Update on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme / Business and Employers Bulletin 02 April

Update of furloughing of staff / business support grants

We are in regular contact with BEIS on the government’s response to Covid-19. We have received some further details on furloughing of workers under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. In addition to the details provided previously:

  • Any employee meeting the requirements, may be furloughed for a minimum period of 3 weeks;
  • Any period of furlough may be extended by a minimum of 3 weeks;
  • Once a period of furlough has been completed, employees may be called back to work as necessary. If required, these employees may be furloughed again, i.e. an employee may be brought back to complete an order and then, once the work is complete, refurloughed;
  • There is no minimum period for a return to work;
  • Employees must complete their designated furlough period before returning to work.

We have been advised the many banks are presenting significant obstacles to companies wishing to take advantage of the Small Business Support Grant Funding. Please let us know if you have experienced any difficulties. Note – the Government has made it clear that lenders cannot ask borrower to provide personal collateral, such as their private home, against these loans.

We, with other trade associations, are lobbying Government for an extension of the business rates holiday to all manufacturing sectors. Please let us know if this would be a significant help to you.

Business and Employers Bulletin.

The latest Business and Employers Bulletin is below. This bulletin includes:

  • Links to regional growth hubs. There are 38 regional growth hubs around the UK, providing local, free and impartial advice to businesses, including the support provided by the Coronavirus Schemes;
  • Update to Business Support Grand Funding;
  • Links to guidance from HMRC for businesses affected by COVID-19;
  • Guidance of managing goods through customs and customs authorisations during COVID-19

The Government is also looking for help from businesses to meet the demand arising due to COVID-19, e.g. production of gloves, masks, etc. If you think you can help, please contact government through the link provided in the bulletin.


Local advice and support for Business

Growth hubs are local public/private sector partnerships backed by the Government, led and governed by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

The network of 38 Growth Hubs across England provide a free to use, impartial and local single point of contact to all businesses, so that they can access the right advice and support when they need it. The hubs can advise businesses on local and national business support - including schemes put in place to help businesses through the current Covid 19 situation - and help businesses build their resilience. Businesses can find their local Growth Hub here.

Missed a previous bulletin?

The Business Support website now hosts an archive of all our previous Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletins from 11 March 2020. If you are a new subscriber, or want to revisit information from a previous bulletin, you can find them all here.

Please note the information was accurate on each date it was published and will not be updated in the future. The latest information will be in each daily bulletin or found here on the website.

New Updates and Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): business support grant funding - guidance for businesses

Guidance for businesses setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Business Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 1 April 2020

Business Secretary Alok Sharma gave the 1 April 2020 daily press briefing on the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find the statement here.

Slides and datasets to accompany coronavirus press conference: 1 April 2020

Press conference slides and datasets used by The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

The latest information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Read this page for regular updates.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): notification of data controllers to share information

Notification of data controllers in healthcare organisations, GPs, local authorities and arm's length bodies that they should share information to support efforts against coronavirus (COVID-19).

Exceptional good distribution practice (GDP) flexibilities for medicines during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Guidance for industry on flexible approaches we are taking on good distribution practices.

Moving goods through customs during the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find out about moving goods and clearing customs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Customs authorisations during the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find out about temporary changes to customs policy and authorisations to assist businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


Producing hand sanitiser and gel for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Temporary changes to the use and supply of denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits, to help businesses who produce hand sanitiser and gel. Information has been updated about requirements that must be followed to make sure sanitiser products are safe to use.

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.

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


2 April 2020

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