The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled various economic stimulus packages aimed to help employers’ weather the uncertainty that Coronavirus outbreak may bring to the UK.

The government have yet to provide detail on when this will be implemented but in summary:

  • Statutory sick pay will be paid to all those who choose to self-isolate, even if they don’t have symptoms. This is to support the government’s containment phase of the virus to dissuade employees from coming into work despite being ill.
  • Sick notes will soon be obtainable by contacting 111, instead of attending a doctor’s appointment.
  • Firms with fewer than 250 staff will be refunded for sick pay payments for two weeks for employee unwell with the Coronavirus.
  • Contributory employment Support Allowance benefit claimants will be able to claim sick pay on day one, not after a week.  The aim of this incentive is support those on zero hours contracts or part of the ‘gig’ economy in getting access to benefits quicker if they are unwell.
  • Small firms will be able to access “business interruption” loans of up to £1.2m.
  • Business rates will be abolished for this year for firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value below £51,000.
  • Increasing the National Insurance threshold from £8632 to £9,500 – giving 31 million people a tax cut, saving a typical employee £104.
  • Introducing a new National Insurance relief for businesses that employ veterans.
  • Increasing the Employment Allowance by a third to £4,000, a tax cut this April for nearly half a million small businesses.
  • Those on contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be able to claim from day one instead of day eight.

For more information on these packages and the rest of the budget see the government website.  For advice on how this may impact your business HR get in touch with one of our consultants. Post correct of 11 March 2020.