Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 29 April 2020

Please find below the latest Businesses and Employers Bulletin from Government. This includes:

  • An update on payment of furloughed employees.
  • Provision of testing for Coronavirus for all employees who have COVID-19 symptoms, who are self-isolating and who cannot work from home. Employees with a negative test result will be able to return to work. These criteria apply in England only; further guidance is provided for the rest of the UK.


Wages for furloughed employees are now being paid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If you have already made a claim: Payment takes six working days from when a claim is submitted. Please do not call HMRC to chase payment as they will not be able to update you before the six working days have ended. It will automatically be sent to the bank account you nominated in your claim. Please retain all records and calculations for your claims in case HMRC need to contact you about them in future.

If you have not yet made a claim: You can still claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month. You will receive the funds six working days after you claim, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme.

Please continue to keep your furloughed employees informed and ask them not to contact HMRC directly – HMRC will not be able to provide them with any information.

Updated: Getting tested for coronavirus
Testing in England has now been expanded out to include any worker who needs to leave home to travel to work and cannot work from home. The guidance has now been updated and the full list for testing now includes:

  • all those working on the frontline in health and social care (with or without symptoms)
  • patients in the NHS and residents in care homes (with or without symptoms)
  • all other essential workers with symptoms
  • people who live with essential workers and have symptoms
  • people over 65 with symptoms
  • anyone who goes into work because they cannot work from home (for example, construction workers) and has symptoms

You can find further information here. Please note that these lists apply to England only. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own lists and criteria. See more information on:

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure and Small Business Grant Funding
Since the launch of the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Leisure & Hospitality Grants Fund, over £7 billion in grants has been paid out to small businesses. Local Authorities in England have been working hard to reach out to eligible businesses directly to arrange payment. The grants are of £10,000 or £25,000 and do not need to be paid back. Please note, this scheme applies to England only. To ensure all eligible businesses can access these funds, we have two main calls to action:

For more information on the schemes, please click here.

Webinar: Financial support for small businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Register to join a free webinar hosted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at 11am on Tuesday 5 May (and not Monday 4 May, as stated in yesterday’s Bulletin) to find out how small business can access the coronavirus business support measures that have been made available to UK businesses.

New Updates and Guidance

Extension to tax policy consultations

HM Treasury and HMRC have set out new timelines for tax policy consultations and other work in the light of the current Covid-19 crisis.

COVID-19 treatments could be fast-tracked through new national clinical trial initiative

This initiative will accelerate the development of new drugs for patients hospitalised with COVID-19, reducing the time taken to set up clinical studies for new therapies from months to weeks.

Slides and datasets to accompany coronavirus press conference: 28 April 2020

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

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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