UK businesses and employers are facing challenging times as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread across the country.
The Government is working with the NHS, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation to respond to the crisis. The latest information available from the Government, including its action plan can be found here.
Advice for businesses and employers
The Government has guidance for businesses and employers on the following topics:
- What to do if an employee suspects they may have Covid-19?
- How to help stop the spread of infection
- What to do if a member of staff or a visitor to your workplace has suspected or confirmed Covid-19?
- Handling post from affected areas
- Other information on symptoms, incubation periods, waste disposal
ACAS has also produced a workplace specific guide for employers on policies and procedures relating to COVID-19, available here
Business support is also available via the Marches Growth Hub, which has a searchable directory of more than 120 programmes, funds, grants and schemes which can assisted businesses.
Advice for travelling overseas on business or otherwise is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
At Budget 2020, the Chancellor announced further measures to support businesses:
- a ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ will temporarily replace the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), becoming available over the coming weeks More information about the loan scheme can be found here.
- For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. The refund is limited to two weeks and do not require a GP note.
- A temporary increase of the business rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value will also come into effect
A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs.
Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC‘s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
For advice relating to the coronavirus illness, symptoms and information about when to self-isolate, you should visit the NHS information website and if you need medical assistance, the advice is to call 111.