Government support for individuals – a summary
Last updated 22 March 2020
The Chancellor announced further measures to increase the support package available to individuals on 20 March 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus. Here we provide a summary (as of 22 March 2020) of the support available for individuals during this period of disruption.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Furloughed workers – your employer now has access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help cover up to 80% of wages for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. This scheme aims to protect jobs and avoid businesses having to make redundancies. Your employer may discuss becoming classified as a furloughed worker with you which would allow them to use this scheme and keep you on the payroll rather than being laid off.
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – You can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks. Once the legislation has passed, this sick pay will be paid from day 1, rather than day 4, of your absence from work and will apply retrospectively from 13 March.
- Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit – The basic element is enhanced for the next twelve months. This increases Universal Credit standard allowance for the next 12 months by £1,000 a year and increases the Working Tax Credit basic element by the same amount.
- Tax payments – the next self-assessment payment is deferred from July 2020 until January 2021, with no interest or penalties charged on the deferred amounts.
- Self-employed – the self-employed can now access Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance with no floor limit – that means self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
- Support for rent costs – For renters, an extra £1bn of support by increasing the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit, so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30% of market rents in an area.
- Mortgage and payment holidays – Mortgage lenders have agreed to support customers including offering a 3-month mortgage holiday. Please speak with your mortgage lender for details. If you are on Help to Buy, this approach will also be adopted where necessary for customers paying interest on their equity loans.
- Housing allowance and Universal credit – the Chancellor has announced a boost to local housing allowance which will cover at least 30% of market rents
How we can help
We have teams of tax, financial and private client experts on hand to help you throughout this period. If you have any queries or concerns, please get in touch with your usual Kreston Reeves contact or complete our enquiry form here and one of our experts will be in touch.
Some useful links are below:
- Guidance for employees – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) – https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay
- Universal credit – https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit
- Employment and Support Allowance – https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance
- Lay-offs and short-time working – https://www.gov.uk/lay-offs-short-timeworking
- If you cannot pay your tax bill – https://www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc
- Travel advice – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
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