Latest government announcements for workers and businesses


Date: 20 March 2020

Helping hand

Today, Friday 20 March, the government has announced an unprecedented package of measures aimed at supporting workers and businesses. The key points are below - we will update with more detail as soon as we can.

UPDATE (23 March): See our latest news story 'Massive support package aims to keep people in jobs' for all the details on the announcements below

  • Cafes, pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas and gyms have all been told they must close tonight and not re-open tomorrow. 
  • The government is setting up a coronavirus job retention scheme to protect people’ jobs and incomes.
  • Employers will be able to get a grant to cover up to 80% of wages for employees who are not working but are kept on the payroll, up to £2,500 per employee a month. This will be backdated from 1 March for three months.
  • The next quarter of VAT payments will be deferred for all businesses until the end of June.
  • Self-assessment income payments will be deferred and business interruption loans will be interest free for 12 months, rather than the six months previously announced.


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