Updated – 15 April 2020
The Policy and Resources Committee have announced a number of comprehensive financial measures to help businesses through this difficult period. The aim of these measures is to enable businesses to retain their staff and maintain financial stability.
Outline of Measures
The first measure is a Payroll Co-sharing Scheme. The States of Guernsey will assist employers in those sectors most affected by the current climate, to pay their employees a figure equivalent to 80% of the current minimum wage which is presently set at £8.50. For a 35 hour week this would equate to £238 per week. This is on the condition that the employer covers the extra 20% shortfall to meet the minimum wage threshold. The level of support will be calculated based on the number of hours normally worked for each permanent employee. This assistance is available for 13 weeks, until late June, when the support provided will be revisited. Employers will have to have been trading for at least six months; since 1 September 2019. The support will be backdated to the 16 March 2020.
The second measure is a Small Business Grant of £3000 to support small businesses with 10 employees or less. This grant can be utilised in any way the business deems suitable and is intended to last three months.
To be eligible for the above measures, your business must:
- Operate within one of the following sectors – hospitality and tourism; passenger transport and travel; rental and leasing of cars and recreational goods; manufacturing; recreation and entertainment; event management and event services; personal service activities such as hairdressers, beauticians and animal boarding; commercial fishing; private extra-curricular education such as dance and riding schools; non-food and non-pharmacy retail; advertising and marketing; and construction. This may be expanded in the future for the payroll co-sharing scheme but special requests from businesses experiencing hardship outside of these sectors may be considered for the small business grant.
- Have been trading for a least six months – before 1 September 2019
On 15 April 2020, the States of Guernsey amended the criteria for being able to access the scheme. In addition to the inclusion of self employed individuals, the scope of businesses able to access the above schemes was amended to include those offering, cleaning services; window cleaning; gardening; pet care services; waste services (particularly those focused on commercial and building work); estate agents; architects and building design services; facilities management and office management; security and cash transfer activities; freight and goods transfer (excluding food); dental and dental hygienists and non-essential personal health and hygiene roles.
Charities and social enterprises (not for profit organisations) will also be eligible for support from the Payroll Co-funding Scheme where their staff are unable to work as a result of current business restrictions.
These measures are in addition to businesses being able to make staggered payment or claim deferral of employers social insurance contributions for quarters 1 and 2 of this year.
Further details are available here. Should you wish to apply for these new measures, the first step is to email [email protected]. Anyone applying should consider pulling together relevant financial business information to support the processing of their application, including employee payslips, an overview of the businesses operational costs for the period and evidence of the annual turnover of the business to enable a calculation of income lost during this period. Please contact a member of the Focus Team on 01481 728824 should you wish to discuss further.