Emergency Business Support Measures to be Introduced

18 March 2020

The first emergency support measures for businesses and workers affected by Coronavirus (Covid-19) have been announced today by the Isle of Man Government.

The measures include the introduction of a National Insurance Holiday for employers in certain sectors, a grant of £3,000 for businesses in certain sectors, and the introduction of a new sick pay compensation payments to mitigate the cost of paying employees in self-isolation.

Further changes will be brought forward to enable a person to self-certify as sick for 14 days, as opposed to the current 7 days.

Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan MHK said: ‘We have taken decisive action to keep business working and staff in employment. We are taking immediate measures to help businesses overcome the short term impact of Covid-19 and sustain our economy and jobs throughout the next vital three months. These emergency measures are being implemented to tackle the immediate and real need of our business community and we will continue to work with partners across Government and industry on further measures in the future.’

Enterprise Minister Laurence Skelly MHK said: ‘While the impact of Covid-19 is affecting all businesses, our visitor economy in particular is facing an acute and unprecedented challenge and we are responding swiftly and fully to ensure the industry has the support needed to weather the coming months. We are in constant communication with industry and I thank all of our businesses for their sympathetic engagement and perseverance in these difficult times.’

The measures introduced today are as follows:

  • Reduce to nil the rate of employer class 1 National Insurance contributions that are paid by certain sectors to alleviate staff costs. This will help to reduce the burden on affected businesses, such as:
    • Tourist Accommodation
    • Catering, entertainment and leisure
    • Travel and tour operators
    • Logistics to and from the Island
  • A grant of £3,000 will be available for businesses (in qualifying sectors) financially impacted by Covid-19.
  • To assist employers with the cost of sickpay for people who need to self-isolate, Government will pay businesses that pay employees during self-isolation £20 a day for up to 14 working days in a consecutive period of up to two weeks, for each employee in self-isolation.

The Treasury Minister has also directed that:

  • The introduction of new minimum work requirements for employed person’s allowance which were due to have effect from 2 June this year are to be postponed until April next year. Given the current situation with regards to COVID-19, the availability of new jobs or additional work hours is likely to be impacted for a considerable period. There is also a risk to the availability of employment advisors to support people to secure additional work.
  • Lone parents claiming Income Support solely on account of being a lone parent will be able to continue to do so until their youngest child reaches age 12. Until recently, this was due to reduce to age 6 from 2 April 2020. This postponement will apply for 26 weeks.
  • Anyone claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance will not be required to attend in person at a Social Security office to claim their benefit. Instead, applications can be submitted by post. New claimants should contact the Jobseeker’s Allowance Team to ask for a claim form to be sent to them.
  • Anyone claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance will be temporarily excused from the requirements to sign-on in person at a social security office, usually once a fortnight. They will continue to be paid their Jobseeker’s Allowance, but they must contact the Jobseeker’s Allowance Team straightaway if their circumstances change, they do any work or they wish to end their claim
  • Workers who are not incapacitated for work and are not self-isolating, but are prevented from attending work and unable to earn a wage, will be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.

To stay up to date with the latest advice and guidance relating to COVID-19, please regularly visit gov.im/coronavirus