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Government Advice for Employment FAQs
This Q&A advice note deals with additional questions impacting employers and include those issues arising in relation to the coronavirus job retention scheme, managing employees on furlough and employees working from home etc.
Tourism NI COVID-19 business support hotline: If you are a tourism business with employment queries, you can request a telephone call back from firstname.lastname@example.org
Job Retention Scheme (JRS) FAQs
Employers can contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll, rather than being laid off. Government grants will cover 80 percent of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month.
Find a list of commonly asked questions around the new Governement Job Retention Scheme here.
Questions from the industry
Small Business Grants
My rates bill includes both a Net Annual Value and a Rateable NAV – what value do I use to check if I can access the small business support grant?
To determine your eligibility for the Small Business support grant use the Net Annual Value included on page 2 of your rates bill and not the Rateable NAV.
I don’t receive the rates bill but pay rent including rates to my landlord/managing agent. Can I still access the grant?
If the property is eligible for Small Business Rates Relief but the landlord/managing agent receive the rate bill from LPS and they pay rates directly to LPS and if you are the sole tenant, no grant payments are being automatically issued.
A new online form for rental properties will be made available in the coming days thus Landlords/ managing agents and small businesses in this situation should not use the Small Business Grant Support online form to register for the scheme.
My rates bill notes I get help with rates with a derating discount applied. Am I still eligible for the Small Business Grant?
Industrial Derated property businesses are currently not eligible for the cash grant scheme.
Self Employment Income Support Scheme
I only started my business last summer and haven’t filed a tax return yet. Am I eligible to receive the Self Employment Income Support Scheme?
Unfortunately, if you were not self-employed in the 2018/19 tax year and so did not submit a 2018/19 tax return showing any self-employed income then you are not eligible for this scheme. Other supports which you may be able to access include an increase in the Universal Credit allowance, income tax deferrals, £1 billion more support for renters and access to three-month mortgage holidays.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
I heard there were changes to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, can you summarise please?
Yes, the CBILS has now been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. The changes mean even more smaller businesses across the NI impacted by the Coronavirus crisis can access the funding they need.
Importantly, access to the scheme has been opened up to those smaller businesses who could previously have secured additional finance under normal commercial terms and therefore would not have been eligible for CBILS. This significantly increases the number of businesses eligible for the scheme. The expanded scheme is now operational.
New Scheme Features
- No personal guarantees for facilities under £250k: Personal guarantees of any form cannot be taken under the scheme for any facilities below £250k.
- Personal guarantees for facilities above £250k: Personal guarantees may still be required, at a lender’s discretion, but recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of
the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied.
- A Principal Private Residence (PPR) cannot be taken as security to support a personal guarantee or as security for a CBIL backed facility.
- Security: For all facilities, including those over £250,000, CBILS can now support lending to smaller businesses even where a lender considers there to be sufficient security, making more smaller
businesses eligible to receive the business interruption payment.
Is there minimum assistance that can be secured under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme (CBILS)?
The minimum level of assistance that can be secure under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme is at the discretion of each participating bank on the scheme.
The majority of banks have set this at £25k.
Do I still need security for borrowings under £250k in CBILS?
On 3rd April 2020 the Government announced changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme (CBILS). Under the scheme, personal guarantees of any form will not be taken for facilities below £250,000.