Omicron Financial Support
With the Omicron variant now reported to be extremely dominant and accounting for a majority of new COVID-19 infections, widespread transmission in the community will inevitably lead to more staff absences in essential services.
This has the potential to seriously impact health and social care provision. So from these new findings the government has announced additional economic support to help businesses most affected by the omicron variant of coronavirus.
Businesses within the hospitality and leisure sectors will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, and more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses
The government will also cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for coronavirus-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK
If you are an employer with fewer than 250 employees, and you’ve paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to your employees for absences linked to coronavirus-related sickness or self-isolation, you could be eligible for support.
You will receive repayments at the relevant standard rate of SSP that you have paid to your current or former employees for any eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 21 December 2021
As an employer you will be able to reclaim the costs for up to two weeks of SSP for an employee who takes time off because of coronavirus, regardless of whether you have claimed for that employee under the previous scheme.
You will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January
Full guidance, including eligibility and how to make a claim, will be published on GOV.UK in due course. In the meantime, you can find out more information by searching for COVID-19 economic support package
If you are facing difficulty in making a tax payment, HMRC stands ready to support any business impacted by the coronavirus pandemic through the Time to Pay arrangements, where you can pay what you owe in affordable installments.
They will consider offering businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in particular the option of a short delay, and payment in installments, on a case-by-case basis, as part of this Search GOV.UK for more information about 'Time to Pay'
Also earlier in December, HMRC ran a trial reducing their hours on some of our telephony services. This meant HMRC could dedicate the time to work on the post that has built up over the past year. To test the approach, they closed our Value Added Tax (VAT) (with the exception of the bereavement line), and Corporation Tax (CT) phone lines on 3,10 and 17 December
By dedicating their colleagues to post queues, they have been able to focus on delays in processing CT repayments and VAT post which we acknowledge were areas of concern for our customers. They have made solid progress and worked through 14,000 post items but are still behind in processing these due to the backlog from the pandemic.
Over the coming weeks, HMRC will analyse the data from this trial in more detail and commit to sharing an update in January detailing their findings and next steps which we will share with you once published.
There is also continuing financial support for business and you can find more on this crucial information here on the HMRC.GOV site for Omicron support for businesses'
Please speak to us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries on anything mentioned above.
We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and festive period and we wish you all a prosperous 2022 and as always are here to support you along the way.