COVID 19 Advice for businesses
As the situation regarding the coronavirus has developed, Public Health Services has produced guidance for Businesses.
These are being updated as the advice changes so please keep checking https://gov.gg/covid19businessguidance and we will be reflecting information here as quickly as possible.
If you have any clinical questions regarding the coronavirus please call 01481 756938 or 01481 756969 between 8am and 10pm daily, the information provided on the pages below are for non-clinical information only.
Thousands of Island businesses and self-employed workers will receive financial support from the States following the establishment of a Guernsey Payroll Co-Sharing Scheme and a grant scheme, announced by the Policy & Resources Committee.
As a first step businesses are asked to send their details to firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the new measures.
The critical area of focus, and aspect of financial support, has been around helping businesses retain employees on their books. For the ongoing financial well-being of the Bailiwick it is important that businesses are well positioned to resume trading as soon as conditions allow.
The Coronavirus Payroll Co-funding Scheme will work in the following way:
- The States funds 80% of employee wages, based on the minimum wage of £8.50 per hour which equates to a gross payment of £238 for a standard 35 hour week, pre Income Tax and States Insurance contributions. This would be on the basis that employers contribute a minimum of 20% to reach the full minimum wage although employers can opt to pay more given many employees will be on higher rates. The reference to minimum wage ensures a level playing field. Having such a scheme avoids the need for employers to pay severance packages meaning more can be spent on keeping the business going through the crisis period.
- The initial period of support proposed is 3 months (13 weeks) which, given it will be starting more or less immediately, will cover the period to late June. This is deemed a sensible compromise of giving businesses a meaningful period on which to make commercial decisions. The period of support will of course need to be regularly revisited.
- Specific sectors have been identified as being sufficiently impacted by the crisis to which the support will be restricted initially. These are: hospitality and tourism; passenger transport and travel; rental and leasing of cars and recreational goods; manufacturing; recreation and entertainment; event management and event services; personal service activities such as hairdressers, beauticians and animal boarding; commercial fishing; private extra-curricular education such as dance and riding schools; non-food and non-pharmacy retail; advertising and marketing; and construction. However, consideration may be needed to widen these sectors as more information becomes available.
- In terms of size of business there is no restriction on the size of the business. Consideration was given to restricting to small and medium-sized businesses with larger businesses felt to be more resilient and having easier access to bank lending. However, there has been clear notification from some of the larger businesses that they will be forced to lay off staff in the absence of any government support. While these businesses will have reserves to draw upon, they will also be acutely aware of the need to hold reserves to kick-start their business when the crisis starts to dissipate.
A further measure confirmed is the award of a £3,000 grant to all businesses and the self-employed with fewer than 10 employees which is designed as additional support to these smaller businesses to be utilised in whichever way they deem appropriate. Larger employers will be able to access the Coronavirus Payroll Co-funding Scheme.
The measures announced today are in addition to those announced on Wednesday 18 March:
- Deferral of SI;
- Deferral of Commercial TRP;
- Deferral of rent payments to the States of Guernsey by business tenants;
- Suspension of mooring fees for commercial fishermen; and
- Establishment of a loan guarantee scheme to support banks in providing liquidity to businesses.
Changes have also been made to the population management approach to support workers with permits: https://www.gov.gg/article/176884/Proactive-Adjustments-to-Population-Management-Regime
Please do call the number below to talk things through with one of the business advisors. They can put you in touch with colleagues within the States of Guernsey to help and support you.
Please call 743803 or email email@example.com to be linked up with the relevant States services.