Coronavirus: Business update – Business Rates & IR35

19th March 2020

Business Rates

Business Rates Cash Grant – Small Businesses

It was announced on the 17th March that the cash grant for business rates will be extended from £3,000 (as announced in the budget) to £10,000.

This grant will be for all businesses (whatever sector they operate in), that pay little or no business rates, who are eligible for small business rate relief or entitled to rural rate relief.

The government have advised that no application will be necessary. Instead these businesses will be contacted by their local authority.

This funding will be made available to local authorities from April 2020 onwards. So if your business falls into this category you should hopefully begin to hear from your local authority in the next month.

Business Rates Holiday

For businesses operating in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries in England, it has been announced that there will be a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year. This holiday will apply to these businesses irrespective of the rateable value of their premises.

So no shop, pub, restaurant, theatre or any other businesses operating in these industries will have a business rates charge for the 12 months from April 2020 onwards.

Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Businesses – Cash Grant

 The government also announced that a grant of up to £25,000 will be made available to businesses operating in these sectors.

This will only apply if they operate from premises with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Contact Details

The government announced that the final details of all of this will be made available to local authorities from 20 March 2020.

To ensure you are obtaining the grants/business rates holiday you are entitled to you will need to contact your local authority, as each authority will have their own procedures to deal with this. In order to find the contact details applicable to you, please use the following web link:


Off Payroll Working Rules Changes

The off payroll working rules that were going to be introduced from April 2020 for those in the private sector have been pushed back to April 2021 following an announcement in the House of Commons. This is an attempt by the government to alleviate the pressure put on businesses following the coronavirus outbreak.

This means that it is still the responsibility of you/your company to determine your employment status rather than the engager. The rule change only applies if the end user is in the private sector only, public bodies will still be required to determine employment status.

Clearly this is a fast-developing situation and we will be watching how it develops and updating our clients on a regular basis. Please watch out for our further client updates in the coming days.

We are here to help and advise you in these difficult times. The latest government guidance can be found by accessing GOV.UK coronavirus webpage.

Other Useful Links

Coronavirus: Business update 21 March – Latest announcements

Read our latest ‘Hot Topic’ COVID-19: measures for UK businesses

Coronavirus: Latest measures to support UK businesses

Coronavirus – Update for Businesses

An update from Thompson Jenner LLP on the Coronavirus

UK Government guidance

NHS – condition overview

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