Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 15 June 2020

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

  • The reopening of non-essential retail
  • The requirement for users of public transport in England, to wear a face covering
  • Guidance on calculating claims under the new flexible Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough)


Non-essential Retail
All non-essential retail shops (high street retailers, department stores, book shops, electronics retailers, tailors, auction houses, photography studios, indoor markets, and shops selling clothes, shoes and toys) can reopen in England from today, Monday 15 June, provided they follow guidelines to keep staff and customers as safe as possible. Please refer to the Working safely during coronavirus Shops and Branches guidance for further details and watch our webinar on working safely in shops and branches during coronavirus.

Face coverings become mandatory on public transport in England
From today, Monday 15 June, it is mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport in England (bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircrafts). This is to help reduce the risk of transmission when social distancing is not always possible.

  • Under the new rules, operators will be able to prevent passengers who refuse to follow the rules from travelling and police will be able to issue fines of £100;
  • Over 3,000 extra staff will be deployed from Monday to support the travelling public, reminding people about the need to wear face coverings and helping vulnerable passengers

Guidance remains to work from home if you can and avoid public transport where possible. Find out more here.

Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • From 1 July employers can only claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks between 1 March – 30 June.
  • Flexibly furlough employees meaning employees can come back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern.
  • Still be able to claim the furlough grant for the hours your flexibly furloughed employees do not work, compared to the hours they would normally have worked in that period
  • From 1 August, the level of the grant will be slowly reduced. No grant will be available for Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions from 1 August although these contributions will remain payable by the employer.
  • From September 1, you will also be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages to ensure they continue to receive at least 80% of their wages for the time they’re on furlough. Find out more information on how the amount of grant available through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

HMRC are running a webinar to be held on Thursday 18 June 9:45am-10:45am and Friday 19 June 11:45am-12:45pm. It provides an overview of the changes to the scheme, how employers will be affected, flexible furloughing, key dates and support available. Sign up here.

New Updates and Guidance
Transmission licence exemptions for offshore wind farm generators affected by COVID-19

This consultation seeks views on a proposed exemption order for wind farm generators in tender rounds 5 and 6 of the offshore transmission owner (OFTO) regime, who have been affected by COVID-19. The order will extend the commissioning period to account for the impacts of COVID-19. We’re seeking views on a proposed exemption order, for wind farm generators in tender rounds 5 and 6 of the OFTO regime affected by COVID-19, this closes on 10 July. Find out more here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer aviation guidance for operators
Safer travel and working principles for airports and aviation operators. Update includes the new requirements for passengers to wear face coverings. Find out more here. For guidance for passengers, find out more here.

How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
If you're self-employed or member of a partnership, find out how your circumstances can affect your eligibility for the scheme. The update includes examples added, to show when the ‘adversely affected’ criteria for the first and second grants will be met. 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.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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