COVID – 19 – 25/03/2020

Good evening


We hope you are staying well and healthy

Please find below our update on the Coronavirus response and the policy announcements made today.




Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night of stringent new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, today’s coronavirus press conference was lead by Matt Hancock (Health Secretary) through a video-conference service.


This follows Hancock making a statement in the House of Commons today regarding Coronavirus, in which he stated that the action the Government is taking is “absolutely necessary”. He also highlighted that police are now enforcing the Government’s measures with powers to issue initial fines of £30 for non-compliance, with the Government now also buying millions of testing kits.


Further announcements by the Chancellor




Rishi Sunak (Chancellor of the Exchequer) told the Commons that he is in dialogue with stakeholder groups regarding further measures to help the self-employed and said new measures will be announced shortly.   The draft proposals, as noted below rely on past income information with questions being asked as to how practical it is to use historical tax data to try and “impute a wage equivalent” for the self-employed.  The Chancellor indicated that, it was possible to use, but that the data would make it “imperfect”. He further said it provided a “basis” to look at.


Currently, in the consultation process are the following draft details of the proposed provisions for freelancers (self-employed individuals) affected due to the pandemic.


The proposal is for the Government to ‘top-up’ self-employed workers’ earnings up to the lower of:


  • 80% of their net monthly earnings averaged over three years
  • or £2,917


We  will keep you posted on any further progress on the enactment of this bill and we expect a full announcement in the next 24 – 48 hours


Business rents


An announcement has been made that Business tenants cannot be evicted in the next 3 months for not paying their rents


Grant funding:


The information has also been issued by the Government on the two grant funding schemes previously announced by the Chancellor to support businesses. Details on which businesses are eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund and how they will be provided can be found.


Business interruption Loans:


The  banks are finally coming on stream with the launch of the government-backed loan scheme


However empirical evidence from clients is that some details are still unknown by their individual banks, wait times to get through to banks are also high.  As we learn of more practical information regarding terms and process we will of course share this


Job Retention Scheme:


There remain a large number of unanswered questions regarding the criteria and practical implication of the scheme.  As soon as more details are released we will, of course, share these.


Please note however this will not cover all employed individuals but rather to cover those staff that would ordinarily be laid off and that those staff covered by the scheme should not undertake any work for their employer when they are “furloughed”



Scam text messages:


We are starting to find clients are starting to receive text messages purporting to be from the NHS stating “As part of the NJHS promise to battle COVID-19, HMRC has issued a  payment of £258 as a goodwill payment. Follow the link…. “


These messages are of course SPAM and should not be acted upon.


I will continue to provide updates and if you do have any questions or queries please feel free to reach out to me or the team


In the meantime, I can repeat the advice given previously relating to reviewing personal and business expenses, contacting any lenders or creditors sooner rather than later to discuss payment plans.