Registration will open on Monday 20 April for businesses to apply for the NI Executive's one-off grant of £25,000 to ratepayers in the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors who pay rates on a property with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000.


The Department of Economy had previously said that it would take up to 15 working days to process the applications.


However, after interventions by Hospitality Ulster the Economy Minister said that they will be paid once the claim is verified and that would be within days rather than weeks.


Hospitality Ulster continues to lobby for the grants to be given to all hospitality businesses regardless of NAV and also that more than one grant is given to businesses with additional premises.

Further details on how to apply for this grant and access to the online form will be available on Monday 20 April 2020.





HMRC has confirmed that the new portal for employers to register a claim for furloughed workers will be open on 20th April, and will start making payments 4-6 days after claim through BACS.


HMRC Guidance on Self-Employment Support: updated guidance has been published to clarify eligibility.


CLICK HERE to read 


HU has published updated advice for hospitality businesses on our website.


CLICK HERE to read 


Key updates include:

  • Confirmation that furlough can be used not only for workers who have previously been made redundant but also those who have voluntarily left the company since 1 March
  • Details of how furlough rules apply to those on SSP and SMP – including how to calculate earnings
  • Confirmation that employees covered by TUPE will be covered by furlough
  • Details on the verification requirements and documents needed when making your first claim together with the detail on how to calculate how much is due


What you’ll need to make a claim:


Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. Employers may need to seek legal advice on the process. If sufficient numbers of staff are involved, it may be necessary to engage collective consultation processes to procure agreement to changes to terms of employment.


To claim, you will need:

  • Your employer PAYE reference number
  • The number of employees being furloughed
  • National Insurance Numbers for the employees you want to furlough
  • Names of the employees you want to furlough
  • Payroll/works number for the employees you want to furlough
  • Your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference or Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference or Company Registration Number
  • The claim period (start and end date)
  • Amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
  • Your bank account number and sort code
  • Your contact name
  • Your phone number


Furlough Scheme & VISAS: further information has been provided on the effects of furlough on visas. If sponsors cannot pay the salaries of sponsored employees because they’ve temporarily reduced or ceased trading then sponsors can temporarily reduce the pay of their sponsored employees to 80% of their salary or £2,500 per month, whichever is the lower even if this would take them below the normal salary requirements.


These reductions must be temporary and pay must return to at least previous levels once the arrangements have ended.  Further guidance for Tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors can be found on


Self-employment Income Support Scheme -  further clarification in response to queries, including:

  • Detail of the treatment of losses, averaging and multiple trades
  • Clarifications on the calculation of self-employed profits and what is meant by total income
  • Confirmation that individuals are able to continue working, including taking on employment role
  • Confirmation that owner-managers of Ltd companies can access the CJRS for their salary
  • Confirmation that individuals can access Universal Credit and the SEISS
  • Clarification on overlaps between the SEISS and CJRS (e.g. you can claim the SEISS and continue working).


Updates can be found by CLICKING HERE and HERE 


HMRC has also separately published details of allowable expenses, how to calculate trading profits and clarification that total income includes things such as dividend payments, pensions and any Government paid benefits.


CLICK HERE to read


The UK Government Business Department issued a series of updates on key issues raised by Hospitality Ulster / UK Hospitality – we are continuing to press for changes to address industry concerns:

  • Rent Enforcement: The govt has clarified the lease moratorium was designed to provide rent deferrals of 3 months and a degree of protection against enforcement in the event of non-payment.  The govt has made clear landlords to respect the spirit as well as the letter of the law and confirmed it will consider further action due to unreasonable demands and debt recovery
  • Loan Covenants: The PRA has issued guidance to all lenders requiring them to waive covenant breaches that arise from Covid-19. More detail is available by CLICKING HERE
  • Debt Enforcement & Insolvency: the govt will introduce a moratorium for companies giving them breathing space for from creditors enforcing their debts for a period of time and protection of their supplies to enable them to continue trading during the moratorium as part of new insolvency protection


List of Rules That Have Been Relaxed: BEIS has produced a list of 15 rules and regulations that have been relaxed in order to support businesses impacted by Coronavirus.


These range from carrying forward annual leave through to taxable expenses associated with employees working from home.


CLICK HERE to read more