Member support from PLASA
Free business helpline:
As part of your membership, you have unlimited access to business support from Quest, both Legal and HR advice. You can phone Quest directly on 0116 243 7588 or log into your online portal here. (Please contact us at email@example.com if you don’t have your login details).
Free dedicated HR and Employment Law service:
We have arranged one hour of one-to-one time with Nicky Gleadow, Managing Director for The HR Point. To use this please phone 01903 783584 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What support is currently available for businesses from the UK Government:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: the Government will cover 80% of the wages of ‘retained’ employees – ie, those who would otherwise have been laid off due to the knock-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic – capped at a maximum of £2,500/month per employee. The scheme will be open “before the end of April”, and wages will be paid backdated to 1 March.
- Small and medium-sized employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to Covid-19 for up to two weeks without the need of a GP fit note.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme is now open: qualifying businesses will be able to borrow up to £5m with no interest payable for six months. Your turnover must be below £41million to be eligible. To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers as soon as possible, available on the British Business Bank website.
- Business rates have been scrapped for all ‘retail, leisure and hospitality’ (*) companies.
- A £25,000 grant will be provided to ‘retail, hospitality and leisure’ (*) businesses who currently pay business rates, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. The grants will be issued by local councils (although underwritten by local councils) so applications must be made to your local council.
- The Government will pay a one-off grant of £10,000 to companies who do not pay business rates due to small business rate relief (SBBR). You will be contacted by your local council directly.
- The Treasury will stand behind businesses that do have business interruption insurance policies that do include pandemics but will have excluded Covid-19 because it is such a new virus.
- IR35 is being postponed by a year to 6 April 2021.
* PLASA has written to the DCMS and BEIS to get urgent clarification on this definition. The guidance is explicit in that it covers live music venues, theatres, nightclubs, however it doesn’t provide clarity for many other businesses operating in our sectors that pay business rates.
The UK government offers free advice for businesses and the self-employed via its Business Support Helpline:
England: 0300 456 3565
Wales: 0300 060 3000
Northern Ireland: 0800 181 4422
Support with Tax: Time to Pay service
HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to help support people through the Coronavirus outbreak.
The helpline number is: 0800 0159 559
Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to discuss your specific circumstances to explore:
- Agreeing an instalment arrangement
- Suspending debt collection proceedings
- Cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately
For freelancers and self-employed individuals
Coronavirus Self-employed Income Support Scheme:
Most self-employed people in the UK will now be eligible for cash grants to cover loss of earnings, paying 80% of monthly earnings up to £2,500 for at least March, April and May. The scheme will be up and running from June. If you are eligible, the HMRC will contact you directly.
To be eligible, you must be self-employed or a member of a partnership, have an average annual trading profit of less than £50,000, receive over half of your earnings from self-employment, and have been trading in the last financial year, trading now, and planning to do so this coming year. For those who have yet to file for 2018/19 will have an extra four weeks to do so.
Mortgages and rent:
The UK Government is allowing a three-month holiday for mortgage payments – we advise you contact your bank. The UK Government has also announced a ban on evictions for renters.
If coronavirus means you’re unable to work for any reason and you’ve paid enough National Insurance Contributions, you might be able to claim new style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you’re ill, or elements of Universal Credit if you need help with costs like children or housing. Furthermore, the Government has sought to make claiming easier by removing the requirement to attend a Job Centre.
If you’re self-employed and need to claim Universal Credit, the rules around the minimum income floor will be relaxed for the duration of the outbreak of coronavirus, ensuring self‑employed claimants will be compensated for. Furthermore, you can still apply for Universal Credit whilst waiting for the Coronavirus Self-employed Income Support Scheme payment.
The European live performance association is urging governments to take emergency measures. They have also detailed several measures provided by the European Commission to support member states during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Centro Studi Doc Foundation part of the Doc Cooperative in Italy have put together an appeal to ask the Italian Government to support workers and companies in Italy working in the industry. The Foundation have a petition to collect this public engagement. To date, the petition for urgent support to workers and entertainment companies has 40,000 signers.
Support from the industry
Light & Sound International:
LSi have compiled a comprehensive live list of news, resources and offers in relation to Covid-19.
Arts Council England:
The Arts Council England has made available grants worth £160million for individuals and organisations in the arts sectors.
Society of London Theatre (SOLT) & UK Theatre:
A collaborative project to signpost theatre professionals to a range of mental health and financial support.
The Association of British Theatre Technicians
ABTT have compiled another comprehensive list of community initiatives, free training and online events.
Live Nation are committing £10million in funds for touring and venue crew around the world in the new initiative Crew Nation.
Music Industry Therapist Collective
The MITC has a free downloadable guide to anxiety relief and self-isolation.
The World Health Organization
The WHO are calling for creative brands to spread awareness on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with an explanatory guide.
Our Connect to Wellbeing initiative signposts industry professionals to wellbeing and mental heath support in the workplace.