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Government support for businesses

Advice for businesses

As the situation around COVID-19 is changing rapidly, the advice and support for businesses and employers in Jersey is being constantly improved and updated. Check regularly to ensure you're up-to-date.

If you have a general enquiry or non-urgent enquiry about this support for businesses, read the information on this page carefully and think twice before you call. Every time we answer a non-urgent issue, a business facing severe, immediate financial problems may need to wait longer for help. 

If you need help and advice on managing your business during this crisis have a look at the information and support available on Jersey Business’s website at or email their team at  info@jerseybusiness.je.

If you have an urgent enquiry about how the schemes on this page work, email payrollcofunding@gov.je.


About the business measures

The Government has announced a series of extraordinary business support measures to protect businesses and to save as many Islanders' jobs as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is to make sure we are in a strong position to recover when the crisis is over.

The support available is the biggest financial expenditure made in Jersey's history.

Government Co-Funded Payroll Scheme: Phase 1

The Government Co-Funded Payroll Scheme (Phase 1) was a short-term emergency measure introduced to protect the most vulnerable employers and employees in the early stages of the Coronavirus disruption in Jersey.  It refunded eligible employers up to £200 per week for each employee they paid between 20 to 31 March 2020.  Applications for Phase 1 closed on 30 April 2020. Eligible businesses must have applied before this date.

Email payrollcofunding@gov.je with any queries.

Guidance for the Coronavirus Co-Funded Payroll Scheme: Phase 1

Coronavirus Government Co-Funded Payroll Scheme: Phase 2

The Government Co-Funded Payroll Scheme (Phase 2) follows on from the Phase 1 support but offers greater financial support over a longer period to many more different types of organisations. This includes businesses, charities, sole-traders and partners. There is further support for employers who wish to retain their staff but are unable to make the full contribution towards the agreed wages, even with the Phase 2 subsidy.

If you're an employer, you're still eligible for Phase 2 support if you have renegotiated working hours with your employees. Remember you must always act in line with Employment Law in Jersey.

Phase 2 support will be available for April, May and June 2020. The scheme will be subject to review regularly and may be extended beyond this time if disruption continues.

Support offered in Phase 2 for employers

If your business is eligible, you can apply for a refund of 80% of the first £2,000 of your employees’ wages up to a maximum payment of £1,600 per month per person. Before you apply for Phase 2 support, you must have paid the agreed wages to all eligible employees at the normal time.

If your business cannot afford to pay its workers even with the Phase 2 subsidy, because of severe and immediate financial problems, it can apply for a special exemption to make a smaller contribution to the cost of the wages than the scheme normally requires. In this case, you'll be asked to provide evidence about the business’s financial situation. It is your responsibility to act within Jersey Employment Law.

You can claim for:

  • employees who were named on the March 2020 Social Security contributions schedule
  • full-time and part-time workers, even if they also pay Class 1 contributions through another employer
  • employees on permanent, fixed-term and zero-hour contracts who have been paid their agreed wages during the month claimed for
  • employees who are excluded from paying Contributions because of their age or because they have an Election
  • employees who have just come back from sickness or maternity leave or other unpaid leave in line with a pre-planned return
  • staff who you re-employ, who were made redundant before 1 April 2020 in the early stages of the COVID-19 disruption 
  • employees working fewer than eight hours per week who were not on your contributions schedule if you can provide payslips for January, February and March 2020

You can't claim for:

  • staff employed through a third-party, such as an employment agency or a contractor. 
  • anyone who you pay more than £4,558 for the month you're claiming for (£54,696 per year)

Support offered in Phase 2 for business owners, sole-traders and partners

If you're an eligible business owner, sole-trader or partner, you can apply for 80% of your gross average monthly earnings in 2019 up to a maximum payment of £1,600 per month. This is self-declared but will be checked against your 2019 tax return when it is processed.

This support is only available if you earned on average less than £8,884 per month in 2019 (£106,608 in the year).

You can only claim once per month in April, May and June 2020 for a maximum payment of £1,600 per month regardless of how many businesses you're involved in. You should claim for the total gross average monthly income through one business at the end of the month you're claiming for.

If you started a new business or became self-employed in 2020, your Phase 2 subsidy will be based on 80% of a fixed income of £1,519 per month. This will give you a subsidy of £1,215 for April 2020.

Eligibility for Phase 2

To be eligible for Phase 2 support, a business, charity, sole-trader or partner must:

  1. operate in one of included sectors in the list below (included sectors are marked in green and ineligible sectors are marked in red):
  2. have suffered a 30% loss in turnover during the month you're claiming for (April, May or June 2020) because of the disruption caused by Covid-19

If your business is a company, your turnover is the business’ total operating income before deducting any allowable business expenses. This includes (and is not limited to): the sale of products and services, commission receipts, rental income, interest, and payments received for a business disruption insurance. Accruals accounting must be used for turnover calculations.

If you're a sole-trader or partner, your turnover is your business’ trading income before deducting any allowable business expenses. This includes (but is not limited to) income related to the sale of products and services, commission receipts and payments received for a business disruption insurance. Accruals accounting must be used for turnover calculations.  The business owners’ other sources of personal income such as personal property income, pension or investment income should not be included in turnover.

If you're a charity, your turnover is any income that the Charity receives including donations, investment income and government grants.

Phase 2: Eligible and Ineligible industries

In addition, if you're making a claim for the wages of your employees, you must also:

  • be registered as an employer for Social Security purposes
  • have already paid the staff included in your claim in the month you're claiming for (the payment is strictly a re-imbursement)
  • have submitted an Employer Class 1 Contribution return for Quarter A 2020 (January, February and March)
  • where applicable, have allowed staff to remain in their usual accommodation

If you're making a claim as a business owner, sole-trader or a partner, you must also:

  • have been liable for Class 2 Social Security Contributions in March 2020 or were exempt from making contributions because you were claiming Home Responsibility Protection (HRP), were over pension age or had a married woman’s election.
  • have not been included on a claim for any other business or organization
  • had a total average monthly income of less than £8,884 per month in 2019 (£106,608 in the year).  In this case, your average monthly income is:
  • any amount paid to the self-employed person by way of wages, salary, fees, bonuses, commission, overtime pay 
  • dividends paid by a company of which the person is a shareholder, where the income of the company derives from the person’s self-employment;
  • distributions made by a partnership in which the person is a partner;
  • business profits (a business’ trading income after deducting allowable business expenses) for a sole trader 

Average monthly income should be calculated by taking your annual income from the sources identified above and dividing it by 12 to reach a monthly amount. These amounts will be linked to your 2019 income declared for tax purposes.  This is identified as follows:  

  • your confirmed average monthly gross income for 2019 that will be or has already been included on your 2019 tax assessment
  • if you do not yet have a confirmed gross income for 2019, your average monthly gross income as confirmed on your 2018 tax assessment, if this is likely to be a reasonable estimate of your 2019 income.
  • If you do not yet have confirmed gross income 2019 and your income changed significantly between 2018 and 2019 (up or down) , use an estimate of your average monthly gross income the 2019
  • If you did not start trading until 2020 please use the Social Security start-up contribution rate of £1,519 as your average monthly gross income for 2019

Guidance on Phase 2 of the co-funded payroll scheme

The Government has issued the following Guidance related to Phase 2 of the co-funded payroll scheme:

Co-funding payroll scheme phase 2 - Guidance - issued 29 May 2020

Co-funding payroll scheme phase 2 - Guidance including tracked changes - issued 29 May 2020

FAQs on Phase 2 of the Co-funded payroll scheme

The Government will regularly issue FAQs to address questions asked about the operation of Phase 2 of the Co-funded payroll scheme:

Co-funded Payroll Scheme Phase 2 FAQs First Publication 29 April 2020

Co-funded Payroll Scheme Phase 2 FAQs Second Publication 29 April 2020

Co-funded Payroll Scheme Phase 2 FAQs Third Publication 30 April 2020 - Miscellaneous Questions

Co-funded Payroll Scheme Phase 2 FAQs Fourth Publication 2 May 2020 – Trading Groups

How to apply for Phase 2 of the Co-funded Payroll Scheme

You'll need to apply every month for support. Payments will be made from early May, depending on when you submitted your claim and whether any further information is required for us to process it.

For April the online form will close on 31 May 2020, and for May the online form will open on 29th May and close on 30th June 2020.

Apply for Phase 2 of the Co-funded Payroll Scheme form

Guide on how to complete the Phase 2 of the Co-funded Payroll Scheme online form

Jersey Business has provided this video to help you fill in  the form:

 

Business Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme

£50 million of new lending capacity has been created from 30 March 2020 through this scheme, £40 million of which is guaranteed by Government. The scheme was live as of 1 April 2020. 

The scheme helps businesses seeking to access working capital loans to manage Covid-19 related disruption. It allows banks to extend financing to businesses that are viable where the bank cannot lend on their normal commercial terms.

Qualifying businesses can apply to borrow between £5,000 to £500,000. This will be agreed between businesses and their banks, who may able to lend more outside of the scheme.

From 15 May 2020 the scheme has been expanded to allow all local businesses to apply, regardless of their sector and business activity. Those interested in the scheme should approach Jersey Business or their bank. 

To learn more about the scheme:

  1. complete the checklist for the scheme to ensure you are eligible and it is suitable to support your borrowing need:
  2. Checklist for business disruption loan guarantee scheme
  3. Refer to your bank or Jersey Business, Jersey Business can assist businesses seeking to access the scheme, helping to put together the necessary information. Jersey Business can also help businesses understand the wider support available.

FAQs for the Business Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme

Jersey COVID-19 Special Situations Fund (formerly the Jersey Recovery Fund)

This £50 million scheme is open for applications from qualifying businesses which deliver a public good or serve an essential strategic purpose for Jersey.

Applications will be considered by a panel of senior Government officials and independent specialists based on criteria to be published in May 2020, including:

  • demonstration that the business provides an important public good, or is strategically important to Jersey
  • demonstration that the measures introduced to manage the spread of coronavirus have been detrimental the business
  • a viable and time bound recovery plan for the business and exit strategy for Government

Support may be provided under the scheme in the form of grants, loans or equity positions.

If you would like to discuss a potential application to the scheme, email details to the Economy Team.

FAQs for the Jersey Covid-19 Special Situations Fund

Deferring the payment of Social Security contributions

To help businesses and self-employed individuals who have been most adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with their cashflow, the following measures have been put in place:
  • businesses with less than 80 employees and individuals who pay Class 2 contributions (including those who are self-employed) are automatically permitted to defer their payments for A and B quarters (payments due in April and July) by 12 months
  • businesses with 80 or more employees who can demonstrate that they have been significantly adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can apply to defer their payments for A and B quarters (payments due in April and July) by 12 months

Submitting your quarterly schedule

Whether you’re deferring payments or not, it’s essential that you continue submitting your schedule so you can access the Coronavirus Government Co-Funded Payroll Scheme: Phase 2.

If you can afford to pay some or all of your Class 2 contributions

All businesses and individuals (including those who are self-employed) who can maintain their usual payment schedule or a reduced payment schedule, without putting their business at risk, or laying off staff, are asked to continue making payments.

If you defer payments

If you employ less than 80 staff, you're automatically entitled to defer payments for 12 months and do not need to contact the department to request permission.

If you employ 80 or more staff and want to apply to defer your payments for A and B quarters email the Contributions Team or call +44 (0) 1534 444444.

The deferral of GST payments

GST-registered businesses can choose to defer the payment of GST relating to quarterly and monthly returns ending 31 March, 30 April, 31 May and 30 June. This scheme may be subject to extension.

Government rent deferrals or renegotiations

Rent deferrals or renegotiations, where the Government, or a Government-owned company, is a landlord to a local business.

The Government will be sympathetic to its business tenants who are suffering financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each request for rent deferral will be treated on a case by case basis.

Guidance for landlords and tenants of commercial property

The Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture has published Guidance to be followed by landlords and tenants of commercial property during COVID-19.

This Guidance acts as a pragmatic set of guidelines as to how landlords and tenants should be expected to behave during COVID-19 period which the Courts will adopt by way of a Practice Direction. This is extremely important in order to manage relationships and deal with potential conflict between Businesses and their landlords at this unprecedented time for the economy.

Guidance for commercial property

Guidance for landlords and tenants of residential property

The Minister for Children and Housing has published Guidance to be followed by landlords and tenants of residential property during COVID-19.

This Guidance sets out how landlords and tenants should manage residential tenancy issues during the COVID-19 coronavirus period. They provide guidelines in respect of how matters such as the payment of rent arrears and other sums paid by a tenant directly to a landlord (such as utilities and service charges) should be managed between the parties. 

The Guidance will be adopted by the Courts by way of a Practice Direction so that if, once the COVID-19 period is over, any tenancy disputes are brought to litigation, the Court will be able to determine whether the parties behaved reasonably. 

Guidance for residential property

You can find out more information about residential tenancies during the COVID-19 period on the Jersey Law website.

Additional resources for Jersey Business 

Additional resources provided Jersey Business enabling them to provide additional free-to-access professional business advice.

Individual businesses and sole traders are encouraged to speak to Jersey Business about the significant professional support, advice and guidance which is available at no charge to business.

Businesses facing financial difficulty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic should do the following:

  • review the schemes that are already in place (for example, Social Security Contribution and GST deferral)
  • contact their property manager should they be a business tenant of Government or a Government-owned entity
  • seek advice from their professional advisors – Jersey Business are available to assist and advise local businesses and to help direct them to additional professional advice
  • discuss their financial position with their bank’s relationship manager, to see what available assistance is available, for example additional loans or overdrafts
  • continue to support your staff, as best you can, during this challenging time
A scheme, managed through Jersey Business, to allow small businesses access to free initial consultations with qualified legal or accountancy professionals is now in operation.

Businesses who wish to access this help are asked to speak to Jersey Business.

Business continuity planning

The Government of Jersey and the Jersey Resilience Forum recommend that all organisations adopt robust and flexible business continuity arrangements. This will help to minimise any disruption from COVID-19.

The Government has produced a coronavirus business continuity checklist will help individual businesses to prepare their plans.

Coronavirus business continuity checklist

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