Business and Employee Guidance and Resources for COVID19​

Quick Links:

Current Guidance for Businesses/Workplaces  -   Open/Closed Businesses  -  Guidance and Support for Self-Employed  -

  Further Support for Ltd. Companies/Directors  -  Additional Helpful Links

Businesses and workers are facing unprecedented difficulties. Have confidence, my team and I are here to support you.

Important updates regarding the gradual reopening of businesses and workplaces during phase two of the Government's Recovery Strategy can be found below.

For the new and small businesses who are suffering because of the gaps in recent support, your concerns are being forwarded to the Chancellor. 

Those on zero-hour contracts, I have written to the Treasury highlighting this as an issue. Please be assured other constituents, and many more across the country, are in a similar position and share your concerns. 

Likewise, for those who have been caught in difficulty having recently changed jobs, my team and I are in regular contact with the necessary Ministers in the DWP and Treasury, calling for urgent support where necessary. 

We are working dead out to support individuals, businesses and communities.

The local councils are doing what they can to provide support and financial assistance where possible. I touch on the most important links regarding businesses and employees. Further links are available below.

Worthing Borough Council have created a dedicated page on the Council's website regarding business support alongside a dedicated email address for enquiries: business.covidsupport@adur-worthing.gov.uk. Further information is available online: https://www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/coronavi…/business-support/

For businesses in Arun, information can be found online: https://www.arun.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-rates-informat…. This includes information on access to the small business grant fund, business rates holiday and cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, and support for nursery businesses that pay business rates. Likewise, information for the self-employed can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/…/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-….

 

A wealth of resources for Arun constituents and businesses can be found here: https://www.arun.gov.uk/coronavirus/

If your concern is about:

 

 

All information on GOV.UK is updated as soon as possible so please continue to check these pages for the latest guidance. You can also sign up to receive emails when any coronavirus information is changed on the GOV.UK website.

Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces during Phase 2 of the Government's Recovery Strategy:

We are currently transitioning into Step Three of Phase Two. There are three clear steps constituting Phase Two of the Government's Recovery Strategy. Each step may involve adding new adjustments to the existing restrictions or taking some adjustments further as shown below in the Government's roadmap. My team and I will keep this page updated at each step with relevant information and guidance.

 

Government guidance at this moment in time is that, for the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible. This will help minimise the number of social contacts across the country and therefore keep transmissions as low as possible.

All workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open.

Sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open should be open, for example, this includes food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. Details of to businesses allowed to reopen and those restricted from reopening are below.

As soon as practicable, workplaces should follow the new “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines which have been drafted in close consultation with industry, to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.

Employers are required by law to protect their employees, and others, from harm. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the minimum you must do is:

  • identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards) 

  • decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk)

  • take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk

Information on how to conduct a COVID19 appropriate risk assessment can be found here.

It remains the case that anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work. Those people should self-isolate, as should those in their households.

Guidance on how to safely and effectively clean a workplace can be found here.

Further Government support and guidance for businesses and workplaces can be found here.

From 4 July, many businesses and venues will be permitted to reopen and will be expected to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines. These include:

  • hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses

  • places of worship

  • libraries

  • community centres

  • restaurants, cafes, workplace canteens, bars, pubs that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside

  • hair salons and barbers, including mobile businesses

  • cinemas

  • theatres and concert halls

  • funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities

  • outdoor gyms and playgrounds

  • museums and galleries

  • bingo halls

  • outdoor skating rinks

  • amusement arcades and other entertainment centres

  • model villages

  • social clubs

  • indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction

  • indoor and outdoor areas of visitor attractions including, gardens, heritage sites, film studios and landmarks

 

The following businesses will need to remain closed, as we have assessed that they cannot yet be made sufficiently COVID-19 Secure:

  • nightclubs

  • casinos

  • bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks

  • indoor play areas including soft-play

  • spas

  • nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons

  • massage, tattoo and piercing parlours

  • indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities

  • swimming pools and water parks

  • exhibition or conference centres - where they are to be used for exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for that venue.

Guidance and Support for Self-Employed:

From Monday 4th May, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) began contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.

Individuals are eligible if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus, they traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020, intend to continue trading, and they:

  • earn at least half of their income through self-employment

  • have trading profits of no more than £50,000 per year

  • traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted their Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year

HMRC is also inviting customers, or their agents, to go online and check their eligibility for SEISS.

This scheme brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where the government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.

Where individuals are ineligible for the scheme, HMRC will direct people to guidance setting out the scheme conditions to help them understand why they are ineligible, and advise on other support available to them such as:

  • income tax deferrals

  • rental support

  • Universal Credit

  • access to mortgage holidays

  • various business support schemes the government has introduced to protect businesses during this time

 

To check your eligibility, please visit here.

Those struggling for income are likely eligible for, and so should also claim, universal credit.

Further Support Available for Ltd. Companies:

There remains no official scheme for limited company directors. There continues to be no cover for lost dividends though many, myself included, are lobbying for such protections and support.

Government small business bounce back loans have been launched. Some have noted of the benefit this loan may be in supporting the income of some individuals and businesses, including for those with no other support (eg, newly self-employed, limited company directors).

 

Since Monday 4 May, the new 100% state-backed bounce back loans, for up to £50,000, have been available. They are interest-free and payment-free in the first year – so pay it off then and it's no cost, and at a very low 2.5% annual interest after that. 

It is important to note that these are loans, not grants. However, they present a certain option during a time of uncertainty.

Limited company directors who do PAYE on an annual or monthly basis, even if they're the only employee, are eligible for furlough. However, you will need to have made a Real Time Information (RTI) submission (ie, you're on the payroll) on or before 19 March 2020 to be eligible. For those who do PAYE annually, this means you'll need to have submitted an RTI in the last tax year.

If an individual does furlough themself  then they can't then work for the firm, but they can (and should) continue to perform their statutory obligations as directors

Those struggling for income are likely eligible for, and so should also claim, universal credit.

Additional helpful links are below:

Updates and News:

Support for Businesses and Employees:

Data and Information:

 
 
 
 
 
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© 2019 Sir Peter Bottomley MP

Promoted by Atherton on behalf of Bottomley & Chapman, all of 21 New Broadway, Worthing, BN11 4HP.