United Kingdom to pay firms not to sack workers over coronavirus

Sunday, 22 Mar, 2020

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said companies and organisations would be able to apply for a grant to cover the wages of people who are not working but who had not been been laid off. All employers will be eligible and can contact HMRC.

There would be further cashflow support for businesses through the tax system, with VAT payments deferred until the end of June.

"Today I can announce that, for the first time in our history, the government is going to step in and help to pay people's wages", he said.

In order to provide "further cashflow support", the Chancellor said he will defer the next quarter of Value-Added Tax payments.

The self-employed will not have to make any further payments on their self-assessment tax return until 2021 in what Sunak described as "further support for the self-employed".

In addition to assisting retained workers, the Government said it would increase the Universal Credit standard allowance for the next 12 months, by £1,000.

He increased welfare allowances, including by promising £1 billion in extra housing benefit to help people struggling to pay the rent. This grant can be back dated to the 1 March 2020 and will last for a minimum of three months.

"We continue to do everything possible to protect the public from coronavirus". And we're strengthening our safety net at the same time.

"We have got members in industries from construction to the creative industries and this will cause real hardship unless we get to grips with it", she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Saturday.

"In my opinion, the Government has done what it needed to do and, as manufacturers, we will do our bit, especially in seeking innovative ways where we can support the national bid for more ventilators", said Mr Cunningham. "Employees should speak to their line managers and HR teams to understand how they can best balance family and work commitments".

The chancellor's announcement came after criticism that his £350bn emergency support package for the economy earlier this week concentrated on businesses but did little for their staff.

In order to help delay the spread of Coronavirus, the Government has instructed entertainment and hospitality businesses including pubs, bars and restaurants to close from tonight.

These could include school closures and social distancing for everyone, while less restrictive measures include isolating cases and households.

All indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms.

The decision on closures will be reviewed on a monthly basis, and are being implemented across the whole of the United Kingdom in agreement with the devolved administrations.

The bundle of measures rushed out by the federal government this month may push Britain's funds deficit again to 10% of gross home product, its peak after the worldwide monetary disaster, JP Morgan economist Allan Monks stated.