Liric Accountants

Covid 19 Support for Businesses from Liric – 19th March 2020

Hello

In light of the ever-changing situation around Covid-19, we wanted to share with you what support and help there is available. Apologies for the general nature of this email but we wanted to get something out before talking to you on an individual basis.

Liric Support…

Firstly, we created some capacity within the team to enable us to grow earlier this year. Whilst that capacity is available, we’re happy to support you on a case by case basis without charging standard rates. So, for example, if you are in an industry that has been severely affected already (travel, tourism, hospitality etc) we’d be delighted to help with some short-term cash flow projections or just act as a sounding board. Please let us know if you need any support like this and we can chat it through.

The Liric team is transitioning to working from home this week and it is likely that the office will not be open after Friday 20 March. Our focus over the last 2 years on moving our client’s businesses to a cloud accounting platform makes this much easier for both us and you. All team members have remote access to our office servers and telephone lines will be open as usual. Should your call go through to voicemail, please leave us a message, we will return your call.

If you need to drop something into the office, please call 07590 042 325 ( Lisa Mobile) before you leave to make sure there will be someone in to meet you.

All meetings going forward will be moved to the telephone or Zoom. We’ll ask what you prefer when we book the appointment.

Talking to several clients this week it is clear the community is already experiencing cancelled orders/events/contracts, supply chain issues and some challenges with cashflow.

What’s App Group…

This advice is a moving target so it is as up to date as it can be as we write this email. To make communication with us as instantly as possible, we have created a WhatsApp Group. You can join the group by following the link below ( we think easier if you do this direct from your phone):- 

https://chat.whatsapp.com/EJhUepkQqm20pckeERxsG1

We will then issue any updates on Government financial action, as soon as we have digested it, to this group with a follow up email. Please be aware if you choose to join this group:-

· Other people may be able to see your telephone number.

· We will not share confidential information in the group.

· Anyone that “spams” the group will be removed instantly without warning.

Review your overheads

If you are predicting cashflow difficulties it is sensible to review your overheads in the business and pause any spending you feel may not be necessary at this time. The first thing to do is categorise expenditure (both personal and business) into “essential” and “nice to have”. Once you have those numbers you can better appraise your situation and we can support you further with short term cash flow forecasts.

HR Dept

Our HR support is through Markel (formerly Abbey Tax). If you need any support relating to HR, please call 0345 250 0762 and quote reference “ABTAX” and state you are a customer of Liric.

Your own Bank

Contact your own bank, either your dedicated manager if you have one or your business call centre to discuss your options should you need a new or increased overdraft limit, asset finance, credit cards or other forms of temporary finance.

Other potential funding sources

Please note these are only a few of the options available to you and these do not form a recommendation by Liric.

Capital On Tap – https://www.capitalontap.com/en/

Funding Circle – https://www.fundingcircle.com/uk/

Iwoca – https://www.iwoca.co.uk/

NatWest Rapid Cash – https://rapidcash.natwest.com/

Satago – https://www.satago.com/

Turning now to the Government support…

In the Budget 2020, the Chancellor announced that a ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ (CBILS) will temporarily replace the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), becoming available over the coming weeks.

It will operate in a similar way to EFG and be provided by the British Business Bank, but will offer more attractive terms for both businesses and lenders, with the aim of supporting the continued provision of finance to UK businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

As it stands, we do not know any more than this. More information will be available in the coming days and weeks, please click on the link below for updated advice:-

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – Temporarily Replacing the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme

HMRC and Time to Pay

HMRC have launched a helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Again, this appears to be a “work in progress”. You will find more details below, but if you have any concerns about making payment to the tax authorities please call us immediately for support.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19#to-support-businesses-experiencing-increases-in-costs-or-financial-disruptions

Official guidance for employers

For HMRC’s guidance for employers, please follow the link below:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

Statutory Sick Pay SSP Support

To support businesses experiencing increases in costs or financial disruptions:-

· The government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

· The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:-

o This refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible.

o The size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020. Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19.

o Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.

o The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to self-isolators comes into force.

o The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible. Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP.

The information above has been taken from the following Source:-

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/871900/Covid-19_Budget_fact_sheet_FINAL.pdf

Again, it is unclear how this will be organised and how quickly the payroll software will catch up with the situation.

We are more than happy to discuss your individual circumstances and advise on the best way forward.

We appreciate these are unprecedented and challenging times to be in business and we all face a period of uncertainty. No one can predict the future but we believe we can all pull together as businesses and support each other.

The Liric team are here to help you. If you need a sounding board, some advice or a steer in the right direction, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Christmas Parties – top tips

It’s that time of year again, Christmas. Which means the Works Christmas Do.

So we thought it would be useful to give you as employers some top tips for the occasion.

Top tips for Christmas parties:

– Employment law still applies during any events outside of the workplace. This means that a business is still at risk if any incidents do occur

 Christmas parties should be enjoyable, but don’t make attendance compulsory. Family commitments or religious reasons may preclude attendance

 Consider timing. Putting it on a Wednesday night may mean that bizarrely attendance is down on Thursday

 Invite all employees though. Even those you’ve forgotten about on maternity leave etc​

– Circulate a memo reminding your employees of what constitutes acceptable non-discriminatory behaviour, and the disciplinary consequences they will face should they fail to comply

But what if you didn’t do this?

Ok so there are some risks and this is a serious issue, but is a huge policy going to help you? Maybe but also maybe not.

Sadly employees do stupid things, whether it’s at Christmas or not.

Whether they’ve read a policy or not, after 10 pints of lag​er and half a bottle of free wine they aren’t going to remember it and will likely do as they drunkenly want. It will need to be dealt with, but in reality you cannot legislate for every situation.

So beware – but enjoy

Budget Special

The Chancellor’s 2015 Budget contained some important announcements and confirmed a number of changes planned for the new tax year.

Following this, we have put together a PDF which contains the latest tax and financial information, which we trust you will find useful. For more information on how the changes may affect you, please contact us. Budget-newsletter-March-20151.pdf