Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 8 June 2020

All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support

Contents

  • Business Secretary launches working groups to help unleash Britain’s growth potential

  • Face coverings to become mandatory on public transport in England

  • New Updates and Guidance

  • Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

 

Business Secretary launches working groups to help unleash Britain’s growth potential

Business Secretary Alok Sharma is creating 5 new business-focused groups to unleash Britain’s growth potential and create jobs, as part of the government’s plans to help the economy bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. Focused on 5 key themes, each group will explore how business can work with government to deliver economic growth and jobs:

  • The future of industry: How to accelerate business innovation and leverage private sector investment in research and development
  • Green recovery: How to capture economic growth opportunities from the shift to net zero carbon emissions
  • Backing new businesses: How to make the UK the best place in the world to start and scale a business
  • Increasing opportunity: How to level up economic performance across the UK, including through skills and apprenticeships
  • The UK open for business: How to win and retain more high value investment for the UK

The membership of the 5 working groups will be published in due course. There will also be an opportunity for other parties and individuals interested in this initiative to share written submissions with the Business Department. We will provide further details in upcoming bulletins.

Face coverings to become mandatory on public transport in England

From 15 June, face coverings will be required while using public transport in England. The UK Government asks transport operators in England to make wearing face coverings a requirement of using public transport from 15 June. Bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircraft passengers must wear a face covering on their journey to help reduce the risk of transmission when social distancing is not always possible. More information is available here. The safer travel guidance for passengers is available here.

From the 15 June all NHS hospital staff and visitors will also be expected  to wear face masks and coverings. Find out more here.

New Updates and Guidance

New

Requirements to provide public health information to passengers travelling to England

From 8 June 2020, new regulations will be in force requiring transport operators to ensure that passengers travelling to England from outside the common travel area are provided with public health information throughout the passenger journey. New guidance sets out the information that must be provided to passengers, and the manner in which it must be provided.

Suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation extended by 2 months

The Government has extended the suspension of new evictions in England and Wales until 23 August. Where tenants do experience financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, the government is clear that landlords and tenants should work together and exhaust all possible options – such as flexible payment plans which take into account a tenant’s individual circumstances – to ensure cases only end up in court as an absolute last resort. More information is available here.

Higher education: reopening buildings and campuses

New guidance has been published to help providers of higher education in England to understand how to minimise risk during the coronavirus outbreak and provide services to students. You can find the guidance here.

The Universities Minister has also set out measures to support international students and the higher education sector including flexibility on visa regulations, and announcing the appointment of Sir Steve Smith as an International Education Champion to boost the numbers of international students in the UK. You can find more information here.

Introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services delayed until 1 March 2021

The introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed for a period of 5 months from 1 October 2020 until 1 March 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the construction sector. You can find more information here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: guidance for research organisations

To support final decisions on furloughing staff before the 10 June deadline for notifications, supplementary guidance for the research sector has been published. It applies to those involved in research, including research organisations in receipt of public funding.

PPE portal for healthcare providers

Healthcare providers can order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the portal to top up their existing supplies for COVID-19 in an emergency. The PPE portal can be used by  small social care and primary care providers. Providers who can use the service will receive an email invitation to register. Find out more here.

Updates

Payment deferral from money laundering supervision due to coronavirus

Guidance on money laundering supervision has been updated to explain that you do not need to contact HMRC if you choose to defer payment. If you’re due to renew money laundering supervision get a payment deferral for up to 6 months or deregister if you stop trading due to coronavirus. This applies to all businesses with an annual fee due between 1 May and 30 September 2020. Find out more here.

Companies House – changes to strike-off policy and late filing penalties

Companies House have updated information on strike-off policy. From 1 June 2020, there will be an exception to the suspension of strike off activity. In cases where our law enforcement partners have concluded that companies are no longer in operation following an investigation, the registrar will continue with strike off action for those companies. Find out more here.

Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in England

Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK has been updated.

Reminder: Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the coronavirus job retention scheme

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees they have furloughed for a 3 week period prior to 30 June. This means that the final date by which an employers needs to agree with their employee and ensure they place them on furlough is 10 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June. Find out more here.

Help the government increase coronavirus (COVID-19) testing capacity

The government wants help from businesses to increase testing capacity in the UK as part of its strategy to protect the NHS and save lives. We want to hear specifically from companies who can manufacture and supply:

  • consumables and equipment for coronavirus testing, in particular test kits (such as nose and throat swabs, transport media and vials) and RNA extraction lab consumables (such as reagents, plates and pipette tips)
  • new or existing types of coronavirus tests for antigens or antibodies.
  • public or private sector organisations that can offer laboratory capacity.

Find out more here.

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 to intel@beis.gov.uk. 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.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Business Intelligence and Readiness Directorate      

sed@beis.gov.uk

8 June 2020 

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