New support measures for businesses affected by COVID-19

March 23rd, 2020

Champion Accountants is here to help you understand what financial help is available to you and your business in these unprecedented times.

On Friday evening [20th March], the Chancellor set out a package of temporary targeted measures to support services, individuals and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The most significant of these measures is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The detail, as we understand so far, is as follows:

  1. The scheme will apply to all employers
  2. Assistance will be in the form of a cash grant, which will be accessed through HMRC
  3. The grant will cover up to 80% of the wages – up to a maximum of £2,500 per month – of each staff member who is not working due to the Coronavirus issues/shutdown and who have been temporarily laid off (i.e. “furloughed”, but not made redundant), but are being retained on payroll
  4. The grant covers qualifying wages/staff from 1st March
  5. HMRC is setting up the grant scheme as quickly as possible and it is hoped that the first grants will be available by end of April 2020
  6. The scheme will be open to cover salaries up to end of June 2020 but may be extended

So, for any of your staff that you need to lay off temporarily, you will be able to claim a grant to cover up to 80% of their wages (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee). As we understand it, the grant will only cover wages from the date that staff are temporarily laid off.

HMRC guidance advises that you:

HMRC is urgently working to set up a system for reimbursement. We are constantly monitoring the latest news and will update you at the very moment further information on accessing this funding facility is issued.

Further supporting measures that were announced included:

As always, we remain on hand to support our clients during this time.

For more information on the above and to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on your business, then please call your Client Manager or your local Champion Accountants office.


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