Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin – 14 May 2020

14th May 2020 | Covid-19

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


Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19)

This guidance outlines how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic. It is designed to help employers understand their legal obligations, in terms of workers who: 

  • continue to work 
  • have been placed on furlough as part of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) 

Reminder: COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

At Budget 2020 the Chancellor announced details about a new coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay to their employees. HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. 

HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Details about when the new Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme can be accessed and when employers can make a claim will be announced as soon as possible.


Reminder: Supporting your employees during coronavirus: domestic abuse

The order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. As an employer, you can play an important role in reassuring staff that they can still leave their home if they are experiencing domestic abuse and that there is still support available, including online support, helplines, refuges and the police. We encourage you to share this important message with staff using the information provided in the Home Office’s employer pack. 


New Updates and Guidance

New  

Plans to safely restart, reopen and renew the housing market 

The Housing Secretary has set out the plan to safely restart, reopen and renew the housing market. Anyone in England can move house if they follow new guidance on home moving during the coronavirus outbreak. In addition, in England: 

  • Estate agents’ offices can re-open 
  • Viewings – whether virtual or in person – are permitted 
  • Show homes can open 
  • Removal companies and the other essential parts of the sales and letting process are re-started with immediate effect 

Construction site working hours Q&A 

The Government has published a written ministerial statement on planning and construction working hours. This statement expects local planning authorities in England to approve requests to extend construction working hours temporarily to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are very compelling reasons against this. Questions and answers on this announcement are available.  

How tests and testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19) work 

Information for members of the public, patients, professionals and industry about COVID-19 tests and testing kits, including how they work, the different types of tests and the specifications manufacturers need to follow is available. Find out more information here. 

Updates  

Business support grant funding – guidance for local authorities 

Guidance for local authorities about the operation and delivery of the Local Authority Discretionary Fund had been published.


Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Offer coronavirus support

Tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using our online service.

Share the impact coronavirus is having on your organisation 

Let us know how the outbreak is impacting your business.  Please send your intelligence, including information and feedback on the safer workplace guidance, to [email protected]. Commercially sensitive information will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice.  

Help us shine a light on the stories of key workers 

Tell us about key workers you know that are helping to keep the UK moving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please fill in this online form for key workers in the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, consumer goods, scientists/researchers, servicing, postal workers, and oil/gas/electricity/water/sewage/chemical workers. 


Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support.

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