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29th April 2020

We’ve created an easy to read contractor’s fact sheet to the temporary package set out by the Chancellor to support struggling businesses in this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Job Retention Scheme

  • A temporary scheme open to all UK employers for 4 months starting from 1 March 2020 (may be extended if necessary).
  • Open to all employers with a PAYE payroll scheme started before 19 March 2020.
  • Salaried company directors are eligible to receive support through this scheme.
  • Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll and were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.
  • Need to designate and notify affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ for a minimum of three weeks at a time.
  • Use HMRC’s calculator to work out the amount you can claim before applying via your Government Gateway account.
  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wages up to £2,500 per month.
  • Full details on the scheme can be found here and a guide to claiming here.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

  • This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible (number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020).
  • Employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.
  • The online service to reclaim SSP is not available yet.
  • Further details on the scheme can be found here.

Self-Assessment Deferral

  • July’s Self Assessment payments on account may be deferred until January 2021. This is optional; if you are still able to pay you should do so.
  • Available to anyone who’s self-employed
  • No application required – simply skip July’s payment.
  • This is not a grant. You’ll still need to pay the amount in full before January.

VAT Deferral

  • VAT payments due 20 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 can be deferred until 31 March 2021 (continue to pay normally after the deferral period ends)
  • Available to all VAT registered businesses.
  • No application required – simply hold back VAT payment.
  • This is not a grant. You’ll still need to pay the amount in full before 31 March 2021.
  • Find out how to defer your payments here.

Business Interruption Loan

  • A new temporary Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.
  • Eligible businesses are UK based, with a turnover of no more than £45m that meet the British Business Bank eligibility criteria.
  • Full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website.
  • The scheme is now open for applications at all major banks.
  • To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

  • The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) who have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • This scheme will allow self-employed individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
  • No need to apply, HMRC will contact eligible individuals by mid-May 2020 and invite them to apply online.
  • Payments will be made by early June 2020.
  • It is possible to claim for Universal Credit while waiting for the grant.
  • Eligible if the 2018/19 tax return has been submitted and traded in 2019/20 and intends to continue trading in 2020/21.
  • Average trading profits must not be more the £50,000 for the last three years.
  • Details on how the grant will be calculated can be found here.
  • More info can be found on the Government’s site by clicking here.

Time To Pay Service

  • All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
  • Every UK based business that pays tax to the UK Government and has outstanding tax liabilities are eligible.
  • If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 024 1222.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

  • The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.
  • The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.
  • Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months and a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
  • The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.
  • UK based businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus that was not already in difficulty in December 2019 are eligible.
  • Not available for those that already applied for the Business Interruption Loan
  • More info on how to apply will be published shortly
  • Launch date: 4 May 2020

Commercial Insurance

  • Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19.
  • However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered the closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy).
  • Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.


We aim to keep this guide regularly updated with the latest information by the Government. For more updates and useful guides, remember to follow us on  LinkedInFacebook or Twitter.

If you have any questions please contact us on info@myaccountant.co.uk or call 0800 917 9100. If you are a client, your accounts manager will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

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