CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Updated 31/03/2020

INDUSTRY PRIORITIES

We are continuing to work alongside the broader alcohol industry to seek a suspension of alcohol duties, as cash flow continues to be the most pressing issue for cider makers.

There are areas where we are seeking additional clarity and these include more information regarding furloughed workers and working, correct calculation for business turnover.

There are some reports of shortages of essential materials from food and drink manufacturers – If anyone is experiencing shortages of PPE or ink for on-line printing, please let us know.

LATEST GOVERNMENT UPDATES

Small Business Grant Fundhttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding?utm_source=cb532f53-6d02-4f50-86d3-767af446c7e2&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Relaxation of Holiday Rules – workers will be able to spread unused holiday across to financial years – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/rules-on-carrying-over-annual-leave-to-be-relaxed-to-support-key-industries-during-covid-19?utm_source=c6e6eb22-18fd-4e76-9ec9-0eb32c478b5f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Job Retention Scheme – further details.

New guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been published. In a move that could save businesses an extra £300 a month for each employee under the scheme, the government will now cover the employer national insurance and minimum auto-enrollment pension scheme contributions employers pay on the wages they must pay their furloughed staff – on top of the wages covered under the scheme. Those furloughed can volunteer for the NHS without risking their pay  – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Competition Law relaxationhttps://www.gov.uk/government/news/supermarkets-to-join-forces-to-feed-the-nation

HMRC Tax Rules for working from homehttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-expenses-are-taxable-if-your-employee-works-from-home-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

USEFUL LINKS

Further information and advice is available from the government business support sitehttps://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

Business support measureshttps://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

FSA Guidance for Food/Drink Manufacturershttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

AHDB Support Page for Farmers and Growershttps://ahdb.org.uk/coronavirus

Updated 27 March 2020

ALCOHOL INDUSTRY IS INCLUDED IN KEY WORKER LIST

  • It has now been confirmed that alcohol producers, along with other food and drink producers,  are listed as key workers.
  • It is recommended that employees are provided with a letter from their employer, stating that the named person is a designated key worker according to the latest Government definition and is permitted to travel to their place of work as they cannot work remotely. It should include a site contact number. If stopped by police, this should be shown, along with photo ID, to confirm that their travel is essential.

BUSINESS SUPPORT AND PAYMENTS

HMT have provided a single place with details of all financial support measures recently announced.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

These include:

VAThttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-deferring-vat-and-income-tax-payments

Job Retention Scheme – Summary : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Full details available here:      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Self Employment Support – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

Support for businesses who qualify for Rural Rate Relief or Small Business Grant Scheme https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-that-pay-little-or-no-business-rates

Business Interruption Scheme  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme

Larger Business Support https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-larger-firms-through-the-covid-19-corporate-financing-facility

Protection for Commercial Tennantshttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#protection-from-eviction-for-commercial-tenants

HMRC Support for Taxes – Time To Pay scheme  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-paying-tax-time-to-pay-service

ADDITIONAL ADVICE

All latest government guidance for businesses can be found here –

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Updated 25 March 2020

EXCISE DUTY

We have been asking that excise duty be suspended urgently.  HMT have taken the decision not to suspend payments prior to the next beer duty deadline of today.

HMT have advised us that any members struggling to pay their cider duty bills or any other tax amount as a result of covid-19, should contact the HMRC helpline on 0800 0159 559. This is specific to the coronavirus situation and is being prioritised above other lines. After a series of options, users will be offered the opportunity to defer a payment using the Time To Pay (TTP) Service.

They added that there were challenges in contacting and dealing with HMRC last week. However, HMRC have increased resourcing to the coronavirus helpline since the weekend and availability yesterday and today is now good with service levels exceeding 90%. I am told 97% of people contacting the coronavirus helpline today about specialist taxes were able to get through. They encourage members to secure TTP arrangements using the helpline if they need them.

However, as announced at Budget, HMRC will also waive late payment penalties and interest where a business experiences administrative difficulties contacting HMRC or paying taxes due to COVID-19.

IF ANYONE HAS ANY PROBLEMS USING THE ABOVE HELPLINE, PLEASE LET US KNOW SO THAT WE CAN FEED IT INTO HMT URGENTLY.

We will continue to ask that excise duty is suspended ahead of the next round of cider duty payments due w/c 13 April.

SELF EMPLOYED

Ahead of the deadline for evidence for the Treasury Select Committee this week, we submitted evidence for suspending excise duty payments and better support for self employed, solo workers and other issues raised by cider makers.  We received the following response:

Thank you for your submission to the Economic impact of the coronavirus inquiry. The Treasury Committee have had an unprecedented response, receiving over 14,000 emails  – the majority on 23 March. The Treasury Committee has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, addressing a number of points that were raised in the submissions. This letter has been published on our website https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee/news/145725/more-action-needed-to-help-selfemployed-urges-treasury-committee/.

A further announcement is expected in the next 48 hours from the Chancellor.

WORKS CANTEENS

Latest information is:

Where there are no practical alternatives, other workplace canteens can remain open to provide food for their staff and/or provide a space for breaks. However, where possible, staff should be encouraged to bring their own food, and distributors should move to takeaway. Measures should be taken to minimise the number of people in the canteen at any one given time, for example by using a rota. Full guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

LATEST INFORMATION

Guide for employers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19?utm_source=35a89828-11cc-48e4-a706-2323b117986e&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Business Closures https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

Extra protection for businesses with ban on evictions for commercial tenants https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-protection-for-businesses-with-ban-on-evictions-for-commercial-tenants-who-miss-rent-payments

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility – Now open for applications https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/news/2020/march/the-covid-corporate-financing-facility

Apprenticeship programme response – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response

Financial assistance for employers unable to pay statutory redundancy payments – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-delivering-our-public-services?utm_source=d29049fa-d414-4c24-8cc2-7df647261069&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily

Updated 20 March 2020

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) are actively coordinating feedback for our sector and ensuring that all issues raised are included in ongoing discussions.  NACM is feeding in all concerns raised by members and affiliate members.  FDF held industry round-table discussions yesterday, which included NACM and were part of the broader business discussions with the Chancellor that took place overnight.

Updated: 19 March 2020

Over the last 48 hours we have spoken to as many members as possible and worked with our affiliate members* to better understand how the financial measures announced on Tuesday (17 March) can support cider makers.  It is clear that the majority of the measures are there to support retail and hospitality sectors and whilst many cider makers have some hospitality on site, they are rated as manufacturing so do not qualify for some of the support currently provided by the government.  We have therefore written to the Prime Minister today, asking for more support for cider makers. Whilst we welcome the financial aid that has been provided to the hospitality sector, those who supply it will also be heavily impacted and must also be supported.   Click here to view more: NACM-Letter-to-PM-on-Coronavirus.pdf

*Working closely with Three Counties Cider & Perry Association; South West of England Cider Association; Welsh Perry and Cider Association

Updated: 18 March 2020

NACM, along with the majority of organisations, is monitoring the situation closely.  The government is regularly updating their advice and their latest information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response.

It would not be appropriate for NACM to offer public health advice, but we will ensure that all relevant links to official advice services are available all in one place – see ‘Useful Links’ section below.

Any cider maker with specific concerns that are not resolved through these links, should contact us on info@cideruk.com   We will do our best to find answers where possible.

Current Status  – The latest advice from the government is as follows:

  • Where any individual member of the household displays any of the two symptoms of COVID-19 all members of the household should self isolate for 14 days: – During this time all social contact should be stopped, however where this is not possible i.e. where it is not possible to get help to purchase food or essential supplies social contact should be restricted as much as possible.
  • Members of the public who are not demonstrating either of the specified symptoms should also be seeking to stop any non-essential contacts: – People should work from home where possible and should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues.

Hospitality
For cider makers with pub, bar, café or restaurant on site, UK Hospitality has put together a specific Coronavirus page on its website, which offers a good summary of advice and action to date. It also offers a weekly newsletter and/or daily updates for those that wish to sign up:  https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/coronavirus

USEFUL LINKS

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-information-campaign-focuses-on-handwashing

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-announces-additional-support-to-protect-businesses

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19