Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 8 April 2020

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

  • Guidance on transport and travel, including public transport and freight
  • The COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, which will allow SME (less that 1250 employees) to recover the cost of SSP for their employees
  • HMRC COVID-19 webinars on how employers can support their employees


Additional guidance on social distancing in the workplace
To support businesses that remain open during this period in England, the government has published additional guidance to assist employers, businesses and their staff in staying open safely during coronavirus (COVID-19). For specific settings please refer to sector specific guidance. Guidance has been published for:

For advice for business in other nations of the UK please see guidance set by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.

These guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive or to represent every business’s situation, but are illustrative examples. Businesses should also look at the advice being published by trade associations and similar groups on how to apply government guidance in their sector. Read the general guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus.

Transport and travel guidance

A new hub on gov.uk brings together Information for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the Coronavirus outbreak. This includes information on:

COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

At Budget 2020 the Chancellor announced details about a new coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay to their employees. HMRC has published new online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.

HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers. Details about when the new Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme can be accessed and when employers can make a claim, will be announced as soon as possible. HMRC will continue to update employers and the new GOV.UK guidance when these details are available.

HMRC COVID-19 webinars

HMRC are delivering a programme of webinars on the measures to support employers, people and self-employed individuals through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

You can watch a video of the recorded webinar on the HMRC YouTube channel Coronavirus (COVID-19): helping employers to support employees. You can also register to attend a free webinar to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus by registering here.

New Updates and Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information leaflet

Leaflet on what to do to help stop the spread of coronavirus, including information on symptoms and government support.

Tourism Minister launches £1.3 million fund to support Destination Management Organisations

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston has launched a new emergency fund to support Destination Management Organisations in England at risk of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Slides and datasets to accompany coronavirus press conference: 7 April 2020


Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the drivers’ hours rules: all sectors carriage of goods by road
Anyone driving under the EU drivers’ hours rules or the GB drivers’ hours rules and undertaking carriage of goods by road can use the relevant relaxation where necessary. The relaxations are not limited to specific sectors or journeys. These two temporary relaxations will run until 23:59 on Tuesday 21 April 2020.

Apprenticeship programme response

This document sets out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of Coronavirus. The guidance has been updated with new information on continuing training and end point assessment for furloughed apprentices, and pausing new funding audits.

MHRA guidance on coronavirus

Guidance for industry covering the Coronavirus outbreak. Added link to Guidance for manufacturers and Good Practice (GxP) laboratories on exceptional flexibilities for maintenance and calibration during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in the Inspections and Good Practice section.

Personal protective equipment (PPE): export control process
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, anyone wishing to export personal protective equipment (PPE) to areas outside the EU, European Free Trade Association member states and certain other territories will temporarily need a PPE export licence. The guidance has been updated with a link to a question and answer document by the EU.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Can your business offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support?

UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in the multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

BusinessIntelligence: share the impact Coronavirus is having on your organisation

We welcome information from businesses on impacts across supply, demand and labour markets, actions to address these impacts, and any gaps in the Government response from your perspective. Please send your intelligence to intel@beis.gov.uk. We are aware that individual company information may be commercially sensitive, and it 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 

Business Intelligence and Readiness Directorate


8 April 2020

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