Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 30 June 2020

Please see below today’s COVID-19 bulletin. In addition to the PM’s announcement today on investing in infrastructure across the country, I would like to draw your particular attention to the following that are signposted in the bulletin links:

  • Guidance tool for businesses on how to conduct workplace risk assessments
  • Guidance tool for employees on returning to work safely
  • Video on the Job Retention Scheme
  • Update on the Future Fund scheme – eligibility criteria has been relaxed to enable businesses with parent companies abroad to benefit
  • Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020
  • Information on the Leicester Lockdown
  • Guidance on the export of PPE being updated to state that export licences are no longer required


Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech on the economy, Dudley, 30 June 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made a speech on the economy in Dudley, announcing a “New Deal” which puts jobs and infrastructure at the centre of the government’s economic growth strategy.

The Prime Minister announced the bringing forward of £5bn of capital investment projects, supporting jobs and the economic recovery. In the Autumn the government will also publish a National Infrastructure Strategy which will set a clear direction on core economic infrastructure, including energy networks, road and rail, flood defences and waste. UK Government also intends to bring forward funding to accelerate infrastructure projects in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and will carry out a review to look at how best to improve road, rail, air and sea links between our four nations to create a more connected kingdom. Find more here.

Local action to tackle coronavirus in Leicester
The Health Secretary announced in Parliament yesterday, 29 June 2020, that given the growing outbreak of coronavirus in Leicester, Leicester-specific measures will apply to the city of Leicester, and the surrounding conurbation, including for example, Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield.

  • UK government recommends against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester.
  • The easing of the national lockdown, including the opening of bars, restaurants and hairdressers, will not happen in Leicester on 4 July.
  • From Tuesday 30 June non-essential retail will have to close.
  • Schools will close from Thursday 2 July, staying open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers.
  • The relaxation of shielding measures due on the 6 July cannot now take place in Leicester.

These local measures will be kept under review and will not be kept in place any longer than is necessary. UK government will review whether any measures can be eased in 2 weeks’ time. More information is available here.

Reopen your business safely during coronavirus – guidance tool
Employers in England that want to reopen their business have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site. Use this guidance to help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce. If you do not carry out a risk assessment, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or your local council can issue an enforcement notice. Employees can use this guidance to check what their workplace needs to do to keep people safe.

This guidance is only for businesses that are allowed to reopen in England.
Employee return-to-work tool The Government has developed a tool to help employees in England easily assess if they can return to work. The tool guides employees through questions that may influence their ability to go back to work safely. Employers can share this tool with employees to aid discussion on how employees can return to work safely. Find out more here.

New Updates and Guidance

Government unveils £200 million package to help innovative businesses bounce back
The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help companies across all parts of the UK recovering from the impact of coronavirus keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive. The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help power the UK’s economic recovery and develop new sustainable opportunities for businesses in any sector following the coronavirus pandemic, while helping the UK meet its ambitions to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Businesses can apply for support through the Sustainable Innovation Fund by visiting the Innovate UK website from Monday 29 June. Find out more here.

More firms can now benefit from the Future Fund
Changes to the Future Fund’s eligibility criteria will mean that UK companies who have participated in highly selective accelerator programmes and were required, as part of that programme, to have parent companies outside of the UK will now be able to apply for investment. Find out more here.

Support for university research and innovation during coronavirus
Research jobs and ground-breaking projects impacted by coronavirus to be protected by 2 new government support packages: A new research funding scheme opens this autumn to cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from a decline in international students; and around £280 million in government funding will be made available to enable universities to continue their cutting-edge work, such as research into antibiotics resistance and the effects of coronavirus on society. Find out more here.

Mandatory MOT testing to be reintroduced from 1 August
Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing in March. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle. Find out more here.

Keep Britain Tidy
Please have rubbish facilities available if you offer disposable items from your business. If you are outdoors meeting friends, please don’t leave your litter behind. Bin it, or if the bin is full, take it home with you. This will help reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading. Find out more here.

Coronavirus job retention scheme: video with details on flexible furloughing
Watch a video on the coronavirus job retention scheme with information on flexible furloughing and watch other videos about the support available to help deal with the economic impact of coronavirus. Find out more here.

Advice for food businesses in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the UK
Updated guidance includes a new section on prevention of infection and a revised section on management of outbreaks including contact details for health protection teams. Find out more here.

Additional guidance for publicans destroying spoilt beer
Additional guidance has been added for publicans destroying spoilt beer. Find out more here.

Exporting PPE
Guidance has been updated as you no longer need to apply for an export licence to export personal protective equipment (PPE). Find out more here.

Safer travel guidance for operators and passengers
Safer travel guidance for passengers and operators in England has been updated with information on social distancing.

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020
The measures introduced by the Act will relieve the burden on businesses during the coronavirus outbreak and allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate. Find out more here.

Please see details on the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill Webinars below:

  • To find out how provisions on AGMs and filing extensions will affect companies, please join us for our Corporate Governance session at 10.30am on 30th June. You can register here.
  • To find out how the new rules on moratoriums, restructuring and winding-up petitions will affect companies and their associated parties, register to join our Insolvency session at 10.30am on 7th July. You can register 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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