Coronavirus: Construction Update
Construction workers are still commuting to bustling building sites, despite government advice to adhere to social distancing. As businesses have advised to put measures in place to allow their workers to work from home, what does this mean for builders, and others in the construction industry? We’ll take a look at the coronavirus-related updates that are relevant to you.
Calls to close construction sites
The current stance on this is that construction sites will be allowed to stay open, however Members of Parliament have urged the Prime Minister to close construction sites, as well as other workplaces which are seen as non-essential. This is due to increased concerns over crowding and infection control, where workers have not been able to stay two metres away from others.
We will of course update you if the situation changes.
Putting the brake on projects
Many construction projects across the country have been paused with immediate effect, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Transport for London has suspended work on the Crossrail project, which has already fallen victim to lengthy delays.
As well as these projects being put to a halt, there are also site closures taking place amongst housebuilding companies. Taylor Wimpey is just one of these who have closed all of their sites to prevent their builders from coming into unnecessary contact with the virus.
Some sites are reopening
Some building sites are beginning to reopen, following a period of closure. Building firm Sir Robert McAlpine has made the decision to reopen some of its building sites, following the lockdown procedure put into place on the 23rd March.
After ensuring their sites were safe for construction workers, Mace, Bam and Wates have resumed work at some of their sites.
80% of wages to be paid to the self-employed
However, if you have been affected by a site closure and are self-employed, we have some reassuring news for you. On the 26th March, the Chancellor announced that financial aid would be extended to the self-employed.
One of the main elements of this financial aid package is in the form of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which supports the self-employed who have lost income as a result of coronavirus. If you’re affected, this scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your average profits from the tax years 2016-19, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. If you have not traded for three years, HMRC will use an average of the tax returns you have submitted.
At this moment in time, there is no formal application process. The online form is still in development, and HMRC will contact you directly if you are eligible. You are eligible for the scheme, if you:
- Have submitted your Self-Assessment Tax Return for the year 2018-19, late filers will be given until 23rd April to file their 18/19 tax return
- Traded during 2019-20
- Are trading during the time of application
- Intend on trading during 2020-21
- Have self-employed trading profits of less than £50,000
One important thing to note here, is that this scheme will not be open to contractors operating through their own limited company. If you operate through your own limited company then don’t worry as you may be able to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
This scheme is a commitment from the government that they will pay 80% of the salary costs for employees that would have been unable to work due to the coronavirus crisis. This scheme gives businesses access to grants of up to 80% of their employees’ wages up to a total of £2,500 per month, per employee.
If you are an employee of your Personal Service Company, you were on the payroll before the 19th March and you were prevented from working as a result of the crisis, then you could be able to claim this.
This scheme will only cover your salary, dividend income is not included in the scheme.
Nice one, Brian
We’re not only here to help you get your tax rebate real quick, we’re also here to provide support and advice through these difficult times. If you have any questions regarding these support schemes, please don’t hesitate to contact our team who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.