IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT INFORMATION

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin – 2 September 2020This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19). All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-suppoKickstart SchemeNew Updates and GuidanceUpdates to local restrictions and travel corridors in England
Kickstart Scheme The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.If you are an employer looking to create job placements for young people, check if you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.If you are considering becoming a representative for a group of employers, check what information you need to provide to apply for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme.Find more guidance and promotional materials here.
New Updates and GuidanceNEW GuidanceCompetition and Markets Authority – Cancellation and refund updates: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) remains of the view that a consumer will generally be entitled to a refund when they have paid money in advance for services or goods that cannot be provided because of the coronavirus pandemic. Given the evolving situation, the CMA has provided more detail on issues such as the difference between lockdown laws and government guidance, and their impact on cancellations and refunds. Further details are available here.Guidance for landlords: Legislation has been introduced so that, until at least March 2011, landlords must now give tenants 6 months’ notice before they can evict. Guidance provides advice for landlords, tenants and local authorities.UPDATED GuidanceReporting outbreaks of coronavirus – Action Cards: The Joint Biosecurity Centre has developed Action Cards, which reflect the latest advice on how to identify, manage and report a COVID-19 outbreak. The cards are designed as a useful visual checklist for businesses and bring together guidance and useful contacts to support your organisation’s planning. This will help businesses and other organisations work effectively with their local public health teams.Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak: Guidance has been updated with information on routine funding audits, redundancy and the use of face coverings.Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Guidance has been updated to reflect changes to the scheme:From 1 September the government will pay 70% and employers will pay 10% of employees’ wages for the time they are being furloughed. Employers will also continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions.From 1 October the government will pay 60% and employers will pay 20% of employees’ wages for the time they are being furloughed. Employers will also continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions.You will continue to pay employees wages at the contracted rate for the hours they work for you.The scheme ends on 31 October 2020. Find out more here.Claim money back through the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme: The scheme has now closed, find out how to claim reimbursement for the discounts from the scheme give to diners here.Sending your forms to Companies House during the coronavirus outbreak: The service to upload certain Companies House forms digitally has been updated with insolvency documents. Find out more here.
Updates to local restrictions and travel corridors in EnglandLocal restrictionsBlackburn with Darwen, Oldham, Pendle: Residents of the specific areas of Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle with additional restrictions should not meet people at indoor or outdoor public venues who are not members of their household.If you operate a business or organise events within the affected areas you should take steps to ensure people do not socialise with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.If you operate a hospitality venue (including restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes) inside the areas with additional restrictions (all of Oldham and parts of Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle) then we advise that you should halt walk-ins, and only seat people who make reservations in advance, up to a maximum of six people per table from the same household. You should also take steps to ensure that people do not socialise outside of their households inside and outside your premises.Bolton and Trafford to remain under existing restrictions. The lifting of restrictions in Burnley, Hyndburn, Stockport and parts of Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford will go ahead from 2 September.A list of areas with additional local restrictions is available here.Travel corridorsCzech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland have been removed from the travel corridor list. The FCO advises against all non-essential travel to these countries. If you return from the above countries you will need to self-isolate.Cuba has been added to the travel corridor list. If you arrive in England from Cuba after 4am 29 August 2020 you may not need to self-isolateThe travel corridor list of countries and territories from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate is available here. Countries and territories can be taken off or added to this travel corridor list at any time.
Other useful linksSome aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

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