We will update this page as soon as any new information becomes available……. (last updated 16the Sept 2020)

 

Covid update

Wynniatt Husey’s response to Covid

We are socially aware and customer focused

  • Meeting rooms are all Covid safe
  • Facemasks provided, hand sanitizers and temperature testing upon entry for all offices
  • Our cyber security has been reviewed by our IT consultants to ensure that staff working from home and using remote working systems are covered by cyber risk protections
  • All home working arrangements have maintained standards of data protection and IT security

 

Due to the current Covid 19 situation, the majority of our staff are working from home. Please take this into consideration and email us with any queries you may have and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.

We appreciate that you will have many questions and we will be doing our best to answer them as more guidance is made available to us. In the meantime, please see the useful links below:

Local Authority Discretionary Grant

Cannock Chase District Council have recently announced a new grant will be made available to support businesses which could not qualify for previous grants such as Small Business grant or Retail, Hospitality or Leisure grant

To qualify, businesses must meet one of the following criteria –
• Occupiers or shared offices or spaces
• Market Traders
• Bed and Breakfasts (who do not pay business rates)
• Charities

People who work from home do not qualify

The council will pay the lower of £5000 or 3 months worth of property costs (including commercial mortgage interest, commercial rent, utility bills and insurance)

The grant can be applied for through completing an online form on the council web.

We advise any businesses not covered by Cannock Chase District Council to search for the grant on their own council website as some councils may have different criteria.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor has announced that there is a new Coronavirus Protection Scheme that is going to be set up in order to help pay employees wages. In order to qualify for this your employees will have to be unable to work due to the Coronavirus interrupting business. All the time that they have been unable to work due to Coronavirus, but they are continued to be paid by yourselves, you can claim up to 80% of workers wages costs. This is going to be capped to £2,500 per month and will be backdated from 1st March 2020.

If your reducing your staffs pay, working hours or laying them off completely this right must be in place within their contract of employment.

If the contract of employment does not provide for this, any alterations in your employees’ rights needs to be made by mutual agreement.  Keeping evidence of this is essential.

Employees must be notified of their furlough status in writing and a record of this must be kept for 5 years.

If you or your employee has more than one job, then they can be furloughed in job and receive a furloughed payment but continue working for someone else and receive their normal wages.

For company directors to be eligible, they should not do work of any kind they would normally carry out in order to generate income or provide services to or on behalf of their company. They can however carry out their statutory duties and obligations as company directors.

Where training is undertaken by furloughed employees (at the request of the employer) then they are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate national minimum wage for the time they have spent training. Employees will need to pay the additional wages in excess of the furlough payments for this time spend training.

When calculating salaries, they should not include the cost of any non-monetary benefits provided to employees (such as company cars) or any salary sacrifice schemes (such as pensions)

Apprenticeship Levy and Student Loan payments should continue to be paid as normal, and the grant will not reimburse for these.

On 29 May 2020, the Government announced the following:-
• The furlough claim period is being extended until the end of October 2020.
• The furlough scheme will close to new entrants on 30 June 2020, meaning that only employers who have already made claims will be eligible for the extended period.
• From 01 July, businesses will be given the opportunity to bring back part time staff into work. Employers will need to pay full wages to their staff for the hours they are in      work and will be able to claim 80% furlough for the hours they are not there.
• From August 2020, the government will continue to pay 80% furlough pay but will expect employers to be in a position to cover there own employer national insurance       and employer pension contributions
• From September 2020, the Government will only pay out 70% furlough pay and this will be capped at £2187.50
• From October 2020, the Government will only pay out 60% furlough pay and this will be capped at £1875.00

Laying Employees off

If you decide to lay employees off as you have no work for them you are entitled to do this and you must go back to your contract of employment. Providing the contract allows you to lay people off then you are allowed to lay people off for an indefinite period but you are entitled to pay them £29 a day for the first five days of lay off in any three-month period. After that, you are not required to pay them any more monies, but the staff can ask for redundancy or layoff after one month. If you do lay your staff off then you will not obviously qualify for the new provisions above.

Income Support

If you are laying your staff off without pay or you are a self-employed person then you can apply to the Government for Universal Credits. We are not quite sure of the amounts of these and as they are means-tested you will be asked for all of your income and expenditure in order to qualify for this.

Sick Pay

If your employees or yourselves contract the virus then you will be entitled to claim sick pay. This sick pay under normal guidance from HMRC and our payroll department will be able to work out what sick pay your entitled to pay your employee.

Currently, you can now reclaim this sick pay which we can do for you automatically from the Government only for employees that have contracted the virus. The legislation says that the sick pay is paid as long as the layoff is due to Coronavirus. This means that if people are quarantined because their family has the disease, they are able to claim.

The maximum period for the SSP reclaim will be two weeks.

In order to qualify for the reimbursement of sick pay by the government for your staff who have suffered from corona virus or been advised to self-isolate, they will be required to obtain an “isolation note”.

These can be obtained by completing this online form
https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

Corporation Tax and PAYE

HMRC is running a ‘special time to pay number’ for people affected on Corona Virus and you can apply to them if you are experiencing difficulties due to the Coronavirus in paying your PAYE. The number that you require is 0800 0241222.

Income tax

The second payment on account for all self-employed people and people that are paying dividend tax, which would normally be due on 31 July, has been suspended and it will be deferred until January 2021. Currently, there is no other help on this and do not forget that this will increase the 31 January 2021 liability and therefore you need to be careful with your cashflow.

IR35 for the Private Sector

The changes that were due to come in on 1 April 2020 have been suspended and this will now come into force from 1 April 2021. 

New legislation from HMRC is telling us that IR35 contractors working for public sector organisations through personal service companies (who are unable to work due to coronavirus) are now eligible for the 80% furlough job retention scheme providing their contracts are ongoing.

This applies to all contingent (or off payroll) workers within the public sector including
• PAYE
• Umbrella Companies
• Personal Service Companies

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

This is to help people raise money during the interruption of their business due to the Coronavirus.

The Government is providing support for businesses making applications for finance, loans, overdrafts, invoice financing or asset financing of up to £5 million and for up to six years. How the scheme will work is that the Government will cover the first twelve months of interest payments that any lender levies and fees for arranging the payment. It is currently only available to small businesses and is going to be used so people can pay lower initial payments. The Government will also provide lenders with a guarantee of up to 80% of each loan, therefore allowing the banks to have more security than is currently available. In order to be eligible you need to have the following criteria:

  • Your business is based in the UK and you have a turnover of less than £45 million per year.
  • Your business meets the British Business Bank Eligibility Criteria.

In order to access this, you will need to speak to your bank itself and they should have more details. We have been informed that the scheme has now been opened from the 23 March 2020.

Small business micro-loan scheme (bounce back loans)

It was announced on 28 April 2020 that a new loan was being agreed with banks to help small businesses hit by the Coronavirus to apply for up to £50000 (or 25% of business turnover).

The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and will also cover the first 12 months worth of interest.

The scheme will open from 9am on Monday 04 May 2020 with the intention of loans being paid within 24 hours of approval. Businesses can apply directly from lenders and will need to complete a standard two page form.

Micro Business Emergency Grants

County Councils across the UK have recently announced there will be a micro business emergency grants for people and businesses who cannot get support from other government incentives that have already been announced. We believe the grants are up to £1000 and can be applied for though the County Councils website.
To qualify, businesses must be registered within the County of the Council they are claiming from, have less than 9 employees, cannot have claimed other government support and have an annual turnover of less than £2m a year
Disclaimer – This is based on guidelines from East Stafford Borough Council, other councils may have different qualifying criteria

Key Numbers

Currently, apart from us, there is also information and helplines available as follows:

  • ACAS Coronavirus Support Help Line          0300 123 1100
  • HMRC Coronavirus Helpline                          0800 024 1222

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

HMRC will provide a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2500 per month (for the next 3 months)

Eligible criteria –

  • Have submitted a self assessment tax return for 05 April 2019
  • You currently trade or did trade before the Coronavirus restrictions and you intend to continue trading in the future
  • You have lost trading profits due to Coronavirus
  • Profits must be less than £50000 (either based on 2018/19 figures or averaged over a 3 year period)
  • More than half of your income must come from a self employment trade (this disallows rental income trades)

HMRC have confirmed this grant will be paid directly into your bank account

You cannot apply for this grant at the moment, HMRC say they will contact you if they believe you to be eligible

Please note this does not apply to directors or shareholders of Limited companies.

On 29 May 2020, the Government announced the following:-
• The deadline for claiming the first SEISS grant will be 13 July 2020.
• A second and final SEISS grant will be available to claim from August 2020. This grant will be worth 70% of average trading profits and will be capped at £6570.00

VAT on PPE

The Treasury has announced that for the periods 01 May 2020 to 31 July 2020, any sales of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) will be zero rated for VAT purposes.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant

There is an eligibility checker on HMRC website which allows individuals to see if they are eligible for the SEISS grant.

 

Wynniatt-Husey Limited’s Policy

We have currently dispersed most of our staff who will be working from home and we are operating a skeleton staff at each site, who are able to take telephone calls, emails, texts in the usual manner but obviously it may be slower responding.

All the offices are now closed and we will only accept people that have already made an appointment. We are trying to encourage people to talk to us on the telephone and we are operating a reserved system whereby you can book a telephone conversation if necessary.

Books and records can be dropped off at Rugeley and Uttoxeter, and each site has a box outside to enable you to put your books and records in, we are trying to encourage people to not come into our office if it can be avoided.

Current guidelines say that you should leave it in the sun for at least 3 hours before you pick it up.

Books and Records that you want to collect

Again, we do not want any direct contact between yourselves and us, and if we can leave your records outside in the container you can pick them up.

If you want to collect any books and records from us then please let us know and we will leave them outside in the box for you to be able to collect. Please give at least an hour’s notice prior to you arriving at the office to make sure we have the books and records available for you.