Supporting UK Composites

COVID-19

See the updates from Government on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and their support for Businesses and Employers.

UPDATED: 06/04/2020

Offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business 
Use this link to tell Government how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus

Updates:

For Government guidance on COVID-19 and what you need to do please click here.


QUICK LINKS


General Information

COVID-19 industry guidance

Following the shift to the ‘delay’ phase of the action plan, a new and updated industry guidance has been published for specific sectors. Click here.

The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. The Business Support website helps you find the right support, advice and information to help with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on your business. This website will continue to be updated as information becomes available.

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. Find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply here.

If you are able to help promote the business support measures to your stakeholders and networks, key information and content is available here.

Information for Businesses & Employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is also available.

Business Support Announced in the Budget

In the Budget of March 2020 the Chancellor announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by Covid-19.

The UK is extremely well prepared for these types of outbreaks and will continue to take all necessary precautions to protect the public, including engaging with key industry partners to discuss their preparedness planning. To ensure the impact on businesses is minimised, in today’s Budget the Chancellor outlined a comprehensive package of support.

A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan of up to £1.2m, with the Government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses.

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. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.

There will be a £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2bn.

Finally, the Government is temporarily increasing the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.

ACAS Webinars for Employers

Employers can join a free ACAS webinar ‘Coronavirus – an advisory webinar for employers’. The webinar provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace. It includes:-

  • steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus
  • effective ways of communicating with employees
  • self-isolating, time off, sickness certification and sick pay
  • altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements
  • remote working and the use of technology

Businesses can find out more and register here.

Stay at home guidance

The government have issued some additional guidance on the above topic. It is available here
The important message is that government have only ordered that certain businesses and venues close.
We have been sent the following guidance from BEIS:

  • If it is impossible for you to work from home, you are able to go to work. For example, this will apply to those who do manual labour, such as in the construction and manufacturing industries, as well as those who provide services that cannot be done from home.
  • You are able to go to work if you absolutely have to, unless you are a vulnerable member of society, in which case we urge you to stay at home as per the guidance.

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. Find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply here.
A list of business that must stay closed can be found here
We have set up a page detailing what employers and employees should ensure is set up for someone working at home. Click here for details.

Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
The UK Government has launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice. To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. Further information can be found here.

MakeUK Support
As an affiliate partner of Make UK, we are working closely with them to ensure our members concerns are fed back to Government, and that our members have access to as much information as possible.
Click here to access the FAQ page on COVID-19
Click here to access COVID-19 Webinars

Guidance posters for staff, employers and businesses

Public Health England have produced guidance posters that should be downloaded, printed and displayed in the workplace:


Funding | Loans | VAT

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – Now open for applications

The new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to working capital (including loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance) of up to £5 million in value and for up to 6 years. The scheme is now open for applications. Government is providing a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million. To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan. You can find out the latest on the best ways to contact them via their websites. The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

Small Business Grant Scheme

Click here to access the government guidance. Central Government will provide funding to Local Authorities that are responsible for business rate billing. Those Local Authorities will contact eligible businesses to arrange payment of the grants.

  • The government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates.
  • This funding will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief.
  • A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • If your business is eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, you will be contacted by your Local Authority – you do not need to apply.
  • The Business Secretary will write to all Local Authorities by the end of the week with information on this scheme, and to encourage them to prepare to deliver this quickly.

Financial assistance for employers unable to pay statutory redundancy payments

This page has been updated with information about the financial assistance scheme for employers unable to pay statutory redundancy payments.

Deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months

The deferral will apply from today until the end of June. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC Time to Pay

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities. You can contact HMRC’s dedicated Covid-19 helpline to get practical help and advice. The new phone number is 08000 241222. Opening hours are from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Calls to the old helpline number will be redirected automatically.

Account Filing Delay

Companies House has announced that businesses will receive an additional 3 months to file accounts to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Full guidance on applying for an extension can be found here.

Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts. Find all the information here.


Job Safeguarding | Assistance for the Self-Employed | Apprenticeships

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual 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. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.
The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.
Guidance for employers on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found here whilst guidance for employees can be found here

For FAQs about furlough under the job retention scheme click here

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The business support website provides more information and FAQs

Apprenticeship programme response

The Education and Skills Funding Agency is taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship and to support providers during this challenging time. New guidance has been published for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations.

Video - how to use pause and stop in the apprenticeship service to record a break in learning

Providing proof of coronavirus absence from work

People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service.


Commercial Property

Commercial insurance
Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19. However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy). Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Further information is available.

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. Further details are now available.

Business Rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure

  • All businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will pay no business rates in England for 12 months from 1 April 2020.
  • There will be no rateable value threshold on this relief – businesses large and small will benefit.
  • Guidance for local authorities on the application of the holiday has been published. Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Export and Travel

Moving goods trhough customs and customs authorisations

Find out about moving goods and clearing customs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Find out about temporary changes to customs policy and authorisations to assist businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has also expanded the scope of its Export Insurance Policy (EXIP) meaning UK businesses will now be eligible to secure export insurance cover to all major markets.

Notices to exporters

The Department for International Trade’s Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) has issued two Notices to Exporters concerning the impact on training and licensing activities. For general export control queries please contact ECJU’s Helpline on 020 7215 4594 or exportcontrol.help@trade.gov.uk.

DIT support for UK businesses trading internationally

The advice for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of COVID-19 has been updated.

Exceptional travel advisory notice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. Please continue to check FCO travel advice on GOV.UK for the latest updates.

Living or Travelling Overseas
Guidance for British people living or travelling overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find the update guidance here.


Request for Business Intelligence

Request for Business Intelligence: How is COVID-19 Impacting Businesses?

The Government is closely monitoring developments in relation to potential economic impacts on the UK economy and individual businesses and supply chain and we are keen that businesses feed back any specific concerns.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy seeks business intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting individual businesses and business sectors.  We welcome information from you and your members on:

  • The impacts across supply, demand and labour markets
  • Actions being taken by firms to address these impacts
  • Any gaps in the Government response from your perspective

Please send this information to intel@beis.gov.uk.  We understand that individual company information may be commercially sensitive, and it will be treated accordingly.  

You can find all updated information produced by the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England here.

 

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