What do I need to know for my employees/contractors?
Off-payroll working rules delay: The Government has announced that they are postponing the off-payroll working rules (also known as IR35) due to come in from 6 April 2020, for medium and large sized businesses by one year to 6 April 2021. Read more here.
Statutory sick pay for those affected by COVID-19: The Government has announced that ‘eligible’ employees diagnosed with COVID-19, or ‘eligible’ employees that are unable to work as they are self-isolating in line with Government advice due to displaying COVID-19 symptoms, will be entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) which will be payable from day one. Read more here.
What do I do if I am self-employed?
Support for self-employed workers: The Government has announced a delay in upcoming income tax payments until January 2021 and universal credit is now accessible by all self-employed individuals required to self-isolate, which will be provided at the same rate of statutory sick pay available for employees. Read more here.
Self-employment income support scheme: On 26 March the Chancellor announced a grant scheme for the self-employed similar to that for employees but with some additional caveats. HMRC will cover up to 80% of average monthly trading profits (based on the past three tax years) and capped at £2,500 per month. This scheme is not expected to be up and running until early June, so in the meantime a business interruption loan could be considered. The grant will be backdated until March 2020 and will initially be available for three months but will be extended if required. Read more here.
What else do I need to know?
Mortgage holidays: Homeowners and those with buy-to-let mortgages who are impacted financially by the coronavirus, will be able to request a mortgage payment holiday of up to three months. The Financial Conduct Authority has advised that lenders should grant mortgage holidays regardless of customers’ circumstances and should have no negative impact on credit scores. Read more here.
Support when renting private or social accommodation: Evictions from private or social accommodation have been banned for at least three months. Read more here.
For further information and guidance, please see below for links to Government and WHO websites.
HM Government Business Support
Government guidelines for employees, employers and businesses
HMRC dedicated coronavirus helpline
World Health Organisation – country and technical guidance