Expert legal advice can help your business navigate the Covid-19 crisis – click here for your free 15 minute consultation

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Legal Advice

Is Your Business Prepared for Coronavirus?

The COVID-19 outbreak is impacting on businesses, organisations and individuals.

It is fair to say Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has businesses in all sectors and of all sizes across the UK scrambling to work out how best to protect their interests and those of their employees.

As recently as December 2019, Coronavirus hardly registered as a threat; fast forward only a few weeks, and the World Health Organisation has now declared a global pandemic.

At this stage, effective risk management, planning, and communication are vital to protecting the interests of your business, clients and valued staff members.

Contact us today to receive a free 15-minute phone consultation with one of our expert lawyers. Our teams of experts will advise you on any Coronavirus related concerns you may have to help you effectively manage your business through these uncertain times. We are closely monitoring updates from government as well as the impact on key sectors, to provide practical guidance on emerging issues.

LawBite is an online legal tech platform. This provides access to LawBriefs, our fully SRA regulated and insured UK virtual law firm – with our 50+ lawyers working remotely. This means you don’t need to have a face to face meeting.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for employers and businesses

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least 3 months starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.

 

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.

 

Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

 

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Support for businesses through deferring VAT payments

We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

 

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to:

 

  • defer the payment until a later date
  • pay the VAT due as normal

 

Find out how to defer your VAT payment.

 

If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19 more help is available from HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Support for businesses through deferring Self-Assessment payments on account

If you’re due to pay a self-assessment payment on account by 31 July 2020 but the impact of the coronavirus causes you difficulty in making payment by that date, then you may defer payment until January 2021.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you are due to pay your second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July. You do not need to be self-employed to be eligible for the deferment.

 

The deferment is optional. If you are still able to pay your second payment on account on 31 July you should do so.

 

How to access the scheme

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment until 31 January 2021.

 

During the deferral period you can set up a budget payment plan to help you pay the deferred payment on account when it comes due.

 

If you’re in temporary financial distress because of COVID-19 more help is available from HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Support for self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

 

Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

 

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of SSP that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

 

Find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

 

Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

 

We will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

 

Eligibility

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • for hospitality, as hotels, guest & boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

More information on eligibility is set out in the expanded retail discount guidance.

How to access the scheme

There is no action for you. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to provide this support. They will do this as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge using the business rates calculator.

Guidance for local authorities

Guidance for local authorities is available in the expanded retail discount guidance.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

 

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

 

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

 

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

 

Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction.

 

These measures will mean no business will automatically forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment up until 30 June.

 

There is the option for the government to extend this period if needed.

This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent. Commercial tenants are protected from eviction if they are unable to pay rent.

 

Eligibility

All commercial tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are eligible.

How to access the scheme

The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent. No action is required.

 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

How to access government financial support if you or your business has been affected by COVID-19

Chancellor announced an unprecedented package of government-backed
and guaranteed loans to support businesses, making available an initial £330bn of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of GDP.

This was on top of a series of measures announced at Budget 2020, the government announced £30 billion of additional support for public services, individuals and businesses experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19, including a new £5 billion COVID-19 Response Fund, to provide any extra resources needed by the NHS and other public services to tackle the virus.

 

If you want the latest information on the government’s COVID-19 Action Plan you can go
here: gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan

 

Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/873676/Covid-19_fact_sheet_18_March.pdf

If you are a small- or medium-sized business, you may be entitled to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for sickness absence due to COVID-19

  • This refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who are either ill or been told to self-isolate because of COVID-19. This is in line with the recommended isolation period. Guidance on self-isolation can be found here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronaviruscovid-19
  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible. The size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
  • The eligible period for the scheme began on 13 March
  • The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible. Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP

 

Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/873676/Covid-19_fact_sheet_18_March.pdf

Webinar: Helping your business deal with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus has impacted most, if not all SME across the UK. Here at LawBite we have been issuing guidance to help businesses weather this critical situation. We hosted a FREE webinar with experts on contracts, employment and funding business continuation to answer questions from SMEs and help them deal with this unprecedented situation and its impact on them.

Watch a video of our webinar here

How can the LawBriefs lawyers help?

Call us today

020 7148 1066

or complete the form to set up your free consultation

How much does it cost?

We provide fixed price quotes at £145 per hour plus VAT. Discounted rates are available for LawBite subscribers - Pricing plans start at £19.50/month

See all pricing

Got a dispute under the value of £1,000?

Please note that for disputes, it is unlikely that the LawBriefs lawyer will be able to review all documentation and information relating to a situation within an initial 15 minute consultation period. If you are looking for direction on the strength of your case, there will usually be a fee associated with this service (and any follow up steps, e.g. letter drafting, referral to mediation or arbitration). For disputes with a value of £1,000 or less, we offer a cost-effective telephone mediation service which costs £125 plus VAT per party and has a 75% success rate. For more information complete the enquiry form or email [email protected]

Related Services

1 Ask a question

This field is required
This field is required This field is required
File size must be less than 20MB.
Only "jpg", "jpeg", "tif", "png", "pdf", "doc", "docx", "xlsx", "zip" file types are allowed.
This field is required

2 Contact details

This field is required Invalid Name
This field is required Invalid Email Account exists for this email address – please click on ‘Already Registered’ above
This field is required Only numbers are allowed
This field is required Invalid password Your password should be at least 10 characters and contain one lower case letter (a-z) , one upper case letter (A-Z), a number (0-9) and a special character ([email protected]£$%^&*()-). It also cannot contain a string of 4 or more identical characters.
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
You must agree to the terms and conditions before proceeding.
Captcha is required Recaptcha Verification Error
This field is required
This field is required