COVID-19 Daily Update

6th April 2020


Dear Member




There have been some updates over the weekend that will be of interest:


  • Job Retention Scheme.  More details have been published on the operation of the scheme.  One answer to our questions has been given.  It is now confirmed that furloughed employees can take other employment (if the contract of employment allows for it).  It is likely more detail will emerge as we get closer to the launch of the portal.   Please read the guidance carefully.  The separate guidance to employees makes it clear that any other job must not be for a linked or associated company.  The guidance also confirms that benefits in kind cannot form part of the claim.  Also the guidance deals with salary sacrifice schemes.
  • VAT.  it has been confirmed that import VAT cannot be deferred.
  • Local Authority Grants.  Whilst guidance is clear that in England Local Authorities should automatically pay you a grant depending on your rateable value, I am hearing that a number are requesting you to apply.  PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY.  In Scotland it is clear that you should apply for a grant via the local authority.  Forms are available on the LA websites.  The Scottish Government is saying it is not prepared to pay grants per venue. They say the cost of this would mean taking money from other vital industries not supported elsewhere in the UK such as the fishing industry and creative industries.  We say this is a false choice.  All businesses in need should be getting support.   In Wales,  I have been made aware that local authority guidance remains unclear and some local authorities are refusing members a grant.  If this is the case please get in touch.  We are lobbying the Welsh government to update their guidance which currently reflects that from England two weeks ago.


Lobbying continues on getting rates relief across the supply chain, rates grants for businesses above the £51k cap, and reduced premises licence fees, clarity on rates relief in Scotland, and seasonal workers.   President, James Miller and I had our regular meeting with DCMS this morning and are pleased that DCMS are understanding our requests, helping us frame them and making sure they get to the right ears.  I have also today written for the third time to the CEO of the Gambling Commission requesting their understanding in completing annual returns, and deferring payment of fees.




AND in some non coronavirus news, Kier Starmer has appointed Cardiff Central MP, Jo Stevens as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.


Many thanks and kind regards




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