Coronavirus – What about your team?

Coronavirus, Finance, Payroll, Planning,

If you are a small business and have a team, it’s a very worrying time.

  • How’re you going to pay them?
  • Can you stop paying them for a period of time?
  • Can you put them on short time?
  • Can you lay them off?

We’ve had lots of questions this week, and teams have been one of the most common of them.

Already staff are being laid off across the country, as small businesses do all that they can to protect themselves and reduce costs as far as possible. They know though that these employees were good people, and business owners want to hang on to them if they can.

There may be good news on the way though.

If you are facing some tough decisions, hold on until tonight’s press briefing with Boris Johnson. The PM last night said that there will be additional support coming from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to be announced this evening. Obviously, at the moment no-one knows what this is likely to include, but do listen in before you make any decisions. Other countries have agreed to give up to 75% of salary costs to businesses. This should be possible, given HMRC receive details of wage and salary payments every month.

What are your HR options?

Our advice is that you speak to your HR support before you make any moves, as you will need to ensure that you’re working within your own contracts.

Also speak to your team. They’re aware of the situation that so many small businesses are in at the moment, and will want to stay with you and support you, and have a job to come back to once we all get through this! With the Universal Credit support and mortgage holidays, you may be able to find a compromise where they are not too badly hit and you can also keep the business going.

As ever, if you have any questions or just want a sounding board, please get in touch.

As a reminder, the primary information feeds are as follows:

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Coronavirus Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses

COVID-19: Guidance for employers and Businesses

Tax Helpline to Support Businesses affected by Coronavirus

NHS Coronavirus Information Page

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