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Markel Insurance

01 Apr 2020

COVID-19: Government support for care businesses

We know our care clients are under financial pressure due to the current impact of COVID-19, along with an overwhelming pressure to deliver.

Limited provision and limited income has no doubt been causing you problems. But, the Government is supporting businesses like yours as a critical provision, so there are things you can do to help your situation.

We have set these resources up in one, easy–to–access guide. Use this guide as a means to protect your revenue and your business.

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Support for furloughed workers: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) 

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), once this comes into force, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off (or made redundant) during this crisis.

Find the latest HMRC guidance on the CJRS here.

Support for small and medium-sized Care businesses: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Delivered by the British Business Bank, this scheme was launched on 23 March 2020 to primarily support small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

Support for larger Care businesses: Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility  

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies to support your business if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, allowing you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. All UK based buisnesses are eligible for this scheme.

Find full details and how to apply here.

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF)

Additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities is available for small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief has been made available.

This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have now released their guidance for local councils which sets out in full which businesses are eligible and the funding breakdown, you can read this in full here.

Reclaim Statutory Sick Pay

UK SMEs (defined as having less than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020) are able to reclaim the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) they have paid due to COVID-19.  We will update you on the full details once the scheme has been fully developed.

HMRC Time to Pay offer

Firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of COVID-19, and have outstanding tax liabilities, can gain support through HMRC scaling up their Time to Pay offer to all. HMRC have set up a helpline number where you can establish if you’re eligible and receive help and advice. Call the helpline on 0800 0159 559.
 
Arrangements on this offer are agreed on a case-by-case basis, and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. For more information, please check the HMRC site here.

VAT Payment deferred

VAT can now be paid at the end of this financial year and payments for this quarter have been postponed.
 
No applications need to be made for this offer – it will activate automatically. During this period, no VAT will need to be paid by businesses. Any liabilities that have been accumulated during the deferral by the tax payer, won’t need to be paid until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as they normally would be.
 
Therefore, customers who are unable to pay should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they usually pay by direct debit. Make sure you do this in enough time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.

Employment Allowance

Small employers still qualify for the Employment Allowance, as long as they have a National Insurance bill of £100,000 or less.
 
From April, this will be increased to £4,000 per small business. This will, for example, be enough to pay for the total National Insurance employer contributions for four employees who are on the National Living Wage.
 
In order to claim this, simply put ‘Yes’ in the ‘Employment Allowance Indicator’ field in your payroll software, next time you send HMRC an Employment Payment Summary (EPS). Or, if you don’t have the software that uses Basic PAYE Tools, just change your employer details to say ‘Yes’ in the field that says ‘Employment Allowance indicator’ on the home page.

Insolvency regulation suspension

So company directors can run their businesses during this difficult time without worrying about personal liability, the Government has suspended wrongful trading provisions retrospectively for three months from 1 March 2020.
 
As a result of this suspension, companies can carry on purchasing the supplies they need, such as energy, raw materials or broadband.
 
Find out more by reading the official release on the gov.uk website.

To see more COVID-19 related content and how Markel UK are assisting our policyholder and brokers, visit the COVID-19 Hub.

Our COVID-19 Hub contains a range of information and resources to best support our clients during this difficult time. To receive the latest news and insights by email sign-up here.

Markel brokers and policyholders also have access to our Law hub, providing thousands of DIY contracts, forms guides and links to valuable resources for businesses needing assistance with the everyday running of their organisations.

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The impact of the Coronavirus on the UK tech sector