Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 16 April 2020

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

  • Confirmation that the lockdown will continue until at least the 7th of May
  • The extended eligibility criteria for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Help from Companies House to avoid businesses being struck-off


Continuation of Social Distancing Measures

The Government announced today that the current social distancing measures will remain in place for at least the next 3 weeks until 7 May. The advice from SAGE is that relaxing any of the measures currently in place would risk damage to both public health and our economy. See the statement in full here.

The slides and datasets used during today’s press conference can be found here.

A reminder on the guidance on the closure of certain businesses and venues a part of social distancing can be found here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – extended eligibility
An important change has been made to the scheme extending employee eligibility:

  • Employers can now claim for employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.
  • Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

Further guidance is available here.

New Updates and Guidance

New case studies and advice have been added to the business support web pages

You can find an update from HMRC’s CEO on what furloughed workers need to know, and how Hawksmoor Restaurant plans to take advantage of the Job Retention Scheme. You can find further case studies here.

Companies House support for businesses hit by COVID-19

Changes announced today will help businesses avoid being struck off the Companies House register as they deal with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more here.

Guidance on coronavirus testing for critical workers

Guidance is available on coronavirus testing for critical workers who are self-isolating. As part of the key worker testing programme NHS and social care critical workers who are self-isolating because of coronavirus symptoms are currently being tested. This list will be updated as testing becomes more widely available. If you are not covered in this list, you should continue to follow the government guidance for self-isolating.

Social care guidance

Information for the social care sector on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Councils given greater financial relief against cash flow pressures

Councils will be allowed to defer £2.6 billion in business rates payments to central government, and £850 million in social care grants will be paid up front this month. Find out more here.

NATS eligible for funding of up to £92 million to maintain services

£1.1 billion support package for air navigation service providers across Europe affected by COVID-19 events. Find out more here.


Specification for ventilators to be used in UK hospitals

This guidance sets out the clinical requirements based on the consensus of what is ‘minimally acceptable’ performance in the opinion of the anaesthesia and intensive care medicine professionals and medical device regulators. An updated version of the specification has been published.

Retail Sector – social distancing and business in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Guidance on social distancing and business in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales has been added to the letter thanking all those who are working in retail.

COVID-19 Defra Update
Updated page with requirements for travelling and moving goods to France.

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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