*Information on our support pages is correct as of 3:45pm on 24 September 2020*
Coronavirus (Covid-19): Support for Scottish Land & Estates members
Our member support pages exist to allow members to find relevant guidance and updates relating to Coronavirus (Covid-19) for our rural businesses and communities in Scotland.
As we progress through the different phases of the Scottish Government's route map for Scotland, we will continue to update these pages as necessary.
As per government recommendations, our colleagues at SLE are working from home. If you need to contact a specific colleague, you can find email addresses for each colleague on the Our Staff page. We are ready to continue offering our services to members. Whether it’s a question for our policy team or a query for our membership or regional teams, we will continue to offer members a great service.
These have been challenging times for our rural communities, businesses and for wider society. The most important thing we can do right now is continue to heed the advice of health officials. Please follow all governmental and official guidelines to help make sure yourself, your staff and your communities remain safe.
24 September 2020 - New Job Support Scheme and VAT rate cut
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new Job Support Scheme, starting in November 2020. The Job Support Scheme will provide wage support to allow employers to bring their staff back for shorter hours. Employees must work a third of their normal hours and employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work. However, they will not need to pay for the hours not worked, the UK Government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary. All SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) will be eligible for the new scheme but larger businesses can only apply if they can demonstrate turnover has fallen though the Covid crisis. The scheme will run for six months starting in November and firms can apply to both the Job Support Scheme and claim the job retention bonus.
The Chancellor also announced additional extensions and deferrals:
- Introducing a Pay as you Grow scheme – loans can be extended from six to ten years – halving the average monthly repayment.
- Businesses can choose interest only payments and those in real trouble can apply to suspend payments for up to six months.
- No business taking this up will have their credit rating affected.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans
- The Chancellor is extending the government guarantee for up to ten years to make it easier for lenders to give more time to repay.
- Extending deadline of all loan schemes to the end of this year and starting work on a new successor loan guarantee programme to begin in January.
Deferred Tax Bills
- VAT deferrals due in March can now be spread over 11 smaller repayments with no interest to pay.
- For the self-assessed the outstanding tax bill can be spread over 12 months from January.
Hospitality and Tourism
- The VAT rate increase from 5% to 20% planned for 13 January 2021 is being postponed until 31 March 2021.
On Tuesday 22 September, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, unveiled a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in Covid-19 infections. Following a review of the detail behind the headline announcements we can advise you that:
- A maximum of 6 people from 2 households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes or restaurants.
- The nationwide curfew of 10pm from Friday 25 September applies to pubs, restaurants and all hospitality settings.
- Table service is required in all hospitality premises.
- You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow guidance where there is no alternative
- There is no change to the guidance for organised outdoor activities and sports – including country sports.
Information on Covid-19 in relation to our areas of work:
Information on the right of responsible access throughout Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Information on current advice on aspects of deer management, including as a purpose of pest control.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to raise awareness around the issue of flytipping blighting the Scottish countryside.
Well managed forestry and woodland deliver multiple objectives for the economy, society and environment. You'll find guidelines for forestry as related to Covid-19 here.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled answers to a list of frequently asked questions we have received. This list will be revisited and and amended in the future. If there is a question you would like an answer to which is not covered here, please don't hesitate to get in touch (member log-in required).
Information on current advice for tenants, landlords and property owners.
Our overview of information which we think will be of value to members, as it is released. Additional information for anyone who works for a business or organisation, or who employs staff can also be found here.
Information on topics that impact communities at large, including messaging from and relating to Local Authorities.
Information from the Scottish Government relating to different areas of the tourism sector as we begin to move through stage 2 and to look ahead to stage 3 of lockdown.
Information and contact details for a variety of groups representing different aspects of wildlife management.
Additional topics relevant to members:
Information from HMRC *Last updated 5:00pm, 17 March 2020
An outline of updates from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
Updates from the EU *Last updated 5:00pm, 17 March 2020
While we are in the transitional period following Brexit, changes made within the European Union will still apply to the UK. We'll provide any relevant updates here.
- UK Government advice in relation to travel can be found here.
- Test numbers for Covid-19 can be found here and are updated daily.
- The latest NHS updates on the Coronavirus can be found here.
- If you are a key worker and believe you need a COVID-19 test, advice on who classifies as a key worker is available here. Appointments for drive-through testing centres can be booked here.
- Are your friends, neighbours & family ok? Are you ok? Make time to talk. Remember, Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution's (RSABI) helpline - 0300 1114166 - is open 365 days a year, 7am to 11pm.
- Different councils have various definitions of terms such as "key workers". If you have any concerns regarding terminology in your area, contact your Regional Support Officer. If you need help in finding out who your Regional Support Officer is, contact us directly.
- Advice for those with symptoms or diagnosis of COVID-19 is available here.