Covid-19: Government help for business and workers

 Covid-19: Government help for business and workers

The Budget delivered earlier in March included £7bn of expenditure targeting the impact of Covid-19 on employees, the self-employed and businesses. Six days later a further raft of measures was announced, amounting to an additional £20bn of support expenditure plus £330 bn of loan guarantees.  

The Chancellor then made a further statement on Friday 20th March to provide more support for the workforce to deliver basic incomes for the employed. This has been accompanied by a repeated promise that he would do “whatever it takes” to counter the impact of the virus. 

On 12th May the Chancellor announced the extension of the furlough scheme that was orginally introduced as part of the suppprt package mentioned above. The headlines are that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until end of October, furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500 and that new flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost the economy. You can view the announcement here.

Rather than repeat all of the detail here, please see the attached document, put together by Chartered Accountants Barnes Roffe, which is a full and comprehensive picture of the current package of measures (as of March). 

On 29th May the Chancellor announced that changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will apply a month earlier than expected. From 1 July the scheme will allow part-time working, but staff must have been furloughed by 10 June to be eligible. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has produced this useful blog to help you understand the detail.

Small Business Loans

On 27th April the Chancellor announced the introductions of 100% government backed loan scheme for small business. Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months.

Business Hardship Fund

As of 9th April the council has created a new £2 million emergency Business Hardship Fund for smaller businesses significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and who are not eligible for the government support recently announced. For more details and how to apply


The Southwark Law Centre has also produced some helpful advice and information on Employment Issues during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

This link provides information about coronavirus and claiming benefits. It will continue to be updated. Please check this page regularly for updates on the arrangements the Department for Work and Pensions is making to support those who are affected by coronavirus. 

Latest Government guidance to employers and businesses about Covid-19


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