March 24, 2020

COVID-19: Business Support Packages

Written by Nia Godsmark

Please note this is accurate at the point of writing. This is a fast-moving situation, and regular updates will be required.

Answers to FAQ’s from employers about the new financial support packages available to businesses.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, 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 during this crisis.

You will need to designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.

It is important to advise staff that they are not being dismissed but will remain on the payroll.

This support level is 80% of the furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month

For more information on ‘furloughed’ workers, click here –


Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.


Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)

This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19 and apply to employers with fewer than 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020).


 Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

 If you are eligible, your local authority will contact you.


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank

The new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value and for up to 6 years.

The government will pay to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will not face any upfront costs and will benefit from lower initial repayments.


For more information, visit the HMRC website but for legal help with your business, contact senior solicitor Nia Godsmark on 01792 450010 or email [email protected]

We are able to offer advice, review existing employment contracts and help you through this challenging period without the need for a face-to-face meeting, so get in touch and arrange an initial consultation.