Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin: 1 April 2020

This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides information for employers and businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19). All guidance, information and announcements can be found at GOV.UK. Organisations should pay particular attention to the guidance for employees, employers and businesses which is being updated regularly with the latest advice.

The UK Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. The Business Support website helps businesses find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the support measures that are available. This website will continue to be updated as information becomes available. Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available.  

Contents

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to the construction sector
  • New Updates and Guidance
  • Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Read more: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 1 April 2020

Offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business

The support needed includes things like:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • social care or childcare

Read more: Coronavirus support from your business

Managing Coronavirus Issues at Work

There are a number of risks posed by Coronavirus that employers will need to be aware of. It is important to remember that employers have a duty of care towards their employees and must take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of their workforce.

Quidance notes and Q&A:

  • What is the Coronavirus?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is the virus passed on?
  • Employer considerations
    • Duty of care
    • Wellbeing
    • Employees located in severely affected areas
    • Business travel
    • Self-isolation and pay
    • If an employee has a confirmed case of Coronavirus
    • Recovery of SSP
    • Employers who have concerns about an employee’s exposure to the virus
    • Employees who refuse to come to work due to concerns
    • Discrimination, bullying and harassement
    • Employees about to go on holiday
    • Closure of business
    • Closure of schools etc
    • Hygiene measures
  • Q&A
    • Can I cancel an employee’s annual leave if I know they are going to a severely affected area?
    • Do I have to allow employees to cancel their booked period of annual leave if they cannot travel abroad as planned?
    • As a deterrent to travel, can I deduct pay from employees who insist on going to a severely affected area on annual leave?
    • I have an employee who was in China on holiday and now can’t get home because their flight has been cancelled. What should I do?
    • We are due to have visitors to our London office from our China office next month. Should be postpone the visit?
    • One of my employees has recently come back from Japan and told me that they were informed during the flight that there was a suspected case of Coronavirus on the aeroplane. What should I do?
    • My employee has told me they have family due to visit from China next month. I am worried that their risk of infection will increase. What can I do?
    • We regularly receive packages that have been sent from China. The staff in my post room are concerned about exposure to the virus and are refusing to touch them. What can I do?
    • The business next to mine has sent all of its employees home because of Coronavirus. Should I do the same?
    • One of my employees has contracted the virus. Do I just pay sick pay as normal?

Read more: Managing Coronavirus Issues at Work

 

ALFED Position Paper: The Vital Role of Aluminium During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The aluminium sector generates £10 billion annually for the UK economy and employs more than 20,000 people nationwide. It plays a vital role in the supply chains of markets essential to managing the COVID-19 crisis, including medical device manufacture, electricity transmission, building materials and packaging. As a result, it is a sector of national significance during this pandemic – and aluminium sector operations must therefore continue in a safe yet productive manner.

Read more: ALFED Position Paper: The Vital Role of Aluminium During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Read more: ALFED COVID-19 position paper cover letter

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin

27 March 2020:

This bulletin provides information for employers and businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19). All guidance, information and announcements can be found at GOV.UK. Organisations should pay particular attention to the guidance for employees, employers and businesses which is being updated regularly with the latest advice.

The UK Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. The Business Support website helps businesses find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the support measures that are available. This website will continue to be updated as information becomes available. Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available.  

Contents

  • Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • New Updates and Guidance
  • Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Read more: Business and employer bulletin

Guidance for businesses and workers on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Government has today published guidance for businesses and workers on how to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

Guidance for Employers

Employers will be able to use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April.

Please use the following link to access the guidance:

www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Guidance for Employees

The guidance published today will support workers understand whether they are eligible for the scheme, and how much the employer can claim if they are unable to operate or if there is no work due to coronavirus (COVID 19).

Please use the following link to access the guidance:

www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Guidance & FAQ’s on the self- employed scheme https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/

FAQs link: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme-faqs/

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for UK businesses

This guidance will advise UK businesses on:

  • DIT support for UK business trading internationally

and

  • Financial support for business trading internationally

Read more: Guidance for UK businesses

Update on the supply of Aluminium Extruded Profiles from Exlabesa

26th March 2020   – Subject: Covid 19 Virus update:

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the situation regarding the supply of your Aluminium Extruded Profiles from Exlabesa in Doncaster, in respect of the current position of the Covid 19 virus.

Within Exlabesa Doncaster we are currently working to the strict guidelines advised by the Government on working and social distancing. We have many of our employees working from home where possible, and those who need to work on site have had their work stations amended to ensure a minimum of 2 metre distances will be strictly adhered to.

With regards to our operational facilities. We remain committed to being able to continue to produce and supply extrusions for you, but has become necessary to adjust our available capacity to suit our order book and those customers who have now suspended all deliveries. So, for the time being we are still able to produce your orders if required but whilst we are able to do this, our flexibility has been reduced. We have no supply issues with billet and our transport of goods are still operational.

Of course, with the situation changing on a daily basis, things may change rapidly but we remain committed to ensure that you are fully appraised of our operational ability at all times.

Once again, I would like to reiterate that your business is valuable to us and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support during this difficult time. Please stay safe at all times.

Steve Nash
Head of Sales United Kingdom
s.nash@exlabesa.co.uk
07747 463235
Exlabesa
Ogden Road, Doncaster DN2 4SG

Apprenticeships response to COVID-19

We have just received this guidance from Ministers. We have published The Apprenticeship Programme response to COVID-19. Minister Keegan wrote to the non-college FE sector (Apprenticeships – Minister Keegan Letter – Covid Response 23 March).

Our guidance provides information on:

  • applying the policy on breaks in learning;
  • delays to end-point assessment (EPA); and
  • alternative arrangements for EPA and external quality assurance.

And set out details of the specific support we are providing, which includes:

  • Encouraging training providers to deliver training to apprentices remotely and via e-learning as far as is practicable.
  • Allowing the modification of end-point assessment arrangements, including remote assessments wherever practicable and possible.
  • Clarifying that apprentices ready for assessment but who cannot be assessed due to COVID-19 issues can have their End-point assessment rescheduled. Apprentices whose gateway is delayed can have an extension to the assessment timeframe.
  • Enabling employers and training providers to report and initiate a break in learning where the interruption to learning due to COVID-19 is greater than four weeks.
  • Clarification on how to record breaks in learning so that funding is not unnecessarily disrupted.
  • Confirming that where apprentices are made redundant, it is our ambition to find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has also published new guidance on the delivery of assessment at https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/response-to-covid-19/

This guidance will be updated regularly as we develop further areas of our programme to support providers, employers and apprentices.

Please keep safe and protect others following the latest Government advice.

National Apprenticeship Service
Education and Skills Funding Agency

Visit our website: www.apprenticeships.gov.uk

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the Government has introduced three new measures.

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces.
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

These measures came into effect on Monday 23 March. The Government will look again at these measures after three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

Read more: Full guidance on staying at home and away from others