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Government of Jersey’s support for Island’s businesses 

Published: 27 April 2020

This ‘espresso’ update breaks down guidance released on 24 April 2020.

More guidance has been released?

Yes, the Government of Jersey (the “States”) has listened to views from Islanders and updated its Phase 2 Covid-19 (C-19) Payroll Scheme.

In a nutshell, the Scheme has been updated to accelerate the recovery of the Jersey economy post C-19 and better help Islanders.

So the ‘significant detriment’ test has been replaced by the ‘material detriment’ test? I hate legal jargon – what is the test now in plain English?

To be eligible, an applicant must now have (a) suffered Material Detriment and (b) be in an included sector.

A business is considered to have suffered Material Detriment if during the relevant qualifying month it would be able to evidence a drop in turnover of at least 30% in 2020 or the same month in 2019.

What sectors are included and excluded from the Scheme?

It’s complicated – best for you to review the Scheme’s official list of included (green) and excluded (red) sectors found in this link:

https://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocuments/Government%20and%20administration
/ID%20Eligibility%20for%20Phase%202%20240242020.pdf

Has the amount of subsidy increased?

In short, no: the maximum subsidy available is still 80% of the lower of the qualifying person’s (a) normal rate or (b) £2,000 a month.

And I still have to pay my employees the other 20%?

It is expected businesses will pay 20% of workers’ wages and the taxpayer funds 80%. If a business cannot pay that payroll cost, it may apply for a special exemption.

I am self-employed. Please tell me that I can also participate in the Scheme.

Phase 2 includes self-employed workers also. The subsidy the States will pay shall be calculated using a self-declared average monthly gross income for 2019. A subsidy is not available for self-employed workers with total gross income of more than £106,608 a year.

Will Jersey charities be left without help?

Charities registered in Jersey which employ paid staff are eligible under the Scheme. However, they will be required to confirm Material Detriment which will mean that their donation, grant or other income has dropped by at least 30% during the qualifying month, when compared to a previous comparable month.

We remain on hand to assist with any concerns that you may have, including the legal implications of coronavirus on your business. If you need any further advice regarding employment matters, insolvencies or contractual queries, please do not hesitate to contact oliver.hughes@viberts.com.

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