April 2020 – Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic cont


HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

Anyone who missed the filing deadline in January 2020 now has 4 weeks to submit their tax return.

 Free School Meals - A voucher scheme has been launched for children unable to access free school meals in England due to the coronavirus outbreak and will apply to children who usually benefit from free school meals in order to ensure that they still have access to healthy and nutritious meals while they are not attending school.

Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves but, where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide £15 weekly vouchers to families electronically or as a gift card for those without internet access, to use at a range of supermarkets.


Statutory Sick Pay - New regulations have been issued that provide for changes to statutory sick pay (SSP) in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In force from 28 March 2020, the Regulations disapply (retrospectively from 13 March 2020) the rule that SSP is not payable for the first three qualifying days of a period of entitlement (known as waiting days) where an employee is incapable of doing the work they can reasonably be expected to do under their contract of service, or where they are deemed to be incapable, because of coronavirus. 

The regulations also provide that people with symptoms of coronavirus staying at home for 7 days, and people living in the household of a person with symptoms of coronavirus staying at home for 14 days, can be deemed to be incapable of work.

 Repossessions - The government has announced that the Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is to suspend all ongoing housing possession action.

Setting out the support available for landlords and renters in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the government confirms that, from 26 March 2020, landlords will have to give all renters three months notice if they intend to seek possession.

HMCTS will suspend all ongoing housing possession action from 27 March 2020, meaning that neither cases currently in the system or any about to go in to it can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension of housing possessions action will initially last for 90 days but this can be extended to a maximum of six months if needed. This measure will protect all private and social renters, as well as those with mortgages and those with licenses covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This will apply to both England and Wales.

 The new law does not prevent landlords from serving a notice of intention to possess, nor does it end any liability for rental payments.

The measures apply to all statutory tenants in the private and social rented sectors but does not include common law tenancies or licenses (other than secure licenses). 

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