to note that the businesses that can open from May 13th are still limited to only those in essential retail, this does not include pubs, cinemas or hairdressers.

Further guidance is going to be provided on what businesses need to do in order to ensure they are following the new guidelines. There will also be spot checks on businesses that open to ensure they are following the new guidelines.

It is really important that everyone understands that at any point in time, the restrictions can be brought into force again with very little notice.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 7th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update May 7

A few different announcements have been made over the last couple of days, so I thought I would put them all into one blog post instead of one for each.

Yesterday the government announced that a revaluation of business rates will not take place in 2021. They decided to postpone this exercise to help businesses who have been affected by Covid-19. They have not stated when this revaluation will take place. I will of course share that information as and when it is announced.

Companies House are also doing all they can to help businesses at this time. They have already extended the filing period so that companies can apply for a 3-month extension to file their yearly accounts, but now they have also announced that they are going to pause the strick-off process which will prevent businesses from being dissolved.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 4th, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update May 4

Throughout the day today, further information has been released in regards to the Self-Employed Grant.

From today, HMRC are going to start contacting those who may be eligible for the grant which will mean they will be eligible to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (the equivalent of three months’ profits) which will be paid in one lump sum.

They have released an eligibility checker that people can go onto and see if they will be eligible for the grant, and if they are they are given a date for when they can submit their claim. They will also be encouraged to ensure that HMRC have their correct contact details.

You can access the online eligibility checker here: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference – you will need to have your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and your National Insurance Number.

The service will open on May 13th and the process is supposed to be very simple. Anyone who is eligible will then have the money paid into their banks by May 25th or within 6 working days of completing their claim. This is actually ahead of the predicted June opening when the scheme was first announced.

Further information on how your individual circumstances may affect your eligibility were actually released on May 1st. This article covers items like: if your return is late/amended or under enquiry, if you are a member of a partnership, if you are on or took parental leave, if you are non-resident, and a few other situations. I would suggest that you have a read of the article: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-different-circumstances-affect-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme just to make sure you fully understand what items can affect your eligibility for the scheme.

HMRC have also updated the information showing further information about how the grant will be worked out and there are a number of examples within this article: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-hmrc-works-out-total-income-and-trading-profits-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

As more information is released about this new loan I will update it on the blog.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 3rd, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update May 3rd

Yesterday, the Chancellor announced a further £617m is being made available to help support those businesses that aren’t able to get the Small Business Rates Relief Grant. This new amount of funding will help businesses like those in shared spaces, regular market traders and small charity properties that meet SBRR criteria and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax instead of business rates.

To be eligible a business must be small, have under 50 employees and be able to demonstrate that they have suffered a significant drop in income due to Covid-19.

So far all that has been said is that there will be three levels of grant payments with the largest being £25,000. Further information will be sent to the local authorities on how to distribute these grants to the businesses that are eligible.

As more information is released about this new loan I will update it on the blog.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 2nd, 2020

Ihelm Enterprises Covid 19 Update May 2

Yesterday, the Chancellor sent a letter to the lenders who have been accredited to provide the Bounce Back Loans.

Within in the letter, he thanked them for their efforts in regards to the CBILs and CLBILs and passed on his thanks to the frontline staff. He also outlined the legal responsibilities in regards to the new Bounce Back Loans, which should allow those asking for loans of £25,000 or less, to be able to access them much quicker.

The Chancellor also informed the accredited lenders that the loans are 100% backed by the government and that the interest rate should be set at 2.5%.

The Bounce Back Loans will allow businesses to borrow up to £50,000, capped at 25% of their turnover. As a result, the minimum facility size for the CBILs has been increased to £50,0001 to help prevent any confusion or risk of overlap. Any business that has already been granted a CBIL or overdraft up to £50,000 will be able to switch to a Bounce Back Loan over the next few months.

You can read the full letter by going to: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882875/01052020_CX_Letter_to_banks_-_pricing_and_CCA_.pdf

As more information is released about this new loan I will update it on the blog.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/