Build UK’s round up after the weekend

Coronavirus Update – Monday 23 March 2020

The Chancellor’s statement on Friday afternoon already seems like a long time ago. It offered welcome news in terms of business support and we have provided details of each of the loans and grants available below, along with information on payment of public sector suppliers. Support for self-employed workers is still limited and that point has been made to the Government by all industry sectors.

We know our colleagues in HMRC and the Treasury are working as fast as they can to roll out these new schemes, and we will share further information as soon as it is available.

The Government has three priorities: Reduce Infection, Develop a Vaccine and Treatment, and Support Business. We know that activity on anything other than coronavirus has stopped and that is the same for many of us. Whilst Build UK deals with providing information and support to members and the wider industry as quickly as possible, we may not be able to respond on other issues and hope that you can bear with us.

You can help in a number of ways:

  1. If your construction site is still operational, keep it going until we are told otherwise - our proposed Standard Operating Procedures on protecting the site workforce will be available this week.
  2. Do your best to keep paying your supply chain and your staff, as well as holding on to your apprentices.
  3. Let Build UK know if you can supply medical grade (or equivalent) PPE, masks, gloves, gowns and goggles to the NHS.

The unprecedented level of financial support being offered by Government will require businesses to act in a responsible manner. The aim is to keep cash flowing through the whole supply chain so that businesses of all sizes can survive the current crisis. The latest information on each loan or grant is available at Support for Business and we have included a summary at the end of this statement.

The Cabinet Office has now published two Procurement Policy Notices (PPNs) in relation to public sector suppliers:

  • PPN 01/20 enables public authorities to enter into and modify contracts due to extreme emergency without following the usual procedures; however, they do still have to follow certain rules.
  • PPN 02/20 requires authorities to ensure that suppliers at risk are in a position to resume normal contract delivery once the coronavirus outbreak is over by paying them as normal even if service delivery is disrupted or temporarily suspended. To facilitate this, suppliers will need to act on an open book basis, make cost information available to the contracting authority, and continue to pay employees and sub-contractors.

Annual MOTs for all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and public service vehicles (PSVs) have been suspended for up to three months from 21 March 2020. Vehicles will be automatically issued with a certificate of temporary exemption (CTE) and must continue to be maintained, kept safe to drive (roadworthy) and operate within the terms of operators’ licence conditions. Further information has been published by the DVSA.

Businesses should continue to follow the most up-to-date Government guidance and members can contact Build UK with any construction-specific queries. We cannot guarantee to respond to every message; however, if we are aware of sector-specific issues we have the opportunity to address them collectively.

To find out the latest information as soon as it becomes available, please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Financial Support for Businesses

 Scheme Eligibility Summary

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

All UK employers

Employees you can no longer afford to pay will be designated ‘furloughed workers’

Claim 80% of their wage costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month

A new online portal will be established

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) reclaim

Employers with fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020

Claim back up to 2 weeks SSP per employee who is absent due to COVID-19

Maintain records of absence

No GP fit note required Repayment mechanism not yet in place

Commences as soon as the legislation is in place

VAT deferral for 3 months

All UK businesses

VAT payments will not need to be made between 20 March - 30 June 2020

Continue to account for VAT on eligible goods & services

Deferred VAT will be due byApril 2021

No penalites or interest will be charged Vat refunds will paid as normal

No application required to benefit from deferral

Time to Pay – Tax Service

Businesses that pay tax to the UK Government and cannot pay a current tax bill

Arranged on a case by case basis for current or imminent tax payments

Call HMRC on 0800 0159 559

Income Tax deferral

Self-employed workers

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on 31 July 2020 will be deferred until 31 January 2021

Business rates holiday

Retail, hospitality and leisure sector businesses in England

No action required

Will be applied to Council Tax bill in April 2020 (your bill may have to be reissued)

Calculate the value of this benefit

Cash grant

Retail, hospitality and leisure sector businesses in England

No action required Local Authorities will notify businesses - find your local authority

Available for each different property dependant on rateable value:

• Rateable value under £15,000 eligible for £10,000

• Rateable value between £15,001- £51,000 eligible for £25,000

Small Business Grant Scheme

Small businesses that occupy property and receive Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR), Rural Rate Relieve (RRR), or Tapered Relief in England

No action required Local Authorities will contact businesses - find your local authority

One-off grant of £10,000

Scheme not yet in place

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL)

UK businesses with a turnover of less than £45 million per year which meet British Business Bank eligibility criteria

Available from 23 March

Loans of up to £5 million 12 months interest free

Apply through your current bank or an accredited lender

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

All UK businesses

Available from 23 March Purchase Commercial Paper (CP) during a defined period each business day

Businesses do not have to have previously issued CP

Available from the Bank of England