The information below is based on our own research and may not be accurate with changes and new advice being published hourly. Please make sure to do your own independent research for the most up-to-date information on the below topics.
Should I get a loan?
Well, that depends. Don’t get one if you don’t need one, that’s for sure. Many business owners hear about the government-backed loan scheme and think, ‘Hey, that sounds good, we like money!’ Crunch your numbers. Get advice. Decide, in an informed way, if you really need a loan to get through this. If you’re on the fence, don’t get one.
On the other hand, if the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll and you’re not sure your business will survive, look into the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Can I take my employees in and out of furlough?
Many of you have asked if you can furlough a staff member, call them back in for some work, and then put them back on furlough status. Is this possible? Is this shady? What’s a small business owner to do?
Don’t worry – you are allowed to move employees in and out of furlough, but there are some guidelines to follow. The minimum period of furlough is three consecutive weeks, but the guidance doesn’t specify a minimum period of work between periods of furlough, so in essence, you can switch between non-furlough and furlough status as long as you stick to the rules of minimum and maximum limits.
As mentioned, a furlough period must be at least three consecutive weeks, so you can’t furlough an employee on Tuesday and ask them to come back to work the following Tuesday.
Will furloughed staff accrue holiday while off work?
Many small business owners are worrying that when things go back to normal and furloughed staff return to work, they’ll have a huge amount of holiday left for this year. Can they take all that holiday after being furloughed for months?
It also doesn’t seem fair that furloughed staff will be entitled to the same amount of holiday as staff who have stayed on to work full-time.
According to our training providers, their interpretation is that holiday would not accrue while furloughed. As soon as we have a definite answer, we will add the information here.
If I have a staff member who started after 28th Feb 2020, are they covered by the government’s Job Retention Scheme?
From information available on GOV.UK, employees who started after 28th February are not covered by the Job Retention Scheme. They may be eligible for other schemes, please see the Employment and Financial Support section HERE for details.
I’m worried out about my business, what can I do to relieve some stress?
Crazy times call for crazy measures, but that doesn’t mean curling up in the corner with a bag of Doritos, a large bar of Dairy Milk and a whole bottle of Tanqueray. There are lots of other things you can do, here are some suggestions from the Clic team:
• Meditate • Talk to someone • Go for a walk • Use a scream pillow • Organise your task list and stick to it • Try deep breathing • Download Headspace on your phone, and use it • Make a mood board of all the things you’re going to do when this is over • Spend time researching and trying new recipes • Write things down – how you’re feeling, what you’d like to accomplish, noting what you’re grateful for • Watch comedy • Take a bath with a glass of wine and soothing music
Do I have to cancel my VAT direct debit?
HMRC has advised businesses to cancel their VAT direct debit to take advantage of the COVID-19 VAT deferral scheme. Please see HERE for more information.
What government support is available to my business, and how do I apply?
GOV.UK is updating information often on their site – please see HERE for the most up-to-date guidance and information about the schemes, and how to apply.