This week (11 and 12 March 2020) the UK Government provided updated guidance and measures that it is undertaking to mitigate against COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak led on the Government’s response in the year’s budget, unveiling a package of measures that aim to support those affected by economic disruption caused by the virus.
For people affected by coronavirus, this includes:
- Statutory Sick Pay to those diagnosed or that are unable to work because of self-isolation in line with Government advice, payable from day 1 for affected individuals
- Those affected will be able to obtain a fit note through NHS 111, rather than attending a doctor
- For those self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 a week; requirement for the Universal Credit Minimum Income floor will be temporarily relaxed, and that Contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be payable from day 1 of sickness
For businesses experiencing increases in costs or financial disruptions, this includes:
- UK Government bringing forward legislation to allow SMEs (those employing fewer than 250 people as of 28 February 2020) to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid due to the virus. This will cover the first two weeks that an eligible employee has been absent.
- A temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, launched in coming weeks, to support SMEs through bank lending and overdrafts of up to £1.2 million in value
- Businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support with tax affairs through HMRC.
- A one-off grant of £3,000 to those who are also in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief
The RIBA advises you to familiarise yourself with the UK Government’s plans if you are concerned that you or your business may be affected now or in the future.
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