Coronavirus Support & Guidance – What you need to know
As the uncertainty around COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to grow, the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce would like to reassure our members and partners that we are here to help. Below you will find the most up to date information to help guide you through this challenging time.
- Chancellor extends Self-Employment Support Scheme and confirms furlough next steps. The government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended, giving more security to individuals whose livelihoods are adversely affected by coronavirus in the coming months
- Discretionary fund for small businesses now open to self-employed. Thanks to campaigning by the Chamber Network, the discretionary fund for small businesses is now open to the self-employed across England. In follow-up, they shared this letter and the guidance was updated at the weekend.
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is now open for claims
- People who may be eligible can now go online to check their eligibility. Take a look at the details here.
- Find out how HMRC will work out your income and profits if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership in the UK and have lost profits due to coronavirus (COVID-19). How HMRC works out total income and trading profits for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme
UPDATE: From 15 June, you must wear a face covering on public transport. Staying safe outside your home
- From 8 June, there will be new rules in place for entering the UK because of coronavirus (COVID-19). When these rules are in place, you will:1) need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK 2) not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK except in very limited situations (known as ‘self-isolating’)
- Recording mobile working time and furloughing. This guidance is for employers and drivers who are regulated by: EU or AETR drivers’ hours and tachograph rules and the working time rules that apply to mobile workers. Furloughed drivers and recording mobile working time
- Guidance on how OPSS is supporting businesses and local authorities and protecting consumers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. OPSS coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for business and local authorities
- Apply for the coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund. The Discretionary Grant Fund supports small and micro businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes
- NHS Test and Trace workplace guidance. Under the new NHS Test and Trace service, anyone who tests positive for Coronavirus in England will will need to share information about their recent interactions. People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus
- UK Government sets out a timeline for retail to reopen in June
- Government introduces legislation to relieve burden on businesses and support economic recovery. The government has introduced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill in Parliament.FCLBIS
- The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is hosting a range of webinars to help businesses find out how to make the workplace more Covid-19 secure
- Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. £40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups
- UK government business support helpline. The Business Support Helpline number has changed to freephone 0800 998 1098. The helpline provides free, impartial business support and signposting services to businesses in England – which currently includes advice on the Coronavirus outbreak
- Updated information on symptoms COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses
- Clarification added on the guidance for the freight transport industry on international travel following government advice for British nationals. Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for the freight transport industry
- Announcing new safer travel guidance for members of the public and safer transport guidance for operators. New transport guidance for passengers and operators has been announced
- The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. The strategy sets out a cautious roadmap to easing existing measures in a safe and measured way, subject to successfully controlling the virus and being able to monitor and react to its spread.
- Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak. Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do
- The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. Public advised to cover faces in encloseFF spaces
- The most important thing we can do is to stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives. Guidance on how to stay alert and safe (social distancing).
- Government postpones the planned Business Rates revaluation. A revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus. Business rates revaluation postponed
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): export control process – Removed notification form, clarified the date the changes came into force and added a link to the EU’s updated FAQ
- Business Improvement Districts will receive funding in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. £6.1 million funding boost to help high streets and town centres through pandemic.
- A Letter has been published from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to the UK’s energy sector. The letter thanks all those who are working tirelessly within the energy industry during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
REMEMBER: The Skills Toolkit offers free digital and numeracy courses to build your skills.
- The UK government’s online service for booking a Coronavirus test is now live across the country. Any employee who has to leave home for work, not just those classed as essential workers, can now request and get a Coronavirus test.
- Vital routes for supplies and people have been protected today through a coronavirus support package to keep the flow of goods and services running smoothly in and out of the UK, and around the country, throughout the pandemic. Action will protect the transport links the country relies on
- Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). Updated with information on training and assessing apprentices in line with the government’s new safer working guidelines, calculating wages for furloughed apprentices, off-the-job training, and redundant apprentices.
- High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic. New measures to protect UK high street from aggressive rent collection and closure
- The Economic Secretary, John Glen has written a letter to front line staff working to provide essential banking services. Letter to front line staff providing essential banking services
- Companies House will temporarily pause the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved. This will give businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak the time they need to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register. Companies House support for businesses hit by COVID-19
- EU drivers’ hours relaxation has ended. GB relaxation continues until 14 June. Temporary relaxation of the EU and GB drivers’ hours rules for drivers carrying goods by road. The GB drivers’ hours relaxation ends Sunday 14 June 2020.
- Air navigation service providers across Europe will share a £1.1 billion support package to maintain services, as the fall in air traffic has led to a dramatic reduction in their income. £1.1 billion support package for air navigation service providers across Europe affected by COVID-19 events.
- Manufacture of Coronavirus testing capacity and testing kits. The UK government is requesting industry involvement in the manufacture of Coronavirus testing capacity and testing kits. Businesses who meet this specification should review the guidance on helping the government increase testing capacity and register here
- Annual inspection waiver for tank vehicles. Notice allowing tank vehicles, with extended roadworthiness test certificates, to remain in service and on our roads without a valid ADR 1(C) certificate.
- Letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to those working in manufacturing. Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to the manufacturing sector. The letter thanks all those who are working in manufacturing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
- The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CICs) has robust plans in place to maintain services for CICs and protect the welfare of employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Community Interest Companies (CICs)
- HMRC are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19
- Chancellor waives import taxes on vital medical equipment including ventilators, coronavirus testing kits and protective clothing. Chancellor waives duties and VAT on vital medical imports
- Can you help? Offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business Use this service to tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.
- Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK COVID-19 advice for accommodation providers
- Companies House: guidance if Coronavirus has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts.
- Due to the unfolding COVID-19 situation, cars and vans and motorcycles due their MOT from 30 March 2020 will have their MOT extended by 6 months. New rules on MOT testing for light vehicles
- For the latest information and advice, UK employers and business owners should visit the official guidance for employers and businesses.
All Chamber members have the benefit Chamber HR – access 24/7 to online HR support including templates for policies and guidance
UPDATE: The Rail Delivery Group, has recently issued guidance for employers on train journeys. It asks for support in reducing the number of journeys taken, suggests booking tickets in advance and asks passengers to carry and use hand sanitiser
- Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- NCSC has published guidance to support businesses moving from physical to digital delivery in response to Covid-19. Security questions to ask your IT service providers during the coronavirus lockdown
- The Information Commissioner’s Office has published guidance covering how employers should handle data if they decide to test employees for Covid-19. ICO guidance on workplace Covid-19 testing
- New FAQs added. As a Chamber network we have developed a number of FAQs on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Furloughed workers planning to take paid parental or adoption leave will be entitled to pay based on their usual earnings rather than a furloughed pay rate. Furloughed workers to receive full parental leave entitlement
- Free impartial support is being offered to help businesses recruit quickly to keep up with the demands of Covid-19, support businesses who have employees at risk of or facing redundancy and to help individuals find new employment opportunities. Here are details for business support and individuals
- Guidance on social distancing in the workplace Advice for employers on social distancing during coronavirus (COVID-19)
- New legislation making major changes to existing employment regulations came into force on Monday 6 April 2020 Employment law changes
- Advice and support while self-isolating or working from home can be found here Coronavirus and your wellbeing
- Workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years. Rules on carrying over annual leave to be relaxed to support key industries during COVID-19
- For those with employees who need to stay home with confirmed or possible Coronavirus infection, guidance can be found here Stay at home guidance
- Community projects supporting people with their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will benefit from their share of £5 million of additional funding. £5 million funding given to mental health community projects
- Government extends maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £50 million to £200 million. Larger businesses to benefit from loans of up to £200 million
- Online service for small and medium-sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees, the government announced today (19 May 2020). Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme set to launch.
- Government invests £35 million to protect critical freight routes. Ensuring there is enough freight capacity to prevent disruption to the flow of critical goods, such as food and medical supplies.
- The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October Chancellor extends furlough scheme
- Page updated with information about how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing. Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Information has been added about the extension of the scheme. Information added for workers that are furloughed that want to volunteer. ‘Employees that you can claim for’ section moved to a new guide called ‘Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.
- A number of private lenders are making funds available to small businesses impacted by Coronavirus, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.
- The Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) is open for grants of up to £50,000 for the very best small British development charities tackling coronavirus.
- HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have set out new timelines for tax policy consultations and other work in the light of the current Coronavirus crisis. This includes a three-month extension to a number of consultations
- PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period. Treasury cut taxes to reduce PPE costs
- The Bounce Back Loan scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders. This scheme is not available yet.
- The online service to claim under the Job Retention Scheme is live. Companies will need a Government Gateway ID and password and will need to have enrolled for PAYE online. The following information is required for each employee – name, national insurance number, claim period and claim amount CLAIM NOW A step by step guide for employers has been released details can be found here.
- The Cabinet Office have published a tool for businesses to ascertain what support is available to them. Find coronavirus financial support for your business
- The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has urged insurers to pay out for business interruption claims that covered a coronavirus shutdown
- Future Fund – New government funding announced. 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. This scheme is not available yet.
- All firms with a turnover of more than £45 million will now be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance, and up to £50 million for firms with a turnover of more than £250 million. Chancellor expands loan scheme for large businesses
- Delaying import duty payments as a result of Coronavirus. HMRC has released guidance on how to request an extension to the payment period for import duty/import VAT payments. Deferment is not automatic and requires immediate action. The account holder should contact the Duty Deferment Office 03000 594243 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or the Coronavirus helpline on 0800 024 1222. Account holders will be asked to provide an explanation of how Coronavirus has impacted their business finances and cash flow.
- The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.
- Find out what equipment, services or supplies are taxable if your employees are working from home due to coronavirus Check which expenses are taxable if your employee works from home due to coronavirus
- HMRC Covid-19 tax helpline 08000 241222
- HMRC have produced guidance on temporary changes to the use and supply of denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits, to help businesses who produce hand sanitiser and gel
- Insurers know this is an incredibly difficult time for families and businesses as people seek to make the right decisions for their own health and that of their family. The Association of Business Insurers (ABI) has provided guidance and answers to common questions. If you are unsure what your policy covers you for then check with your insurer or insurance broker.
- Insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19. However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease may be able to make a claim
- The government have issued the following guidance Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance
- Covid Corporate Financing Facility – what steps does my company need to take?
- In response to extensive BRC pressure and widespread consumer demand, the contactless limit for in-store card transactions will increase from £30 to £45. This is being introduced as a measure in response to the coronavirus epidemic, to reduce the need for physical contact with PIN-Entry Devices (PEDs) at points of sale.
- Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. Commercial tenants unable to pay rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. Measures support ongoing conversations between landlords and tenants about voluntary arrangements. Latest measure builds on the unprecedented package of support for businesses already announced
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The British Business Bank (BBB) has produced revised and updated Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) FAQs for SMEs with more complex questions that SMEs have been asking Lenders including a Q&A on exporting. You can apply for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) support delivered by Business Enterprise Fund
If you have any concerns or would like to ask our professional team a question please contact contact our team
Our phone lines are open and we are on hand to answer any questions you may have 01274 230049
HAVE YOUR SAY: As a chamber network we have answered a number of questions around coronavirus, these can be found here If you have a question that you would like answered about these issues or any other Coronavirus support announced by the government, please email our policy team
Page last updated 05/06/20 16:41