Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 31 March 2020

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

  • A request for offers of support from your business, for the COVID-19 efforts;
  • Temporary changes to Right to Work checks during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Changes to the guidance for Local Authorities in England, on the Small Business Grant Fund, announced by the Chancellor on the 11th of March.

This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides information for employers and businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19). All guidance, information and announcements can be found at GOV.UK. Organisations should pay particular attention to the guidance for employees, employers and businesses which is being updated regularly with the latest advice.


Offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business
Use this service to tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus. The support needed includes things like:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • social care or childcare

To offer support click here.

Temporary changes to Right to Work (RTW) checks during the coronavirus outbreak

Since 30 March 2020, Right to Work checks have been temporarily adjusted to make it easier for employers to carry them out during the coronavirus outbreak. Until further notice, employers do not need to see original documents and can complete Right to Work checks over video calls.

Prospective workers are now able to submit scanned documents, rather than originals, to show they have the right to work. Checks continue to be necessary and it is an offence to knowingly employ or let property to anyone who does not have legal immigration status in the UK.

If prospective or existing employees cannot provide any of the accepted documents, employers should use the Employer Checking Service. Once the temporary changes end, employers will be asked to carry out prescribed checks on existing employees who started work during the pandemic.

Further guidance on what this means for employers can be found on GOV.UK.

New Updates and Guidance
Business Support FAQs
Frequently asked questions for businesses and employers, on business closures and stay at home, and on the self-employment income support scheme, are available on the business support website.

Destroying spoilt beer during coronavirus (COVID-19)
HMRC has introduced a temporary measure to help brewers and publicans in the destruction of spoilt beer during the coronavirus outbreak.

MHRA guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance has been produced for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry covering the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including information on:

  • Supporting and authorising the development of vaccines
  • Clinical trials of new medicines
  • Managing the supply of medicines and healthcare products
  • British Pharmacopoeia products and services during the COVID-19 outbreak,
  • new guidance on medical devices clinical investigations, and
  • new guidance for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) facilities.

MHRA also provide information to patients, manufacturers and healthcare professionals through their established information channels and alert systems.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on business support grant funding
Guidance for English local authorities sets out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF). This includes updates on State Aid, monitoring and reporting requirements, new annexes on state aid, Spotlight, post payment checks, and clarification of eligibility of charities. The guidance applies to England only.

Slides to accompany coronavirus press conference: 30 March 2020
Link to the press conference slides used by Sir Patrick Vallance.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Call for businesses to help make NHS ventilators

Thank you to all those who offered support. We will be matching requirements and will reach out to companies individually.

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


31 March 2020

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