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“Finding a way though” seems to be a common theme in every aspect of our lives during the Corona epidemic. As our monarch affirmed on Palm Sunday, "those that come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any".
The introduction of the “Furlough” scheme on 26th March 2020 for all those employers impacted by the enforcements of the Coronavirus epidemic who would otherwise have had to lay off their employees, demonstrated that her Government has faith in our generation, to weather the storm and come out of the crisis.
This scheme will allow businesses to retain their employees and thus be in a strong position to get off the starting blocks as quickly as possible, once normality can resume.
The Corporate Team at Ascot Lloyd have been receiving regular enquiries about the key issues that employers are facing…
Whilst we have some guidance on these topics, in other areas we are still waiting for clarity from the Government and the Pensions Regulator and in the meantime are offering our advice accordingly.
Many employers also provide schemes which would pay out a lump sum death benefit should one of their employees die or fall ill whilst working for them. It is particularly important during the current crisis that these remain in force.
The good news is that these schemes will continue to run and operate for their employees even if they are on Furlough. This is because the income is paid to employers and then distributed to employees using the normal payroll route allowing them to remain on the books, even though their wage is being re-funded by the Government.
For group risk schemes the renewal date is key. Employers are required to confirm that all their employees are actively at work and disclose those that are not. How can this declaration reflect the fact that employees are “working from home” or being paid through the Furlough scheme?
Fortunately, insurers have been able to advise that an employer can comply with this declaration even in these circumstances, and the declaration can include any employee who is “self -isolating” or remaining at home due to “shielding” guidance. Only those that are off sick for any other reason or showing Corona virus symptoms themselves need to be listed as absent.
In addition to the support with income for employees a number of smaller employers will need financial support to keep their businesses afloat. Once again support is being offered to provide a grant of between £10,000 and £25,000 depending on the turnover of the business. The reassuring value of these loans is they will not require personal guarantees so that they can be fast tracked so that they can be released more quickly. As a result, they can potentially be used to pay off any loans that have been taken out previously and where a guarantee applies. A real advantage for business owners who fear that their businesses might not survive.
This epidemic has introduced untold challenges to our normal way of living and working in the UK. The Corporate Team at Ascot Lloyd is well placed to focus on issues such as these for your business in these tumultuous times and can address your specific queries and concerns.
Our Financial Advisers are available on the phone so please contact us if you have any questions.
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This communication is for information purposes only. Nothing in this communication constitutes financial, professional or investment advice or a personal recommendation. This communication should not be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments in any jurisdiction. No representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is provided in relation to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information contained herein, nor is it intended to be a complete statement or summary of the securities, markets or developments referred to in the document. Any opinions expressed in this document are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by other business areas or companies within the same group as Ascot Lloyd as a result of using different assumptions and criteria.