COVID-19 latest tidbits, 2 November 2020

Nov 02, 2020

HMRC and the various Governments and Government bodies of the UK continue to publish updates on COVID-19 related issues. When using a form or publication going forward or contacting HMRC, check you are using the most recent version or up to date way of contact which may have changed due to the pandemic.

  • An investigation has been conducted by the National Audit Office into the Bounce Back Loan Scheme which describes the scheme’s purpose and how it functions, performance to date, and how government manages value-for-money risks;
  • New regulations, which came into force on 22 October 2020, exempt payments made under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme from employer’s and employee’s NIC. Under this scheme, lump sum payments of £500 will be made to low income individuals in England who test positive for COVID-19 (or are told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate), cannot work from home, and so lose income;
  • The Pensions Regulator has updated its Covid-19 guidance. From 1 January 2021, pension scheme providers and trustees should revert to reporting payment failures that are 90 days outstanding, rather than 150 days;
  • The Government has introduced a legal requirement on people to self-isolate when instructed by NHS Test and Trace, with fines for those who fail to do so and for any businesses which threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy
  • Invest NI has recently launched the Coronavirus Equity Investment Fund as part of its Access to Finance portfolio. This is targeted at small and medium enterprises, particularly those high potential start-ups at an early stage that have seen a reduction in the funding options available to them in the current environment;
  • Read the response from HM Treasury to the letter sent by the Association of British Insurers regarding the practice of insurers deducting the value of government grants from business interruption insurance settlements;
  • A new hotline has been launched to report COVID-19 fraudsters who make illegal claims for support; and
  • Screen productions struggling to restart due to a lack of COVID-related insurance will now get the go-ahead, as the Government-backed Film and TV Production Restart Scheme has now launched for registrations.