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Coronavirus Updates

Key Workers/Essential Workers and Self Employment Support

SCE provide you with all the latest information on these Covid-19 topics.

Who is a Key Worker?

  Health and social care  All NHS staff, including administrative and cleaning workers. Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, plus support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. In addition, it includes those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.  
  Education and childcare  Nursery, teachers – including teaching assistants – and social workers.  
  Food and other necessary goods  Food chain workers, including those involved in production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of goods.  
  Key public services  Postal workers, those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.  
  Local and national government  Local and national government workers in admin roles “essential to the effective delivery” of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.  
  Utility workers  Staff needed to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.  
  Public safety and national security  Police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and workers responsible for border security, prisons and probation.  
TransportThose keeping air, water, road, and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating. 

Which businesses have “essential workers”?

  Restaurants    Food delivery and take away only.
Cafes  Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational. Cafés or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless.  
  Pubs    Closed
  Bars    Closed
  Nightclubs    Closed
  Hotel bars    Closed
  Members’ clubs    Closed
  Air, beauty and nail salons    Closed
  Tattoo and piercing parlours    Closed
  Other retail  Supermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies including non-dispensing pharmacies, petrol stations, bicycle shops, home and hardware shops, laundrettes and dry cleaners, garages, car rentals, pet shops, corner shops, newsagents, post offices, and banks  
  Outdoor and indoor markets    Market stalls which offer essential retail, such as grocery and food.  
  Car showrooms    Closed
  Auction houses    Closed
  Hotels  Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and boarding houses for commercial use where people live in these as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable, they may continue to do so. Key workers can continue to stay in hotels or similar where required.  
  Caravnan parks/sites for commercial uses  Caravan parks/sites for commercial uses where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so.  
  Libraries    Closed
  Community centres, youth centres and similar  Facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services.  
  Places of worship for services  Funerals following the social distancing guidance; places of worship should remain open for solitary prayer. Live streaming of a service without audience would be permissible.  
  Cinemas, theatres and concert halls  Live streaming of a performance by a small group could be permissible with social distancing observed  
  Museums and galleries    Closed
  Bingo halls, casinos and betting shops    Closed
  Spas    Closed
  Skating rinks    Closed
  Fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres    Closed
  Arcades, bowling alleys, soft play    Closed
  Enclosed spaces in parks, including playgrounds, sports courts and pitches, and outdoor gyms or similar    Closed

Self-employment Income Support Scheme during COVID-19

What help is being provided?

The Government are providing self-employed workers or members of a partnership with a taxable grant worth up to 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500.00 per month for the next 3 months under the Income Support Scheme.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • Have submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-2019
  • Traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • Are trading when you apply, or would be expect for COVID-19
  • Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • Have lost trading/ partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • Having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-2019 of less than £50,000.00 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
  • Having average trading profits in 2016-2017, 2017-18 and 2018-19 of less than £50,000.00 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

How much?

You will be able to claim a taxable grant which will be 80% of your average profits from the tax years (if applicable):

  • 2016-2017
  • 2017-2018
  • 2018-2019

HMRC will work out and average by adding together the total trading profit for past 3 years (or where applicable) then divide it by 3 (where applicable) and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

The maximum monthly amount that can be claimed for is £2,500.00 per month for 3 months.

How to apply

You cannot apply for this scheme yet. If you are eligible for the scheme, then HMRC will contact you and invite you to apply online.

Other help

The government is also providing the following additional help for the self-employed:

  • Deferral of self-assessment income tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
  • Grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates.
  • Increased amounts of Universal Credits.
  • Business interruption Loan Scheme.

Note: if you’re a director of your own company and paid through PAYE you may be eligible through the Job Retention Scheme Read more here.

We recommend that you keep updated though the government website here and if you are concerned and need to speak to HMRC then you should contact them through the following dedicated number – 0800 024 1222.

If you need help and advice regarding the changes in employment law, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

If you have enjoyed this article and would like to be kept updated on HR and Employment Law issues please subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and litigation practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide. Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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