UK Nursery Owners: Summary of Government Support 22nd March 2020

***UK ONLY***

There is a lot of confusion and worry out there at the moment.

This post is specifically for Nursery Owners.

It is your duty as a Nice Boss to stay informed and to make informed decisions. It is really difficult, and it changes, day by day, hour by hour.

‼️DO NOT RELY ONLY ON WHAT OTHER PEOPLE TELL YOU. GO TO THE OFFICIAL SOURCES.‼️

Please read the guidance issued by the Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

HERE IS A SUMMARY (CORRECT TODAY, 22nd March 2020)

1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: (AKA Boris Pay)
This is designed to make your employees stay at home. If you do not have work for them, because you are closed or partially closed, you can “Furlough” them and the government will pay 80% of their usual wage.

My thoughts so far:

Please use this to protect your team.
– details will follow. But it will happen, so trust Boris.
– It means you can put your staff members “in storage” so they are still your employee, but they are not working.
– you can protect your employees by asking them to not work, and they will still get an income.
– if it means that your nursery is more viable shut than open, then close.
– There will be childcare available for your key worker parents, but you personally don’t have to provide it. They will be taken care of.

2. Deferring VAT and Income tax payments:
Most nurseries don’t pay a VAT bill. But we all pay income tax.
You will not need to pay your tax bill in July.

My thoughts so far:

This is serious. When have we ever been asked to not pay tax? “There are two certainties in life: Death and Taxes” – so if taxes are being deferred, we need to take decisive action to prevent unnecessary deaths.

3. SSP: payable from Day 1 for up to 14 days for any COVID-19 reason (including self isolation). The government will pay this for you.

My thoughts so far:

Please use this and ask staff to stay at home at the slightest sign of a new continuous cough and/or a temperature. Yes you may get people wanting time off to watch Netflix. That is, bizarrely, currently a Good Thing.

4. If you pay Business rates, you will get 100% discount for 1 year.

My thoughts so far:

WTF???? again, “Death and Taxes”…. this is serious.We have been asking for this for years, and now, it’s happened overnight.

5. If you don’t pay Business Rates because you qualify for Small Business Rates Relief, you will automatically be sent a grant of £10,000.

My thoughts so far:

Wow. This is going to be incredibly helpful. But we need to make it last. We’re in this for a long time folks.

5. the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank. Applications will open tomorrow.

My thoughts so far:

Don’t be hasty and dismiss this out of hand. Yes it’s a loan and you will need to pay it back, but it wouldn’t be offered if we’re not going to need it.

Work out what you will need to keep things ticking over for the next few months, then apply for that amount.

6. Funding will be paid for the Summer term even if no children attend.

My thoughts so far:

We know that the funding is inadequate, and that it doesn’t cover our normal running costs. But this is not a normal situation.

Work out how much you will get so that you can project your income for the next few months.

Make sure you put in your summer term funding claims NOW.

TODAY.

This will be a lifeline and may make all the difference.

7. For individuals: Mortgage holidays for 3 months.

My thoughts so far:

Yes you will have to pay it at some point, but it’s going to be a huge relief not to have to pay it now. Again – this is a huge deal. It will not affect your credit rating. You will not lose your house for not making payments.

Contact your mortgage provider and ask to defer the payments.

***Don’t plan on being closed for a few weeks. It may be longer and you need to be prepared***

✅Look at your income from the sources I have listed.

✅Work out what outgoings you will have.

✅Then decide whether to stay open, or close your nursery.

✅Don’t make huge decisions like this based on fear, or what a stranger on the internet is telling you (that includes me!).

✅Sit down, grab a mug of tea and the emergency chocolate, and give yourself time to do this.

And Don’t Panic xxxx

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