The government of Jersey releases advice for businesses and individuals in relation to COVID-19 outbreak

19 March 2020

The government of Jersey has published advice for businesses in relation to containing the spread of coronavirus, and the government support available to them during the outbreak.

Several Ministers have agreed on a range of measures to mitigate the effect of coronavirus on the Island economy, which include:

  • The deferral of the payment of Social Security contributions
  • The deferral of the payment of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) by GST-registered businesses
  • Payment deferrals where the government is a landlord to a local business (directly or through a government-owned company)

To provide further detail, with immediate effect, businesses with less than 80 employees and self-employed individuals can opt to defer their Social Security contribution payments for A and B quarters (payments due in April and July). For businesses with more than 80 employees, they can request a deferral of their social security contributions. Any questions should be directed to [email protected].

 With immediate effect, GST-registered businesses can choose to defer the payment of GST relating to returns ending 31 March, 30 April, 31 May and 30 June (quarterly and monthly). The payment of these figures will be deferred to no later than 12 months after the date they would have normally been due. Further information will be provided in due course, and the measure will be kept under review. The government is encouraging businesses that can afford to repay to do so, to avoid the requirement to repay at a later point in time. It is reiterated that this is not a cancellation of monies owed, but a deferral to assist businesses in managing their cash flows during these exceptional circumstances.

Affected businesses and self-employed individuals should continue to file all returns and schedules as usual, but payment is not required until they choose to do so. No notification is required relating to payment deferments unless the business has more than 80 employees and wishes to defer social security contributions. Businesses in this position should contact [email protected].

Benefit entitlements will remain unaffected if businesses return their schedules at the usual time. Employees will be credited with a contribution record in the normal way, and self-employed individuals will have their record updated as usual.

It is expected that the measures will be in place until the end of June, but the government will review the situation on an ongoing basis.

No changes will be implemented in relation to the Income Tax Instalment Scheme (ITIS), so employers should continue to deduct income tax and Long Term Care (LTC) contributions, making returns and payments as usual. GST remains chargeable on the supply of goods and services to consumers in the normal way.

For individuals who are self-isolating due to Coronavirus, and don’t have the option to work from home, there is an entitlement of £222.53 per week from the day that self-isolation commenced if:

  • They have a fever and two of the following: headache, muscle aches, cough –seven-day sickness benefit
  • They are following the latest government advice on travel –14 days sickness benefit
  • They have been instructed to do so by Environmental Health

To claim sickness benefit, individuals should email the Health Team or call +44 (0) 1534 444444 during working hours.

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