1 April 2020

Important update: do chair/space/room renters have to pay rent during closure? 

We have now received revised legal information on this topic. The latest advice, published today, can be found here. 

Paying rent on commercial premises 

The government has confirmed that commercial tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be protected from eviction if they cannot pay their rent due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

This scheme is currently in place until 30 June 2020. The government stresses that this is not a rental holiday. Tenants will still be liable for their rent and so will need to pay it at a later date. 

Please note: the Scottish Parliament has NOT yet confirmed that this scheme will apply to businesses in Scotland. 

Find out more on the government website. 

Minimum wage increases to go ahead 

The planned increase to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage will still go ahead on 1 April 2020. The NHBF and other industry leaders are urging the Low Pay Commission to take the huge economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak into account when considering the size and timing of any future increases. 

Salon and barbershop owners will need to apply the new rates from 1 April 2020 when working out the government’s 80% salary contribution for their furloughed staff as part of the job retention scheme.

Find out more about minimum wage rates for 2020/21.

Read our press release.

New annual leave arrangements 

It has been announced that employees will not lose any annual leave they are unable to take during the leave year because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The new regulations will allow up to four weeks of unused leave to be carried over into the next two  years. 

In normal circumstances, very little annual leave entitlement can be carried over. Employers are obliged to ensure their employees take their statutory entitlement to annual leave in any one year. 

Deferring tax and VAT payments 

The government has released further details about deferring Self Assessment tax and VAT payments. Go the government’s website to find out more about: 

Furlough: can furloughed employees, apprentices and business owners do any work? 

This is the current government advice:

A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation.
However, if workers are required to for example, complete online training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NLW/NMW for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.

We are currently pushing for clear answers from the government about whether or not employees, apprentices and business owners are allowed to do any work or training while they are furloughed and which 'work' or 'training' is a revenue-generating activity. 

We are doing all we can to clarify this as quickly as possible and will keep you updated.

See all updates