Coronavirus Business Update

News on 19 March 2020

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We have been busy advising business clients about what to do with cutting overheads of staff costs in order to keep businesses going.

On Tuesday 17th March Rishi Sunak announced a series of measures in an attempt to reassure businesses, many of whom felt they were “thrown under the bus” by Boris Johnson the previous day when he advised people to avoid cinemas, theatres and pubs without offering any mitigation to these businesses. Whilst there is plenty of meat to put onto the bones of Sunak’s pledges, they are as follows:

  • Extending Business Rates Holiday for hospitality sector
  • Grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 for small businesses
  • £330Bn of Government backed Loans to all businesses with 0% interest for 6 months and favourable terms thereafter
  • Mortgage holidays for 3 months for people suffering from coronavirus

People that weren’t given much solace from this announcement were the self-employed/sole traders, workers in the gig economy and renters in the private rental sector.

The air transport and hospitality sectors are obviously sectors with immediate acute issues.

Throughout all sectors, commercial decisions made in all sectors will have knock on effects across the entire economy as would be the case with the contraction of the economy in a recession.

Sunak used the term “whatever it takes” in terms of supporting businesses, families and individuals. However, there is a little way to go to see this turn into concrete proposals that ultimately attract businesses to accept the bridge being offered as opposed to reducing in size or going out of business altogether. The sooner that the information becomes available on the detail of the support, the sooner the uncertainty can be reduced somewhat, and businesses can make more informed decisions on their futures.

We have produced a series of factsheets, which will be coming out over the next few days. If you're not signed up to our newsletter, keep an eye out on our Resources page for these. 

Our second factsheet is on contract variations. We have also added a helpful template letter for you to give to an employee when you have agreed on a variation of their terms and conditions. Download this for free here.

For existing PitStop clients, this template letter is already in your HR Library ready to go.

We hope you find these updates helpful.


If you need some advice during this difficult time, contact us.