Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 27 March 2020


Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Guidance for employers on the coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme has now been published. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.

The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The business support website provides more information and FAQs.

New Updates and Guidance

Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus

If you are a UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer the payment until a later date or pay the VAT due as normal. Further guidance can be found here.

Check which expenses are taxable if your employee works from home due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

HMRC have produced guidance to help you find out what equipment, services or supplies are taxable if your employees are working from home due to coronavirus.

Updated guidance for staff in the transport sector

This guidance will assist transport settings in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation.

Guidance for food businesses and COVID-19: Defra Update

New guidance for food businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been published. You can also find a summary of the latest news and guidance  from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Other guidance on the page includes updates on latest retailer activity, summary of seasonal roundtables as well as wider advice on coronavirus.

MHRA guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

New guidance on the Regulatory status of equipment being used to help prevent coronavirus (COVID-19)

Specification for ventilators to be used in UK hospitals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

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.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Help us reach businesses to urgently raise awareness of available support

We need your help to reach businesses across the UK to urgently raise awareness of the new coronavirus government Business Support campaign and the assistance available. A new toolkit includes content and messaging for you to share on your social media, websites, internal channels and newsletters to amplify campaign messages. The toolkit will help ensure all businesses have the best and most up to date information on the support that is available to them in a fast-moving situation.

Business Intelligence: 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       


27 March 2020  

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