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COVID-19: guidance for employee-HMRC Update -17.03.20

Please call the office if you need help or support with any issues- 0121-289-4433 or 01527 433 111

Staying at home

If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See the stay at home guidance for more information)

My employer wants me to come to work even though I feel ill, what should I do?

Employees should take time off work if they are ill. Government is clear that employers should support their staff’s welfare, especially during an extended response.

My employer wants me to come to work. How do I respond when I don’t have a sick note?

Employees should take time off work if they’re ill.

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (that is, employees can self-certify). After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. To make it easier for people to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home, we are developing an alternative form of evidence to the fit note. These will shortly be available through NHS 111 online.

In the meantime, we continue to urge employers to respect the need to stay at home where they are following government advice to do so and to show flexibility in the evidence they require from employees.

Will my boss believe that I need to be at home? Will it risk my job?

Employees should take time off work if they’re ill.

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (employees can self-certify). After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. To make it easier for people to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home, we are developing an alternative form of evidence to the fit note. These will shortly be available through NHS 111 online.

In the meantime, we continue to urge employers to respect the need to stay at home where they are following government advice to do so and to show flexibility in the evidence they require from employees.

Working from home

I can’t work from home. There’s no space and the kids get in the way. Can my employer make me work from home?

You should discuss your situation with your employer. We would expect most employers and employees to reach a sensible compromise and come to a solution that best meets both parties’ needs, bearing in mind the latest public health advice.

Sick pay

Will my employer be obliged to pay me while I stay at home?
Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by coronavirus.

What about if I have a zero hours contract?

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check with your employer if you’re unsure.

If you’re not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

What about if I’m self-employed?

You can apply for Universal Credit.

What if the whole family has to stay at home and there’s no income coming in?

If no one is getting Statutory Sick Pay, the family can apply for Universal Credit.

Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)-HMRC update-17.03.20

Please call the office if you need help or support with any issues- 0121-289-4433 or 01527 433 111

What you need to know

businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible

if someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow the advice to stay at home

employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues

frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products

employees will need your support to adhere to the recommendation to stay at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to others

those who follow advice to stay at home will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) from the first day of their absence from work

employers should use their discretion concerning the need for medical evidence for certification for employees who are unwell. This will allow GPs to focus on their patients

employees from defined vulnerable groups should be strongly advised and supported to stay at home and work from there if possible

Background

This guidance will assist employers, businesses and their staff in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19).

This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation.

It’s good practice for employers to:

keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace

ensure employees who are in a vulnerable group are strongly advised to follow social distancing guidance

make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date

make sure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace is potentially infected and needs to take the appropriate action

make sure there are places to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and encourage everyone to do so regularly

provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough or a high temperature.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.

What to do if someone develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) on site

If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

It is not necessary to close the business or workplace or send any staff home, unless government policy changes. Keep monitoring the government response page for the latest details.

Travel arrangements

Anyone who has a new, continuous cough or a high temperature should be advised to quickly and directly return home and to remain there and initiate household isolation. If they have to use public transport, they should try to keep away from other people and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue.

Sick pay

Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.

Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate in making decisions about sick pay.

Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week, some of those working in the gig economy, or self-employed people, is able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

For those on a low income and already claiming Universal Credit, it is designed to automatically adjust depending on people’s earnings or other income. However, if someone needs money urgently they can apply for an advance through the journal.

Certifying absence from work

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home.

We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.

What to do if an employee needs time off work to look after someone

Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a ‘dependant’) in an unexpected event or emergency. This would apply to situations related to coronavirus (COVID-19). For example:

if they have children they need to look after or arrange childcare for because their school has closed

to help their child or another dependant if they’re sick, or need to go into isolation or hospital

There’s no statutory right to pay for this time off, but some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or workplace policy.

ACAS have more information on coronavirus and can help with specific queries by phone.

Limiting spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in business and workplaces

Businesses and employers can help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reminding everyone of the public health advice. Posters, leaflets and other materials are available.

Employees and customers should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal.

Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products.

Cleaning and waste
See the guidance on cleaning and waste.

Handling post or packages
Staff should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of working; there are no additional precautions needed for handling post or packages.

COVID-19 Support for Businesses -HMRC update- 17.03.20

Please call the office here if you need help with your issues. 0121-289-4433 or 01527 433 111

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
a Business Rate Relief for small businesses and pubs
small business grant funding of £3,000 for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief
the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
We will bring forward legislation to allow small- and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19

employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020

employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19

employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note

eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force

the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

Support for businesses who pay business rates

We will increase the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for the 2020 to 2021 tax year for properties below £51,000 rateable value.

The relief will also be expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors in response to COVID-19.

Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Those businesses eligible for the newly expanded retail discount and/or the new pubs discount may need to apply to their local authority to receive the discount.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the application of the expanded retail discount will be published by 20 March

Support for businesses who pay little or no business rates

The government will provide an additional £2.2 billion funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £3,000 to business currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.

If your business is eligible for SBRR or Rural Business Rate Relief, you will be contacted by your local authority – you do not need to apply.

Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April. We will update gov.uk with details as these are decided.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch in a matter of weeks to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value. This new guarantee will initially support up to £1 billion of lending on top of current support offered through the British Business Bank.

Support for businesses paying tax

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Insurance

Businesses should check with their insurance provider if they are covered. Many businesses are unlikely to be covered as most business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property, which will exclude pandemics. Some businesses may have purchased a specific add on relating to notifiable diseases, but some of these will still specify damage to the building. Some businesses may have purchased supply chain or denial of access cover which may meet their needs in this case.

XERO Webinars and Videos available

We have our own portfolio of training videos prepared for clients who are keen to discover all the benefits of XERO.

We are developing these videos to compliment the free training offered to clients on a one to one basis.

We currently have 40 webinars we can provide you with covering lots of differing aspects of the software to help you move forward with your cloud accounting revolution.

We are adding to the videos all the time so let us know if you have any specifics we can help you with and we can send you a relevant video to watch or create a bespoke one for you.

Some of the titles are…..

1- Starting out with XERO

2- Integrating photo technology to add purchase invoices to your software.

3- Raising quotes and sales quickly on XERO

 

Trainee Posts at Brothertons

Have a look at our careers page and see the opportunities there are currently available at Brotherton Accountants

We are here to help anyone looking for help with their digital accounting

We are helping lots of businesses that are keen to explore the cloud options for completing their day to day accounting. Save huge amounts of time with invoicing and statements, bank feeds and picture uploads of your supplier invoices. We have all the solutions here using all the latest technologies within our cloud accounting platform. We use all the latest software, including XERO, SAGE, Quickbooks as well of lots of other solutions.

Call to arrange a free 1 hour demonstration of what the solutions can do for you and your business.

We can’t stress enough the time benefits these solutions can add to your business and we are here to show you free of charge, one to one.

When people then see the benefits we are here to help you set up everything free of charge and we also provide all the training for no fee too. Come and have a demo and be amazed at what it can do and how easy it is to use once we set it all up for you.

Call 01527 433 111 or 0121 289 44 33

New Solihull Office at Brothertons

Here at Brothertons we have opened offices in Solihull to compliment our offices in Redditch. Please call in, it would be great to see you. Our address is 120C Haslucks Green Road, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands. B90 2EH Tel: 0121 289 4433

 

Why is it important to look at Digital Software before April 2019 ?

Vat procedures and rules are changing at HMRC from 01.04.19. From that date HMRC are closing the submission portals, used by most businesses for submitting their VAT returns.

From that date businesses will need to submit their VAT returns via a digital platform in order for the VAT returns to be accepted by HMRC.

Therefore VAT registered businesses need to react now to ensure they are compliant by April 19 and to ensure they can submit their VAT returns on and after that date.

Packages like SAGE, XERO and Quickbooks allow submissions to be completed in the desired format and we are here to help all business to not only get ready for this change in legislation but also explore all the other benefits which the digital and cloud accounting software can bring a business.

We are happy to talk to all businesses on this area and we are happy to provide a free 1 hour consultation and demonstration on how the software works and interacts with your PC, tablet and phone.

Please call the office if you would like to chat over the new rules or if you would like a free demonstration of the software.

Office- 01527 433 111

XERO update.

Here at Brothertons we are working hard to ensure clients can benefit from digital software and the efficiencies it can bring to their business. We are using the leading brands of digital software here at Brothertons and XERO is right at the top of the list for usability and functionality. WE LOVE XERO! and the people we show love it too!

We offer a free demonstration of the software here to anyone, so call the office on 01527 433111 to arrange a free hour so we can show you the Xero Software and how you can streamline your business. This is open to anyone so please call…. we will put the kettle on……. ready for a coffee and XERO hour.

Call 01527 433111

Digital Accounting at Brothertons

For more information on getting digital and using the cloud to maximise efficiencies please get in touch.

Next round of tax draft tax legislation published

The government has published draft legislation for Finance Bill 2018-19 which is currently open for consultation, and ‘continues the government’s commitment to a competitive and fair tax system’.
The draft legislation could affect a range of taxes, from Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to income tax.
The draft legislation also outlines the government’s approach to the Making Tax Digital (MTD) penalty system, with HMRC outlining its intention to utilise a two-tier penalty model for businesses and individuals who fail to pay their tax on time.
The July publication of the Finance Bill 2018-19 draft legislation forms part of the government’s new fiscal timetable.
The consultation on the draft legislation will run until 31 August 2018. The final contents of ‘Finance Bill 2018-19’ will be subject to confirmation at Budget 2018, expected later this year in November.
We will keep you informed of developments.

Making Tax Digital for VAT

HMRC has published further information on Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV). The VAT notice sets out some further details of the MTDfV regime, which will ultimately require taxpayers to move to a fully digital tax system.
Under the rules, businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to keep digital records for VAT purposes using ‘functional compatible software’ and provide their VAT return information to HMRC via an application programming interface.
This notice explains:
• the digital records businesses must keep and the ways to record transactions digitally in certain special circumstances
• what counts as ‘functional compatible software’, and when software programs do and do not need to be digitally linked where a combination of programs is used.
The new rules have effect from 1 April 2019, where a taxpayer has a ‘prescribed accounting period’ which begins on that date, and otherwise from the first day of a taxpayer’s first prescribed accounting period beginning after 1 April 2019.
Please contact us for advice and support on the introduction of MTDfV.

Xero Advisor Certified at Brothertons

Here at brotherton we use the latest technologies within our cloud accounting platform which is our solution for cloud and digital accounting.

We use all the leading technologies including…..

KASHFLOW

XERO

SAGE

and OTHERS.

Here at brothertons we are a certified XERO ADVISOR

If you would like to explore the new technologies available, we can offer you a free presentation of the software with absolutely no obligation. Free 2 week trials of the software are available too, if you would like to have a play with it and look at its benefits for you and your business.

We also offer free training once you come on board including visits and virtual training. Have a look at the videos on the website as these show the usability of the software and we are adding to these all the time.

Please call the office if you would like a free no obligation presentation of the software……evening appointments are available every week. TEL 01527 68235

Recording Business Mileage on Kashflow

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Managing stock levels on Kashflow

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Raising Quotes on kashflow and quick conversion to sales invoices

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Adding banks on Kashflow and transferring money.

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Debtors Control on Kashflow

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Seeing all Nominal Codes on Kashflow

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Bank transactions and basic bank reconciliations on kashflow

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Cloud accounting at Brothertons and free evening meetings

There is a real buzz here at Brotherton’s with the huge developments in digital software and new technologies.

We have made great strides with our digital platform, here at Brothertons. This is our platform for helping clients move into the digital age with their accounting and business processes.

After our initial open day we are now planning further dates for clients and non clients to come and visit us here so we can show them the great solutions we are offering through our cloud solutions, using technologies from kashflow, Xero, SAGE and others.

Our catalogue of videos is now growing on our website, from short basic tutorials to more in depth webinars.

We hope all this will be of benefit to you and we are striving to help businesses embrace the technologies and provide all the resources to help move businesses forward.

If you are an existing business or newly incorporated we would love to hear from you and our evening meetings are available every week. We will call out to you too, if that makes it easy for you. These evening meetings are obviously totally free and we are happy to come and chat over your business, looking at all areas from tax planning to new technologies and how it can help you and your business.

Our number is 01527 68235 if you would like to arrange an evening meeting.

VAT on kashflow – Basics Tutorial

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Overview of kashflow accounting software – Basics – Tutorial

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Basics of a Directors Loan Account-Tutorial

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Creating Email Templates on kashflow

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Introduction to kashflow software and personalising a sales invoice

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Making Tax Digital Solutions.

We are working hard here at Brothertons to ensure all clients benefit from the digital environment we are moving into.

We will be working with all clients old and new to ensure they are not only compliant with changes in legislation but also benefit from the massive benefits that the new technologies can deliver.

Please call the office for any updates but be assured we are working hard on all aspects and if we haven’t spoken to you yet with regards the digital environment we will shortly.

We are using all leading software packages for our clients. We will be offering all clients help with new technologies and training will also be given so you can maximise the benefits of the digital changes. Sotware Pakages here include kashflow, SAGE, Xero and others.

We are off to Accountex in London this week to add to our offerings within the new digital world of accounting and will keep everyone informed on developments as we go along.

Making Tax Digital at Brothertons

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

VAT-Low Cost Traders

For more information on any topics covered in this blog video please get in touch.

Help with 17-18 tax returns

We are letting people know it still isn’t too late to come to us for help with their tax return for 16-17. (due date 31.01.18)

If you are struggling with getting this done and need some help we are happy to talk to you and take away the burden of struggling to get it all done on time. Please call the office on 01527 68235 and we will be happy to discuss your situation.