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COVID-19 Our Latest Update (Evening Briefing 20th March)

Please find below the latest information from the Government, and ways we can assist during this challenging time.

As we have mentioned in previous articles, your Relationship Partner is on hand to co-ordinate any assistance that might be required from our specialist departments, or to just discuss any concerns you may have, we are here to help.

Below is the latest information released this evening. We will provide a more detailed update on Monday following the announcement by the Chancellor this evening, of a range of extraordinary measures.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The scheme will mean any employer in the country, irrespective of size, including charitable and not for profit organisations, will be eligible to apply. Employers can contact HMRC for a grant to cover 80% of wages of people who are not working but are retained on payroll, rather than being laid off. This will extend up to £2,500 pcm per employee.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be backdated until 1st March 2020, and available for at least three months, with the Chancellor confirming that this period will be extended if required, and that unlimited funding will be made available for the scheme.

He advised that the first grants will be paid within a matter of weeks, and at the very latest before the end of April.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme (CBILS)

The “Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme” whereby the Government will guarantee up to 80% of the value (up to £5m) of loans introduced, will now be interest free for 12 months and will be available from Monday.

The Chancellor advised that more measures would be announced during week commencing 23rd March to ensure that medium and larger businesses can also access CBILS.

Deferral of VAT Payments

The Chancellor confirmed today that he will allow a deferral of VAT payments. Our interpretation is that any payment of VAT due between today and 30 June 2020 does not need to be paid. Any sums deferred in this way would need to be settled by 31 March 2021.

Self Employed

The self-employed will now be able to access universal credit, in effect, providing them access to statutory sick pay (SSP).

Tax payments for the self-employed will also be deferred until the next self-assessment date (January 2021).

We are able to provide further support so please do speak to your Relationship Partner as necessary.


The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.

Posted by Paul Stringer
20th March, 2020
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