Member News & Events



Guidance Released for Government Scheme to Pay 80% of Retained Staff Wages from TC Accountants

After much anticipation, this evening we finally received some clarity on the Government’s Scheme to pay 80% of staff wages (CJRS), and we are now in a position to advise you more fully on your HR strategy.

CJRS, Staff Furloughs and Salary Reductions

Unfortunately, despite lobbying from pressure groups, the furlough scheme only applies to staff that are ’laid off’ and therefore not available to do any work for their employer. It doesn’t provide any flexibility around ‘part-time furloughs’ for employers that are looking to reduce hours worked per person rather than headcount. Government technical update can be found here. Consequently, most businesses will now need a more complex HR solution that includes furloughing some staff and reducing the hours worked of other staff via a consultation process. 

For staff you have chosen to furlough you will need to:

  • Obtain written consent from the staff you have chosen to furlough so that you can begin implementation; 
  • Prepare letters confirming the position to inform them immediately of the situation and your decision. 

For staff who shall continue working, you will need to:

  • Consider the level of wage reduction you will need to implement; 
  • Begin a consultation process preparing the staff for what is to come; 
  • Obtain written consent from the staff and prepare letters confirming the position.
      

Contact the TC team at your earliest possible opportunity if you need any assistance with your HR strategy or delivery. We are anticipating that this process will continue for some time as the legislation develops and there might also be scenarios where staff move in and out of ‘furlough’ depending on the business’ performance. As always, the TC Group will be on hand to support you through this difficult time.

Aid for the Self-Employed

Also announced today was support for the self-employed and it mirrors somewhat the relief for employees. 80% of earnings capped at £2,500 per month. Frustratingly, the support will not be available until June, although it is back-dated to 1 March 2020 and therefore will be paid as a lump sum.

If you qualify, HMRC will contact you and supply a form to complete and once completed will transfer the payments directly to your bank account. 

The key qualifying criteria are:

  • You will need to have completed an income tax return for the business; 
  • Your earnings from the business need to be less than £50,000 per year last year or on average for the last 3 years.  


The amount will be based on average monthly earnings over the past three years.

Contact us immediately if you have not already filed your 2019 tax return, as this is a critical step in gaining the benefits. The return needs to be filed by 23rd April 2020 for you to qualify for this support.

Unfortunately, this scheme does not apply to directors and business owners that pay themselves via a mixture of salary and dividends.

There is more support available to help the self-employed, including VAT deferrals, Universal Credit and the Business Interruption Loan Scheme. More information is already available via our website.

TC Group is here to guide you through this challenging period

Contact us today to discuss the points raised in this email or any other concerns you have as a business owner, about your personal finances, or, as an employer now on 0330 088 7111

Kind regards
TC Group

Coronavirus – if you want to discuss Government funding, HR options, mortgage holidays or tax breaks please contact us now.

Trades Against The Virus Trades against the virus is a construction industry campaign to boost the stocks of food in the nation’s food banks in preparation for the escalating public health crisis. Find out how you can do your part.

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Message from TC: COVID-19 – Your Top Priorities

TC Group remains on hand to help you through the challenges you are currently facing. Below are some of the priority areas we are working on for clients: 

Clarification on the Government Scheme to pay up 80% of staff wages CJRS  – and the implications on your payroll processes

The scheme has been set up by the Government to cover 80% of staff wages; however, this won’t be live for 2-3 weeks, and grants are unlikely to be paid until the end of April.

Further clarification on the scheme is urgently required as there are still lots of unanswered questions (see our CJRS overview here for full details). One of the main questions we are being asked by clients is whether you can effectively ‘part furlough’ employees, so reducing hours worked per employee as an alternative to reducing head count. We believe it is imperative that the legislation addresses this point as this would allow businesses the flexibility they need to continue trading whilst protecting jobs. 

We understand the pressure businesses are under to make a decision on this but we are encouraging all clients to wait for the government clarification later this week and then speak to us so to ensure we can optimise your position within the confines of the guidance/legislation.

Payroll / Furlough Processes

Whilst we don’t yet fully understand the mechanics of the CJRS scheme described above it is clear that this is going to significantly complicate the payroll process for the foreseeable future. The month end (or period end) process will now require a combination of  commercial, legal, HR, tax and financial processes all working in sync to ensure you comply with all of the necessary legislation and more importantly get the money you need to continue trading. We are encouraging all TC clients to talk to us urgently about their payroll processes and wherever possible handing this over to the TC team who can manage this from start to finish and avoid the complications of internal teams or 3rd parties trying to interpret our guidance.

Cancel VAT and other direct debits

VAT payments will be automatically deferred between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until April 2021. All UK businesses are eligible, and no applications are required. We understand that HMRC will continue to expect businesses to submit VAT returns, although payment is not required. There is no mention so far about direct debit payments. However, the information available at the time of writing suggests that the payment runs are automatic and therefore, may be problematic.

Accordingly, TC Group advises that clients cancel direct debits with their bank to make sure no payment is taken. Contact us if you need help preparing your next VAT return.

Government funding update – Business Interruption Loans Scheme

12-month interest-free loans have now been available for two days (under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme). The roll-out of the scheme is more challenging than we had hoped, and we understand the frustration that is being experienced by many of those who urgently need the assistance. We are hopeful that the Government will consider the feedback that is starting to emerge and encourage the banks and other institutions to loosen their lending criteria where possible so the funds can more easily reach the clients that need them. As a reminder we are working with multiple clients, brokers and banks and remain on hand to help, so please contact us immediately so we can assist you through this process, we are anticipating significant delays if you don’t act quickly.


Self-employed workers

The Government is expected to extend urgent financial aid to the UK’s five million self-employed workers and freelancers in the coming days. Currently, sole traders can access £94.25 a week in universal credit benefits and defer their payments on account, due on 31 July, until 31 January 2021. Parliament is currently discussing an extension to the coronavirus bill, which may include the introduction of statutory self-employed pay.


If approved, HMRC would subsidise whichever is the lower of £2,917 a month or 80% of a sole trader’s wages using an average from the last three tax years. Statutory self-employed pay would be similar to the coronavirus job retention scheme announced last week.


Owner directors of companies who may take a nominal salary and top this up with dividends may have limited support from CJRS and may not qualify for this support. As soon as more information is released, rest assured we will communicate this with you and the necessary advice will be available from TC Group.


Reminder – Landlords cannot evict commercial tenants

Commercial tenants are now protected from eviction for three months if they cannot pay their rent due to coronavirus. If you need any guidance or support on how to handle this, you can call us now; you should also contact landlords to negotiate payment plans or holidays. 

TC Group is here to guide you through this challenging period

Contact us today to discuss the points raised in this email or any other concerns you have as a business owner, about your personal finances, or, as an employer now on 0330 088 7111.

Kind regards,

TC Group

Coronavirus – if you want to discuss Government funding, HR options, mortgage holidays or tax breaks please contact us now.

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Yellow Buses revised timetable

Yellow Buses is revising its timetable from tomorrow (Thursday, March 26) in response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

The Bournemouth-based, locally owned bus company is rationalising services to reflect the current situation.

Yellows will operate what it describes as an emergency timetable across the network every day until further notice.

Commercial Director Simon Newport said: “With the country on virtual lockdown we, like all public service transport networks, are experiencing a downturn in passenger numbers.

“However, it is also our responsibility to maintain a good level of operation to ensure that key workers providing critical services are able to get to their places of work across the conurbation.”

Timetables are expected be available in the very near future.

Mr Newport added:  “The safety, health and well-being of our passengers and staff come first. We are continuing to carefully monitor the situation as it develops and ensure we are taking every action possible to reduce the impact and risk to our passengers.

“On top of our existing rigorous cleaning processes, we have introduced an intensified cleaning regime across our fleet and premises with all poles, handrails, seats and other key areas of our vehicles disinfected regularly. We are also in the process of issuing all of our drivers with hand sanitisers.

“With passenger numbers down and the likelihood that some staff will be self-isolating, we want to ensure our customers continue to have reliable bus times by creating a sustainable service robust enough to hopefully withstand any further disruption.”

In a separate move, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council concessionary bus passes can now be used before 9.30am and after 11pm after restrictions were lifted this week. The move will help ensure vulnerable people can take advantage of dedicated opening hours at some supermarkets.

Yellow Buses was acquired by its management team – David Squire, Managing Director, Simon Newport, Commercial Director, and Phil Pannell, Service Delivery Director – from RATP Dev in a management buyout in July 2019 for an undisclosed sum.

See www.yellowbuses.co.uk for coronavirus updates.

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Message for Businesses from our Honorary Accountants, TC: COVID-19 – Three Week Lockdown Announced

As you may be aware, the PM has just announced measures to enforce the social isolation guidance given last week. The measures will last a minimum of three weeks, key points are:

  • From this evening people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from work but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home. 
  • Shops selling non-essential goods will also be shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together prohibited. 
  • If people do not follow the rules police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings. 

It’s not completely clear what that means for different sectors but it’s likely to mean that businesses, other than essential sectors, must encourage staff to work from home wherever possible – if you need support in this area please contact our IT partners.

While these measures are needed to stop the spread of the virus, they will put more pressure on UK SMEs. It is therefore imperative you contact us immediately so we can help you access the government funding and grants that are available to you. As a reminder, the key things you should be considering are as follows:

This week

Contact us for help accessing government funding – There are 12 month interest-free loans available via the banks (under the Business Interruption Loan Scheme) and other institutions and we can help manage the process from beginning to end. If you haven’t already started this process please contact us immediately so we can assist you, we are anticipating significant delays if you don’t act quickly.

Contact us for help with time to pay arrangements – Businesses and self-employed people with outstanding tax liabilities (excluding VAT), will have the option of paying by instalments online. TC has already helped many clients to obtain extended payment terms.

Contact landlords to negotiate payment plans or holidays – Commercial tenants will now be protected from eviction for three months if they cannot pay their rent due to coronavirus. If you need any guidance or support on how to handle this, you can call us now.

Contact us for help negotiating business rate payment holidays – If your business isn’t eligible for an automatic grant then speak to your local authority to see what flexibility they can offer. Contact us now if you need advice or support on this.

Apply for 3 month personal and corporate mortgage holidays – These are available for residential or Buy to Let mortgages, as well as landlords with affected tenants. Contact your lender now.

Contact your insurance brokers – Find out if your policy covers business interruption, and if so, what the conditions are for eligibility.

Previously Announced Measures Awaiting Further Detail
Government to pay 80% of staff wages – The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) won’t be live for 2-3 weeks, and grants are unlikely to be paid until the end of April. Contact TC, and we can talk you through the options available as they emerge.

Enhanced SSP – To be paid from day 1 of absence and will apply retrospectively from 13 March. Self-employed workers will be able to access universal credit at the same rate. A mechanism for reimbursement is still being developed.

Automatic Measures Already Announced
SBRR – One-off grant of £10,000 to business currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief Small Business Rate Relief. You will be contacted by your local authority in early April – you do not need to apply.

Deferred VAT payment – Businesses can defer VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until April 2021. All UK businesses are eligible, and no applications are required.

Deferred 31 July 2020 Self-employed tax payment – This payment will be deferred until 31 January 2021.

Automatic Measures for Specific Sectors
Businesses in retail, hospitality, and leisure will receive cash grants of up to £25,000 per property, in addition to a business rates holiday until April 2021.  Nursery businesses subject to business rates will also receive immediate support.

Anticipated Measures To Come
We are anticipating extra support for self-employed people, either via further enhancements to the benefits system, or more likely, a scheme that is similar to the CJRS.

TC Group is here to guide you through this challenging period. Contact us today to discuss the points raised in this email or any other concerns you have as a business owner, about your personal finances, or, as an employer now on 0330 088 7111.

TC Client Services
From tomorrow we are closing all of our physical premises which may have a temporary impact on our post handling whilst we adapt our processes, we will be in touch shortly with further details. All other services will continue as normal and most staff have been working at home over the past 2 weeks so we will continue to support you in the normal way via calls, emails and video conferencing.

Kind regards
TC Group

Coronavirus – if you want to discuss government funding, HR options, mortgage holidays or tax breaks please contact us now.

Trades Against The Virus Trades against the virus is a construction industry campaign to boost the stocks of food in the nation’s food banks in preparation for the escalating public health crisis. Find out how you can do your part.

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COVID-19 – Business Support Measures. A Message for Businesses from our Honorary Accountants, TC

On Friday the Government announced further measures to help businesses during COVID-19. Whilst the measures are welcomed the details are still emerging and business owners are still not clear on how they access the additional funds and grants that are available to them.

As we await further information from the Chancellor, we thought it would be useful to recap on the two key measures and what business owners could be doing next.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme (BILS)
BILS has been set-up to support businesses financially via banks and other institutions, we still don’t have all of the details but the scheme will be live from Monday 23rd March. As a reminder the loans will be interest free for 12 months and designed to help businesses continue trading during COVID-19. As a first port of call please speak to TC to discuss the options available to you.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
As a reminder under CJRS all employers can apply to HMRC for a grant to pay 80% of the wages of retained staff who are not working (known as “furlough”) up to a maximum of £2,500 per worker per month. This was announced on Friday but the Government portal won’t be live for 2-3 weeks and the grants are unlikely to be paid until the end of April so whilst this is a positive announcement there are no immediate steps you can take to apply. Details will be released over the coming days and we will keep you informed as we get them.

Next steps

As the grants under CJRS won’t arrive quickly, the focus this week should be on:

  • Ensuring you have the funds you need to continue trading via BILS so you can continue to fund your wage costs until the CJRS grant can potentially reimburse you at the end of April. Contact TC and we can talk you through the options available as they emerge. 
  • Starting to discuss your payroll arrangements with your relationship manager at TC to ensure you are well placed to take full advantage of any CJRS grant available to you at the earliest opportunity. 

TC Group is here to guide you through this challenging period. Contact us today to discuss the points raised in this email or any other concerns you have as a business owner, about your personal finances, or, as an employer now on 0330 088 7111.

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AFCB STATEMENT: FOOTBALL SUSPENDED UNTIL END OF APRIL

The football season will remain suspended at least until the end of April due to the continued spread of coronavirus.

The decision was made earlier today following a meeting of the sport’s governing bodies, including the Premier League and EFL.

A joint statement by the professional football bodies in England read: “The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA, understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.

“We’re united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

“We’ve collectively supported UEFA in postponing Euro 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.

“The FA’s rules and regulations state that “the season shall terminate not later than the 1 June” and “each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season”.

“However, our Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019-20 season in relation to professional football. Additionally, we’ve collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday 30th April.

“The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.

“We will continue to follow Government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow.

“We would all like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.”

Tickets for AFC Bournemouth’s fixtures during this time will remain valid for the rescheduled dates. This includes official club travel tickets for the away fixtures at Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Manchester United.

Single match ticket purchasers who are unable to make the rearranged fixtures will be entitled to a full refund. Further details will follow in due course.

Supporters are advised to proactively keep up to date with the latest government advice on best practice in relation to stopping the spread of the virus, which can be found here.

Anyone who has recently travelled to the United Kingdom from a country with a high risk of coronavirus, or who is displaying any of the below symptoms, should immediately seek medical advice by calling the NHS 111 service or stay at home for at least seven days.

The symptoms include:

– A new, continuous cough

– A high temperature

If you are aware of any other supporters who may not have access to email or our website, can you please let them know about the upcoming fixtures.

Thank you

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Cherry Tree Nursery – Plant Sale and Spring Fayre 21.3.20 Cancelled.

Cherry Tree Nursery are very sorry to announce they have had to take the decision to cancel their Plant Sale and Spring Fayre on 21st March 2020 in view of the current situation. 

This decision was not taken lightly as these events are very popular and vital in raising funds for the charity, but must protect all customers, supporters, beneficiaries and friends.

The beneficiaries already live with severe and enduring mental illness and must do all we can to reduce their anxieties so that we all work together through these difficult times.We are finding great solace in being outside, amongst nature and in the fresh air, which was of course the basis for the charity some thirty years ago. 

Our shop and nursery area will be open as usual, 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Fridays and 10am to 4pm Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information see https://www.cherrytreenursery.org.uk

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BCP: Financial support for businesses – information and contact details as of 19/03/2020.

The Chancellor recently announced a new wave of measures to financially support businesses impacted by COVID-19. These include but are not limited to:

  • Businesses receiving Small Business or Rural Rate Relief will get a grant of £10,000 to support cash flow 
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality grant – those with Rateable Value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will get an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality rate relief – Discount of 100% extended to all businesses in sector regardless of Rateable Value 
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – will enable businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. 
  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. 

To keep updated with the latest government announcements on business support throughout the coronavirus situation check the Central Government website or subscribe to receive email alerts.

It is important to note that BCP Council is awaiting further guidance on the award mechanism of this financial support from Central Government. As soon as this information is known, we will inform you via this email, on our @Business_BCP Twitter feed, the @BCPCouncil Twitter feed and on our website. At this time businesses do not need to take any further action. Funding for the Grant Scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.

Further information and support for the local area can also be accessed through the Dorset Growth Hub, and the Dorset LEP.

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Get help and support for your business

Following on from the government’s announcement, the following helpline has been set up for businesses requiring financial assistance. 

Tel: 0300 456 3565 Website: http://bit.ly/2Qu5y71

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