Government Support & Guidance
Business and Financial Support
The UK government is enacting a range of measures to support businesses dealing with the impact of the virus. The government has launched its Business Support website to help businesses find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of COVID-19. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has also summarised a number of these measures on its website. Of particular note are the following:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Schem. Employers can now claim online for a grant for 80% of their furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee. Make a claim. More information can be found in the government’s step by step guidance.
- The Bounce Back Loans scheme, announced by the Chancellor, will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and from Monday 4 May, businesses can apply online through a short and simple form. The scheme is open for application. Find out more.
- Apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - helps small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access finance of up to £5 million. Find out more.
- Apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme - helps large businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access loans of up to £25 million. Find out more.
- The Future Fund will provide UK Government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.
- HM Revenue & Customs has announced that the introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed from 01 October 2020 until 01 March 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus on the construction sector.
- The Government launched a Trade Credit Reinsurance scheme with up to £10 billion of backing, that will see the vast majority of Trade Credit Insurance coverage maintained across the UK until 31 December, backdated to 01 April. The manufacturing and construction sectors are amongst the largest users of Trade Credit Insurance.
Health and Safety Advice
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, addressed the nation on Sunday 10 May, where he outlined plans to begin restarting the economy. He 'actively encouraged' construction and manufacturing workers to return to work. Useful guidance includes:
- The government has published its Coronavirus recovery plan, Our plan to rebuild: the UK Government's COVID-19 recovery strategy. The roadmap to lift restrictions step-by-step (p.25) will be of particular interest to members.
- The government has published new Working Safely During Coronavirus Guidance with specific guidance for Construction and Factories, Plants and Warehouses. Guidance on Safer Public Spaces has also been published.
- The Department of Transport published Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators.
- The government has published new guidance on social distancing, Staying alert and safe which includes specific guidance on Going to Work safely.
- The Home Builders Federation and Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced plans to re‐start the housing market. This is accompanied by a Safe Working Practice Charter which includes advice for all visitors to housing sites.
Other links that might also be of use to our members:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
- COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses
- Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19): sector guidance - Construction
- Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19): sector guidance - Manufacturing
- Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available.
- The Scottish government's Construction Sector Guidance
- The Welsh government's 'New rules to protect workers during the coronavirus outbreak'
- Remediation and COVID-19: Building Safety update
- Guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises
- Companies to receive a 3 month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19
- Forms and guidance on what manufacturers need to do to place test kits on the market
- Closing certain businesses and venues – compliance
- Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do
- Covid-19 apprenticeships programme response
- Coronavirus: A joint statement between HSE, the TUC and the CBI
- Social distancing, keeping businesses open and in-work activities during the coronavirus outbreak
- RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) reporting of COVID-19
- HSE has published the following guidance, which you may find useful: face mask fit-testing; working from home; driver welfare facilities; first aid cover and qualifications; the manufacture and supply of hand sanitisers