Posted on 30/03/2020 in



We realise you are still digesting the impact of the current situation on your club, employees, coaches and members and we will endeavour to bring further updates and resources as and when we are in a position to do so or following further government announcements.   
Some clubs have already made use of the French Duncan HR support that was launched last week, with most enquiries being about the furloughing of staff.  One option open to clubs in line with the Government’s job retention scheme is for businesses to furlough their staff. 

French Duncan has provided a 10-step guide to furloughing employees which we have emailed to all clubs today. 


Self-employment Income Support Scheme Launched (SEISS)

A new grant has been announced to support the self-employed during this health crisis for the next three months (this may be extended if needed)
The government has announced that you will be able to make a claim for a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the three tax years 2016-2019 (pro rata where applicable, if you have not traded that long) or £2,500 per month whichever is the lower.

The grant will only be open to individuals who have trading profits of £50,000 or less in 2018-19 or average profits in 2016-17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 when all three years are reviewed.
The grant will be claimable through a website and will be paid in one payment, it is anticipated that the first payments will be made in June. You cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.
This grant will be taxable and will be regarded as part of your trading income.
More information on the scheme and additional help for the self-employed can be found here    

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 
One of the measures put in place by the UK Government is designed to prevent redundancies. By placing employees on ‘furlough’, clubs will be able to apply for grants to cover 80% of wages, up to £2,500 per month.  This only applies to employed staff and coaches. 
Find out more about this here 

HR Support for member clubs  
As of today (24 March) Scottish Gymnastics member clubs can now access HR support through French Duncan HR services via Ciara McEleney, HR Coordinator on 07718 489818.  Ciara will provide you with resources available in dealing with the impact of coronavirus on employment in your club and can set up a call with either Louise McCosh or Lois McMurtrie if required.  When calling Ciara, you will be asked for your name, membership number and club.  Details in relation to this partnership can be found in the attached release. 
Meanwhile, you’ll find useful links and updates on the French Duncan website: 

> Full story
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 
One of the measures put in place by the UK Government is designed to prevent redundancies. By placing employees on ‘furlough’, clubs will be able to apply for grants to cover 80% of wages, up to £2,500 per month.  This only applies to employed staff and coaches. Full details of the scheme and how to access it will be issued shortly by HMRC and we will pass this on as soon as it is known. 
Find out more about this: 
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme  
If you are having difficulties with your cash flow, based on your club turnover, you can apply for a Government backed loan from major banks of up to £5 million in value. The scheme is now open for applications, and to apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers  as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan. You can find out the best ways to contact them via their websites. 
All major banks are offering this scheme. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments, you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow. Specific criteria will apply, and acceptance is not guaranteed. The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.  
VAT and Income Tax payments 
VAT: If your club currently pays VAT then please note that a new scheme is being introduced. This will effectively suspend all VAT until 30th June 2020 and requires the VAT to be paid by the end of your 2020/21 Financial year. However, you are still expected to submit your VAT return.  So, for example, a club with normal calendar quarters will pay the VAT not paid during the period to 30 June 2020 by the end of the 2020/21 financial year, which ends on 31 March 2021.  Please note this is a deferral of payment which means you will have to pay these amounts at the delayed dates. 
Income Tax: Taxpayers under the self-assessment (SA) tax system would normally be due a tax payment on 31 July 2020, this has been suspended until 31 January 2021.  
This is an automatic scheme and you simply do not have to pay these amounts until this date.   
Statutory Sick Pay relief package for Clubs 
If your club has fewer than 250 employees (as of 28 February 2020), you will be able to recover two weeks of statutory sick pay (SSP) for employees who have been ill with COVID-19.  The UK Government is working on the rebate scheme and will release details shortly. 
Changes to business rates and available grants 
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will get 100% rates relief. To get this relief, a property has to be occupied. Properties that have closed temporarily due to the government's COVID-19 advice will be treated as occupied. 
Small businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief will be eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000. 
Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail properties with rateable values of £18,001 - £50,999, will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000. 
All non-domestic properties in Scotland will get a 1.6% rates relief. This relief effectively reverses the change in poundage for 2020-21. You do not need to apply for this relief, and it will be applied to your bill by your local council. 
To apply for one of these grants you will need to complete an application via your local authority who will aim to make payment within 10 working days. The above measures are all effective from 1 April 2020. Stay up to date and find key link to local authorities:

HMRC Time To Pay Scheme 
All UK business and self-employed people in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities can apply to delay payments. The number to contact is 0800 0159 559. You will need your UTR and NI number to speak to a HMRC advisor. 
Useful tips and links 
If your coaches are self-employed, they may be entitled to Universal Credit. The link to check eligibility is 
This is ever changing so keep right up to date with everything on the following sites: 
UK Government Business Advice:  
UK Government Employee Advice: 
Scottish Government website:  
UK Government website: 
Contact our member club support partners 

Legal: Morton Fraser - Paul Geoghegan at  
Accounting: BDO - Mike Hepburn at  
HR: French Duncan - Ciara McEleney on 07718 489818 


We understand these are uncertain times for you as a member club and our development team is here to support you.  We may not have all the answers at this stage as advice and support provided by the UK and Scottish Governments is developing daily, but we are looking for useful links we think may help you.

We understand the current social distancing advice will have a considerable effect on your classes and training. During this difficult time, we advise that you review the guidance and measures introduced by the government and carry out your own risk assessment to decide how you can continue to operate your club. 

We continue to advise that the health and welfare of all club members and their families is at the forefront of your decision-making and that everyone is aware of the symptoms of the virus. Some clubs may also be affected by other circumstances such as leisure centre and venue closures and we encourage you to keep regular dialogue with your venue operator. Some clubs have already made the difficult decision to close temporarily. 

Yesterday evening the government issued a string of new financial measures which may help clubs in the future. We are working with British Gymnastics to examine how these measures can be accessed. Our team is also working on providing materials and further guidance to help member clubs so you can continue to stay informed and connected with your members.

We have addressed a number of your questions below, with information on how our partners can assist.

Our partner BDO has produced a webpage with some initial advice for businesses including some useful links:
•  CBI Coronavirus support hub
•  UK government: Overview of COVID-19 
•  UK government: COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses
•  ACAS: Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees
•  CIPD: How employers should respond to Coronavirus

If you have legal concerns, you can contact our partner Morton Fraser for support at

We are a club with a facility and have concerns about our lease
Please talk to your landlord or facility provider immediately and discuss your situation.

What do we do with our employees/self-employed coaches? 
We recommend using the government’s support webpages for advice:

HMRC has set up a helpline specifically for self-employed people and businesses struggling due to COVID-19. Call 0800 0159559.

I have fixed overheads to pay - what do I do?
Contact your suppliers/service providers to discuss your options. It’s always worth having the conversation to try and ease the pressure on your club. Get into early discussions with them.

I’m a charity what advice do you have?
The Scottish charity regulator OSCR has issued guidance for charities with useful links to further areas of support.

I have support from grant funders/social investment loans, what do I need to do?
In the first instance, contact them and explain your situation; they will be expecting the organisations they support to be in touch.  We know funders such as Social Investment Scotland are exploring solutions for organisations 

The Community Fund at The National Lottery has released a statement on how they can support organisations they have funded. 

How do I contact Scottish Gymnastics for support?
While we are working remotely, we continue to work for you and support you, so please contact whoever you normally talk to, or to one of our team. Although we can no longer hold face-to-face meetings, you can contact us on our mobile phones and email, and we can use Microsoft Teams to hold scheduled meetings online.

We will update you when we receive further advice or guidance as we work together to minimise the impact of this pandemic on the sport we love.

Our development team and contact details

Steve Paige
Head of Development
Mobile: 07825 868 863

Jacqui Stone
Club Business Manager (Governance & Leadership)
Mobile: 07825 828 867

Steven Maloney
Club Business Manager (Facilities & Funding)
Mobile: 07825 828 864

Chris Lumsden
Club Business Manager (Business Planning & Marketing)
Mobile: 07500 049 602

Mairi Lindsay
Club Support Officer 
Mobile: 07718 485774

Share article: