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| March 27, 2020

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The Hair & Barber Council: PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES STRICTER MEASURES TO TACKLE CORONAVIRUS

The Hair & Barber Council: PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES STRICTER MEASURES TO TACKLE CORONAVIRUS
Sam Robinson

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening regarding Covid-19 with this latest statement by The Hair & Barber Council: 

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced a range of additional measures in an attempt to tackle the spread of coronavirus. In a speech aired last night, he stated that the new measures were ‘vital’ to slow the spread of the virus.

‘Protect the NHS and save more lives’.

To enforce these new restrictions, the police will have powers to issue fines and disperse gatherings. The new limitations are as follows:

People will be limited to leaving their homes for the following purposes only:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of the same household.
  • Any medical needs, to provide care for a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done at home.
  • In addition to these measures, the Prime Minister also stated that further restrictions would come into force immediately;
    – The closure of all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds, and outdoor gyms, and places of worship.
    – Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people from the same household.
    – Stopping all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.
    – The new restrictions will be kept in place for at least three weeks, with the Prime Minister stating that they will be kept ‘under constant review’ and relaxed ‘if the evidence shows we are able to’.

BUSINESS UPDATES

We are getting new updates every day, so here is a breakdown of what we know so far. Still awaiting updates for self-employed workers.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • All UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off.
    You will need to:
    Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify your employees of this change.
    Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through the new online portal. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Short Term Cashflow Support

If your business needs short term cashflow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments.

VAT payments will be deferred for three months. If you are self employed income tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self Assessment System will be deferred to January 2021.

For VAT the deferral will apply from 20 March to 30 June 2020.

Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the Government as normal.

Income tax

For Income Tax Self Assessment, payments due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. Eligibility:If you are self employed you are eligible.
How to access the scheme: This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
HMRC has also scaled up their Time To Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

Small- and medium-sized businesses and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to Covid-19.
The eligibility criteria for the scheme: This refund will cover up to two weeks SSP per eligible employee who has been off sick because of Covid-19.
Employers with less that 250 employees will be eligible – the size of the employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020.
Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP as a result of Covid-19.
Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP note. If evidence is required by the employer, those with symptoms can get an isolation note from NHS111 online and those that live with someone who has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website.
Eligible period for the scheme will start the day after the regulations on the extenions of SSP to those staying at home comes into force.

Find out more about the Hair Council here.