1) Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:
- a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- deferring VAT and Self-Assessment payments
- a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
- a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)
- a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
- small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
- a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
- the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
2) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The Coronavirus Job retention scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 01/03/2020. Under this scheme employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on temporary leave specifically due to COVID-19) usual monthly wage cost up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employers N.I. contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.
The scheme is open to all employers that had created and started a PAYE scheme on 28 February 2020 and can be used anytime during this period.
3) Off-Payroll Working Rules reforms postponed until 2021
Reforms to off-payroll working rules have been delayed by 12 months as part of the government’s Covid-19 economic response package.
4) Domestic reverse VAT Charge for building and construction services
The VAT domestic reverse charge for building and construction services that was postponed just before starting in 2019 is still pencilled in to start on 01/10/2020. However, it still remains to be seen whether COVID-19 will impact this and delay it.
5) Employment Allowance (EA)
Businesses with employees can reduce their annual National Insurance Contributions by up to £4000 with Employment Allowance.
From tax year 2020/21 Employment Allowance can only be claimed by businesses and charities with an Employer National Insurance Contributions bill below £100,000 in the previous tax year.
More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/changes-to-employment-allowance
6) Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP)
Employees will now be entitled to two weeks’ leave following the death of a child (under the age of 18) or who suffers a still-birth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
7) Termination Payments:
Employers must pay Class 1A NICs on any part of a termination (redundancy) payment exceeding the £30,000 threshold.
8) Rates and thresholds for employers 2020 to 2021
PAYE thresholds rates and codes remain the same for England & Northern Ireland and Wales. Scotland have announced changes to thresholds however the 2019/20 rates will remain operative until 10/05/2020 which will then be superseded by the new rates.
The National Living Wage (NLW) increased from 01/04/2020 to £8.72 per hour.
Details of the 2020/21 rates and thresholds can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-and-thresholds-for-employers-2020-to-2021
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