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

This 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-support


Summer Economic Update: A Plan for Jobs 2020

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, presented his ‘Plan for Jobs’ to Parliament on Wednesday 8 July 2020, to outline how the government will boost job creation in the UK. The plan includes:

  • A Job Retention Bonus that will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.
  • A new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will be launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.
  • A total of £1.6 billion will be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. Young people, who are amongst the worst hit by the crisis, will benefit from this.
  • The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.
  • A temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 will be introduced until 31 March 2021. This will drive growth and support jobs across the housebuilding and property sectors.
  • The rate of VAT applied on most tourism and hospitality-related activities will be cut from 20% to 5%.
  • To encourage people to safely return to eating out at restaurants, the Government has introduced a new Eat Out to Help Out discount. The scheme will support over 129,000 businesses in the hospitality industry. Diners can get 50% off meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, at participating restaurants, bars and cafes when they eat in. The scheme is valid all day every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during August. Participating restaurants and establishments will be reimbursed for the discount they pass onto customers.  Detailed guidance and registration details for restaurants and establishments will be published on 9 July and restaurants and outlets can register for the scheme from Monday 13 July.

 New Updates and Guidance

New

MHRA warns that “temperature screening” products are not a reliable way to detect if people have the virus. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has issued a warning that thermal cameras and other such “temperature screening” products, some of which make direct claims to screen for COVID-19, are not a reliable way to detect if people have the virus.

Updates

Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020: notice

A notice to display to show you have made your workplace COVID-secure is available and has been updated to reflect the change in the 2m social distancing rule. Find the notice here.

Test and Trace: Keeping a record of staff, customers and visitors

The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace.  Organisations in certain sectors should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days. Find out more here. This privacy notice describes how the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will process personal data from venues and establishments to support contact tracing.

Leicester: Closing certain businesses and safe travel guidance

A list of businesses and premises expected to close in Leicester from 4 July 2020 is available here. Safer travel guidance for passengers in areas under local lockdown is available here.

Exemptions to the global advice against non-essential travel

On 4 July the travel advice changed, with exemptions for travelling to certain countries and territories that no longer pose a high risk for British travellers. View the list of exempted destinations.  UK Government continues to advise against non-essential international travel, except to countries and territories listed. Find out more here.

Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities

Guidance for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely re-opening multi-purpose buildings. The update includes details on multi-use communal facilities can now open. Find out more here.

Sending your forms to Companies House during the coronavirus outbreak

As an emergency response to coronavirus Companies House developed a temporary online service to upload a number of completed forms and send them to Companies House digitally. The “upload a document” service will now allow users to upload more form types, including Scottish limited and qualifying partnerships, articles and resolutions. Find out more here.

Draft planning guidance to support the Business and Planning Bill

The Business and Planning Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on Thursday 25 June 2020. This draft guidance has been prepared to be read alongside a number of the planning measures set out in the Bill. The guidance has been updated with information on the extension of certain planning permissions. Find out more here.

How to treat certain expenses and benefits provided to employees during coronavirus

Find out about taxable expenses and benefits when they are paid to employees because of coronavirus and how to report them to HMRC. The guidance has been updated to include information about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), find out more here.

Defer your Self Assessment payment on account

More information about the July 2020 payment on account deferment has been added here.

HM Treasury extends tax cut to PPE costs

The temporary removal of VAT on PPE has been extended until the end of October. Find out more here.

Information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses

The latest information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses has been updated to include information on inspections starting. Find out more here.

Coming to the UK for seasonal agricultural work on English farms

Advice for seasonal agricultural workers and their employers has been updated with guidance for people coming from countries that are exempt from the quarantine rules. Find out more here.

Updated Job retention scheme and furloughing video

A video has been updated on the extension to the job retention scheme and furloughing. Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus here.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Offer coronavirus support

Tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using our online service.


Share the impact coronavirus is having on your organisation 

Let us know how the outbreak is impacting your business.  Please send your intelligence, including information and feedback on the safer workplace guidance, to intel@beis.gov.uk. Commercially sensitive information will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice.  


Help us shine a light on the stories of key workers 

Tell us about key workers you know that are helping to keep the UK moving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please fill in this online form for key workers in the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, consumer goods, scientists/researchers, servicing, postal workers, and  oil/gas/electricity/water/sewage/chemical workers. 

Other useful links

Some 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.