Skip to content

Do I still have to pay business rates?

The Chancellor has announced that all retail and hospitality firms will be exempt from paying business rates for 12 months in a bid to combat the financial damage caused by the outbreak.

This covers pubs, restaurants and shops. After initially covering businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000, this has now been extended to cover firms of any size, “irrespective of rateable value.”

Smaller businesses have also been offered the option of a £25,000 grant to cope with the impact of coronavirus.

Since the announcement, the Government has also introduced a wide-ranging package of targeted measures to provide financial support to businesses during the coronavirus crisis.

Related FAQs

What can I do to make sure my home-working people are doing so safely?
  1. Keep in touch. If contact is poor, workers can feel disconnected, isolated or abandoned. This can adversely affect stress levels and mental health – especially in the current crisis when everyone is feeling more anxious.
  2. Think about the use of laptops/devices (DSE) at home. Provide a basic form of risk assessment for self-completion.
  3. Remind workers of simple steps to reduce the risks from display screen work:
    • take regular breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or change activity
    • avoid awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
    • get up and move or do stretching exercises
    • avoid eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time
When should I apply to extend the period allowed to file accounts?

The application has to be made before the date on which the accounts should have been filed, so this process can’t be used if you are already late. If you don’t make the application before your filing deadline, then a fine will automatically be generated if your accounts are filed late. Whilst you could appeal against such a fine on the grounds that the delay was caused by coronavirus issues, this is likely to be a much more time consuming and uncertain process that applying in advance.

It does not appear that the process applies to Confirmation Statements or other returns.

Preparing for April 2021 – what do you need to do?
  • Audit
    • Identify your off-payroll contractors
    • Determine the status of off-payroll contractors
      • CEST – HMRC employment status checker for tax purposes
  • Communication – liaise with affected workforce
  • Contracts – get them compliant
  • Consider the Ward Hadaway toolkit
How can workers get to work safely?

The Government’s guidance says walk, cycle or drive to work and avoid public transport if you can. Businesses will need to support workers in adopting alternative travel methods to reduce exposure to the virus. You could consider staggering start and finish times for shifts to reduce commuting during peak hours, or support cycling with secure storage facilities and a drying room.

Understanding of the extent of the Covid-19 risk to BAME colleagues is evolving – what does that mean for NHS employers?

In practice this means that any risk assessment will need to be reviewed constantly and adjusted as our understanding of the nature and level of the risk grows.

Some service-providers are instigating special Oversight Groups to keep this issue under review but engagement and consultation with those affected is critical and making sure they feel confident to raise concerns and refuse to work if they believe they are not safe.