By Raheema Khan

Harleen Kaur is an ambitious sports enthusiast and has won many accolades and titles for her martial arts. At the age of 19 she won the world title in the WMKF world championships.

With plans well under way to graduate from her Sports Sciences degree Harleen was elated to have landed her dream job of a Sports Development Manager for the Inspirational Women Foundation. The role was to help encourage more women to take on sport.
The martial artist had really started making an impact when she organised a sports club launch for women on International Women’s Day, where more than 100 women turned up to participate in various sports activities. Sadly, just has her project got off the ground, lockdown was announced.

Like thousands of new employees, with the burden of her student loan and all contact sport cancelled, the twenty-one-year-old was deeply worried about losing her dream job.
However, thanks to the Governments Job Retention Scheme, Harleen’s employer has been able to furlough her until lockdown is eased for sporting activities to resume.
As part of the Chancellors’ £330bn package of support for businesses, businesses across the UK can put employees on a period of temporary leave (furlough) and apply for a government grant to cover 80 per cent of those workers’ usual monthly wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 a month. The scheme is now available until the end of October.

There is a wide range of financial support available to firms of all sizes. For more information visit:

Harleen told Asian Sunday: “I love sports and I love my job, which is my dream as I get to help encourage women to participate in sports and to teach them martial arts. So, naturally I was devastated when lockdown happened.

“I am glad the government introduced the furlough scheme, which has allowed my employer to save my job, and I have income which helps support my basic expenses.

“I am grateful for this scheme, as my living expenses are covered and while I am waiting to go back to work, I have been able to give back and help the community during these testing times by delivering food parcels and offering practical support to get them through this challenging period.”

In normal times, Harleen would be running the Inspirational Women’s Foundation sports club and be taking on her own classes to teach women Taekwondo. Now with her job being retained, she has helped deliver food parcels to more than 200 households.

“I am lucky my job has been saved, so I am grateful and hence it’s time for me to give back to the community” The Sports Development manager concluded.

Check out the simple business support finder to see whether your business is eligible for financial support:

The government has introduced a range of Business Support Packages. Here is some information that might help.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Businesses across the UK can put employees on a period of temporary leave (furlough) and apply for a government grant to cover 80% of those workers’ usual monthly wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 a month.
  • The scheme is now available until the end of October.
  • The scheme has already protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme allows eligible self-employed individuals to claim a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 in total. Around 95% of people who receive the majority of their income through self-employment could be eligible.
  • To benefit from SEISS, you need to receive at least half of your income from being self-employed and be earning under £50,000 in profits.
  • You can use HMRC’s eligibility checker to see if you could benefit from the scheme.

Statutory Sick Pay:

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the current rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that they pay to current or former employees for periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

VAT Deferrals

  • The Government has given the option to defer VAT payments to UK VAT-registered firms, for payments due alongside VAT returns until the end of June. If you’re a UK VAT-registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to either defer the payment until a later date, or pay the VAT due as normal.
  • HMRC will not charge interest or penalties on any amount deferred.

Business rates holiday and eviction protection:

The Government has introduced a business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and nurseries, meaning eligible properties in England will pay no business rates this year. This relief is worth almost £10 billion. [Note: business rates are devolved so this applies to England only – the Devolved Administrations have their own schemes and will receive Barnett consequential funding.]

  • Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction.
  • The Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) provides businesses with a £10,000 grant per property, for each of their properties which is in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief. This scheme is only applicable in England.
  • The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) provides businesses with grants of up to

£25,000 per property, for each retail, hospitality or leisure property with a rateable value below £51,000. This scheme is only applicable in England.

  • Local authorities are contacting eligible businesses directly to arrange grant payments. If a business believes they are eligible and has not yet heard from their local authority, they should get in touch with them to ask about these payments.
  • On 1 May, the Government also allocated up to an additional £617 million to local authorities to enable them to make discretionary grants to small businesses in their communities, which have been excluded from the SBGF and RHLGF because of the way they interact with the business rates system. This only applies in England.
  • Businesses are encouraged to look out for their local authority’s version of the Discretionary Grants Fund, and to contact their local authority for more information in due course. This only applies in England.


  • The Government’s Bounce Back Loans Scheme provides loans of up to £50,000 to small businesses, with an 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders. These loans will be interest free for the first 12 months and businesses can apply online with a short and simple form.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is available for loans or other forms of finance of up to £5m.
  • The Government will pay interest and any fees for the first 12 months, and will provide the lender with an 80% guarantee to support the lending.
  • This scheme is available UK-wide.
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) supports large businesses with an annual turnover of over £45 million per year to apply for up to £25 million of finance.

Future Fund:

The Future Fund will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.

If your business needs to hire now, there is help available to fill your vacancies quickly.

Keep job descriptions as generic as possible to make sure you don’t miss out on great people with transferable skills.

Visit: to find out more.