Coronavirus (Covid-19) Hub

Covid-19 : Business Support 24.03.20 – Update 4

Unfortunately HMRC has not released any further guidance in respect of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This is causing a lot of uncertainty for employers, as such we will shortly be circulating a summary of steps employers can take in lieu of any further HMRC guidance.

Further updates are set out below:

Non Essential Business

As you are all aware, last night stricter measures were implemented across the UK, which included the closure of non-essential businesses. However there appears to be lack of clarity surrounding what is classified as a non-essential business. The government’s definition of non-essential business is set out in paragraph 2 in the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874742/Full_guidance_on_staying_at_home_and_away_from_others__1_.pdf

The Deputy First Minister and Manufacturing NI confirmed last night that construction and manufacturing are not deemed non-essential at this time.

Self-employed individuals – DRAFT

On 19th March the Government introduced the Coronavirus Bill 2019-21 to parliament to enable public bodies to deal with the Covid -19 pandemic, the bill was to complete its passage through the House of Commons yesterday. Originally there were no provisions in the bill for self-employed individuals or freelancers, however there was a significant level of concern raised among the public and business community. As such an amendment was tabled to address the self-employed individuals and freelancer. This is detailed in clause 14 of the DRAFT Coronavirus Bill https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0122/amend/coronavirus_daily_cwh_0320rev.14-18.html, and notes that a payment should be made to self-employed individuals and freelancers to be set so that the net monthly earnings of an individual do not fall below:
• 80% of their monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years; or
• £2,917
whichever is lower.

This will be a welcome amendment to those self-employed individuals and freelancers, however we await to see if this will be passed through parliament in the coming days.

ASM Contacts

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Grainne Quinn – Magherafelt
grainne.quinn@asmmagherafelt.com

Ian Finnegan – Newry
ian.finnegan@asmnewry.com

Caroline Keenan – Belfast
caroline.keenan@asmbelfast.com

Michael P. O’Hare – Dundalk
michael.p.ohare@asmdundalk.com

Alistair Cooke – Dungannon
alistair.cooke@asmdungannon.com