Dental update: Coronavirus support for the self-employed

Published: Friday 27 March 2020

The Chancellor’s announcement on Thursday 26 March that help for the self-employed will be available was welcome; however, the £50,000 cap on trading profits means that many dentists will be excluded from these measures. 

HMRC will contact self-employed people who qualify for the assistance. The Chancellor said that a form will be sent for the self-employed person to complete and it is expected that three months’ payments will be made in June 2020. More details are available here. 

For NHS dentists, more details – the preparedness letter for primary dental care issue 3 - were published on Wednesday 25 March. The wording of this letter implies that to maintain NHS contract funding no other Government assistance, which includes furloughing of staff, can be claimed. In addition, staff and associates should be paid in full. 

There are a lot of questions about how this will work in practice, given that a lot of practices have a mixture of NHS and private income. Realistically, one would hope that sense will prevail and an apportionment will be made. The BDA has sent various questions to NHS England - see here. Hopefully further clarification will be available soon, as the uncertainty is causing concern for a lot of dentists.

Our understanding at this time is that for purely private dental practices financial help should be available as it is for all other business.

Dental associates

Associates earning more than £50,000 will be excluded from the self-employment income support scheme. If mainly/wholly private, this could lead to significant financial shortfalls. However, where there is NHS income, a condition of the practice receiving continued NHS monthly funding is that staff and associates are paid in full. We would therefore expect associates will get some support in relation to their usual NHS contract allocation during this pandemic.

Content image: /uploads/team/unknown.jpg James Morter
James Morter
Partner, Corporate Finance, Audit, Dental
View profile
Content image: /uploads/team/unknown.jpg Nigel Utting
Nigel Utting
Partner, Dental
View profile