CEO Update - Economic Support Package
23 March 2020
A quick update from the team at the TSA. First and foremost, hope you and your loved ones are keeping well, which must be the number one focus for all of us during this time. Please ensure you take responsibility for yourself and all those whom you may come in contact with by following the government guidelines which we understand may be very challenging within our industry but simply do what you can. Let us know your thoughts and we will ensure to drive the conversations and keep you posted on all relevant updates. We have been receiving overwhelming support from all corners of this fantastic industry. Below are a few simple practical steps we all should be able to undertake to reduce the spread of the virus.
Described below are a few items that we hope you may find useful; I am sure many of you will be aware of these already but just in case.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
This will apply to all UK employers. There is still a lot of “small print” that needs to be answered but this is the information currently on the government website and has not changed in the last few days.
You will need to:
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.
The questions we are trying to get answers for you are listed below as we are aware it is very close to month-end and many of you will be or have run the wages for March. These are only based on desktop research and conversations. If you have more detailed information on any of the following and willing to share, please send it through.
The government is providing support for small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:
VAT & and Income Tax payments
Basically, it appears you should not be paying any VAT payments due to HMRC which for some of you will have a significant positive cash flow impact but for those that have just paid it no help for 3 months. Below is from the gov.uk website.
For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.
Eligibility - All UK businesses are eligible.
How to access the scheme - This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
Time to Pay
HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities. The website states that arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. If you’re worried about a future payment, please call us nearer the time. – I think this will apply to us all
If you are one of the very few businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure you should now be covered. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics, but we think it may be worth making you all claim and see their response to it.
We are currently lobbying to get hospitality laundries included with the schemes.
The team at the TSA are using every platform available to us to reach out to as many people and organisations in the textile services industry. We have had very encouraging engagement on Twitter and LinkedIn. We will now be sharing most information on Facebook to effectively reach all demographics.
In the current crisis, we are inviting all laundries to join the TSA at a time when we need to act as one. We are currently developing a list of non-member laundries to keep them updated and provide a flavour of the TSA membership benefits. If you are aware of any laundries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can actively engage them in our conversations.
We are looking at facilitating Webex meeting around specific topics. We will attempt to schedule focus-groups (for example, a web conference for the suppliers’ group) to keep the numbers manageable and we will repeat across all groups depending on demand. Shyju will send more out on this later.
I will try and send short relevant briefing every couple of days or as things change.
So far, the essential worker status for Healthcare operators seem to be accepted and we are on the list. The self-certification scheme for laundries servicing other essential sectors such as food, care homes, MOD, pharmaceutical etc seems to also be working. To date, we have had no verification problems but please do not abuse it.
If you need any further information on the self-certification scheme or if you have any other queries, please do not hesitate to let us know.
Chief Executive, Textile Services Association
Championing the Textile Services Industry
Update from the TSA Chief Executive - 13th May 2020
This is update number eight! Never even thought of numbering them when we started way back in March! We are starting to get into a bit of a routine around the lobbying, write a letter, get a standard reply, write another letter.
TSA - Open Letter to the Government - Textile Care Hospitality Industry - 12 May 2020
I am again writing another open letter to you as Chief Executive of the Textile Services Association (TSA), the trade association for the industrial and commercial laundry industry.
Update from the TSA Chief Executive - 6th May 2020
Another week in lockdown! As we celebrate VE day this Friday it starts to feel a bit like a war time effort, I wonder when we can celebrate our own VE day with regards to this war.