30.10.2020: Business and Employers Bulletin: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

30th October 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin - 30 October 2020

This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19). All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support


 

Plan for Jobs: Chancellor increases financial support for businesses and workers

The winter support schemes have been significantly increased to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus. 

The Job Support Scheme (JSS): To support individuals and businesses to deal with the challenges created by coronavirus during this winter, the government is providing additional support to help employers retain their employees through the Job Support Scheme (JSS).

  • Employers facing decreased demand (JSS Open): Many employers can operate safely but continue to face reduced demand so they may need extra support over the winter to help keep their employees attached to their workforce. For these employers, the Job Support Scheme, through JSS Open, will give employers the option of keeping their employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant.
  • Employers who are legally required to close their premises (JSS Closed): Employers have been legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK. For these businesses, the Job Support Scheme, through JSS Closed, will help them through the period that they are directly affected by these restrictions, by supporting the wage costs of employees who have been instructed to cease work in eligible (closed) premises.

The Job Support Scheme will be open from 1 November 2020 and run for 6 months, until 30 April 2021. Further guidance on the steps that employers need to take to calculate and make a claim to the Job Support Scheme will be published soon.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension: The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. The online service for the next grant will be available from 14 December 2020. HMRC will provide full details about claiming and applications in guidance on GOV.UK in due course. Find out if you're eligible and how much you can get.

Coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant: Following the announcement of changes in the support available to businesses in areas with both high and very high COVID alert levels, guidance is being revised. Updated guidance for the Local Restrictions Support Grants will be published within the next week.

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees: The scheme has been updated so employers can ask for a ‘shielding note’ or a letter from their employees' doctor or health authority advising them to shield because they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

The Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan scheme are open to applications until 30 November 2020.

 

The UK Transition: time is running out

With just 63 days to go until the UK’s new start, the Business Secretary Alok Sharma is encouraging firms to sign up for a webinar to find out more about the actions to take. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Time is running out for businesses to get ready for the end of the transition period on 31 December and prepare for the guaranteed set of changes and opportunities ahead. I urge as many businesses as possible to sign up to the second phase of our webinars or visit gov.uk to see what actions need to be taken to ensure we’re ready for the UK’s new start as an independent country.”

For the latest transition information direct to your inbox, sign up to the Transition Readiness Business Bulletin here.

 

Working safely during coronavirus

  • Guidance on NHS Test and Trace for employers, businesses and workers has been updated to reflect employers’ legal duties around staff who are self-isolating.
  • Guidance on the cleaning of environments outside the home has been updated with information on virus transmission and mitigations.
  • Covid-19 and the private security industry – FAQs have been published.
  • Guidance for providers of grassroots sports and gym/ leisure facilities has been updated.
  • Guidance for hotels and other guest accommodation has been updated.
  • Guidance for the visitor economy has been updated with information for event organisers on outdoor events.

 

Regional information for businesses

Information for businesses in Wales: Use this page to navigate the latest guidance on the virus for businesses in Wales.

Information for businesses in Scotland: Use this page to navigate the guidance on the virus for businesses in Scotland.

Find the full list of local COVID alert levels in England by area can be found here.

 

Travel advice

Up to date travel advice is available here, including information about countries that are currently part of the UK travel corridor.