Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

These 14 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe. Further guidance will be published as more businesses are able to reopen.

Read more: Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Thousands of business advisers to offer free services to small firms

Thousands of expert professional and business services advisers have signed up to offer free online advice to help small businesses bounce back from coronavirus (COVID-19).

Read more: Free services to small firms

Coronavirus support for business from outside government

Public bodies, organisations and charities have produced additional resources that may be useful to employers and employees.

Read more: Coronavirus support for business from outside government

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin – 8 July 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

  • Summer Economic Update: A Plan for Jobs 2020
  • New Updates and Guidance
  • Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Read more: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin – 8 July 2020

Grey dominates VERTIK-AL Top 10

Vertik-Al products

The latest powder usage figures from Vertik-Al reveal that shades of grey dominated its powder coating lines in the 11 months to April 2020.  Of the top 10 colours most used, five were a tonal variation of grey, with Anthracite Grey leading the charge with almost 20% share.

In fact, the powder coater’s top 10 comprises only neutral tones, with the five remaining colours a variation on this theme – Jet Black, Signal Black, Heritage Black, HIPCA White and Pure White.

Vertik-Al director, John Park-Davies believes that this neutral dominance is down to their versatility; providing a blank canvas.  “For many years white has been the principal finish for window and door products, while black and a uniform grey accounted for the majority of roofline products.

“As tastes and trends have evolved, designers and homeowners have embraced the entire neutral colour palette, seeking hues that don’t compete with other colours but can easily be layered with stronger tones, both inside and out.  Our powder usage is proof of this, with greys and blacks prevailing.”

Vertik-Al also crunched the numbers on finish usage and matt dominates at 83.91%, followed by satin, gloss and then finally, metallic.

In combining colour and finish, variations of grey in a matt finish obliterate the competition with 20 entries in Vertik-Al’s top 50.  In fact, Anthracite Grey is the only grey to feature in both a matt and satin finish.

The powder usage data has also supported a rising interest in bolder, more extraordinary colour and finish combinations.  Anodic Pewter, White Aluminium and Gold Metallic all rank in the top 50, featuring in metallic finishes.

Vertik-Al generally uses around 400 colours regularly and can access over 3500.  By working with global powder companies, including AkzoNobel, Synthapulvin, Axalta, IGP etc. the company can respond to the most elaborate of requests, coating aluminium to complement all manner of products, and architectural styles and features.

The company offers 25-year supplier backed guarantees on a range of colours.

Vertik-Al is the only applicator in the UK and Ireland to hold the GSB International quality seal for Approved Coated Aluminium and is one of a handful of applicators to boast membership of the product certification scheme, QUALICOAT.

To discover how your business can benefit from Vertik-Al’s colour expertise, investment and over 50 years’ experience in powder coating, visit


HSE: Protecting vulnerable workers during the coronavirus outbreak

HSE has produced guidance on protecting vulnerable workers from coronavirus.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the government has defined some people as clinically extremely vulnerable (shielded).

Shielded workers are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

As an employer, you have a legal duty to protect workers from harm. You should make sure you consider the risk to workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus and put controls in place to reduce that risk.

Read our latest advice and guidance on protecting vulnerable workers from COVID-19.

£400 million boost to regional R&D projects across the UK

Seven major research and innovation projects across the UK have today received over £400 million in government and industry funding.

  • Over £400 million of funding to back cutting-edge R&D projects across the UK – creating thousands of jobs
  • projects to develop autonomous and electric vehicles in South Wales and zero-emissions tech in Northern Ireland set to benefit
  • funding marks the latest step towards reaching the government’s target to invest 2.4% of GDP in UK research and development

Read more: £400 million boost to regional R&D projects across the UK

Existing UK trade agreements with non-EU countries

Find out about the trade agreements the UK has already signed and our discussions with countries the EU has a trade agreement with.


  1. Trade agreements until 31 December 2020
  2. Trade agreements from 1 January 2021
  3. Trade agreements that have been signed
  4. Trade agreements still in discussion
  5. Mutual recognition agreements
  6. More information

Read more: Existing UK trade agreements with non-EU countries

Rules that have been relaxed to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic

A list of the rules that have been temporarily relaxed to make it easier for businesses to continue working through the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The government has temporarily relaxed the rules in the following areas:

Annual leave: Workers will be allowed to carry over leave into the next 2 years.

Business rates revaluation postponed: Revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus.

Childcare funding: Councils will be able to move around government funding for free childcare entitlements to make sure sufficient childcare places are available for vulnerable children and those of critical workers.

Companies House enforcement: Enforcement process has been relaxed, including temporarily pausing the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved.

Competition law: Rules have been relaxed for certain agreements that would normally be considered anti-competitive.

Read more: Rules that have been relaxed to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic