Coronavirus Support

We've pulled together all the key information regarding the steps the government is taking to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is changing daily, so we'll be updating this page as and when we hear more - so do keep checking back.

Ozlop is also offering free Coronavirus support calls for businesses to help you navigate your way through this difficult and uncertain time.

Simply pick a date and time using the calendar below and we’ll be in touch. Alternatively, you can contact us using our online form.

We’re all in this together – and Ozlop will do all we can to help ensure that the impact of COVID-19 on your business is minimised. 

Book your free 15 minute coronavirus support call

Key coronavirus information for businesses

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: "Furlough"

The government will meet the cost of 80% of employees, where the employees would otherwise have had to be laid off. 

Here’s what we know so far:

  • Only PAYE employees are covered, not contractors.
  • There will be a cap of £2,500 per month per employee.
  • The scheme will run from 1 March 2020 for at least 3 months. Claims can be backdated to 1 March 2020.
  • It applies to individuals in the employed at 28 February 2020.
  • A dedicated claims portal will be set up. Note: This is not available yet but you can still put employees on furlough.
  • A “furloughed” employee cannot perform any work for the employer during the period for which a claim is made.
  • The employee remains employed under their existing employment contract.

Here’s what we don’t know yet:

  • Whether owner/director-employees can be included.
  • Whether the cap of £2,500 per employee per month refers to the maximum amount the government will reimburse, or whether the maximum is 80% of £2,500.
  • The employment law consequences of "furloughing" an employee, where this action conflicts with the employment contract.
  • Whether reimbursements will be subject to tax for the business.
  • The exact calculation of which employment costs can be included in the reimbursement.
  • What information will be required to be submitted through the claim portal and what (if any) checks HMRC will carry out.
  • How will it work for employees with variable pay e.g. those on zero-hours contracts.
  • How to account for PAYE and NIC on payments.
  • You should check to see whether the employment contract allows you to put employees on furlough.
  • If not, then you will need written permission from the employee to do so.
  • You should notify the employee in writing that you are putting them on furlough.

For more information on furlough visit the National Law Review website.

Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

  • The scheme is automatic with no applications required - this scheme currently runs from 20th March to 30th June 2020.
  • Taxpayers will be given until the end of the tax year 20/21 to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period.
  • VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs

  • Sick pay now starts from day 1 of the sickness period.
  • The government will cover up to 2 weeks SSP for businesses with fewer than 250 employees at 28th Feb 2020 – this scheme is being developed

Business rates holiday

  • For all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England – irrespective of business rateable value.

Small business grant funding

  • Grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • Note - you do not need to do anything - your local authority will write to you if you're eligible.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • Offer of loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank.
  • This has a 12 month interest free period but loan repayments will have to be made.

Find an approved lender or approach your business bank directly.

  • Note - loans may take up to 8 weeks to be approved so we advise prompt action if you need money quickly.
  • Ozlop can help with Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme Loan applications - so get in touch if you’d like to know more.

HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

  • This will be agreed on a case by case basis.

For more information visit COVID-19: support for businesses on the government website. 

Last updated 25 March 2020.

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