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What other financial support is available for self-employed individuals?

Although these measures fall short of the level of assurance given to employees both in terms of eligibility for an immediacy of access to payments, they are a vast improvement on the support for self-employed workers that has been put in place until now. Current support includes:

  • Access to business interruption loans
  • Self-assessment tax payments that were due in July 2020 have been deferred until January 2021
  • VAT is deferred until the next quarter
  • The introduction of Time to Pay arrangements under which deferrals for HMRC payments can be agreed
  • The minimum income floor for universal credit has been suspended which will allow self-employed workers to access the equivalent of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • Universal credit and tax credit payments to increase by £1000 per year

Related FAQs

What is the government's "Kickstart Scheme"?

This scheme is specifically aimed at creating jobs for 18-24 year olds who are on Universal Credit and considered most at risk of unemployment because of the economic downturn. The Government has announced that it will pay young people’s wages (equivalent to 100% the National Minimum Wage plus the associated National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions) for up to 6 months, and that this will amount to a grant worth approximately £6,500 per young person.

The jobs that are created must provide a minimum of 25 hours per week and be paid at a minimum of the National Minimum Wage The Chancellor announced that will be no cap on the number of jobs that will be funded under the Kickstart scheme.

Is my business covered by insurance for notifiable diseases?

Unfortunately, losses caused by pandemics are not often covered expressly under standard policies, as the risk has been difficult for insurers to price and understand.

Even where additional cover in respect of notifiable diseases has been purchased, it typically will not include Covid-19 within the range of diseases covered by the policy. If the policy includes a list of notifiable diseases, and which does not include Covid-19, it is very unlikely that cover will be available for pandemic-relates losses.

The most common types of covers that could be afforded by insurance policies for coronavirus-related losses and liabilities are traditional business interruption insurance, contingent business interruption insurance, liability insurance, as well as cancellation and abandonment insurance.

Should volunteers be DBS checked?

There is not currently a requirement for MHFAs to be DBS checked.

I’m a social housing provider. What do I do if I know my tenants are flouting the social distancing guidelines?

If a tenant continues to refuse to take heed of the government’s social-distancing guidelines, for example by inviting large groups of people who do not reside there to their property, it can constitute a nuisance. One housing association successfully applied for an injunction. The injunction ordered by the Court stipulated that no persons, other than the children of the tenant, are to attend the property until the current social-distancing restrictions are lifted by the government.

A representative of the housing association highlighted the need for the current guidelines to be followed and the need for housing providers to ensure that all residents living in their communities are kept safe during this time of ‘unprecedented risk’.

This case demonstrates that flouting of the current restrictions is likely to be considered anti-social in the eyes of the courts – a point which all housing providers should bear in mind during this period. Further, it highlights the availability of an alternative remedy to the issuing of possession proceedings (in light of the government’s moratorium on evictions) to deal with anti-social behaviour during the next three months, Covid-19 related or not.

OPPORTUNITY: Funding towards legal advice for North East SMEs

We have teamed up with Scaleup North East to help companies impacted by the coronavirus outbreak plan how to get back to business.

Our specialist lawyers will provide a free “diagnostic” call with eligible businesses across the NE, exploring challenges they are facing in the aftermath of the lockdown, and identify specific steps to survive, and then thrive, in these challenging times and beyond.

Through the collaboration with Scaleup North East, eligible North East-based SMEs are then able to apply for up to 40% funding towards up to £4,000 of legal advice.

These might include:

  • Employment issues, such as dealing with a phased return to work
  • Measures to support cash-flow, such as amendment to terms of trading and debt collection procedures
  • Renegotiations and amendments to contracts, and other advice about contracts with suppliers and customers to deal with consequences of Covid-19
  • Managing property costs – review of leases, advice on break clauses and formalisation of any revised arrangements recently put in place with landlords/tenants
  • Health and safety implications of return to work and social distancing

Find out more on our website or contact partner Damien Charlton.  If you are not eligible because of location but are interested in the free “diagnostic”, please contact us.