HU UPDATE 15TH OCTOBER
15 October 2020
'WESTMINSTER MUST LISTEN UP, LEVEL UP AND GET EXTRA CASH TO STORMONT' SAYS HU
Reacting to the latest announcement from Finance Minister Conor Murphy this evening that graded levels of grant funding for those impacted by the latest Covid restrictions will be forthcoming right across Northern Ireland, Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster said today:
“We welcome the news from the Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, that some financial support will be provided to those in the hospitality sector who have been forced to cease trading after a slow painful rundown of their businesses, post first lockdown.”
“This is a vital move, but the level of financial support is nowhere near enough. Not enough to cover the huge losses that have been incurred already; not enough for hospitality business owners to pay the furlough contribution for their staff; not enough to make a dent in existing supplier bills; not enough to ensure survival for many out the other end.”
“We now need the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Treasury to listen up, level up, and stop sitting on their hands. It is clear that they need to get more emergency funding allocated to Stormont so that the Executive and relevant departments have enough money to properly support the sector and that they can get it out to those hospitality businesses who are in dire need.”
“One of the most important elements to all this is that Westminster must bring forward a qualifying date for the new Jobs Support Scheme to 16th October as bank accounts are empty, overdrafts are stretched and credit is exhausted. How does the Chancellor even think business owners and employers are even going to make up their contribution to the furlough scheme with nothing left.”
FINANCIAL SUPPORT SCHEME
The Department of Finance Minister Conor Murphy MLA has today (15th October) announced a new financial support scheme (The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme) for businesses who have been required to close or have had business activities at their premises directly curtailed by health protection restrictions put in place by the NI Executive.
This scheme will apply across all 11 council areas, with applications opening on Monday.
The level of support that successful applicants will receive is based on the Total Net Annual Value (NAV) of the property from which the business operates:
LOWER RATE: £1,600 for the initial two week period and £800 for each subsequent week that the restrictions apply for:
- a business that is the sole occupant operating from a property with an NAV of £15,000 or less
- a guesthouse with a capital value (which means it is valued as a domestic property for rates)
- a business that is a joint occupant of a property with any NAV.
STANDARD RATE: £2,400 for the initial two week period and £1,200 for each subsequent week that the restrictions apply for:
- a business that is the sole occupant of a property with an NAV between £15,001 and £51,000
HIGHER RATE: £3,200 for the initial two week period and £1,600 for each subsequent week that restrictions apply for:
- a business that is the sole occupant of a property with an NAV of £51,001 or more.
For more information CLICK HERE
LEGAL Q&A ON TEMPORARY LAY-OFFS VS REDUNDANCIES
For employers forced to consider redundancy as they cannot afford furlough payments, temporary lay-offs may be an option to get staff members through the next two weeks and into the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
HU will provide a video Q&A with John McShane, Employment Law specialist and Partner at McCartan Turkington Breen Solicitors on this topic tomorrow.
Please watch the HU website and our social media channels for this.
For more information CLICK HERE
CLARIFICATION ON HOTELS/GUESTHOUSES
Following uncertainty around the status of hotels/guesthouses in the hospitality lockdown announcement yesterday, the NI Executive has provided further clarification today.
- Self-catering and rented accommodation can remain open
- Hotels/Guesthouses can only operate on a restricted basis- this means for existing residents, and for essential workers/vulnerable people/those in emergency situations
- Hotel bars are to close in line with all others on Friday 16th October at 6:00pm
- If a guest is in a hotel by 6:00pm on Friday 16th October, they can continue to be resident for their stay.
- Hotel restaurants can be open to serve residents, but alcohol sales are not permitted.
- Hotels and guest houses are eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme, subject to eligibility criteria (above)