COVID19 – Government support measures for business

Job Retention Scheme

If you had to close your setting then the government will pay 80% of your employee wages backdated to the 1st March 2020. This is capped up to a monthly payment of £2,500 per month. Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are furloughed and kept on payroll, rather than being laid off. This is open for initially three months and will be extended if necessary. How this will work is still uncertain and payroll software is not geared up to operate this change but I’ll keep everyone informed with any new information on how the reimbursement will be paid to employers.

SSP – Day 1

If any employee had to self isolate from the 28th February 2020 then SSP is paid from day one, the employee doesn’t require a doctors certificate and there is no three day waiting period. This will cover up to 2 weeks per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.

Employment support allowance / universal credit

If you had to close your setting then you can claim £94.25 per week increasing to £95.85 per week from the 6th April 2020 from the department of work and pension, this is payable up to 28 weeks. Please see my website for further detail.

Time to pay

During this difficult time a childminding business  must not hesitate to telephone HMRC and ask them for time to pay. This may include an agreed payment plan to help you when your business may be closed temporarily and when you have no income from your business to pay outstanding tax  payments. This interaction should ensure that any potential additional penalty fines and interest may be frozen when your cash flow is critically low. Please deal with your own personal circumstances and be proactive in tackling difficult times for your childminding business. It is reasonable to expect HMRC to consider a reasonable excuse for a viral pandemic.

Deferring income tax payments

If you have payments on account due by the 1st July 2020 then you can defer this payment until the 31st January 2021. Once I have prepared your accounts and tax return for 2019/2020 (if applicable) then we should carefully review any payments on account and reduce or cancel entirely.

Business Rates holiday

If you run a nursery in England then there is a 12 month business rates holiday.

Mortgage holiday

You can take a three month mortgage holiday if you have a mortgage. You can claim for this online with the completion of an application form but if you bank with Barclays and HSBC then you still need to talk to an advisor.

Renters and landlords

The government has announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus. As a result, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.

Emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a 3 month period. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, we have confirmed that the 3 month mortgage payment holiday announced yesterday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. This will alleviate the pressure on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result.

At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.

Business Interruption Loan

The British Businesss Bank will deliver the loan scheme, all the major banks are involved. There is support of up to £5 million and the loans can be for a period as little as 3 months to 10 years.

Small Business Grant Scheme

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.


  • your business is based in England

  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property

I hope this information helps you with any uncertainty about the help available and hopefully we will see additional support for the self employed this week.

Covid-19: Time to pay arrangement for outstanding tax liabilities

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (Covid-19).

The helpline allows any business or self-employed individual who is concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus to get practical help and advice.

For those who are unable to pay due to coronavirus, HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore:

  • agreeing an instalment arrangement
  • suspending debt collection proceedings
  • cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately.


The helpline number is 0800 0159 559 . The helpline is open from Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm (excluding bank holidays).

SSP and employment support allowance


The government has announced that any employees who are diagnosed or self isolates because of the coronavirus will be entitled to SSP from day one.

They will bring forward legislation which will allow certain employers (i.e. those with less than 250 employee) to reclaim up to fourteen days SSP per eligible employee affected by COVID-19.

The weekly allowance for SSP will increase from £94.25 to £95.85 from 6th April 2020.

Specific details of how this will happen have not yet been finalised. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible. Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP.

Self employed employment and support allowance  

The self-employed are not eligible for SSP but employment and support allowance will be available at a rate of £73.10 a week. Any eligible people affected by coronavirus or self-isolating will be entitled from day one rather than day eight.

The government is continually updating their website but if you have a claim then you should contact the Department for Work and Pensions.  Please follow this link