ACC Club Survey

As mentioned in the August magazine, we would appreciate it if ACC Clubs could complete the survey below.

This will assist us in continuing to provide Coronavirus updates and also to tailor our services going forwards.

https://forms.gle/1MAaig5zXCjq7GQU6


ACC Risk Assessment

We hope that this ACC Risk Assessment Application will assist Clubs in planning for their re-openings.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdcpZM1uOo3cCNAjxy5xpTcfdJ0crlbP6Bge0MkEdyUennhyA/viewform

Once the document has been completed we suggest you print off a copy for your records or save a PDF of the form. We also advise you to submit the document once it is completed; this will allow the ACC to securely retain the completed document in case the Club is ever asked to produce the document in the future. This is a pilot project for the ACC but if it is successful we aim to further utilise this system in the future.

14 August

Live Music Update – England relaxes lockdown to permit live socially distanced music performances.

From Sunday, Clubs in England can host live music but both the singer and the audience must remain socially distanced.

For Clubs who are considering allowing live music, as per our update of 27 July, please see the following information you may want to use to assist with risk assessments.

Live Performances;

To ensure we meet the Governments Covid-19 Guidelines we ask performers to adhere to the following;

✔ To the artist – Live performances are restricted to the stage area only.

🚫 To the artist and audience – Moving around the club is prohibited during a live performance.

✔ To the artist – You must remain 3-6 meters away from the audience.

✔ To the artist – You must use your own microphone.

✔ To the artist – We ask live performances to keep the volume to an acceptable noise level, to prevent the audience from having to raise voices / shout.

✔ The audience must remain seated at all times. The club staff will enforce this.

🚫 The audience are not permitted to get up and dance. The club staff will enforce this.

✔ To the artist – The Club will provide you facilities to change, and take a break. Hand sanitiser and sanitiser wipes are provided.

✔ To the artist – You will be paid in full at the end of your performance. This will be left in an envelope at the end of the bar for you to collect.

✔ To support the Governments ‘Test and Trace’, you will be asked to purchase a ticket and provide your personal information.

⚠️ Everyone MUST adhere to social distancing throughout the event.

7 August

Revised Government Face Covering Guidance

From tomorrow, there is revised guidance which lists social clubs as requiring masks to be worn when inside. However, we understand that Private Member Clubs which serve alcohol do not come into this social club category. Private Member Clubs are classed along side ‘restaurants with table service and pubs’ as venues which do not require mask usage when customers are inside the premises. Therefore, Members and their guests can continue to use the Club without needing to wear a mask.

31 July

Breaking News: Coronavirus Lockdown Relaxation Put On Hold

The Government has put on hold the planned relaxation of some lockdown rules which were due to come into effect tomorrow. We will publish a full update as soon as possible but we currently understand that this means that live music in Clubs will not not be permitted from the 1st August.

Clubs should therefore not commence live music until permitted by the Government.

Wedding receptions, of up to 30 people, have also been delayed until a later date. These were due to be allowed from 1st August.

29 July

Carrying Unused Holiday Over Update

The government has passed new emergency legislation to ensure businesses have the flexibility they need to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and to protect workers from losing their statutory holiday entitlement. These regulations enable workers to carry holiday forward where the impact of coronavirus means that it has not been reasonably practicable to take it in the leave year to which it relates.

Where it has not been reasonably practicable for the worker to take some or all of their holiday due to the effects of coronavirus, the untaken amount may be carried forward into the following 2 leave years.

More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/holiday-entitlement-and-pay-during-coronavirus-covid-19#carrying-annual-leave-into-future-leave-years

28 July

Risk Assessment Live Music Update

For Clubs who are considering allowing live music, as per our update of 27 July, please see the following information you may want to use to assist with risk assessments.

Live Performances;

To ensure we meet the Governments Covid-19 Guidelines we ask performers to adhere to the following;

✔ To the artist – Live performances are restricted to the stage area only.

🚫 To the artist and audience – Moving around the club is prohibited during a live performance.

✔ To the artist – You must remain 3-6 meters away from the audience.

✔ To the artist – You must use your own microphone.

✔ To the artist – We ask live performances to keep the volume to an acceptable noise level, to prevent the audience from having to raise voices / shout.

✔ The audience must remain seated at all times. The club staff will enforce this.

🚫 The audience are not permitted to get up and dance. The club staff will enforce this.

✔ To the artist – The Club will provide you facilities to change, and take a break. Hand sanitiser and sanitiser wipes are provided.

✔ To the artist – You will be paid in full at the end of your performance. This will be left in an envelope at the end of the bar for you to collect.

✔ To support the Governments ‘Test and Trace’, you will be asked to purchase a ticket and provide your personal information.

⚠️ Everyone MUST adhere to social distancing throughout the event.

28 July

Annual General Meeting Update

We are now suggesting that when and where possible, small scale AGMs are held just to confirm the accounts and to endorse the Committee to continue until the next regular AGM in 2021.

An AGM held on this basis should be attended only by the numbers required to observe quorum limits. Essentially, the objective is to get the AGM done this year for legal purposes and aim to revert to the normal full AGM next year.

If the Members wish for an election to be held we suggest that it is done by ballot the week before the AGM. The results can then be announced to the limited number of people present for the limited physical AGM meeting.

The Committee can also utilise other electronic methods to provide a full update to Club Members be it by posting or email AGM reports to Members or holding electronic meetings with Members via Zoom or similar.

Therefore, whilst the AGM physical meeting should be limited in numbers, there are several ways that the Members can still be provided information regarding the Club and a Committee ballot held prior to the meeting would allow a safe election to take place if required.

27 July

Coronavirus Opening Updates – What is and is not allowed?

Live Music:

We have reviewed the updates and we now agree that the guidance now suggests that live music can be held, from the 1st August, within a Club if appropriate safety measures are put in place.

It is now therefore, up to the Committee to review the Club’s set up and be confident that if live music takes place that you can ensure social distancing takes place and that there is space between the performer and the audience. Clubs are advised to ticket events to avoid too many people turning up.

Please see the full statement from Equity:

Equity have announced that from Aug 1st:

Social clubs can open as long as they are Covid Compliant, they adhere to all the social distancing rules and that the entertainment is 3 – 6 metres away from the audience. This distance can be in height or distance. Night clubs are a different matter, as they are not classed as social clubs so the legislation referring the “nightclubs” means just that…night clubs where people drink, as opposed to social clubs with dedicated stages and entertainment rooms. So nightclubs are to remain closed.

Providing a venue’s main or sole use is for entertainment or they have a dedicated room for entertainment then August 1st is ok to open and book entertainment. It is suggested every act (or agent on their behalf) obtains a copy of the venues Risk Assessment and that obviously, every act should take all the necessary precautions when performing by not mixing with the audience or encouraging them to dance. The club/venue is responsible for what their customers do, and also it may be preferable to take your own soft drinks so as not to have to approach the bar. If a venue can’t pay by BACS, payment should be left in an envelope on the bar for the entertainer to pick up.

Also Public Liability insurance is now valid for indoor performances.valid. This is quoted from the Insursnce Company.

The information that we are giving out at present is that as long as the artist is meeting the current Government guidelines in relation to COVID then they would be covered by the insurance policy

The venue have by the looks of it put guidelines in place that the artist would be required to stick to and as long as they do not stray from these then cover would be in place.

It is very much up to the venue to decide the way that performers are moving around inside the building and also that social distancing is adhered to in relation to the audience and other performers

If the Government changes the guidelines such as imposing a local lockdown then of course the performances would need to stop.


Snooker and Pool:

We are pleased to announce that playing snooker and pool have now been permitted, assuming valid hygiene measures are in place. Whilst the statement below relates specifically to snooker clubs, we can confirm that this applies to Members’ Clubs if the appropriate Covid-19 hygiene control methods are in place. If snooker is permitted, hand sanitiser should always be used when handling the balls and it would be preferable if Members brought their own snooker cues rather than sharing.

Please see the formal statement from the Snooker Federation below:

Following our previous statements with regards to the re-opening of UK snooker clubs we can now provide a further update following developments today (Monday 6th July).

In recent weeks, working with the independent All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Snooker we have sought urgent clarity from the UK government through its Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on behalf of snooker clubs as to when they would be able to re-open. This followed the announcements made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 23 June concerning the ease of lockdown restrictions coming into effect from the 4th July.

It has been confirmed by Nigel Huddleston MP (Mid Worcestershire), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage at the Department for the DMCS that:

“Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Snooker clubs have been allowed to open since 4 July, as long as they can follow the COVID-secure guidelines.”

We can also confirm that the government guidance titled: ‘Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do after 4 July’ has today been updated and at section 1.3 it is clearly specified that ‘snooker halls’ are now permitted to reopen and are expected to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

There has understandably been confusion among snooker clubs during the past few days following conflicting advice received from both national and local authorities. We understand that in some cases enforcement action has been taken by local authorities to close some clubs over the past weekend and that some clubs have been advised that they could open, but not use their snooker facilities.

The WPBSA and EPSB are both therefore delighted to receive this clarity from Mr Huddleston and that our clubs will now be able to reopen.

We would remind all clubs, however, that they can only do so if they are able to strictly follow the COVID-19 Secure guidelines issued. Clubs must also be aware that their local Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may exercise their powers to close clubs if they cannot demonstrate that these guidelines are being strictly followed.

Please note that as stated within the latest guidance:

This is national guidance that applies to England only – if you live in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local lockdown measures have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult the local lockdown restrictions page to see if any restrictions are in place in your area.

People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

Darts:

Darts can be played but social distancing must be adhered to and procedures put in place to clean any common use items such as the darts before they are used by another player. Ideally each player should use their own set of darts during each game and these darts should then be cleaned before the next game is played.

Bingo:

Bingo can be played but shouting should be discouraged. A sound system and a microphone would be helpful if application is required.

Quizzes:

As with Bingo, quizzes can be held but shouting should be restricted and social distancing bubbles should be maintained.

23 July

Eat Out To Help Out Details and VAT Cut

Clubs which serve food can benefit from the Eat Out To Help Out Offer – details available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/get-more-information-about-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme/get-more-information-about-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme

We can also confirm that Clubs will benefit from the reduction to 5% for food and soft drinks sold.

Temporary VAT cut for food and non-alcoholic drinks – From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, to support businesses and jobs in the hospitality sector, the reduced (5%) rate of VAT will apply to supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises across the UK. Further guidance on the scope of this relief will be published by HMRC in the coming days.

If you supply food and non-alcoholic beverages for consumption on your premises, for example, a restaurant, café or pub, you’re currently required to charge VAT at the standard rate of 20%. However, when you make these supplies between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021 you will only need to charge 5%. Crisps and nuts are classified as food.

You do not need to reduce the final price to the public, you could keep the prices as they currently are but simply increase the profit margin on the items sold.

7 July

Furlough Changes

For the next few months, there will be various changes to the furlough scheme. Please see a summery of the changes below:

July: No change to current set-up. The state will continue to pay 80 per cent of salaries, plus National Insurance and pension contributions – employers are not required to pay anything.

August: The state will pay 80 per cent of wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers will now have to pay National Insurance and pension contributions.

September: The state will pay 70 per cent of wages, up to a cap of £2,190 per month. Employers will have to pay National Insurance and pension contributions, plus 10 per cent of wages to make up 80 per cent of the total, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

October: The state will pay 60 per cent of wages, up to a cap of £1,875 per month. Employers will then need to pay National Insurance and pension contributions, plus 20 per cent of wages to make up 80 per cent of the total, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

7 July

Snooker Update

We are pleased to announce that a clarification has been published today regarding playing snooker and pool and both these activities have now been permitted, assuming valid hygiene measures are in place. Whilst the statement below relates specifically to snooker clubs, we can confirm that this applies to Members’ Clubs if the appropriate Covid-19 hygiene control methods are in place. If snooker is permitted, hand sanitiser should always be used when handling the balls and it would be preferable if Members brought their own snooker cues rather than sharing.

Please see the formal statement from the Snooker Federation below:

Following our previous statements with regards to the re-opening of UK snooker clubs we can now provide a further update following developments today (Monday 6th July).

In recent weeks, working with the independent All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Snooker we have sought urgent clarity from the UK government through its Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on behalf of snooker clubs as to when they would be able to re-open. This followed the announcements made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 23 June concerning the ease of lockdown restrictions coming into effect from the 4th July.

It has been confirmed by Nigel Huddleston MP (Mid Worcestershire), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage at the Department for the DMCS that:

“Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Snooker clubs have been allowed to open since 4 July, as long as they can follow the COVID-secure guidelines.”

We can also confirm that the government guidance titled: ‘Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do after 4 July’ has today been updated and at section 1.3 it is clearly specified that ‘snooker halls’ are now permitted to reopen and are expected to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

There has understandably been confusion among snooker clubs during the past few days following conflicting advice received from both national and local authorities. We understand that in some cases enforcement action has been taken by local authorities to close some clubs over the past weekend and that some clubs have been advised that they could open, but not use their snooker facilities.

The WPBSA and EPSB are both therefore delighted to receive this clarity from Mr Huddleston and that our clubs will now be able to reopen.

We would remind all clubs, however, that they can only do so if they are able to strictly follow the COVID-19 Secure guidelines issued. Clubs must also be aware that their local Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may exercise their powers to close clubs if they cannot demonstrate that these guidelines are being strictly followed.

Please note that as stated within the latest guidance:

This is national guidance that applies to England only – if you live in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local lockdown measures have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult the local lockdown restrictions page to see if any restrictions are in place in your area.

People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

6 July

Visitor Track and Trace – What details are the Government asking for?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace

3 July

Correction: The email address from HMRC Linneweber refunds is gaming.machinetype3appeal@hmrc.gov.uk

2 July

Dransfields Provide Gaming Machine Safety Information Update

For Clubs re-opening, please review the published guidance here: https://www.toryclubs.co.uk/gaming-machines/

2 July

Club Insure Publishes Re-Opening Guide and Handbook

https://www.club-insure.co.uk/documents/Club_Insure-Reopening_Handbook.pdf

2 July

Update from the FCA regarding Annual Returns

“We are aware societies are still facing challenges preparing their annual returns and accounts.

While we ask societies to take steps to submit their returns to us as soon as reasonably practicable, we previously communicated that we will not take any action where returns due up until 30 June 2020 are delayed by up to 3 months. We committed to review this position in June.

We will not take any action before 31 October 2020 to follow-up on any delayed submission of annual returns and accounts. From 31 October 2020, for returns due by that date, we will not act to follow-up delayed submission where that delay is 3 months or less.”

2 July

BII releases Q&A’s on pavement licences.

https://www.bii.org/fileadmin/partner-files/downloads/Coronavirus/NEXSTART_Pavement_Licence_Guide_V1.pdf?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Business+++Planning+Bill&utm_campaign=Business+and+Planning+Bill+-+Q+A

1 July

Linneweber Re-Claim Update:

An Update from Chris Haley

“Via BACTA, we have sought further clarification about the level of information HMRC would require before entertaining claims for a VAT refund. HMRC have stated that whilst it is preferable if our members supplied the information listed in the HMRC business brief, if that wasn’t available HMRC would help applicants.

HMRC are looking to pay refunds quickly and the better the information supplied the easier it would be to expedite this. The Business Brief page has been updated to reflect this. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenue-and-customs-brief-5-2020-vat-treatment-on-fixed-odds-betting-terminals-and-gaming-machines/revenue-and-customs-brief-5-2020-vat-treatment-on-fixed-odds-betting-terminals-and-gaming-machines

The updated Business Brief certainly does seem more taxpayer focused so let’s hope they are true to their statement”

An update from Ian Spencer:

“I’ve had an email from HMRC this morning – I’ve emailed requests for repayments for the few clubs I acted for setting out name, address, VAT number and saying that HMRC have everything else they asked for.

They’ve responded by saying that they need tribunal references as that’s how they log the claimants – so I think if the clubs have this they should add this to their communications to HMRC – it will start either MAN/2006/, LON/2006? or TC/2010/ – although the year could change and then there will be a 4 or 5 digit individual reference number after the last backslash”

In respect of the Linneweber 1 claim (VAT periods preceding 6 December 2005) HMRC have gone on record to note that they will make payment to any entity which submitted a valid appeal, and followed this up with a valid appeal.

Pragmatically this refers to any person/organisation that made a claim followed it up with an appeal and was subsequently paid by HMRC in or around 2010/2011 and then in 2014 was obliged by HMRC to make repayment of the moneys received together with interest.

HMRC have asked that any entity in this position contact them – preferably by email to gaming.machinetype3appeal@hmrc.gov.uk noting the subject of the email as Gaming Machine Fiscal Neutrality Claim. HMRC then want to know/be supplied with

• Name and address of the entity

• VAT registration number of the entity

• The appeal reference of eth entity (this will be something starting MAN/2006/ or LON/2006/ or TC/2010 – from Southport I would guess your tribunal reference will start MAN as this was the closest tribunal centre at that time. The year may be 2006 but may be a later year. After this there will be a unique 4 or 5 digit number specific to yourself

• Amounts claimed separated by VAT period

• Copies of the partial exemption calculations and details of any irrecoverable VAT

• Details of any capital goods scheme adjustments and

• Classification of any gaming machine operated in the periods for which you seek repayment

We think it should be relatively easy for Clubs to provide name address and VAT number and possibly the tribunal reference. You may also have the claim broken down by VAT period – if so send this too, if not don’t worry just tell HMRC they already have that information on file as to have made the initial repayment they would have insisted on this.

In respect of partial exemption calculations if you have these we suggest they are sent as well. If you don’t have these what I would say to HMRC is that as far as you are aware the club was fully taxable with any exempt VAT being below the deminimis parameters, but in the event it wasn’t HMRC are now outside the statutory limits to make any assessment for disallowed input tax.

Similarly with capital goods scheme adjustments it is highly unlikely there would be any (unless in the 10 years preceding the claim the club spent more than £250K + Vat on a capital project) so I would just say this is not an issue and even if it were HMRC are outside the time limits to make any adjustment.

We would be very surprised if you have details of the types and classification of all machines operated (but life has a habit of proving me wrong in some instances) I suggest noting that HMRC already have that information as the machines were licensed for AMLD by HMRC and this would provide HMRC with that information.

We trust this helps – the only references you really need are your VAT number and the tribunal reference – all the rest is with HMRC already


30 June

Snooker Update From English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards

WPBSA/EPSB Statement: Club Statement:

“Further to our previous statements in respect of the re-opening of snooker clubs in the UK we can today provide a further update following guidance received from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Following the announcements made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK government on 23 June with regards to the relaxation of lockdown measures from 4 July, we have been urgently seeking clarity from the DCMS and the Sport’s Minister’s office as to their application to snooker clubs.

We have today (30 June) received further guidance from DCMS as follows:

“Licensed premises will be able to open from 4 July in their capacity as bars and restaurants but not for indoor sport use. Any opening will need to follow the government’s guidance for pubs, bars and restaurants.”

We understand that this guidance will come as a disappointment to clubs that had planned to open as snooker clubs from 4th July and together with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Snooker we remain in dialogue with government to ensure that snooker facilities will be able to be used as soon as possible.”

29 June

Changes under extended furlough scheme

Q: What changes have been made to the extended Coronavirus job retention scheme?

The key changes to the extended Coronavirus job retention (or flexible furlough) scheme are:

From 1 July the employer and employee can operate new arrangements where employees are partly furloughed and partly return to work.

In June and July, the Government will continue to pay furlough grants for the hours not worked by furloughed employees (ie 80% of wages, capped at £2,500).

From July onwards employers will be required to pay normal salary for any hours worked by employees.

From August employers will have to pay employers’ NI and relevant pension contributions on furlough pay or salary regardless of whether the employee is fully or partly furloughed.

In September and October employers will be required to contribute at least 10% and 20% respectively towards employees’ furlough pay so that the cap on the part of the grant paid reduces before the scheme ends in October.

Although employer contributions will increase from August onwards employees’ income should not fall below the 80% figure subject to the cap. The Government will therefore continue to contribute towards any non-working time of furloughed staff until the end of October.

Other points

From July onwards claim periods must be limited to a calendar month to fit in with the changing level of grant; overlapping months will only be permitted before July. Employers do not have to end an employer’s furlough period and re-start it each month from July onwards; it is the claim period and not the furlough period that must fit in with the monthly criteria. For further detail see our FAQ on whether employers have to end furlough and re-start it each month from July onwards.

The period claimed for needs to be for at least three weeks before July and at least one week afterwards, although monthly or fortnightly pay periods can be used.

The extended furlough agreements must be confirmed in writing. For employees who already have written furlough agreements there will be no need for a new furlough agreement in order to transition into flexible furlough. However, the employer should check the wording of the agreement and may need to agree the hours or days which the employee is now going to work during the furlough period. Employers must also report the hours employees have worked compared to the hours the employee would usually work. The grant claim will be based on the percentage of hours not worked and between July and October the grant cap will be proportional to the hours not worked.

Q: What are the main dates for the extended furlough scheme changes?

The main dates for the changes to the extended Coronavirus job retention or flexible furlough scheme are:

June

10 June: Any employees being furloughed for the first time should have been placed on furlough by this date for a minimum period of three weeks.

30 June: The furlough scheme closes to new applicants.

July

1 July: The new flexible furlough scheme starts for employers who have furloughed these employees previously. Furloughed employees can be partly furloughed and partly working from home or in the workplace and the grant can be claimed for the hours not worked.

13 July: Applications for grant under the first self-employed income support scheme close.

31 July: Final date for employers to make claims for the period to 30 June 2020.

August

1 August: From this date the level of the grant employers can claim from the Government will progressively reduce. Although 80% of furloughed employees’ wages can still be claimed up to a cap of £2,500 for hours not worked, employers must pay employer NICs and pension contributions even if the employee is fully furloughed. The ability to reclaim these items ends. Employers must pay employees for hours worked, plus NI and pension payments in the usual way.

September

1 September: The amount of Government grant that can be claimed reduces to 70% of wages, subject to a cap of £2,187.50, for the hours that the employee does not work. The employer must pay 10% to make up the shortfall and ensure the employee still receives the 80% up to a cap of £2,500 plus employers’ NI and pension contributions.

October

1 October: The amount of Government grant that can be claimed reduces to 60% of wages, subject to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work. The employer must now pay 20% to make up the shortfall and ensure the employee still receives the 80% up to a cap of £2,500 plus employers’ NI and pension contributions.

29 June

Useful Links For Re-Opening

Hand washing https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

Self-isolation https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

Social distancing https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others Includes pdf document to download.

Shielding https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Guidance for pregnant women https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/

Coronavirus FAQ’s: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Guidance for employers & businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

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

Guidance for food businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses

Guidance on food delivery and takeaway https://www.cieh.org/policy/coronavirus-covid-19/resources/

26 June

Sports Coverage Update

Club Mirror has released an update on watching sports in Clubs.

Read the whole article here: https://www.clubmirror.com/coronavirus/green-light-for-sport-broadcasts-with-safety-measures-in-place and see the below extract:

The new guidance released by the government for licensed premises seeking to re-open from the 4th July deals with entertainment provided in premises, including showing sport broadcasts. Given that the football seasons across the leagues have been extended into the summer, with all Premier League matches on TV (as well as some Premier League matches being shown on terrestrial TV for the first time ever), showing football will no doubt be something many premises would like to do. We have considered the guidance in order to give an overview on the Government’s advice.

Overview

The position is that showing broadcasts, including all sport, has not been prohibited by the guidance, subject to mitigation being put in place as set out below. As such, we consider that showing games and matches is permitted with additional safeguards being put in place.


26 June

Outside Areas Trading Update

Government publishes Bill to streamline the licensing process for use of outside areas and off-sales.

Luke Elford has been busy looking at the Government’s draft Business and Planning Bill 2020 and takes a look at how the Bill will work when and if it becomes an Act of Parliament.

Key points:

The Bill was introduced on 25 June 2020 and is scheduled to go through all stages in the House of Comments on 29 June

The Bill deals with, amongst other things, Pavement Licences and Alcohol Licensing with particular reference to off-sales.

PAVEMENT LICENCES

Any person whose premises in England includes a relevant use (pub, wine bar or other drinking establishment, or other use for sale of food for consumption on/off the premises) can apply for a pavement licence to put removable furniture on the highway adjacent to the premises for either or both of the following:

To sell or serve food or drink supplied from/in connection with the relevant use; and/or

Use of the furniture by other persons for the purpose of consuming food or drink supplied from/in connection with the relevant use.

The new rules apply to most highways in England but not to Crown land or land owned by Network Rail.

Applications are made to the relevant local authority (LA)

The application must:

• Be in writing in a form as the LA may specify

• Sent to the LA electronically as they may specify

• Accompanied by a fee not exceeding £100

• Specify the premises

• Specify the part of the highway to be used

• Specify the purpose of the use

• Specify the days of the week and the times of the day the furniture will be used

• Describe the type of furniture

• Contain/be accompanied by the relevant public liability insurance

• Contain/be accompanied by such other information as the LA may require

The LA must:

• Publish the application and any material accompanying it

• Publicise the fact that reps may be made during the app period and when that period ends

The consultation period is 7 days beginning the day after the day the application is made and the Applicant must:

• On day the application made affix a notice to the premises so it is readily visible and can be read easily by public

• Ensure the notice remains up until end of consultation

The notice will:

• Be in such form as required by LA (different approaches)

• State that app made and date mate

• Indicate that reps can be made during consultation period and when c period ends

• Contain such other info as LA may require (different approaches)

Before determining the application the LA must:

• Take into account any reps

• Consult the highway authority

• Consult such other persons as the LA considers appropriate

The LA may grant or reject the application. If they grant the application then can grant it for any or all of the purposes applied for and for some or all of the space applied for.

The LA can only grant the application if granting the application won’t

• Prevent traffic (not vehicles) from entering the highway

• Prevent traffic from passing along the highway

• Prevent normal access to the premises adjoining the highway

• Prevent use of vehicles not prohibited by a planning/traffic order

• Prevent statutory undertakers from having access to their infrastructure

• Ditto phone infrastructure

There is a process for applications to be “deemed” granted if not attended to by the LA. Applications are deemed granted 7 days after the day after the consultation period ends.

Licences will last for as long as specified by the LA, but this cannot be less than 3 months.

If Licences are granted with no limit then they will come to an end on 30 September 2021.

Holders of Licences will be able to surrender them if they need to, this must be done in writing.

The LA may publish conditions that apply to pavement licences.

Where a licence is “deemed” granted these conditions will apply.

If the LA consider that the holder of the licence has breached their conditions then they may revoke the licence or serve a notice requiring the holder of the licence to remedy the breach. If the holder of the licence fails to act then the LA can act and charge for it.

The LA can also revoke a licence if:

• Some of all of highway has become unsuitable for any purpose to which the licence was granted; or

• As a result of the licence there is a risk to public health/public safety

• As a result of the licence there is ASB/public nuisance or risks being caused

• The highway is being obstructed (effectively by people)

• Anything stated in the application was false/misleading

• The application was defective

The Licence grants deemed planning permission to put tables and chairs on the highway and anything done pursuant to the Licence is not street trading.

The Secretary of State may make guidance and may change the relevant date (30/09/21) with a later date, but not sooner

26 June

Dear ACC Clubs,

I am pleased to announce that we have successfully completed our office move and I hope Clubs will note our new correspondence address below.

In the 48 hours that we were offline we all received important information on how Clubs in England can re-open from the 4th July. We hope that Clubs in the rest of the UK will be able to re-open shortly after this. The information the Government provided was clear; Clubs can re-open but it is still not business as usual.

We have reviewed the guidance which has been published and have produced a summary which is available on this page.

We are also pleased to be launching an interactive Risk Assessment application which Clubs can use prior to re-opening. Click this link to launch the application.

Once the document has been completed we suggest you print off a copy for your records or save a PDF of the form. We also advise you to submit the document once it is completed; this will allow the ACC to securely retain the completed document in case the Club is ever asked to produce the document in the future. This is a pilot project for the ACC but if it is successful we aim to further utilise this system in the future.

It is clear that there is a lot of work ahead to enable Clubs to re-open on or shortly after the 4th July. It will be a challenge to adapt to the changes which have been requested but the prospect of welcoming Members back into our Clubs will surely make these temporary sacrifices worthwhile.

Clubs have the inbuilt advantage that we know our Members which aids, if necessary, contact tracing and many Clubs already have ample space which enables social distancing to be achieved both inside and outside. We do, however, suggest that an immediate change is implemented whereby all Members and Guests should sign into the Signing In Book upon entering the Club.

We will continue to monitor this situation and will be publishing further guidance on our website as appropriate. As ever, if any Club has any questions or needs any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Charles Littlewood

Deputy Chief Executive


25 June

Government Advice On Reopening

Clubs may be interested in reading the formal Government advice which has been published to assist with re-opening. Our risk assessment documentation package is due to go live later today or during tomorrow, at which point it will be linked to on this page and emailed to all Clubs who have signed up to our email newsletter.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e8e86650c278b077616/Keeping-workers-and-customers-safe-during-covid-19-restaurants-pubs-bars-takeaways-230620.pdf?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=INNfocus%3A+your+Thursday+briefing&utm_campaign=25+6+2020+INNfocus

The key points to note from the guidance document, which was released at 03:00 on 24 June 2020 are as follows:-

• The document is guidance. Nothing in the document is an absolute requirement but businesses will want to risk assess, cut their cloth accordingly and be seen to be working with local initiatives

• Applies to any food preparation or service setting where food and drink is sold for consumption at the venue or for takeaway

• Feedback on the document can be provided to safer.workplaces@beis.gov.uk

Each business is to translate the document into actions it needs to take depending on:

• Nature of the business

• Size and type of the business

• How the business is organised, operated, managed and regulated

• Businesses should monitor their own measures as they go along

• The guidance does not override any legal obligations

• Businesses must carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

• Talk to staff about the risk assessment and about what they think you can do to keep them safe

• Expected to respond to any advice given by enforcing authorities (provided the advice is correct)

• Make a reasonable effort to comply with physical distancing guidelines e.g. 2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m not viable – consider and set out the risk mitigations in your risk assessment)

Mitigating actions include:

• Increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning

• Using screens or barriers

• You should assist track and trace by keeping a temporary record (21 days) of customers and visitors in a way that is manageable for your business – This should be done by having everyone, including Members, sign in the Club’s guest signing in book upon entry.

• Prevent large gatherings or mass events taking place

• Calculate the number of customers that you can safely have in the premises

• Reconfigure seating to maintain physical distancing

• Introduce signage re: physical distancing and hygiene – at premises and on website

• Manage numbers to ensure physical distancing. Customers inside to be seated. Customers outside to be seated/appropriately spaced

• Make customers aware of and encourage compliance with limits on gatherings

• Hand sanitizer on entry

• Consider customer flow – one-way systems etc.

• Scheduling deliveries/collections to minimize contact

• Physical distancing when taking orders

• Minimise self-service of food, disposable condiments

• Reduce surfaces touched

• Encourage contactless payment where possible

• Minimise contact between staff and customers

• Indoor table service must be used where possible

• Single staff member per table

• Outdoor table service encouraged

• Where bar service unavoidable – prevent customers from remaining at the bar

• Staff only to collect and return glasses

• Use outdoor areas where possible

• Signs and posters in toilets

• Hand sanitizer on way in to toilets

• Use/cleaning guidelines for toilets – put up a cleaning schedule and stick to it

• Keep facilities well ventilated

• More waste facilities/rubbish collection

• Tell customers that failure to follow the rules = refusal of service

• Consider minimum staff requirements

• Physical distancing in all parts of the business

• Reducing movement around the premises

• Manage high traffic areas

• Take steps to avoid people having to raise their voices

• Reconfiguring indoor entertainment spaces

• Enhanced cleaning

• Clean objects and surfaces regularly

• Washing hands after handling customer items e.g. plates

So this has given us a good bit of “guidance” but it must be remembered that this currently is not enshrined in law, It is not mandatory, it is guidance.


25 June

Message From The ACC Chairman

Dear Colleagues,

This past few weeks will have been amongst the most trying for our Clubs for almost as long as we can remember. I have kept in contact with my local Clubs here in NE Bedfordshire, and all have been coping, but they are now looking forward to the easing of restrictions and getting the doors open once more.

I am sure you have all been doing the same, and wanted to repeat again my pride at being your Chairman, particularly at a time when you, our Clubs and our members will have been in the forefront of community activity and generosity, which has so marked these past few months. I know they will all have been greatly supported from the centre and our team at the office, who have not missed a beat.

That first pint is going to taste especially good! I look forward to seeing you all in person whenever it can be arranged, and wish you and all our members well for what I hope will still be a great summer.

All the best

Alistair

Rt Hon Alistair Burt


25 June

Re-Opening Update

The Prime Minister made his long-awaited statement to the House of Commons yesterday (23 June 2020) regarding the further easing of restrictions which will allow much of the hospitality sector to reopen in England on 4 July. This includes hotels (and other self-contained accommodation), pubs, restaurants, cinemas and galleries but does not include a number of other premises, including nightclubs and casinos.

The announcement confirms that rules will be relaxed but not abolished altogether. Initial, and in some cases very high level, guidance has been released with more detailed guidance to follow. Key points for the hospitality sector in England to note are:

One metre plus – Crucially, distancing rules will be relaxed with a “one metre plus” rule being introduced. This means that people should stay two metres apart wherever possible, and where that is not possible, they should remain one metre apart while continuing to reduce the risks of transmission by taking precautions.

Test and Trace – In order to help NHS Test and Trace respond to any local outbreaks, businesses should collect contact details from customers and visitors and keep a temporary record for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for the business in question.

Food and drink – Indoor hospitality will be limited to table-service and, as noted above, guidance encourages minimal staff and customer contact and sets out steps that will usually be needed (see the protecting staff, customers and visitors section below for more on this). People should only visit a restaurant in their household groups (or support bubbles), or with one other household, or with up to five other people outdoors.

People are however still required to socially distance, whether meeting indoors or outdoors. Much of the guidance for pubs, restaurants, bars and takeaway services focuses on social distancing aspects with a large number of objectives and steps outlined. A few of these are:

Managing the entry of customers, and the number of customers at a venue, so that all indoor customers are seated with appropriate distancing, and those outdoors have appropriate spaced seating or standing room. Managing entry numbers can be done, for example, through reservation systems, social distancing markings, having customers queue at a safe distance for toilets or bringing payment machines to customers, where possible.

Reducing contact by encouraging technology use (e.g. ordering online, on apps or over the telephone to reduce queues and stagger pick up times) and adjusting service approaches such as assigning a single staff member per table.

Considering further lowering capacity on the basis that even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue.

We expect that seating and serving customers from more than one household together and in a safe manner will be a challenge, especially as very specific details as to how this should be achieved are not provided.

Protecting staff, customers and visitors

Businesses will be required to take certain steps to protect staff, customers and visitors. Detailed guidances have been issued and those businesses now permitted to re-open on 4 July will be carefully considering this guidance. Risk assessments will be reviewed and revised and the many necessary safety measures requiring implementation will be progressed.

Many in the hospitality industry have already been reporting on the steps taken to ensure premises are going to be, as the HSE now refers to it, ‘COVID secure’. There will be new and enhanced, deep cleaning. For shared areas of premises, this will be particularly important where there are frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, elevator buttons, and within toilet areas. The provision of hand wash facilities or hand sanitiser stations at entry and exit points will also need to be considered.

While the public are being encouraged to limit social interaction with anyone outside the group they are attending a place with, even if seeing other people they know, it is not yet clear how, in reality, hospitality businesses should police social distancing rules beyond reminding customers and visitors of the relevant rules both in person and by displaying relevant information.

We hope to be launching our Risk Assessment tool later today.

25 June

Office Move Update

As a result of the office move we have had some technical issues which is currently presenting us from receiving emails and phone calls. We hope this will be resolved during the course of today. In the interim, we are working on a risk assessment based on the Government’s announced re-opening date of 4th July for Premises within England and this document will be published on this page and also emailed to all Clubs signed up to our email newsletter.

24 June

Covid Update and ACC Office Move Update

The ACC is currently moving offices and we are presently unable to receive emails or phone calls although we hope to have this resolved by the start of the the 25th June.

We will be providing risk assessment information regarding the Government’s announcement that Clubs can reopen in England from the 4th July and will also be providing further guidance. This will be published on this page and also emailed to Clubs which have signed up to our email Newsletter.

In the interim, please see the formal guidance which has been published here.

Our very preliminary thoughts is that Clubs will be able to re-open under the proposed conditions but some changes will be desirable. The good news is that Clubs already have an existing system for recording the details of people who enter the Club through the signing in books. We would suggest that these are temporarily expanded so that all persons visiting the Club, Members and Guests alike, enter in their details when they enter the Club. This will fulfil the requirement to record the details of those persons visiting the Club.

The endeavour to avoid people queuing at bars will be harder to immediately solve, and the Government is recommending that table service be introduced. Club Committees will have to be decide how they can introduce effective table service inside the Club. Finally, we would advise all Clubs to look into getting card machines so that customers can pay without having to pass cash to Club employees.

Many suppliers will be able to provide protective screens and health and safety equipment to Clubs, including Amazon who sell a wide variety of this equipment – https://www.amazon.co.uk/b?node=21657905031&s=review-rank&lo=grid

22 June

Re-opening Advice From YDP

Dear Club Officials,

We hope that you are faring well and continue to look forward to a return to normality.

The hospitality industry has felt the effects of shutting down as greatly as any, and it’s only right that clubs are now raring to go. Opening clubs is not only essential for their survival but will provide great comfort to their communities. This week the government will set out guidelines including measures for opening. It is expected to push ahead with its proposed date of 4th July and is may well reduce the 2 meter distancing rule, but we await confirmation of all of this.

Not all clubs will want to open straight away and may prefer to wait until they fully understand how safe that is and what will be required. For all there are a number of considerations to address first:

Beer destruction – Your brewery should have been in touch with instructions regarding out of date beer. This is usually done online and must be completed by 31st July. Some clubs will need to complete it before reopening to free up space.

Ordering – Breweries will be providing reduced products for now. Consider reducing the number of lines you are using and providing more bottles. It’s not clear yet how much demand there will be and what limits you will have to impose on capacity the the bar.

Outdoor Space – Clubs with outdoor spaces will be at a great advantage to begin with and should make the most of this by moving as many tables outside as possible. Don’t worry if you haven’t got lovely picnic benches, it’s all about keeping people distanced and reducing the time spent together in closed spaces.

Social Distancing – Whatever the government announces this week the club should think carefully about how to use the space they have to keep members at a distance. Limiting the number of members aloud in is essential. Exact number will depend on the government advice we are waiting for this week.

Contactless Payment – The club must rearrange the bar to keep staff and members apart and it is vital to accept card payments. If you don’t have card readers yet please contact YDP to arrange them.

Furloughed Staff – From July, clubs will be able to bring back staff part time, with the government still paying furlough for the days not worked.

Please don’t forget that all your staff have been accruing holiday during furlough which must be managed. You may consider asking them to take these days while they are still on furlough. To do this you must give them adequate notice and top their pay up to 100%.

Clubs with casual and emergency staff on furlough must understand that as the scheme begins to reduce, clubs will have to pay National Insurance, Pensions Contributions and a percentage of wages moving forward.

Opening Hours – Clubs should consider opening in stages with limited hours. You can then react to the new level of demand by agreeing opening hours that suit. Don’t forget stay in contact with your members and explain the changes. Post on your Facebook pages, adjust your opening hours on google or email your members to let them know.

22 June

Message From The Chief Executive

I hope all Clubs are coping in this difficult time and during this enforced period of ‘hibernation’. As I write this, there is some hope that Clubs will be able to re-open in July but we are waiting for the specific details to be announced. All updates will be covered on our website: https://www.toryclubs.co.uk/coronavirus-updates/ If any Clubs are having problems then please let the ACC team know.

Clubs should ensure that they have received government grant funding of £10,000 or £25,000, depending on their rateable value, which is available from local authorities. If your Club has not yet received this grant, then please contact your local authority and let the ACC know if you have any problems.

I am pleased to announce that the ACC’s London Head Office is moving. From the 23rd June we shall be operating from new premises located at The Bell Building, 1 Norfolk Row, London, SE1 7JP. Our telephone lines, email addresses and website will all remain unchanged and for a period of time letters will be redirected but please update your records to reflect our new office address as soon as possible.

This move is the reason why we have combined the June and July editions of the Magazines. We will return with normal service with our August magazine and in the interim we shall be posting all Coronavirus and other updates on our website.

As a result of the office move, we do not expect to be in a position to reply to emails or phone calls on either the 23rd June or the 24th June. Please therefore be patient if you need to contact us as there may also be some minor disruption in the days following the 24th June but we hope to keep this to a minimum.

Our website will continue to be updated during this period and we shall continue to have the ability to send emails to our email subscribers. For that reason, if your Club has not already subscribed to our email updates can I please ask you to do so now: https://www.toryclubs.co.uk/#subscribe

I sincerely hope that by the time our August Magazine reaches you, Clubs will be back open for business and serving their members and local communities.

Lord Smith of Hindhead CBE

Chief Executive

21 June Update

1. Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

A number of changes will be made to the scheme from the 1st July.

• The scheme will only be available to employers that have previously used the CJRS and only for employees they have previously furloughed.

• Employees can be flexibly furloughed, enabling part-time working.

• The scheme becomes less generous. Employers will have to continue to pay staff 80% but will receive less from the Government, see chart here. Clubs should start planning what impact reduced funding and potentially reduced capacity due to social distancing will have on staffing levels.

2. Staff holidays

A number of clubs are worried that when they re-open there will be staff shortages as employees take holiday. An employer can ask an employee to take holidays during furlough but 2 days’ notice must be given for every one-day holiday; as an example, if you ask a staff member to take 5 days holiday 10 days’ notice must be given.

3. Local Authority Coronavirus Grant

The availability of the £10,000 or £25,000 grant closes at the end of June and we are still encountering clubs who have not claimed these funds. Please note if you are not paying rates because you are in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief the club is still entitled to this grant.

4. Bounce Back Loan

With a 2.5% interest rate, first year repayment holiday and no guarantee these loans are popular with many clubs. The loans can be used to repay other more expensive bank and private loans, brewery loans or to carry out refurbishments in the club. Application should be made on-line with the club’s bank who frequently advance the funds within 24 hours. Some banks, Barclays in particular are having difficulty processing these loans but the club should persist with the application.

5. Other Grants

To assist clubs who have missed out on other sources of grants the Welsh Assembly Government is re-opening the Economic Resilience Fund on the 29th June – https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/ To complement other sources of funding Sport Wales provides funding of up to £5,0000 to sports clubs – https://www.sport.wales/content-vault/emergency-relief-fund/

6. Rank & Linneweber Gaming Machine Case

We have written separately to clubs who may have valid gaming machine VAT Tribunal appeal in respect of 2003 to 2006. We are dealing directly with the HMRC team reviewing these claims and hopefully repayments will be received before the end of September 2020.

For those clubs with a second claim for the period to 2007 to 2013 the Courts will not be deciding the case until later this year. A club should not really on this rebate until received as there are still hurdles to overcome with HMRC.

7. VAT and direct debits

Remember you need to reinstate their VAT direct debit if the club cancelled it as the VAT deferment scheme ends 30 June. Whilst closed many clubs will be receiving VAT rebates and with potential gaming machine rebates, VAT refunds may be delayed without an active payment and repayment bank account.

Any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

20 June

HMRC Update and Reminder – Machine Games Duty should still be paid

Please see below the message from HMRC that they have asked us to pass to all Clubs. Essentially, it is a reminder that the Machine Games Duty still need to be paid and that Clubs should not fall behind with these payments.

You’ll be aware that MGD is a tax on the profits form gaming machines etc and that is payable by the person responsible for premises on which machines are located.

Businesses must file their MGD return and make their payment within 30 days of the end of their accounting period. An accounting period is 3 months unless a different accounting period has been arranged with HMRC. Businesses who don’t file their return on time get a central assessment letter (CA) from HMRC. CAs give an amount due (which has been automatically calculated using historic data) and demand immediate payment. This letter is sent through an automated system. The next batch of CAs are due to be sent to businesses this week.

Our hope in sending out CAs is that the businesses receiving them will file a return for what they correctly owe and pay that amount. We don’t want businesses to pay the amount of the CA if that isn’t what they owe. Due to the COVID-19 situation we realise that there may be good reason for businesses not sending their return on time and, if businesses are closed, it is likely they will not have any tax to declare. However, it’s important that HMRC receive these returns even if the tax due is nil.

Businesses do not need to use a HMRC-issued return – they can download a blank return to complete online or alternatively they can sign-up for our online services and submit the return online. More information about this can be found on GOV.UK. We would appreciate your assistance in cascading this message to your stakeholders, especially those who are responsible for premises on which gaming machines etc are located.

We would also like to let you know about Time to Pay for those having problems paying their tax because of COVID-19. If businesses cannot pay their tax because of COVID-19, we can agree ‘time to pay’ arrangements with them. We agree these on a case-by-case basis and tailor them to meet their circumstances. We’ve set up a dedicated helpline for dealing with time to pay arrangements. If businesses need help or want to talk about their options, they can phone us on 0800 024 1222. More information on this can be found on GOV.UK

Kind regards,

HMRC


15 June

Furlough Update

It remains the case that during any hours when the employer records their employees as being on furlough they cannot undertake any work for their employer or any associated on linked organisation – although they can undertake training (being paid at least the National Minimum Wage (“NMW”) for any compulsory training), volunteer for another employer or organisation, work for another employer (if permitted), and undertake union/non-union representative and pension trustee duties.

However, from 1 July, employers will have the option (although no obligation) to bring previously furloughed employees back to work, for any amount of time and on any working pattern, and still claim under the CJRS for the portion of their “usual hours” that they have not worked. This may be useful for Clubs which are planning to reopen on a reduced hours basis or operate with a skeleton staff whilst demand is gauged.

Flexible furlough arrangements can last for any length of time (and can be agreed more than once), although the minimum period that an employer must claim for is seven calendar days.

The guidance is clear that flexible furlough arrangements need to be agreed with employees (or their trade unions) and recorded in a “new written agreement” which is kept for at least five years. M This is in contrast to full furlough arrangements, which the guidance now states only have to be agreed and “confirmed” to the employee in writing – the employee does not have to provide a written response.


10 June

YDP Payment Systems – The New Normal

There is still huge uncertainty about when we might start to open bars up and what that will look like. One major change may be to limit cash transactions. Many retailers have stopped taking cash all together, to reduce risk of handling notes and coins between people. The government has also raised the contactless limit from £30 to £45 to support this.

If you don’t have card machines, or are looking for a cheaper alternative, YDP can provide payment solutions to help you deal with this demand.

YDP’s chosen payment partner offers a 1.75% fixed transaction fee, no matter the amount charged or type card used. YDP Payment Systems are also able to provide all the necessary equipment, training and support required by your club. We are using this down time to make sure clubs have everything they need to turn a profit once they are open and this may be the perfect time to take a closer look at the equipment your staff are using behind the bar.

Please contact YDP for further details by emailing info@ydp.co.uk or calling 01933 358 080. Please also visit and like our Facebook Page. It’s never been more important to stay connected.

9 June

We are endeavouring to assist Clubs in sourcing items which may be needed when re-opening. This is not a tested or exhausted list but may assist Clubs who are looking for specific items.

Protective Screens – http://protection2020.co.uk/

Hazard Tape – https://www.amazon.co.uk/2-inch-Marking-Tape-Premium-Splicing/dp/B07HCJRN6D/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=hazard+tape&qid=1591699917&sr=8-6

Hand Sanitiser Pump – https://www.amazon.co.uk/2-inch-Marking-Tape-Premium-Splicing/dp/B07HCJRN6D/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=hazard+tape&qid=1591699917&sr=8-6

Card Readers: Square – https://squareup.com/gb/en or YDP – http://www.ydp.co.uk/

8 June

Re-Opening Guidance

We are reviewing the guidance for re-opening and will be publishing full details when further information is available.

In the interim, please see this infogram with some information about how pub operators are looking to re-open premises: https://www.toryclubs.co.uk/infogram/


4 June

GOOD NEWS FOR CLUBS AS LINNEWEBER CASE REACHES CONCLUSION

Clubs who put in a valid appeal to HMRC six years ago during what is known as ‘The Linneweber Case’ should now receive back the monies that they were forced to repay to HM Revenue and Customs six years ago. Dransfields MD Chris Haley explains:

“The Linneweber Case began in Germany, where under EU law, it was ruled unfair to have different VAT treatments between gaming machines sited in a casino and those sited in other locations. The ruling on fiscal neutrality stated that the treatment should be the same, and all machines should be exempt, or all machines should be taxable, regardless of location. The case of The Rank Group Plc concerned the application of VAT to certain gaming machines prior to 5 December, 2005 was based on the fact that the income from them was being treated differently for VAT purposes.

As a result of publicity around the case, many hundreds of clubs made claims worth thousands of pounds each which were then stood behind The Rank Group plc lead case.

While The Rank Group plc won the case initially, it then lost at Appeal at which point HMRC reclaimed the monies previously paid out to clubs as well as charging interest on this amount. This in itself was a controversial move as the case had yet to be finally settled. After Appeals and court hearings – including at the Supreme Court – the case has finally been ruled upon for the last time and HMRC should begin to pay taxpayers that had valid claims stood behind the lead Rank case. The amounts that clubs which put in a valid Appeal will receive back could be substantial, being the full amount claimed, the interest thereon and the interest that clubs paid to HMRC six years ago. HMRC should calculate and pay interest on that whole amount from the date they claimed the monies back, to the date that they make the repayment now. The repayments could not come at a more crucial time for clubs as they begin to open up and try to recover from the effects of the Coronavirus lockdown.

HMRC have now issued guidance on how to make repayment claims with the onus on the taxpayer to chase the claim (rather than them paying out to all those with valid Appeals). A lot of clubs used their accountants to calculate and submit the claim, so they will have the required information.”

In that business brief HMRC set out that they now require to validate claims with claimants providing;

· the claimant name, postal address and VAT registration number – including details of any changes since the original claim was made

· all related Tribunal reference numbers

· the total claim, broken down by reference to each VAT accounting period separately identifying output tax, input tax and the Tribunal reference number

· details of any input tax that is irrecoverable as a result of the claimants revised partial exemption position as applicable at the time of the claim – this should include the supporting partial exemption calculations, capital goods scheme calculations and confirmation of the partial exemption method in use

· the category of gaming machines operated in the period for when the claim was made

This may create a problem for clubs as those details may not be readily to hand, or the persons involved in the original claim and its follow up actions may no longer be active at the club, or as it is at least 6 years ago that Clubs submitting the documents they may no longer have these documents in their possession.

For details of how to claim visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenue-and-customs-brief-5-2020-vat-treatment-on-fixed-odds-betting-terminals-and-gaming-machines/revenue-and-customs-brief-5-2020-vat-treatment-on-fixed-odds-betting-terminals-and-gaming-machines.

Clubs should be aware that we believe the current information requirements needed by HMRC to be excessive and will be lobbying HMRC to reduce these document requirements. All that should be required is for each Club to note that it made a claim that was repaid , that HMRC have details on file (all documents sent to HMRC post 2000 (and probably earlier) are scanned and kept on an ‘electronic folder’ and ask HMRC to make payment of the original claim submitted and evidenced or verified by HMRC at the time of the claim, together with interest on the whole sum plus return of the interest charged by HMRC in their protective assessment (and interest thereon). We will be asking HMRC to consider this approach and will update Clubs accordingly.

Some Clubs were represented by Ian Spencer and can contact Ian here for assistance with this follow up claim: 07904 864209

We will provide further updates as soon as possible.


3 June

Employers to start paying towards staff furlough scheme from August 2020

The government has outlined further details regarding the government job retention scheme (GJRS), which will require employers to contribute to employee costs from August 2020, while introducing extra flexibility from 1 July 2020.

The government will continue to pay 80% of employees wages, capped at £2,500 until October 2020, however, employers will need to start paying national insurance and pension contributions, representing 5% of employment costs, from August 2020.

Employers will be able to bring back furloughed employees part-time from July 2020 and be responsible for paying this proportion of their wages.

Furthermore, from September 2020, the government will begin to phase out the furlough scheme by decreasing payments by 10% and decreasing the maximum payment by £313. Employers will then be able to claim 70% of employees wages, capped up to £2,187, representing 14% of employment costs.

From October 2020, the government will pay 60% of wages capped up to £1,875, a further decrease of £312, representing 13% of employment costs.

The self-employment support scheme has also been extended to October 2020.

Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, said: “Our top priority has always been to support people, protect jobs and businesses through this crisis. The furlough and self-employment schemes have been a lifeline for millions of people and businesses. We stood behind Britain’s businesses and workers as we came into this crisis and we stand behind them as we come through the other side.

“Now, as we begin to re-open our country and kickstart our economy, these schemes will adjust to ensure those who are able to work can do so while remaining amongst the most generous in the world.”


2 June

The checklist to help Clubs stay legitimate post-lockdown

At the time of writing (1 June), we are still awaiting both relaxation of the lockdown regulations and guidance for the hospitality sector from the Government on reopening and, until then, there are still unanswered questions. Please see the link below for some information on possible reopening procedures.

https://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Article/2020/06/01/Covid-19-lockdown-and-emerging-legal-trends-for-pubs?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright

1 June

We have been asked to provide to Clubs information on water safety. Please see the advice below:

The lockdown restrictions in place over the last couple of months has meant several business premises have been forced to close which means water within the building plumbing systems will have been left stagnant. This can cause the water quality to deteriorate within the plumbing system in a number of ways:

• Warming of water

• Growth of micro-organisms (e.g. bacteria, legionella)

• Increased leaching of metals found in plumbing (could cause discolouration)

• Taste and odour from prolonged contact with some plumbing materials

We would like to bring to your attention the steps that should be taken to remove any stagnant water and renew your water supply before your workforce return to work and use the water.

1. Identify all items that use water within the building (taps, showers, appliances, toilets, urinals, drinks machines, bathrooms, etc) and any water storage (tanks and cisterns). Anything storing water should be emptied and refilled first.

2. Then gently flush all cold-water outlets individually starting with the tap nearest to where the water enters the building and move systematically to the most distant outlet including flushing toilets. Flush until the water is cool to the touch or the same temperature as the water closest to where it enters the building.

3. Minimise the potential of creating aerosols by flushing gently, removing aerators, shower heads and any other tap inserts or attachments. Close toilet seat lids before flushing.

4. If there are any outlets that require servicing or cleaning by an external contractor (e.g. coffee machines, soft drinks machines) switch off the supply to them and do not use until a contractor can visit.

5. Ensure appliances are flushed and internal filters and softeners are checked to ensure they are flushed and working correctly as outlined in manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Once the cold water has flushed through, repeat the process with the hot water outlets.

If you have a water safety plan for the premises, this should include how to return the building water system to normal following prolonged low/no use.

Complex systems involving chemical dosing systems (eg swimming pools and spa pools) please enlist the services of a professional to service the system and return to normal operation.

Please forward this information on to any other sites and premises you may manage to help share this advice.

For more information please see the links below:

Water UK – Recovering drinking water supplies in buildings and networks after prolonged inactivity guidance document

https://www.water.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/WUK-briefing-note-on-recovering-drinking-water-supplies-in-buildings-and-networks.pdf

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease

https://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/index.htm

If you have any specific concerns or queries regarding your water quality or this information, please reply to this email or email water.regulations@wessexwater.co.uk

30 May

Chancellor set to reveal further ‘flexible furloughing’ details

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is set to announce further details about contributions from employers for the furlough scheme from the beginning of August.

https://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Article/2020/05/27/When-will-Government-say-more-on-further-furlough-details?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright


12 May

Government extends furlough scheme until October

The government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for four months, until the end of October.

The scheme, which sees the government pay 80% of furloughed workers’ wages – up to a maximum of £2,500 – will continue in its current guise until the end of July.

From August to October the scheme “will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work”, said chancellor Rishi Sunak. He added at this point employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time and the government would ask employers to start sharing, with the government, the costs of paying people’s salaries.

The government has committed to publish details by the end of this month of the support that will be put in place from August. Sunak said: “We are doing everything we can to protect everyone currently unable to work. As we reopen the economy we will need to support people back to work.” Sunak promised workers would not be worse off during the second phase of the furlough scheme, and told the House of Commons “the level of support that people receive won’t change but that will be shared between the government and employers”.

The furlough scheme that Sunak announced on 20 March is now costing more than £14bn a month with the government now absorbing the cost of paying 7.5 million people and helping almost one million businesses. The original scheme covered the smaller amount of 80% of an individual’s wages or £2,500 a month. It was originally for three months to May, and was then extended to the end of June.


30 April

Government Bounce Back Loans

Due to the limited success to date of existing Government backed loan scheme, the Government have stepped in with this assistance package. There is not much out there yet but the relevant headline points are:

• Businesses will be able to apply from 9am on Monday 4th May.

• Bounce Back loans for 25% of their turnover up to a maximum of £50,000.

• No forward looking test on viability.

• Quick standard form to complete.

• Government meets the interest for the first 12 months.

• Loans should arrive within 24 hours of approval.

• 100% Government backed.

Here’s the link, although the application process is not there yet.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan

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28 April

YDP Furlough Payments Update

The Job Retention Scheme is Now in Progress

With the scheme now in progress, Accountants YDP have been working round the clock filing applications to make sure customers receive their staff’s pay reimbursal as soon as possible.

As a result, they have started to see payments come through from the government representing the first claim made for furloughed pay.

We now know that it can take around 7 working days for the payments to be made so please be patient in awaiting the money to come through.

As the wider situation continues we expect this to become an ongoing routine, whereby these applications need to be made every few weeks so all Cubs shoudl ensure that regular claims are being made for furloughed staff.

22 April

FCA Mutual Societies Update

Many ACC Clubs are registered with the FCA and need to submit yearly annual returns. Their official advice is below, but we are informally informed that they will be applying a light touch to any Club which has had to delay their AGM and subsequent accounts and annual returns as a result of the shutdown. Clubs should, however, endeavour to hold AGMs and submit outstanding Annual Returns as soon as possible after the shutdown situation has been resolved.

FCA Press Release:

We are writing in our role as registering authority for mutual societies to all sponsoring bodies and regular submitters of applications, in light of the current Government guidance relating to Covid-19.

Application forms

Paper applications

Applications submitted either through the Mutuals Society Portal, or by email to mutual.societies@fca.org.uk (or to mutualsannrtns@fca.org.uk for annual returns) will be processed significantly quicker than applications submitted by post. We strongly advise against submitting by post at this time.

Signatures

We will accept electronic signatures on all applications – including on accounts.

Statutory declarations

A number of our application forms (such as rule amendments) require the completion of a statutory declaration. For the time being we no longer require statutory declaration forms to be fully completed. We do not require the form to be signed by a solicitor/commissioner for oaths/notary public or justice of the peace. But we still ask that an officer/secretary of the society completes the first half of the form. We will accept an electronic signature.

Recording of charges

We currently ask that charge instruments are certified as a true copy. We will accept electronic certification.

Annual returns and accounts

We are aware that some societies may experience difficulties submitting their annual returns and accounts to us. Societies have also raised with us the fact that Companies House have announced a 3 month extension to the filing deadline for companies, and ask whether we will do the same.

Requirements to submit annual returns and accounts are contained in mutuals legislation. Our acceptance of electronic signatures on accounts may help in some circumstances. However, we recognise that some societies will still experience difficulties in submitting any required returns to us on time. Whilst we ask societies to take steps to submit their returns to us as soon as reasonably practicable, we have decided that we will not take any action where returns due up until 30 June 2020 are delayed by up to 3 months. We will review this position again in June 2020.

We are aware HM Treasury and BEIS are also considering whether further action can be taken to address the difficulties faced by societies in meeting these and other legal obligations

General meetings

We are aware that some societies are considering a number of options, including postponing scheduled member meetings, such as Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Societies are concerned that this could lead to them breaching their own rules or legislative requirements.

It is for societies to reach their own decision as to whether to go ahead with any planned meeting, taking into account any relevant Government guidance, their own individual circumstances and, where appropriate, legal advice. Societies should take reasonable steps to ensure they meet any obligations they are under as soon as reasonably practicable. Societies will want to consider alternative arrangements such as making use of video conferencing where permitted.

The rules of an individual society govern the relationship between a society and its members. It is important members are afforded the ability to exercise their rights under the rules of a society. Societies may want to take their own advice to consider any risks arising from action taken by members as a result of a breach of their own rules. The FCA has no role to play in determining disputes over society rules.

Where, following Government guidance, the postponement of a general meeting results in a breach of a legislative requirement, it may fall to the FCA to make a decision as registering authority as to what if any action we take. We do not consider it to be in the public interest for us to take action in this context where we can see that a society is taking steps to ensure they meet the legislative obligation as soon as reasonably practicable. Members of societies will, of course, retain the ability to take action in accordance with their rights under the rules of a society.

21 April

YDP Information for Client Clubs: Job Retention Scheme Applications

YDP Press Release:

The much anticipated portal for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has gone live today, allowing us to begin applications for the reimbursal of wages to furloughed staff.

If you have not yet engaged us to apply to the scheme on your behalf, please contact your YDP contact and payroll processor to confirm this with us. Some of you may wish to complete the application yourselves however if you would like us to do it, please instruct us to do so. We remind you that it is necessary for YDP to make a small charge to cover our costs in providing this service. Please also make sure you are available to be contacted this week, in case any details are missing when we come to make your applications.

We ask all of our payroll clients to be patient at this time as we go through the process required. Although the scheme is now live, it may still take some days to complete claims and those eligible should expect the first payments to come from the government by the end of April at the earliest. We appreciate the financial difficulty many of our clients are facing and will do everything we can to support you through this time. If you have not done so already, make sure your club has applied to the local authority for your hospitality grant of either £10,000 or £25,000.

As per the guidelines, all YDP staff are working from home, so the best way to contact your payroll processor is to email them directly. They will have your payroll details on hand and be best placed to help you.

For bookkeeping clients we are continuing to provide full support, however moving forward we ask you to please contact David Materna who will be best placed to assist you.

You can do this by ringing the usual office number (01933 358 080), or by emailing ‘david.materna@ydp.co.uk’.

20 April

HMRC Furlough Reclaim Site Now Live

HMRC have launched the online site required to make claims for furloughed employees.

The site can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

What you will need

To make a claim, you will need:

to be registered for PAYE online

your UK bank account number and sort code

your employer PAYE scheme reference number

the number of employees being furloughed

each employee’s National Insurance number

each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)

the start date and end date of the claim

the full amount you’re claiming for including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions

your phone number

contact name

You also need to provide either:

your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent)

your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference

your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference

your company registration number

If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf. If you use a file only agent (who files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you on any other matters) they won’t be authorised to make a claim for you and you will need to make the claim yourself. Your file only agent can assist you in obtaining the information you need to claim (which is listed above). We are making the claim process as straightforward as possible.

If an agent makes a claim on your behalf you will need to tell them which bank account you would like the grant to be paid into.

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19 April

HMRC Furlough Update, Extension Announced and New Calculator

The system to reclaim employee furlough payments is due to go live on Monday 20th April. We will post a update as soon as we have confirmed that the system is live. It will be an online system although Clubs which use external pay roll provider or accountancy firms to deal with wages should be able to delegate this submission to these organisations.

In advance of the system going live HMRC have launched an online calculator to assist businesses with furlough payments and this can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

HMRC has also launched a step by step guide for claiming back furloughed wages and this can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/880099/Coronavirus_Job_Retention_Scheme_step_by_step_guide_for_employers.pdf

In related news, it has also been confirmed that the Government is extending the support scheme for furloughed workers until at least the end of June. Depending on how this Covid-19 situation evolves it is expected that there is a strong chance that further support will also be available beyond this date and we will keep Clubs updated.


17 April

Grants and Business Rates Information

Most Clubs are eligible for a grant, details provided in our 7 April update, and a business rates holiday. Some Clubs have already received their grants. A minority of Clubs have contacted us because they have had difficult receiving this financial support. If this applies to your Club please contact directly so that we can assist the Club and ensure that the Club receives all applicable financial support.


14 April

HMRC Publishes Video Information Guide on Furlough Payments

HMRC have published a video of a recent web seminar they held which Clubs may wish to view for informational purposes. You can find the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYUTorQmkCI&list=PL8EcnheDt1zhTsyhT9ak3xiXnmlvbHJJV&index=3

Just to remind Clubs, this is the information already published by HMRC:

If you’re eligible for the scheme, there are things that you can do now to be ready when the system is up and running later this month.

You’ll need to provide the following to make a claim:

1. The bank account number and sort code you’d like us to use when we pay your claim.

2. The name and phone number of the person in your business for us to call with any questions.

3. Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number).

4. The name, employee number and National Insurance number for each of your furloughed employees.

5. The total amount being claimed for all employees and the total furlough period.

If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf, so please speak to them now.

However, if you use a file-only agent (files your RTI return but doesn’t act for you in other matters), they won’t be able to make a claim for you and you’ll need the information listed above from them to make the claim yourself.

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9th April

Template Furlough Letter Now Available

ACAS has produced a specimen Furlough Letter which Clubs can use for furloughed employees. It is available here: https://www.acas.org.uk/furlough-letter-template

Updated Information On The Furlough Scheme

CMS Law Now have produced an updated version of their earlier guidance which clarifies some issues. It is availible here and worth a read: https://www.cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2020/04/covid19–coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-updated-government-guidance?cc_lang=en

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8th April

HMRC Publishes Guidance On Claiming Furloughed Wages

HMRC have now published guidance for businesses needing to claim back wages for furloughed employees.

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

All the guidance is helpful and should be reviewed, we are re-publishing the key parts in relation to the actual claim process below:

What you’ll need to make a claim

Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement.

To claim, you will need:

your ePAYE reference number

the number of employees being furloughed

the claim period (start and end date)

amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)

your bank account number and sort code

your contact name

your phone number

You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.

Claim

You should make your claim using the amounts in your payroll – either shortly before or during running payroll. Claims can be backdated until the 1 March where employees have already been furloughed.

If appropriate, worker’s wages should be reduced to 80% of their salary within your payroll before they are paid. This adjustment will not be made by HMRC.

After you’ve claimed

HMRC will check your claim, and if you’re eligible, pay it to you by BACS to a UK bank account.

You must pay the employee all the grant you receive for their gross pay, no fees can be charged from the money that is granted.

When the government ends the scheme

When the government ends the scheme, you must make a decision, depending on your circumstances, as to whether employees can return to their duties. If not, it may be necessary to consider termination of employment (redundancy).

HMRC will process all claims made before the scheme ends.

When your employees are on furlough

You cannot ask your employee to do any work that:

makes money for your organisation

provides services for your organisation

They can take part in volunteer work or training.


We understand that Clubs which use external payroll providers to manage employee wages should be able to instruct their payroll provider to make the claim on the Club’s behalf. We are double checking this and will provide an update as soon as possible.

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7th April

Reminder: Check If Your Club Is Eligible For Grant Funding

Welsh Accountants R H Jeffs and Rowe have produced a useful guide to all the different support schemes available to Clubs and have kindly agreed to let us share this guide here: https://2zy5pymokes2uba4j2uj1k93-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2020/04/Coronavirus-Support-for-Clubs-6.4.20.pdf

We also wish to remind all Clubs that many of you will be eligible for the announced Government grant funding and that you should be proactive in pursuing this.

We have already seen that some borough councils are now accepting online applications for the Hospitality Grant Scheme. Clubs with a building that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 should be eligible for a grant of £10,000 and Clubs with rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 should be eligible for a grant of £25,000.

Although your local authority should, in theory, contact eligible businesses directly, we would suggest being proactive to ensure timely delivery of the funding. Unfortunately there is no telling how long it will take to receive the grant at this stage.

We highly recommend that you visit your borough councils website’s coronavirus business support page to see if the online application form has been added. If it is not there and the council is not saying that it will be added soon, you may wish to email your local rates team with your information. This is the information that we believe is required:

Club Name

Club Address

Business Rates Account Number

VAT Registration Number if applicable

Company Number if applicable

Name of responsible person

Capacity of person

Contact Number

Bank Details

Recent Bank Statement

Record of any state aid in the last 3 years

Date and amount of your last rates payment


6th April

The Drinks Trust Opens applications for financial support to Individuals affected by the shutdown.

This support is not available to Clubs as entities but please pass it along to any individuals who have been affected by this situation:

The Drinks Trust is now open for applications for financial support to individuals who have been significantly affected as a result of COVID-19. The Trust will look to support up to 2000 people.

Many of us in the drinks industry may be able to carry on in our existing roles through access to the government funded salary grant, but many others will be left in severe financial difficulties.

The Drinks Trust COVID-19 Relief Fund will help two groups of individuals who are uniquely impacted, they are:

1. Those who have been made redundant and subsequently not been reinstated, and so unable to benefit from the salary grant scheme

2. Those on zero-hours contracts who were on lesser incomes or limited hours, and as a result will have limited income relief

Additionally, these individuals will have worked in one of the following establishment types;

A. On-trade; bars, pubs and those who worked with drinks in restaurants and hotels, such as sommeliers and beverage managers

B. Off-trade; those who worked in alcohol retailing businesses

C. Distribution; those who worked in businesses supplying the above

Qualifying individuals will be able to access a one-off financial grant of £250, payable directly into their bank account. The Drinks Trust will apply its expertise in assessing needs and will prioritise individuals who have health conditions and also those caring for dependents.

Apply now – https://www.drinkstrust.org.uk/cv19-fund

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2nd April – No Major Updates, Questions and Answers moved to the top.

Coronavirus Questions and Answers

Financial Advice Questions and Answers

Q. What assistance is available from the ACC?

A. The ACC is committed to offering financial assistance to any ACC Club which requires it during this difficult period.

We have formulated a variety of assistance packages of which we guarantee at least one will be available to every ACC Club.

If your Club needs financial assistance please email us to so that we can advise the Club directly on the options available. Our email address is assistance@toryclubs.co.uk

Q. What financial assistance is available from the Government?

A. Our Interpretation of the Government Support Measures is below.

The Government has announced large scale and wide ranging assistance packages for businesses affected by Covid-19 and our initial understanding of the packages announced is detailed below.

Job Retention Scheme

Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers who are rehired. Benefit capped at £2,500 per employee per month, backdated to the 1st March the scheme will be open before the end of April. The club would have to find the remaining 20%.

How to apply? Submit information to HMRC about the employees and their earnings through a new online portal. Systems have not yet been set up or the exact details of information required published by H.M.R.C.

Please see below in red for detailed questions and answers on this scheme.

Statutory Sick Pay

We understand that that Clubs will be able to receive a refund of two weeks SSP for any employee who is or has been off work due to the virus. The repayment mechanism is still to be announced.

How to apply? Submit information to HMRC through payroll.

Business Rates

We understand that all Clubs will be eligible for a Business Rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Enquires for the provision of Business Rates relief should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March.

How to apply? Automatic, the council will not seek to collect rate demands from April.

Grants

If the club’s rateable value is between £15K and £51k, the club should receive a cash grant of up to £25,000. Any club which receives small business rates relief, will receive a cash grant of £10,000

How to apply? The rates holiday and cash grants will be administered by local authorities and should be delivered automatically, without clubs needing to claim.

To check rating valuation see link here: http://www.gov.uk/correct-your-business-rates

Business Interruption Loan

The lender receives a guarantee of 80% of the loan amount from the government. No interest will be charged for the first 12 months.

How to apply? From Monday apply to the club’s banking provider. We are seeking urgent clarification but this support may not appear to be available to membership social clubs only sporting clubs such as rugby, golf clubs etc.

Clubs with tax to pay

We understand that Clubs can discuss with HMRC payment holidays to support tax payments which are due.

How to apply? Please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

VAT

To assist with cash flow while the job retention scheme is set up clubs will not have to pay any VAT from now until mid-June. The club has until the end of March 2021 to pay the VAT due.

How to apply? The deferral applies automatically and businesses do not need to apply for it. The quarterly VAT returns should still be submitted, VAT refunds will be paid by H.M.R.C. as normal.

Insurance

Clubs which have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered. Clubs should check their specific policies. Most Clubs are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.

Many of these assistance packages have only recently been announced so we are still awaiting the small print regarding each specific offer. The above is our current understanding of the help which should be available to Clubs over the coming weeks and months. Clubs are still encouraged to contact the ACC if they need financial assistance, particularly if there is a pressing need for financial help.

This is an incredibly difficult time for all Clubs and all suppliers should be sympathetic to assisting Clubs during this period.

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Employment Questions and Answers:

Q. As per the Government order we have closed, can we suspend salary payments to our employees unilaterally for the duration of the closure?

A. No. The Club is contracted to provide the agreed payments to employees but the Club can reach a mutual decision with employees to reduce their payments for the period of the Club’s closure. If an agreement cannot be reached then it is likely the Club would have to look at making employees redundant. You can calculate redundancies here: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay. In light of Friday’s announcement the choice for Clubs essentially becomes between continue to pay employee their full wages and then receiving back 80% of the cost of this from the Government at the end of April or making employees redundant.

Q. We have been looking at the new Government wage support plan. Could you explain to us what a ‘furloughed’ worker is and how we should pay our employees to be eligible for this support plan?

A. A furloughed worker will be a worker that you continue to pay but does not have anything to do. Essentially, most of your staff are likely to be counted as this since with the Club closed they will not be able to do their jobs.

Our understanding of the scheme is that you will continue to pay the workers their full pay and then, towards the end of April, you will receive 80% of these payments back from the Government. The scheme is backdated to 1st March so Clubs which closed earlier than Friday will still be able to take full advantage of this.

If you need financial support to tide you over until the end of April please contact the ACC.

Q. Can you give us any more information on exactly what we have to do in order to ‘Furlough’ an employee?

A. Whilst this is a new area of law and untested, it is currently thought that the following will apply to furloughed employees.

Any business can apply for the Covid-19 Job retention scheme, and can furlough anyone they wish so long as the employee consents. It would be helpful if Clubs obtain some evidence of consent from the employee who is to be furloughed. Once an employee is furloughed, they will continue to accrue holiday pay as normal and will retain all their rights under employment law.

We do not have any guidance on the rules for furloughing employees or any type of selection procedure. The best practice currently is simply to obtain the consent of the employee.

It is not expected employers will have to prove there is no work for an employee that is furloughed. Again, so long as the employee agrees to it, the employer will qualify for the 80% wage contribution. Employers can top up the other 20% of an employees wage, but are not obliged to do so.

For the case if casual workers or workers who work different hours each week, the correct calculation of pay for a furloughed employee is the previous 12 week pay reference period.

Whilst untested, tying to enforce furlough on employees could be construed as constructive dismissal. It is therefore important that the employee agrees to be furloughed, preferably in writing.

In theory, if a furloughed employee contracts COVID-19, their status can be changed to sick leave, and sick pay would apply with no 80% claim applicable.

Furloughed employees can be asked back to work if their services are required for a period. During this return period an employer cannot claim the 80%, and it is likely that both the employer and employee would have to form a new agreement for the employee to be furloughed again if required. It is unclear if an employee can refuse to return to work if requested once they have been furloughed, we consider it unlikely that an employee could refuse to return.

A furloughed employee cannot do any work for the business whatsoever and an employee able to work from home does not qualify for furlough unless they would otherwise be laid off.

An employee can refuse to be furloughed, and may instead ask for redundancy. Equally, an employer does not have to furlough an employee and can instead seek to make them redundant if they wish to.

Q. We want our employees to take holiday pay during any closure, can we ask them to do this?

A. Yes you can. You do, however need to tell them the amount of holiday you will be asking them to take and give them double of the notice of the holiday time you wish them to take. For example, if they want to close for 5 days, you should tell everyone at least 10 days before.

Q. Our Steward lives on the premises, would they be affected by the Government decision to close the Club.

A. We do not believe their living situation would be impacted but we would have to review the wording of any decision at the time it is made.

Q. Can we reduce the hours of casual and zero hour employees whilst the Club remains open?

A. Yes, assuming you are not contracted with these employees to provide them with set or minimum hours you can reduce their hours if the trading performance of the Club makes such a decision necessary.

Q. Is ACAS providing advice to businesses?

A. Yes, they are constantly updating their advice page here: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

Q. If we have to close, do we still have to pay employees?

A. (22 March Update, please see above for new information regarding Government wages support. Our original answer is below.)

Currently, if a business closes a trading location but otherwise remains active as an ongoing business entity then employment contracts and pay obligations to employees would continue. This is likely to be the default position for any Club which has to close, notwithstanding that depending on the Club’s insurance policy that some support may be available in this area and that we may see future announcements of support from the Government to businesses in this position.

There will be few businesses in the hospitality and retail sector, such as Clubs and Pubs, which will be able to maintain full payment to employees for the medium or long term in the event of a shutdown. Indeed, for some Clubs maintaining wage payments would prove impossible even in the event of a short period of closure.

If the Club has to close, a decision will need to be taken on how to deal with the existing responsibilities the Club has to its employees. Whilst no Club will wish to see their employees lose out, it is simply not realistic to expect most Clubs to be able to support their existing wage bill if the Club has to be closed.

Therefore, if the Club has closed and cannot support its ongoing wage bill there will essentially be two options available:

The Club could come to agreement with their employees so that they accept a reduced rate of pay during the closure period. This would have to be agreed with the employees but if it can be agreed it could significantly decrease the Club’s outgoings during the closure period whilst still providing some financial support to the Club’s employees.

If an agreement cannot be reached with the Club’s employees over a reduced rate of pay then the Club would likely be forced to make some or all employees redundant. This would not preclude re-hiring the employees as and when the Club re-opened but would come with a specific cost in relation to the redundancy financial packages owed to the employees which have been made redundant. Clubs can calculate what redundancy package an employee be due by using this online calculator – https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay

The Club can also review its actual legal obligations to employees. A casual employee or an employee on a zero hours contract is unlikely to be legally required to be paid during any period of shutdown whereas an employee guaranteed hours or a salary would be required to be paid unless a decision can be jointly reached to reduce their pay or unless the Club makes them redundant.

The Club does not necessarily have to apply the same policy to all employees although in the event of a mutually agreed reduction of wages it could be construed as fairer to apply the same percentage decease to all employees. The Club can choose to mix and match, however, between mutually agreed decreases in pay and making employees redundant. It may prove to be necessary to mutually agree to reduce the pay of some employees whilst other employees will have to be made redundant.

There will be no easy or simply solutions available for these very difficult decisions but it is likely that decisions which soon have to be taken on the issue of staff wages if the Club is forced to close.

Many Clubs do have employment support also available in their insurance coverage and you may therefore want to alert your insurance company in the event that employees are made redundant.

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AGM Questions and Answers

Q. Should we postpone the AGM?

22 March Update – In light of the decision for all Clubs to close, we would suggest that Clubs now postpone any planned AGMs until the Club can reopen. Our original answer is below.

A. Many ACC Clubs have AGMs which take place between March-May. We understand that due to the current exceptional circumstances that Club Committees are discussing if the Club’s AGM should go ahead in the present circumstances.

There is no easy answer regarding this and it will have to be for Club Committees to make the decision on behalf of their respective Clubs. In an ideal world an AGM would take place as this will allow the Members to approve the Club’s Accounts and to elect new Committee Members and Officers. The situation with the Coronavirus does mean that it may not be sensible to proceed with an AGM where there will be a lack of Members in attendance or why Members will not have the proper opportunity to vote for new Committee Members and Officers.

If a Committee believes that an AGM which is scheduled to take place shortly can successfully be held then it may be worth pressing on as the current situation may worsen going forwards. Therefore, a postponed AGM may not be able to be rescheduled for several months. Until the AGM is held we are advising that the currently elected Committee Members and Officers will remain in position and will do so until such time as a postponed AGM can be safely held.

We do, however, appreciate that there are presently compelling reasons for why a Committee may consider that postponing the AGM is the correct decision and that the Committee will wish to make such a decision as soon as possible to avoid inconveniencing Club Members. In the current situation there is no right or wrong answer regarding this issue.

The ACC will support Club Committees in whatever decisions they make regarding going ahead with an AGM or postponing an AGM. At the moment the current guidance is that Clubs can operate as normal so it must be a judgement call for each Club Committee as to whether the AGM can be held as successfully under the present circumstances.

Q. We have decided to postpone the Club’s AGM. What happens to the existing Officers and Committee Members? What happens to the Members who were putting themselves up for election to the Committee?

A. We would suggest that in the event of the Club’s AGM being postponed that the entire process of retiring Officers and Committee Members is delayed too. This means that the current Committee will remain in office until the AGM is rescheduled. Members who have or are intending to put themselves up for election would also have to wait for the AGM to be rescheduled for the elections to take place.

If there are existing Casual Vacancies then the Committee can appoint Members to fill these positions in the usual way. In short, if the AGM is postponed, every corresponding function and activity linked to the AGM should also be postponed.

Q. We have to submit an Annual Return to the FCA. Have they provided any guidance on what they will do if we miss the deadline due to the lockdown?

A. The FCA have published the statement below. Informally we believe they will treat Clubs with a very light touch if they cannot submit their return by the deadline due to the lockdown and current closure of Clubs.

In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, we are aware that some societies are considering a number of options, including postponing scheduled member meetings, such as Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Societies are concerned that this could lead to them breaching their own rules or legislative requirements.

It is for societies to reach their own decision as to whether to go ahead with any planned meeting, taking into account any relevant Government guidance, their own individual circumstances and, where appropriate, legal advice. It would be for societies to take reasonable steps to ensure they meet any obligations they are under as soon as reasonably practicable. Societies will want to consider alternative arrangements such as making use of video conferencing where permitted.

The rules of an individual society govern the relationship between a society and its members. It is important members are afforded the ability to exercise their rights under the rules of a society. Societies may want to take their own advice to consider any risks arising from action taken by members as a result of a breach of their own rules. The FCA has no role to play in determining disputes over society rules.

Where, following Government guidance, the postponement of a general meeting results in a breach of a legislative requirement, it may fall to the FCA to make a decision as registering authority as to what if any action we take. We do not generally consider it to be in the public interest to take action in this context where we can see that a society is taking steps to ensure they meet the legislative obligation as soon as reasonably practicable.

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Club Closures Questions and Answers

Q. We have unused beer stock with forthcoming expiry dates, do you have advice on what we can do with it?

A. We have been approached for advice a number of times regarding unused beer stock in Clubs. After speaking to many of you, we have noticed a trend, that many breweries & suppliers are willing to support you with any unused and unopened kegs.

So speak to your brewery or supplier if you are concerned about unopened kegs, as they may be willing to take these back and offer you a credit note for when you’re back up and running.

Alternatively, the Club could donate/give away unwanted supplies to any local organisation that may be able to benefit from such an offer. In theory, the Club could sell alcohol through a take away style service but given the current lockdown instructions we would not suggest that this course of action takes place.

Q. Should we close the Club?

22 March Update – Yes, all Clubs should now be closed in line with Government order. Our original answer is below.

A. Until such time as the Government advice changes to force Clubs to close, this will be have to be a decision to be taken by the Club’s Committee.

Clubs may therefore choose to simply apply a business judgement to this situation. If there are still members and guests wishing to visit the Club then the Committee can keep the Club open to accommodate these persons. We would advise ensuring that there are adequate of supplies of liquid soap available for use by all visitors and employees.

In the event that there is little footfall in the Club, the Committee may decide that it makes financial sense to close the Club until a future date in order to save on financial expenditure at this time.

Q. If Pubs are forced to close, would this apply to Clubs?

A. We believe any enforced closure to Pubs would also apply to Clubs but we would examine the wording of any such order and provide the relevant advice to Clubs if and when such an order is made. Clubs are regulated, most Clubs hold a Club Premises Certificate, which would mean that Clubs could not serve alcohol if the Club Premises Certificates were withdrawn by the Government.

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Insurance Questions and Answers

Q. Now that the Government has closed Clubs, will our insurance policy provide financial assistance to us.

A. We understand that for most Clubs their insurance policy will not cover this situation but it is still worth checking with your insurance providers. The information below relates to the previous announcements of Tuesday 17th March that people are being advised to stay away from Pubs and Clubs. We are seeking clarification if the forced closure of Clubs as of the PM’s statement yesterday will affect the insurance situation but we do not expect that it will.

Club Insure has issued this statement:

Following the Prime Ministers brief on Tuesday evening we have had a number of calls and emails regarding the Governments comments, with regards to insurers stepping up for people with pandemic insurance cover.

This has given people and businesses hope that there is some cover available in which to claim for lost business.

Sadly this is not the position for the majority of businesses in the UK today. Pandemic insurance cover is the type of cover offered to the very largest businesses, and not a cover that the majority of clubs will have in place.

This is something no one had seen coming and a risk that was never written for clubs (and other SME businesses). Standard business interruption cover in most cases only kicks in when there is damage to property. A downturn in footfall or reduction in trade isn’t something that this pays out on.

It is essential to understand that the fact that Government has named Covid-19 as notifiable and the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic makes no difference to the cover you have.

Pretty much all sports, social clubs and community centres are in the same boat alongside all other SME businesses. This is why we have been working hard with trade associations both in the leisure and insurance sector to push for help for these businesses.

We will continue to do this on behalf of our customers and will be working to ensure we provide as much guidance to you as possible at this time. If you are looking at temporary closures we are preparing guidance to help ensure your insurance covers remain in force. We will continue to provide updates when we have key information to share with you.

22 March Update: The above statement is largely the same information we have received from most insurance companies we have contacted. The initial information have received indicates that Friday’s announcement will not alter the stance of the insurance providers but we are looking into this to clarify that such a decision is correct.

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ACC Services Questions and Answers

Q. Is the ACC still open and still able to assist Clubs?

A. Yes we are still open, but several staff Members are working from home and we would be affected by any London or nationwide lockdown. In light of the updates regarding Coronavirus and the possibility of future interruption to ACC Services we would like Clubs to sign up to our mailing and keep checking our website for updates. This can be accessed here:

https://www.toryclubs.co.uk/#subscribe

The ACC is set up for remote working should it become necessary for our central London office to close or to reduce its hours. Currently we are working as normal and can respond to emails, phone calls, letters and product orders.

If restrictions are placed on the ability of ACC employees to access our offices, then email correspondence will be the best way to contact us; followed by phone calls which should still be diverted to ACC employee mobiles. However, any restrictions on accessing our offices could affect our ability to produce and distribute the monthly magazine, to process product orders and reply to postal correspondence.

We would also suggest that if you are thinking of placing product orders with us that you place these as soon as possible so that they can dispatched prior to any possible disruption to our postal services.

Products can be ordered here: https://www.toryclubs.co.uk/shop/

22 March Update: ACC Operational Update

The ACC continues to operate but due to measures being introduced in London, it is likely that ACC employees will be largely remote working for the foreseeable future. It is therefore uncertain that we will either receive post or that delivers will continue to be made to our Offices. Please therefore email us if any assistance is required. We can still respond to phone calls but there may be a delay in doing so, email will be the fastest way to contact us.

For frequently asked questions on this situation, can we direct all Clubs to our update at 20 March 11:08 and we request that Clubs review these questions and answers before contacting us.

Q. Will the planned ACC AGM go ahead in May?

A. No, we have postponed our AGM until later in the year and will provide Clubs with an updated plan for our AGM when possible. We hope any Clubs which have purchased travel or accommodation for our AGM will be able to obtain a full refund directly from point of purchase.

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Job Retention Scheme Q&As

When will the Scheme be operational?

The Scheme is expected to be up and running “by the end of April” and is stated to be “designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus.” Administrators can also access the Scheme, subject to the various rules that apply in an insolvency context, but the Guidance is silent as to whether the Scheme will apply in all insolvency situations.

What amounts are covered?

Employers can use the online portal to claim for 80% of furloughed workers’ usual monthly “wage costs” up to a cap of £2,500 plus the associated employer’s National Insurance contributions (“NICs”) and minimum auto enrolment employer pension contributions.

Employers must pay furloughed employees at least the lower of 80% of their gross “regular wage” or £2,500 per month (but are not obliged to top this up) – they cannot charge any fee. “Fees, commission and bonuses” are expressly excluded from the definition of wage costs. The amounts paid to furloughed employees will be subject to deductions for income tax and employee’s NICs.

What evidence of cash flow problems is required to access the Scheme, and must employers demonstrate that their financial distress is COVID-19 related?

The HMRC Guidance states that the Scheme “is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus.” There is no reference in the Guidance to employers certifying that they are unable to pay staff costs because of the COVID-19 crisis or provide any form of evidence of their financial distress, or potential redundancies. Therefore, it appears that the Government is taking a broad approach to the eligibility requirements for access to the scheme although currently the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Guidance is still live which states “Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.” (our emphasis). Employers should also consider the potential regulatory implications of accessing the scheme, for example, where there are capital requirements, and the reputational issues where they would not otherwise publicise the fact of the necessity of impending lay-offs.

Which employers can access the Scheme?

The Guidance states that “Any UK organisation with employees can apply, including: businesses, charities, recruitment agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE), and public authorities.”

The expectation is that the Scheme will not be used by many public sector organisations. The section headed “Public Sector Organisations” explains: “Where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion – and correspondingly not furlough them. This also applies to non-public sector employers who recei