Updated continually | COVID-19: latest HMRC/Govt/ACAS advice (employers/employees/SSP and business support)


Accountant for salon owners
Last updated 21.03.20 @ 10:16

“If an employee is displaying symptoms, if someone they share a home with is displaying symptoms, or if they’re able to work from home, they shouldn’t be at work.”

Coronavirus job retention scheme

Businesses can apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month per employee to cover 80% of salary/wages for those retained but not working (i.e. otherwise would have been laid off during this crisis).

You will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Who will receive SSP

This is our interpretation of the latest guidance.

Employees and workers must receive any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to them if they need to self-isolate because:

If someone has symptoms, everyone in their household must self-isolate for 14 days. Those who live alone must self-isolate for 7 days.

Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.

What if an employee needs time off work to look after someone?

If any of the criteria above are true, then they will receive SSP.

However if not, employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a ‘dependant’) in an unexpected event or emergency. This could apply to situations to do with coronavirus.

There’s no statutory right to pay for this time off, but some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or workplace policy.

The amount of time off an employee takes to look after someone must be reasonable for the situation. For example, they might take 2 days off to start with, and if more time is needed, they can book holiday.

What about if an employee just doesn’t want to come into the salon but has none of the reasons noted above?

If an employee still does not want to go in, they may be able to arrange with their employer to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave. The employer does not have to agree to this.

What if you close your salon for a time?

In extreme cases employers may decide to close the workplace. In such circumstances, workers should be entitled to be paid, whether or not they are told to work from home.

This is unless the employer has a right under contract to lay off workers without pay.

Those who are laid off without pay may be able to claim statutory guaranteed pay. This is only available to employees and is paid at a rate £29 per day for up to only five days.

Can I force employees to use holiday?

Employers have the right to tell employees and workers when to take holiday if they need to. For example, they can decide to shut for a week and everyone has to use their holiday entitlement.

If the employer does decide to do this, they must tell staff at least twice as many days before as the amount of days they need people to take.

For example, if they want to close for 5 days, they should tell everyone at least 10 days before.

How does a salon ‘lay off’ its staff?

A lay-off is where employees are not provided with work by their employer and the situation is expected to be temporary.

Employers can lay someone off where there is an express contractual right to do so (ie it’s in their contract) or the Employer and Employee agree to do so (ie the employee knows that this is the best option for them).

In these circumstances only, you will need to pay them £29 per day for the first five days.

How long can a lay-off last?

This will depend on the terms specified in the contract or the agreement you’ve come to with them. However after 4 weeks, the employee might be able to claim a redundancy payment off you.

Get Legal and HR advice before you go down this route.

More details in the links below.

SSP in more detail

  • SSP is now available for eligible individuals either:
  • If an employee has symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, they should stay at home and not leave their house for 7 days
  • Medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness
  • After 7 days, it is for the Salon to determine what evidence it requires from the sick employee
  • Salons should use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home due to suspected COVID-19
  • HMRC is developing an alternative form of evidence to the current ‘fit note’ and this will shortly be available via NHS online.
  • Statutory Sick Pay SSP will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by coronavirus.
  • SSP can now be claimed back by the Salon for 14 days but after that, it will be a cost of the salon
  • Salons can reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19 (which it currently can’t for all other sickness)
  • SSP is paid at £94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks (increasing to £95.85 in April 2020)
Last edited:

House Beauty

Well-Known Member
Can we get this as top thread please, everyone needs to see this


Accountant for salon owners
Last updated 21.03.20 @ 10:16

“I promised to do whatever it takes to support our economy through this crisis – and that if the situation changed, I would not hesitate to take further action. That is what I want to begin doing today,”

said Chancellor Rishi Sunak joined the Prime Minister at Tuesday’s Downing Street press briefing

He said further action would come as the situation evolved through new legal powers in the Covid Bill which enables the government to offer further financial support deemed necessary to businesses.

VAT for all businesses is being deferred until the end of June. In other words, if you were due to pay your VAT bill you now don’t have to until the end of June.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

12 month business rate holiday
There is now a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
How to access the scheme
There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered releif. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.


You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property
How to access the scheme

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The biggest single element in the Chancellor’s rescue package is a package of £330bn bank loan guarantees to help small and large businesses manage cashflows during the pandemic.

“That means any business who needs access to cash to pay their rent, the salaries, suppliers, or purchase stock, will be able to access a government-backed loan, on attractive terms,” said Sunak.

For small and medium-sized firms, Sunak increased the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme announced at last week’s Budget from £1.2m to £5m of loans with no interest due for the first six months.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.

Now be interest free for 12 months (increased from 6 months)

Salon and spa owners should contact their business bank account to apply.

Support for businesses paying tax
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Sunak confirmed that if your business is told to close (eg pubs) that this is sufficient for those businesses to claim insurance if they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place.

All salon and spa owners should check with their insurance provider if they are covered.

However, many businesses are unlikely to be covered as most business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property, which will exclude pandemics.

Some businesses may have purchased a specific add on relating to notifiable diseases, but some of these will still specify damage to the building. Some businesses may have purchased supply chain or denial of access cover which may meet their needs in this case.

As many smaller salons don’t have such insurance, the government is making cash grants of £25,000 per business available. We await to see how you can claim.


Well-Known Member
Do you know by any chance if this has changed to include scotland now or is this only for England? (I am sure I had seen that it was for UK but I m doubting myself now)


Accountant for salon owners


Accountant for salon owners
For the rates relief, ‘retail’ includes ‘hair and beauty’


Well-Known Member

New Spa

And still nothing for the self employed. I just been refused. universals credits, total joke.


Accountant for salon owners
Salon and Spa owners.
Where you should be now | summary

  1. Close
    You should be closed.
  2. Clients
    You should have informed your Clients and be getting regular updates and blogs out to them.
  3. Staff
    For all staff who are not on SSP, not on SMP, or cannot work from home, you should have furloughed them.
    And for any furloughed staff, if you only want to pay them 80%, obtained written agreement from each that they will accept this.
  4. Paying Staff and the 80% Job Retention Scheme
    Continue paying your staff through PAYE as usual.
    The process for claiming back 80% of their pay is still being developed by HMRC.
  5. SSP
    Keep in contact with any staff that are on sick or maternity leave and keep your accountant/payroll updated on their status.
  6. Rates grants
    All rates reliefs will be automatically applied to you from 1 April 2020.
    On top of this, there are rates grants available - contact your local council to apply.
  7. VAT
    Do not pay any amounts due.
  8. Business Interruption Loan
    Contact your business bank asap to let them know you need to apply.
    You will be put on a waiting list to get a call back from them, which could be a couple of weeks away.
  9. Tax
    Do not pay any amounts due.
  10. Insurance
    Contact your insurers to see if you are covered for business interruption and loss of earnings.
  11. Mortgage
    Contact your own personal mortgage provider if you require a payment holiday.
Last edited:
And still nothing for the self employed. I just been refused. universals credits, total joke.
You can’t even seem to apply for ESA online. I cant explain how angry I am.


Well-Known Member
There are rumours of self employed benefits being announced tomorrow.


Staff member
There are rumours of self employed benefits being announced tomorrow.
PM confirmed in his press conference this evening that Rishi Sunak will be setting these out tomorrow.