This evening, Friday 20 March, the government have announced further social distancing measures and a further package of financial measures to support businesses and employees during the Coronavirus pandemic. We’re outlining these below. The Chancellor’s full statement on the financial measures announced can be found here. Further guidance is expected to be made this evening on the gov.uk website.
New social distancing measures
The government is asking all restaurants, pubs, clubs, cafes and entertainment venues to close tonight and not open tomorrow. The government says this will include: food and drink venues; pubs, bars and clubs; cinemas, theatres, concert and bingo halls; spas, indoor leisure and gyms; casinos and betting shops; museums and galleries; the measures will be reviewed on a monthly basis for their effectiveness. More information can be found here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Businesses will receive government grants worth up to 80% of wages to keep workers in jobs. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will pay up to £2,500 per worker each month. The scheme, open to any employer in the country and will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020. It will be open before the end of April for at least 3 months. The Government says there is no limit on the funding available for the scheme.
VAT payments for the next quarter will be deferred, so no business will pay any VAT for the next three months – a direct injection of £30bn of cash to employers.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, launched at the Budget, will now be interest-free for 12 months. This fund will be available from Monday 23 March. Details are here.
Universal Credit standard allowance and working tax credit basic element to rise by £1000 for a year.
We’re continuing to work closely with Kingston Council and Kingston Chamber of Commerce to ensure you receive timely and consistent updates and information. We have also created a dedicated information page on our website to help you navigate resources for businesses, employees and public health and safety.