COVID-19: Latest Government Announcements - 23rd March, 2020

Last Friday, Rishi Sunak unveiled the largest direct state intervention in the economy since World War 2 ...

I tip my hat to Rishi and Boris for listening to both businesses and trade unions and working with them to come up with a comprehensive lifeline. Last week was certainly one of the worst weeks of my career with so many of you suffering at the hands of an economic earthquake that has led to so many difficult decisions being made.

"For the first time in our history, the British Government is going to step in and help pay people's wages!"

The Government has announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will make grants available covering 80% of your employees' salaries, of up to a maximum of £2,500 per worker who is unable to work for three months with employers expected to top up the rest. This will be backdated to the 1st March to assist those who were made redundant last week.

Other important announcements:

- VAT - No business will have to pay VAT from now until mid-June and then will have the rest of the financial year to settle

- Self Employed - The self-employed will be able to access the Universal Credit at a rate equivalent of statutory sick pay for employees. The next self-assessment payment due on 31st July is deferred until 31st January 2021

- Business - The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be interest free for 12 months instead of 6 and will be launched now

- Renters - No renter will be forced out of their home during the crisis. The Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30% of market rents in a renter’s area

- Universal Credit - The standard allowance has been increased for the next 12 months by £1,000 per annum

You may have heard the term 'furlough' used in Friday's announcement and although details are yet to be confirmed, we believe this to be akin to lay-off, but paid, while retaining all employment rights. The Government has promised that, "Any employer in the country – small or large, charitable or non-profit - will be eligible for the scheme". This is incredibly positive news.

We at Essendon are working tirelessly to ensure we are supporting every client wherever we possibly can. Please do not be afraid to contact us whatever time of day it is!

Our own homeworking policies are written up, the IT infrastructure is robust, we are using Zoom Video Conferencing when we need to and we will be having the office sanitised this week using SteriZar fogging solution.

Stay safe everyone!

If you feel inspired to find out more about anything I've said here, do call me on 01908 774320 or leave a comment below and I'll be in touch as soon as I can.