Whilst health and wellbeing are the priorities for us all right now, concerns about the financial impact of Coronavirus are, understandably, never far away.
Measures designed to combat the spread of the disease have financial consequences for us all. As a result, the Government has introduced a series of measures to help business owners, contractors and self-employed people through this difficult period. Here, we summarise what help is available and how you can access it.
Help for Umbrella workers
Liberty Bishop UK Umbrella employees whose roles have been furloughed as a direct result of Coronavirus can apply to receive payment under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
We have put in place a straight-forward application process which can be found here. The deadline for initial claims covering March and April is 15th May 2020 and continuing furlough eligibility will be checked weekly thereafter. We hope to be able to pay eligible claims within 1-2 weeks of this application deadline.
Please note that the Government’s rules mean that CJRS payments can be made to employees who were on our PAYE payroll and who had been paid by us on or before 19th March 2020. As the job retention scheme has been put in place for those employees that are temporarily unable to work as a result of Coronavirus, you will need to provide details showing that you were on an assignment that was suspended or terminated as a result of Coronavirus.
Public sector organisations that use Umbrella contractors have been issued with guidance from Government that says they can continue to process payments for contractors who are temporarily unable to work as a result of Coronavirus, as opposed to using the job retention scheme.
Summary of additional support available
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Gives SMES access to immediate short-term overdraft or lending from a range of accredited banks and finance companies. Only eligible to UK-based businesses with a turnover of less than £45million and will support loans of up to £5million. Loans over £250k will need a personal guarantee but the Government will contribute 80% against this.
VAT payments deferred
Open to all UK businesses, any payment due for VAT between the period 20th March 2020 and 30th June 2020 can be deferred until 31st March 2021.
Deferment of Self-Assessment payment on account
The second payment on account that would normally be due for payment by 31st July 2020 can be delayed until 31st January 2021.
Business rates holiday
Business rates holidays are available for any business operating in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors for the whole of the 2020/21 tax year. Rate relief is applied automatically by the local council
Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure
Cash grants are available for those businesses that operate in the Retail, Hospitality or Leisure sector. Up to £25,000 is payable per property and £10,000 is available where the rateable value is less than £15,000.
Increase to Universal Credit
Universal Credit has been increased for 12 months to help people on low incomes, or those who have no income as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
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Liberty Bishop Contractor Services Limited, Suite 1, 2nd Floor, Keynes House, The Priory, Tilehouse Street, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 2DW
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"The team are cheery, friendly and extremely knowledgeable in helping our contractors through the process."
"My payroll Manager has provided an excellent level of support and advice in regards to information on payment dates, alerting to changes in tax status and also assisting with taking on extra work along with the invoicing of that work. Always providing a response in a timely manner. This level of service makes me happy to continue working with Liberty Bishop. "
"As someone who is new to contracting, I was not sure of the process of getting paid. The Welcome Team explained the process clearly to me and arranged for my first pay run to be sped up. Very fast response to a couple of other queries, which were quickly resolved. Excellent service. "
"The team has looked after me so well this year. I had an issue with a payment one month and everyone went out of their way to help me and resolve it. They are all a credit to Liberty Bishop."