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March 13, 2020

Business Implications of Budget 2020

Did you watch it? Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced his first budget on 11 March 2020. So, what’s changed? And what are the business implications of budget 2020? Read on to find out.

What’s Changing for Businesses?

  • Business rates in England will be abolished for firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value below £51,000, during the next 12 months.
  • Businesses will be able to defer tax payments through the Time To Pay service.
  • 700,000 of the smallest businesses will benefit from a potential £3,000 cash grant, paid through local authorities, worth a total of £2 billion.
  • Small firms will be able to access “business interruption” loans of up to £1.2m.
  • Employment Allowance will increase from £3,000 to £4,000 for eligible employers.
  • There will be a National Insurance holiday for companies employing veterans.
  • Tapered annual allowance will increase by a substantial £90,000.
  • The company car and van benefit charges will increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Payroll Implications & COVID-19

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available to those who self-isolate. Appropriate fit notes will be issued where necessary by the NHS 111 service.
  • The costs of SSP to businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be met by the government. Payments will be for up to 14 days sickness and reimbursed in full.
  • A Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will enable banks to loan up to £1.2m to SMEs.
  • All those advised to self-isolate will be entitled to statutory sick pay, even if they have not presented with symptoms.
  • Self-employed workers who are not eligible will be able to claim contributory Employment Support Allowance.

Implications for HR

The Government is planning an emergency bill to deal with the outbreak. The bill should go before Parliament before the end of the month. Details of the provisions are still to be confirmed, but the main implications for employers are likely to be:

  • The extension of SSP into the current 3 day ‘waiting period’ for those diagnosed with COVID-19 – this has already been announced by the Prime Minister
  • Job protection for employees who are existing NHS volunteers. There are currently three million NHS volunteers, many of whom have paid employment elsewhere. If they step forward to volunteer full-time for the NHS through the crisis, for a period of up to four weeks, employers will not be permitted to take any action against them for this absence.

If you’d like more information about the legislative updates for the 2020-21 tax year, join our webinar: Payroll Essentials: UK Budget Review and What’s New for Tax Year 2020/21

For further reading, check out the GOV.UK website.

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About the author

Andrew Weir

About the author

Andrew Weir

Andrew has a wealth of experience in advising and representing clients of all shapes and sizes in a range of Employment Law topics from unfair dismissal through to all forms of discrimination and the complexities of TUPE. Andrew heads up our Advice Line and Advocacy teams who provide Employment Law advice to our clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and support our clients in presenting defences at Employment Tribunals throughout the UK & Ireland.

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