Chancellor’s lifeline for UK economy
Blowing his recently unveiled Budget out of the water, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has
announced an unprecedented set of financial measures totalling £350bn to mitigate the financial impact
of Covid-19 (coronavirus) on the UK economy. This is equivalent to around 15% of UK GDP.
6 Removals & Storage April 2020
Day one sick
pay for self-isolating
As part of emergency legislation to reduce the
spread of Covid-19, Prime Minister Boris
Johnson has announced that statutory sick
pay (SSP) will be made available from day one
of sick leave instead of day four under the
This aims to ensure that individuals who are
self-isolating are financially protected and arrives
amid concerns that zero-hours staff who should
be self-isolating may continue to work out of fear
that they will be denied their earnings.
The PM said the change will be a temporary
measure to respond to the outbreak and will
lapse once it is no longer required.
Under the existing system, employees who
take time off work because of illness can claim
£92.25 per week for up to 28 weeks, but only once
they have been off work for four or more
For more information on
Covid-19 and safeguarding your
business, please see the useful
links provided on page 4 of
The package comprises £330bn in government-backed loans
to help businesses manage their cashflows and fixed costs
(such as rent and salaries), as well as £20bn in the form of
emergency cash grants of up to £25,000 to keep small
businesses afloat. Other measures include a one-year break
from business rates for all firms in the retail, leisure and
For individuals in financial difficulty as a result of
Covid-19, mortgage lenders will offer a three-month mortgage
holiday (although these payments will need to be made up at
a later date). The Chancellor also said that unions and
employers are currently working on an employment support
package to protect livelihoods, particularly for those who are
self-employed and so-called gig economy workers.
BAR Director General Ian Studd commented: “The measures announced by the
Chancellor, whilst welcome for certain industry sectors and most notably the
leisure industry, do not directly address the specific concerns of the removal
sector, and nor I suspect do they for most of the wider logistics industry. The
Chancellor’s solution is, on the face of it, for all businesses to load up with
debt which will ultimately need to be repaid, and at a time when the market
will almost certainly have not recovered to pre-crisis levels. I suspect that is
the last thing that our Members will want to do, and so I am seeking to
reinforce that message, both via our relationship with the Road Haulage
Association and, wherever possible, directly with the Government’s Task
TCs adopt flexible approach for
O Licence compliance
The UK Traffic Commissioners (TCs) have issued an emergency Statutory Document setting out how they
plan to support heavy goods vehicle (HGV) operators with issues surrounding Operator’s (O) Licence
requirements that arise from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The guidance can be accessed at the link below and outlines:
• temporary steps to assist operators who cannot meet the required levels of financial standing;
• what to consider if a transport manager is unable to attend work;
• how to deal with a loss of access to an operating centre;
• the process to apply for a ‘period of grace’ if the requirements for holding an O Licence cannot be met;
• applications for temporary exemptions to the requirements for holding an O Licence;
• hearings: attendance and postponements.
Operators are advised to subscribe to the TCs’ news alert service (https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/
UKOTC/subscriber/new) for regular updates on O Licence compliance as the situation develops.
To read the guidance, visit www.gov.uk/government/organisations/traffic-commissioners
IR35 tax reforms delayed to April 2021
Changes to IR35 tax legislation that were due to come
into force this month for medium-sized and large
companies in the private sector have been postponed
until 6 April 2021. This comes as part of government’s
attempts to alleviate pressure on businesses and
individuals amid the Covid-19 fallout.
Since the use of self-employed individuals is
widespread within the transport sector, it is
recommended that businesses of all sizes begin to
review the employment status of the individuals they
engage – either directly or through any form of
intermediary company (such as a personal service
company) or agency – to ensure they are prepared for
next year’s change.
IR35 is designed to clamp down on tax avoidance.
It is targeted at companies that use self-employed
contractors who provide, in practice, the same service
as employees. The planned changes to the legislation
aimed to make medium-sized and large private sector
businesses responsible for setting the tax status of any
contract worker they use.
For more information, see Backhouse
Jones’ guidance in R&S June 2019
(‘Self-employed drivers and IR35’).
As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve at a fast pace, Members are advised to consult
the BAR’s regular email updates and the useful links provided on page 4 of this issue.