Managing a Hybrid Team

As businesses manage the gradual return to the office, some of your team will be able to come back while others may need to continue working remotely.

As firms begin to navigate the complexities of returning to the office, some employees will have to contend with challenges around childcare, health issues that prevent them from returning to work, anxiety and other factors. By contrast, other employees will be racing back to the office as they may have found working from home to be isolating or challenging in other ways. All of this creates a new challenge for managers – how to manage a hybrid team, where some people are in the office and others continue to work remotely.

Set expectations

Avoid creating an atmosphere of “them versus us”. Set expectations and make accountability clear to all staff so that both home and office-based employees can work together productively and know who is doing what.

As part of this, you might run daily or weekly meetings with your entire team to start each day or week on the right foot, then share progress regularly on key projects with the entire team to maintain momentum.

Define clear working hours

This will help you and your team know who is working when and where. Sharing your work calendars will help to further boost visibility of this crucial information, enabling your team to know what each person is doing at any one time, including colleagues who they do not physically sit next to in the same space.

Communication is key

Remote workers can miss out on face-to-face interaction. This means you’ll need to think carefully about how you can make them feel equally included via virtual remote meetings, during which you as the leader might be sitting next to an office-based member of your team.

When communicating with remote team workers, choose voice or video over email or chat, depending on the task. Seeing and hearing you regularly will help your remote staff to feel included and part of the team. Encourage your remote workers to switch on their video when attending team meetings.

Bring everyone together

Once COVID-19 is over and government restrictions lift, it can help team unity, harmony and morale if you arrange occasional opportunities for your hybrid team members to meet and get to know each other face-to-face. In “normal times” maybe try to arrange an all-team social or dinner, every 6 months. The relationships that are built through these events will help your team to function better as a unit.

Diversity in Leadership

The business case for diversity is clear – diverse teams produce better solutions to complex problems.

Diversity can boost innovation and employee engagement. Businesses with greater gender and racial diversity tend to be more successful and perform very well financially.

However, progress within the business community has been slow and there is still a lack of women and minority ethnic groups in leadership positions. In order to create truly inclusive and diverse firms, businesses need to start by creating more diverse teams, from the top down.

Making Diversity and Inclusion part of your culture puts your business ahead of the curve and focusing specifically on your leadership team can help facilitate a top-down approach, so that it trickles through your entire firm. However, adding diversity to your board is not a simple task, and there are numerous ways to implement a D&I initiative at leadership level. The way in which you decide how diverse your board should be and which individuals are right for the role will vary from one business to the next.

Many businesses are now adopting an approach where existing senior leaders sponsor the next generation of managers and directors. Pairing sponsors and proteges in a way that aligns with the goals of the businesses can help to bring the next generation of successful senior people through.

While sponsors don’t have to mirror all the qualities of their mentees, it is certainly easier for an individual to be led by someone who they can relate to. This is worth bearing in mind when you are selecting your sponsors from the current leadership team.

When looking at how to create a more diverse leadership team in your firm, it is important to think about your customers. Every business relies on creating a strong relationship with its customers.

As such, the makeup of your leadership team should reflect the diversity of your customer base. For example, if your firm sells products that are mainly aimed at women, a leadership team that is made up entirely of men may have more difficulty understanding the needs of the women who buy your products or services. A more diverse board with a blend of genders can add different perspectives that can help to align the objectives of the business more closely with the goals of its customers

C19 NEWSLETTER – 26th November 2020

‘ECONOMIC EMERGENCY HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN’
In his spending review yesterday Rishi Sunak said the “economic emergency” caused by Covid-19 has only just begun, as he warned the virus would mean lasting damage to growth and jobs.


Official forecasts now predict the biggest economic decline in 300 years.

The UK economy is expected to shrink by 11.3% this year and not return to its pre-Covid size until the end of 2022. Government borrowing will rise to its highest outside of wartime to deal with the economic impact.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) expects the number of unemployed people to increase up to 2.6 million by the middle of next year.
This means the unemployment rate will hit 7.5%, its highest level since the financial crisis in 2009.
Amongst other announcements made yesterday, the minimum wage – which has been rebranded as the National Living Wage – will increase by 2.2% – or 19p – to £8.91 an hour, with the rate extended to those aged 23 and over. Other rates were also increased. From April 2021, 16 and 17-year-olds will see their pay go up to £4.62 per hour, from £4.55 today.
The chancellor also announced a £4.3bn package of support to help the jobless get back into work.

So what does the spending review mean for businesses?
Clearly the situation is unprecedented in peace time. The size of the cost of Covid-19 is huge and the Government will need to find more money from spending cuts and taxes just to balance revenues on a day to day basis.
So businesses can expect to see tax rises announced in the March 2021 budget.
There is already speculation that the government could raise money from changes to Capital Gains Tax, pensions relief or self-employment taxes. However this will not be sufficient to cover the Covid-19 costs so we predict there will be some corporation tax, income tax, VAT or national insurance increases.
The big decision for the government will be to decide when to stop the support to the recovering economy – and when to start strengthening public finances by tax rises. The extreme uncertainty underlines how difficult that decision could be.
Businesses should strengthen their cash flow management now ahead of the end of supports and tax changes.
The most important advice we can give our clients is to take some time to plan ahead to look at maximising revenue and minimising or streamlining operating costs. We can provide you with templates and forecasts to do this or we can help you prepare accurate forecasts based on a number of scenarios and do a “what if” exercise on your business.
Please talk to us about how we can help you make it through the next few months and preparing for recovery.
Below are details of other recent changes and announcements made by the government. We will regularly keep all clients up to date with changes and do pick up the phone if you need some clarification on how these changes affect your business.


CHRISTMAS ARRANGEMENTS
A joint statement on UK-wide Christmas arrangements from the UK Government and Devolved Administrations has been published outlining UK wide arrangements for Christmas.
They have agreed that:
• Travel restrictions across the four administrations and between tiers will be lifted to provide a window for households to come together between the 23rd and 27th of December.
• Up to three households can form an exclusive ‘bubble’ to meet at home during this period. When a bubble is formed it is fixed and must not be changed or extended further at any point.
• Each Christmas bubble can meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public place, but existing, more restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period.
See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-wide-christmas-arrangements-agreed-by-the-uk-government-and-the-devolved-administrations?utm_source=358b41e0-20e4-41fe-948b-e0764c17eac5&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
Further guidance on creating a “Christmas bubble” between 23 and 27 December can be seen at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family

CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME (CJRS)
The CJRS has been extended to 31 March 2021 for all parts of the UK and HMRC has updated its guidance.
From 1 November the Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The government will review the terms of the scheme in January.
If you have made a claim remember to submit any claims for periods up to 31 October on or before 30 November – they will not be accepted after this date.
Submit any CJRS claims for November, no later than 14 December. You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll as long as your claim is submitted by the deadline.
Remember to keep any records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them. You can view, print or download copies of your previously submitted claims by logging onto your CJRS service on GOV.UK.
Please talk to us about making a claim, we have helped many clients through these troubled times, and we want you to know we are here to support you!


SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME (SEISS)
HMRC has issued guidance on the third SEISS grant and specifically how trading conditions affect eligibility.
To be able to claim for the third grant, you must either:
• be currently trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
• have been trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
You must also: –
• intend to continue to trade
• reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction in your trading profits due to reduced demand or your inability to trade
You must also meet all other eligibility criteria to make a claim.
HMRC states that it expects SEISS claimants to make an honest assessment about whether they reasonably believe their businesses will have a significant reduction in profits.
Please talk to us about making a SEISS claim, we can work through your figures and make an accurate estimate of what you should expect.
See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-your-trading-conditions-affect-your-eligibility-for-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

PAY VAT DEFERRED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
HMRC has issued guidance on paying deferred VAT.
If you deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June 2020 and still have payments to make, you can:
• pay the deferred VAT in full on or before 31 March 2021
• opt into the VAT deferral new payment scheme when it launches in 2021
• contact HMRC if you need more help to pay
If you want to opt into the new payment scheme:
You cannot opt in yet. The online opt in process will be available in early 2021. You must opt in yourself. Your agent cannot do this for you.
Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make up to 11 smaller monthly instalments, interest free. All instalments must be paid by the end of March 2022.
The scheme will allow you to:
• pay your deferred VAT in instalments without adding interest
• select the number of instalments from 2 to 11 equal monthly payments
To use this scheme you must:
• still have deferred VAT to pay
• be up to date with your VAT returns
• be able to pay the deferred VAT by Direct Debit
If you opt into the scheme, you can still have a time to pay arrangement for other HMRC debts and outstanding tax.

Get ready to opt into the new payment scheme:
Before opting in you must:
• create your own Government Gateway account if you don’t already have one
• submit any outstanding VAT returns from the last 4 years. You will not be able to join the scheme if you have not done so
• correct errors on your VAT returns as soon as possible. Corrections received after 31 December 2020 may not show in your deferred VAT balance
• make sure you know how much you owe, including the amount you originally deferred and how much you may have already paid

You should also:
• pay what you can as soon as possible to allow HMRC to show the correct deferred VAT balance
• consider the number of equal instalments you will need, from 2 to 11 months

Please talk to us about helping you with your options.
See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19?utm_source=9431dd8a-ce55-43be-adff-aac5f169c75b&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

ENGLAND – LOCAL RESTRICTION TIERS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
This document sets out the local restriction tier system that will be in place from Wednesday 2 December, including what you can and cannot do in each tier.
The government will replace the national lockdown on 2 December with a regionally differentiated approach, where different tiers of restrictions apply in different parts of the country.
These tiers will be strengthened compared to the previous tiers in order to prevent a return to growing infections. The Government’s approach is to target the toughest measures only in the areas where the virus is most prevalent or where they are seeing sharper increases in the rate of infection.
There are 3 tiers for local restrictions:
Tier 1: Medium alert
Tier 2: High alert
Tier 3: Very High alert
See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know?utm_source=5be0c9ef-14cd-4114-9f88-a7b34d04ed8b&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

COVID-19 WINTER PLAN
The government’s plan for managing COVID-19 through the end of 2020 and into the start of 2021 was released 23 November.
It outlines:
• A route back to normality
• Controlling the virus
• Protecting the NHS and the vulnerable
• Keeping education and the economy going
See: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/937529/COVID-19_Winter_Plan.pdf

BREXIT NEWSLETTER

Written – 19th November 2020

Welcome to our Brexit newsletter. There will be new rules for trade, travel and living in the UK and EU from 11.00pm on the 31 December 2020. Our aim is to provide you with information and resources to help you manage the change as smoothly as possible.

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, UK Chief negotiator David Frost and EU negotiator Michel Barnier continue to offer differing messages to the public about Brexit, some are positive, some ambivalent and occasionally negative remarks about the negotiations. It is hard to see through the comments made and whether we can take them at face value as, after all, there is a negotiation going on.

So what can we expect with less than 43 days to go?

Firstly, remain positive about the UK and EU reaching some kind of free trade deal or arrangement. It does not benefit anyone for the UK to leave the EU without a deal of some kind.

Secondly, if there is no deal, expect both parties to return to the negotiating table in the new year.

Whatever the outcome there are significant changes ahead for travel and trade.

Travel

If you are travelling to the EU from the UK after the 1 January 2021 then check out the Government website “Visit Europe from 1 January 2021”. This page tells you how to prepare if you’re planning on travelling to Europe from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

See: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021

Trading

If you haven’t made your business preparations, check out the Brexit transition website:

See: https://www.gov.uk/transition

If you trade with the EU and have not yet made preparations then here is a summary of actions to take:

WHAT ACTIONS HAS THE GOVERNMENT TAKEN TO DATE?

New Legislation

Post-Brexit legislation preparing the UK for life outside EU institutions next year have been drafted or are being reviewed by Parliament. The immigration Bill received Royal Assent last week. This ends freedom of movement on 31 December and replaces it with a new points-based system.

If your business relies on EU or other non UK workers then check out the transitional arrangements to 30 June 2021 and the new rules here: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

Last week the Agricultural Bill was debated and eventually passed through Parliament. This removes the Common Agricultural Policy and replaces it with new UK supports for farmers. The Government agreed that farmers will receive the same level of support as they currently do through the Common Agricultural Policy until 2024, while the current system of subsidies is gradually phased out.

See: https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2019-21/agriculture.html

We can expect to see further progress to bring existing EU laws and rules into UK legislation before the end of the transition period. For example, the Financial Services Bill was introduced on the 21 October to maintain the UK’s regulatory standards and openness to international markets.

This Bill is the first step in shaping a regulatory framework for the UK’s financial services sector outside of the EU. 

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/financial-services-bill-introduced-today

New Trade deals

In addition to passing legislation to ensure UK rules and regulations are transparent at the end of the transition period, the Government is also negotiating new trade deals. Whilst the UK was an EU member, the UK was part of 40 trade deals which the EU had with more than 70 countries.  More than 20 of these existing deals, covering 50 countries or territories, have been rolled over and will start on 1 January 2021.

It is worth noting fifty-two countries currently have free trade deals in place with the UK for the end of the Brexit transition period. These agreements account for only 10 per cent of the UK’s total cross-border trade, according to last year’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

On 23 October, the Government signed a new trade agreement with Japan, which means that 99% of UK exports there will be free of tariffs.

There are further trade talks with Australia, the US and New Zealand. If and when these talks come to a trade deal only time will tell.

EU-UK trade accounts for half of overall UK trade and seven of the UK’s top ten trading partners are EU members. That is the main reason why we all hope a trade deal happens!

See: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47213842

In Summary

We must all be prepared for changes in the way we travel and trade with Europe. Even if there is a free trade deal the key thing to remember is that there will be a UK border which will mean paperwork and border checks.

Businesses that trade with the EU must get familiar with customs declarations as these will be essential for accounting for VAT.

Depending on what contracts a business has with its customers in Europe, it may have to factor in that goods could take longer to get there, meaning extra costs and administration.

In the short term there will probably be delays at the border, so it is important businesses map out supply chains and think about how to do things as efficiently as practicable post transition.

Please talk to us about your plans post transition, we can assist in a number of ways including helping you account for VAT, looking at your accounting systems and pointing you in the direction of specialists to assist with the Trading administration.

The Off-Grid Day

Blocking out a whole day once a month can work wonders for your productivity.

Time management courses, books and best practice all suggest carving out some time each day to focus on being productive and working towards your goals and personal business objectives.

However this often conflicts with the emails, notifications, calls and reminders that we are all bombarded with on a daily basis.

The traditional approach to time blocking simply doesn’t go far enough. Blocking out an hour each day might give you time to focus on progressing a particular project, but just as you start to get into your groove, your hour will be up and you’ll have to move on to the next thing on your agenda.

Calculating the return on investment on time blocking is pretty straightforward. If you are focused on what you want to achieve, then the more time you block out, the greater the return you will experience in terms of productivity. So how about blocking out an entire day, once a month?

To make this work, focus on your key business objectives. Perhaps you are working on a particular project such as entering a new market or launching a new product. Try blocking out one day per month to progress those key objectives. Aim to start early, say 7am and finish late. Log out of your email and block out the time in your calendar. Make sure that your colleagues know that you are uncontactable for the day and ensure that there is another senior person available to handle any queries that come up during the day.

Even short interruptions can interrupt the continuous flow of your off-grid day so make a deal with yourself – no calls, no email and no distractions. In order to make these key days work, populate your off-grid days in your calendar for the next 12 months and defend those days – don’t give them up for anything.

Finally, in order to maximise your off-grid day, you may need to enlist the support of your family to take care of the day to day logistics of family life. The key thing is to remember to say thanks and to pick up your share on other days. Like everything in life, it’s all about balance.

Customer Onboarding

If your customers have a positive experience from the very beginning, they are going to stick with your product or service and continue to do business with you.

Customer onboarding is the nurturing process that gets new users and customers acquainted and comfortable with your product or service. A positive onboarding experience confirms to your customers that they made the right choice. It also, ultimately, helps you retain them.

A good customer onboarding program can include step-by-step tutorials, guidance, support, and milestone celebrations when a customer achieves success through your product or service.

Creating a customer onboarding strategy is relatively easy. Start by creating a key objective such as “get your new customers to use your product or service more than once a week for the first 10 weeks”.

In order to onboard them effectively, you need to really know your new customers. Some of the information that you gather about your customers during the marketing and sales processes will carry over into the initial stages of onboarding. Try to understand the challenges and pain points that each new customer faces. You can then help them to create solutions to some of those challenges, through using your product or service.

Your sales process should set clear expectations so that customers are prepared to invest time in getting set up with your product or service.

A good onboarding process should reiterate the value that your product or service provides to customers. You could include a personalised kickoff call, specialised training, or documentation to help your new customers get everything set up in order to address some of the pain points or challenges that they face.

Regular communication is important during the customer onboarding phase of a business relationship. An initial welcome message is a good place to start. Following the welcome message, you should spend some time with your new customers in order to help them set goals and KPIs that are unique to their business. Allow them to define success and help them to create measurable milestones.

Once you have agreed a set of goals you should continue to contact your new customers on a regular basis for the first couple of months in order to offer tutorials, guides and training, and to keep them on track with achieving their business objectives.

BRING YOUR TAX AFFAIRS UP TO DATE

2018/19 tax returns can be amended by the taxpayer up until 31 January 2021. Where the omitted property income or gain relates to earlier tax years the taxpayer should consider disclosing using HMRC’s let property campaign.

If this affects you we can assist you in putting together the details that HMRC require.

C19 NEWSLETTER – 16th November 2020

As we enter the third week of lockdown in England and reflect on improved testing, new vaccine trial results and a host of experts talking on the news about the timing of rollout and when Covid-19 will no longer be a threat to normality, it is worth remembering our lives are and will remain different for the remainder of 2020 and most of 2021. With that in mind we need to be resilient as individuals, families and businesses.

The latest indicators for the UK economy found nearly half (49%) of currently trading UK businesses reported a decrease in their turnover below what is normally expected for this time of year. On 8 November, overall UK footfall dropped to 33% of the level seen on the equivalent day last year as national restrictions were introduced in England.

Clearly we are living in tough times and it makes sense to take advantage of Government supports both directly such as the extended job retention and self-employed support schemes, deferring tax and using bounce back loans. There are also grants available to help firms with Brexit changes for import and export administration.

We have helped many businesses apply and claim for these supports and if you need any assistance, please contact us. 

Business planning for 2021 will be difficult as we don’t know the timings for mass vaccinations and whether they will truly work but there are some practical steps you can take to minimise potential disruption to your business:

1. Review your Budgets and set realistic and achievable targets for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021.

2. Get your employees involved in a discussion of likely trading conditions and get their input on reducing costs and maintaining revenues. 

3. Use ‘bottom up’ budgeting where everyone in the business gives input on areas over which they have control – target a 10% cost saving.

4. Review and flowchart the main processes in your business (e.g. Sales processing, order fulfilment, shipping etc.) and challenge the need for each step.

5. Encourage team members to suggest ways to streamline and simplify processes (e.g. sit down and brainstorm about efficiencies and cost reduction).

6. Put extra effort into making sure your relationships with your customers are solid.

7. Review your list of products and services and eliminate those that are unprofitable or not core products/services.

8. Review efficiency of business processes and consider alternatives such as outsourcing certain activities locally or overseas.

9. Agree extended payment terms with all suppliers in advance.

10. Pull everyone together and explain the business strategy and get their buy-in.

Please talk to us about cashflow planning for the next six months, we can help with a template so you can do this yourself or work together to produce estimates for a variety of scenarios.

The latest news on Government grants and supports are outlined below:

CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME (CJRS)

The scheme has been extended. Government guidance has been updated with details of how to claim for periods after 1 November 2020.

The CJRS will remain open until 31 March 2021. From 1 November 2020 employers can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Employers can claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as they have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. This may differ where they have re-employed an employee after 23 September 2020.

All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.

They do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim for periods from 1 November 2020.

Employers can furlough employees for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able to claim the grant for the hours not worked.

Employers might need to contribute towards the cost of their furloughed employees’ wages for these periods.

For periods from 1 November 2020, they will need to pay for the cost of employer NICs and pension costs.

Claims for furlough days in November 2020 must be submitted by 14 December 2020. This is a tight deadline, so it is important we work together to get any claims submitted promptly.

We have already processed many grants for clients, and we can estimate a claim in advance for you with our November (and onwards) Excel Furlough claim calculator.

We can also guide you through the information you need to gather, ensure you follow the rules and record any changes of employment terms with your employees.

Please talk to us about example Board minutes and notes of meetings with employees.

See also:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?utm_source=3828fbca-86f4-4f35-b476-3e20599ed05e&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME GRANT EXTENSION (SEISS)

In a change of policy the Government has announced the SEISS grant extension in the form of 2 further grants, each available for 3-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

To be eligible for the grant extension, self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

•           have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)

•           declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:

  • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
  • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

The extension will last for 6 months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in 2 lump sum instalments, each covering a 3-month period.

The third grant will cover a 3-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant calculated at 80% of 3 months average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £7,500 in total. This is an increase from the previously announced amount of 55%.

The Government are providing the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which has also been extended until March 2021.

The Government has already announced that there will be a fourth grant covering February 2021 to April 2021. They will set out further details, including the level, of the fourth grant in due course.

If you want us to help you estimate your claim then please ask us – we have an Excel SEISS claim estimator.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension

LOCAL RESTRICTIONS SUPPORT GRANT (FOR OPEN BUSINESSES) – ENGLAND

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Open)) supports businesses that have been severely impacted due to temporary local restrictions.

Businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local restrictions (Local COVID alert levels: High or Very High) may be eligible for LRSG (Open).

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 28-day period under local restrictions.

Local councils have the discretion to provide grant funding for businesses under this scheme. They will use their discretion in identifying the right businesses to receive this funding, based on their application process.

Eligibility

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • is based in England
  • is in an area subject to ‘High’ or ‘Very High’ local restrictions since 1 August 2020 and has been severely impacted because of the local restrictions
  • was established before the introduction of Local COVID alert level: High restrictions
  • has not had to close but has been impacted by local restrictions

Local councils have the freedom to determine the precise eligibility criteria for these grants. However, we expect the funding to be targeted at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.

The grant will be based on the rateable value of the property on the date of the start of the local restrictions. We anticipate local councils will provide funding under the following tiers unless there is a local need to deviate.

If your business has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, you may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £934 for each 28-day period.

If your business has a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, you may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £1,400 for each 28-day period.

If your business has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you may be eligible for a cash grant of up to £2,100 for each 28-day period.

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-local-restrictions-support-grant-for-open-businesses?utm_source=5a644229-f852-4978-a5b7-1d2df9ae8d82&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

LOCAL RESTRICTIONS SUPPORT GRANT (FOR CLOSED BUSINESSES) – ENGLAND

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Closed)) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary local restrictions.

Businesses that were open as usual and were then required to close due to local restrictions (local COVID alert level: Very High) may be eligible for LRSG (Closed).

Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period they are closed.

Eligibility

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • is based in England
  • occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
  • is in an area of local restrictions and has been required to close because of local restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September
  • has been required to close for at least 14 days because of the restrictions
  • has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises

For example, this could include non-essential retail and personal services that operate primarily as an in-person venue, but which have been forced to close those services and provide a takeaway-only service instead.

Eligible businesses can get one grant for each non-domestic property within the restriction area.

The precise set of businesses eligible for the scheme may vary between each local council area under local restrictions in recognition of the specific conditions in each area.

The grant will be based on the rateable value of the property on the first full day of local restrictions.

If your business has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £667 for each 14-day period your business is closed.

If your business has a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £1,000 for each 14-day period your business is closed.

If your business has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £1,500 for each 14-day period your business is closed.

The grant will be extended to cover each additional 14-day period of closure. If your business is closed for 28-days, or 2 payment cycles, it will receive £1,334, £2,000 or £3,000, depending on the rateable value of the property.

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-local-restrictions-support-grant-for-closed-businesses?utm_source=efbdf34f-151f-4636-9a38-529a6a06ce5e&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

NIGHTCLUBS, DANCE HALLS OR ADULT ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESSES – ENGLAND

Businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions introduced in March 2020, and which have not been able to re-open, may be eligible for LSRG (Sector).

Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14-day period they are closed. This funding is available from 1 November 2020 and is not retrospective.

Eligibility

Eligible businesses include:

  • nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  • adult entertainment venues and hostess bars

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • is based in England
  • occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
  • has been closed since 23 March 2020 because of national restrictions

Eligible businesses can get one grant per non-domestic property.

The grant will be based on the rateable value of your property on 1 November 2020.

If your business has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £667 for each 14-day period your business is closed.

If your business has a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £1,000 for each 14-day period your business is closed.

If your business has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £1,500 for each 14-day period your business is closed.

The grant will be extended to cover each additional 14-day period of closure. If your business is closed for 28-days, or 2 payment cycles, it will receive £1,334, £2,000 or £3,000, depending on the rateable value of the property.

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-your-nightclub-dance-hall-or-adult-entertainment-business-is-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-grant-due-to-national-restrictions?utm_source=846c1750-d62e-46e2-8ecd-a17e7d43dbf5&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS GRANT – ENGLAND

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through LRSG (Closed).

Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG.

Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, the Government expects the funding to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions.

This could include:

  • businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
  • businesses in the events sector
  • business required to close but which do not pay business rates

See:  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant?utm_source=6762fb62-9961-4234-a19c-ba6c6c2dfa25&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

PROVIDING APPRENTICESHIPS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) OUTBREAK

The Government has updated its guidance on providing apprenticeships following the changes made to the CJRS (outlined above). See:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response?utm_source=9bcd6a48-58f7-4469-b646-17976311f9e2&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

CGT BUSINESS ASSET DISPOSAL RELIEF LIFETIME LIMIT JUST £1 MILLION

In the March 2021 Budget it was announced that CGT Entrepreneurs’ relief (ER) was replaced by CGT Business Asset Disposal relief (BADR) for disposals on or after 11 March 2020.

It was also announced that the 10% CGT rate would only apply to the first £1 million of qualifying gains in the taxpayer’s lifetime and many business owners have misinterpreted how this limit applies.  Unfortunately claims under the predecessor ER need to be taken into consideration so if £750,000 ER has already been claimed only the first £250,000 of qualifying gains after 11 March 2020 would qualify for BADR. Any gains in excess of that amount would be taxed at normal CGT rates, currently 20% for higher rate taxpayers.

RENT COVERED BY RENT A ROOM RELIEF

For many property owners the rental income will be tax free if it is within the £7,500 rent a room relief and will not even need to be reported. This applies where room(s) in the taxpayer’s main residence are rented out, typically to lodgers.

Where the house is owned jointly they would qualify for £3,750 each tax free.