Update: UK’s legislative response to COVID-19

Covid-19 has had an incredible impact on the business world. As a result, the UK government has implemented various legislative changes, grants, incentives, and extensions to ease the strain.

This self-assessment tool can help determine which of the following benefits apply to your business:

Wage Grant

Employers, regardless of size or sector, can claim a grant through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme through HMRC. The grant offers 80% of non-working employees who have been kept on the payroll, up to a maximum of £2,500 per calendar month per employee.

Delayed Tax Payment

Tax payers can delay their second payment normally due 31 July. The deadline has been extended to 31 January 2021. If you still can’t pay at that time, you can access the HMRC’s Time to Pay Scheme here.

Business Rates Relief

Each country in the UK offers either a rate holiday or rate discount for business. Some are industry specific while others offer overarching relief. Check your specific country here.

Small Business Rate Relief

Local Authorities also offer Council Tax Relief for small businesses providing you’re the rate of your property’s value is less than £15,000 and your business only uses one property. In some cases, you may still be able to get relief if you use more properties in financial difficulties. Contact your local council here for more information.

Deferred VAT Payments

If you’re a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 you can defer the payment until a later date without incurring interest or penalties.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The online portal is not open for this scheme at this time. However, it is intended to repay employers at the current rate of SSP paid for current or former employees for sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020. More information is available here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

SMEs may apply for loans of up to £5 million through the British Business Bank and its accredited lenders. The government partially guarantees the loan and provides a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied charges.

Larger enterprises can access special 1-year corporate bonds through the COVID Corporate Financing Facility through the Bank of England. The bank has also cut their loan interest rate to 0.1%.

Future Fund Loans

This fund will come into effect in May 2020. It will provide government loans ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, with a minimum equal funds matching by private investors. These loans will be available to companies that do not qualify for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and rely on equity investment. Details can be found here.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK has accelerated up to £200m of grant and loan payments for its 2,500 existing Innovate UK customers on an opt-in basis. An additional £550m is available to increase customer support. A further £175,000 is available to 1,200 companies currently not receiving funding. Details can be found here.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The online claim service is not available at this time. However, it will provide a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits (maximum £2,500/ month) for 3 months with the possibility of extension. Details are available here.

Import Duty Deferment

Companies with a duty deferment account can contact the Duty Deferent Office at HMRC for approval to defer the whole or part of the payment. Non-account holders may request an extension.


While this information is correct at the date of publishing, we recommend you contact us for assistance. Our in-country-experts are tapped into the regulatory and governmental pipeline. Let us help you overcome your business challenges during these unstable times.

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