COVID-19

For all businesses affected by COVID-19, please read the current support available below.

Local businesses offering support 

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FAQs

Our business support team have compiled FAQs on COVID-19 business issues. Please read these before contacting the team, as you may find your answer.

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Offers of support

Take a look at what support businesses are offering to each other and local communities at this time.
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Can you offer support? If you are able to offer support to other businesses in this time, please fill out this form with details of what you can offer and a member of the team will be in touch when your offer is live on our website.

COVID-19 Business Resilience Fund

PLEASE NOTE: Due to overwhelming demand, we are not currently accepting any new expressions of interest for this grant funding. We are actively looking for more funding to fulfil the demand.

For the latest information, please keep checking this COVID-19 page, our email newsletters and our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Survey - how is COVID-19 impacting your business?

Please take this quick survey to let us know how COVID-19 is affecting your business, or may affect your business in the future.


Government support and advice for businesses

The government has announced a package of measures to support businesses, including the below.

See also the government's Coronavirus Business Support homepage. This page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

Through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, open to any employer in the country, companies and organisations will be able to apply for a grant from HMRC to cover the wages of people who would otherwise have been laid off due to COVID-19-related shutdowns. These people would be classified as furloughed workers. This would mean that they are kept on their employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off.

It will cover 80% of the monthly wage costs of the retained workers, up to £2,500 per month, for at least three months, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage, provided they keep the worker employed.

In a move that could save businesses an extra £300 a month for each employee under the scheme,the government will now cover the employer national insurance and minimum auto-enrollment pension scheme contributions employers pay on the wages they must pay their furloughed staff – on top of the wages covered under the scheme.

This funding will be open to all employers with a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28th  February 2020, including charities. The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1st March 2020, if applicable.

Those on furlough will also be permitted to volunteer without risking their pay.

Check your eligiblity

Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave (“furlough”) due to COVID-19.

How to access the scheme?

You will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers' and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings, This is done through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

Thr government expects the online system you'll use to claim through this scheme to be available by the end of April 2020.

HMRC has a dedicated helpline at 0800 0159 559.

Read an overview of the scheme here.

Your employees can check if they are eligible for the Job Retention Scheme here.

The Institute of Chartered Acountants has published its understanding of the policy and how it will work. Read this guidance here.

The government has extended the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.

The government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs.

The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals. The Big Four banks (Barclays, HSB, Lloyds, RBS) had already agreed to not take personal guarantees as security for lending below £250,000.

Read the specific guidance provided for businesses.

Eligibility: You are eligible for the scheme if:

How to access this scheme: The scheme is delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank. There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer this scheme, including all the major banks - see the full list here.

In order to access the scheme, businesses should contact their finance provider, not the British Business Bank. You can find out the latest on the best ways to contact them via their websites. Please note that branches may currently be shut down to enable social distancing.

The decision on whether to offer finance is taken by each individual lender, not by the government. Businesses remain responsible for repaying any borrowing that they take out.

If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

Whether other lenders outside of the Big Four banks require a personal guarantee for a loan through this scheme is at the discretion of the lender. However, a lender is not allowed to take a personal guarantee against a borrower's principle residence under the scheme. So even if a personal guarantee is required under the lender's credit policy, it cannot be taken against the borrower's home.

We are aware that many charities will not qualify for the Business Interruption Loan Scheme unless trade is over 50% of all revenue.

Further details are also available on the government website.

Please speak to your accountant or a qualified business financial adviser before progressing.

A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises with a rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of up to and including £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme.

How to access the scheme?

Buckinghamshire Council will be sending letters to businesses on Friday 3rd April with the link to the online application form, and expect to start making payments week commencing April 6th.

If you have any query with this, please contact your relevant area office:

PLEASE NOTE: Businesses should apply for this grant directly to the council, as above. We have been made aware of online offers to apply for the grant on behalf of a business in return for a fee. This is not necessary and there is no advantage, only the loss of the fee.

Buckinghamshire Council statement on April 2nd 2020:

"As you will know, most businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and those receiving Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief are eligible for a government grant to help them through the coronavirus crisis.

"We know that this is critical for your business and will be sending out letters to businesses tomorrow (Friday 3rd April) with the link to the online application form.

"We will then process these applications and expect to start making payments next week (w/c April 6th) as forms are returned."

Read Buckinghamshire Council's FAQs on this grant funding.

Read the government guidance on the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant, which includes a Q&A on eligiblity and other factors of interest.

Grants will be provided in respect to each property (hereditament); therefore businesses with multiple outlets would receive more than one grant and may receive grants from separate local authorities.

Buckinghamshire Council will suspend direct debit transactions for April 2020, so no direct debits will be collected.

A £10,000 grant will be provided to businesses with a property that on the 11th March 2020 were eligible for small business rate relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief, or those with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 which receive tapered relief.

How to access the scheme?

Buckinghamshire Council will be sending letters to businesses on Friday 3rd April with the link to the online application form, and expect to start making payments week commencing April 6th.

If you have any query with this, please contact your relevant area office:

PLEASE NOTE: Businesses should apply for this grant directly to the council, as above. We have been made aware of online offers to apply for the grant on behalf of a business in return for a fee. This is not necessary and there is no advantage, only the loss of the fee.

Buckinghamshire Council statement on April 2nd 2020:

"As you will know, most businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and those receiving Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief are eligible for a government grant to help them through the coronavirus crisis.

"We know that this is critical for your business and will be sending out letters to businesses tomorrow (Friday 3rd April) with the link to the online application form.

"We will then process these applications and expect to start making payments next week (w/c April 6th) as forms are returned."

Read Buckinghamshire Council's FAQs on this grant funding.

Read the government guidance on the Small Business Grant Fund, which includes a Q&A on eligiblity and other factors of interest.

Grants will be provided in respect to each property (hereditament); therefore businesses with multiple outlets would receive more than one grant and may receive grants from separate local authorities.

Check if your business premises are eligible for small business rate relief

Information on business premises eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) can be found on district council websites:

Buckinghamshire Council will suspend direct debit transactions for April 2020, so no direct debits will be collected.

Business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will be introduced for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. This has now been extended to estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls.

Properties that will benefit are those that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

How to access the scheme: You do not need to do anything. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

Read Buckinghamshire Council's FAQs on this business rates holiday.

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

Small and medium-sized businesses who employ fewer than 250 employees as of 28th February 2020 will be eligible to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ statutory sick pay per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.

Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus, and those who live with someone that has symptoms, can get a note from the NHS website.

How to access the scheme? A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course.

Government will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for three months. For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20th March 2020 until 30th June 2020.

Eligibility - all UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme? This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has published advice for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Read this guidance here.

It includes:

  • DIT support for UK business trading internationally
  • financial support for business trading internationally (if a business is facing disruption due to late payments, UK Export Finance can ease cash flow constraints by guaranteeing bank loans through its Export Working Capital Scheme)

DIT can support businesses by:

  • providing assistance with customs authorities to ensure smooth clearance of their products
  • offering advice on intellectual property and other issues with business continuity

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0241 222. (This number has replaced the original number set up for this purpose, but calls to the old helpline number will be redirected to the new number automatically.)

Companies House have announced that businesses will be given an additional three months to file accounts to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the three month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.

Full guidance on applying for an extension can be found here.

Under the new COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Eligibility - all non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible. For this and further information, visit the relevant Bank of England webpage here.

The scheme is now available for applications.

The Bank’s intention is for the Facility to operate for an initial period of 12 months, to help businesses bridge through COVID-19-related disruption to their cash flows. The Bank will provide 6 months’ notice of the withdrawal of the Facility.

The government will set out measures so that pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways to serve people having to stay at home. The measures will be introduced as soon as possible and will apply for a limited period. Read more information on this here.

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. These measures will mean no business will automatically forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment up until 30th June 2020. There is the option for the government to extend this period if needed.

This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent.

Eligibility - all commercial tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are eligible.

How to access the scheme? No action is required. The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent.

Buckinghamshire Council will suspend direct debit transactions for April 2020, so no direct debits will be collected.

Business rates holiday will be introduced for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Eligibility: You are eligible for the business rates holiday if your business is based in England

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those:

  • occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

How to access the scheme? There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using this business rates calculator.

Working Tax Credits payments will be increased by £1,045 to £3,040 per year from 6th April 2020 until 5th April 2021.

The amount a claimant or household will benefit from will depend on their circumstances, including their level of household income. More information can be found here.
 

The government has produced guidance on the types of businesses and premises that must now close.

Read the full list and further guidance on this here.

These closures are now enforceable by law due to the threat to public health. These measures will be reviewed by government every 28 days.

For those allowed to stay open: employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

Stay at home FAQs for businesses

The government has produced a series of FAQs for businesses with questions about the these closures. Read these FAQs here.

The government has urged those involved in moving home to adapt and be flexible at this time, saying:

"There is no need to pull out of transactions. Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction, although you should follow the guidance in this document on home removals.

"Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place."

The government has produced guidance to estate agents, surveyors, conveyancers and removal firms. Read this guidance here.

The government has produced guidance for food businesses with regards to:

  • food hygeine
  • food packaging
  • cleaning and waste disposal
  • managing employee sickness

There is also guidance for:

  • takeaways and restaurants offering a pick-up service
  • outdoor food markets'famers markets
  • staff canteens/work areas
  • food processing plants
  • supermarkets

Read this guidance here.

If an employer cannot afford to pay their employees' redundancy pay, they can apply to the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) for financial assistance.

If approved, the RPS will make statutory redundancy payments directly to the redundant employees on the employer’s behalf.

Read the government guidance, including eligibility criteria, here.

Government guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK has been published. Read the guidance here.

Businesses providing holiday accommodation (including hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites, caravan parks, boarding houses and short term lets) should now take steps to close for commercial use as quickly as is safely possible.

Full consideration should be given to the possible exclusions for residents that should be allowed to remain.

What the exclusions mean: Hotels and other accommodation providers should be able to remain open in the following examples:

  • They are part of the response to support key workers or vulnerable groups.
  • There is a specific need for some or all of the site to remain open (for example they are housing people who have been flooded out of their homes, being used by public services to provide emergency accommodation or are not able to return to their primary residence).
  • If businesses are providing rooms to support homeless people, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies, they should remain open.
  • If a holiday park or caravan park is your primary residence you can remain on site.

Read the letter regarding the exemption for hotels, hostels and B&Bs to open so they can offer accommodation to key workers and support rough sleepers to keep them off the streets and in suitable accommodation.

Any decision to close should be implemented in full compliance with the social distancing guidelines.

HMRC has produced guidance to help you find out what equipment, services or supplies are taxable if your employees are working from home due to COVID-19.

Who is affected? You could be affected if any of your employees are working from home due to COVID-19, either because:

  • your workplace has closed
  • they are following advice to self-isolate

Who is not affected? Furloughed workers who are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Read this guidance here.

Arts Council England is offering individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis, totalling £160 million.

CITB's board met on 25th March and gave final approval to suspend the issue of its levy bills, due for payment in 2020, for an initial period of three months.

The bills will subsequently be issued for the full year. The delay will provide immediate financial relief to construction employers during the coronavirus crisis. In normal times, CITB assesses and sends out levy bills each April in accordance with legal requirements.

CITB levy bills are usually due for payment in May, but CITB will not seek collection on the suspended bills until August, or later if possible.

CITB has also provided information on a range of other issues, including:

  • grants and funding
  • health, safety and environment (HS&E) tests
  • apprenticeships
  • Construction Training Directory

Read more information here.

The UK’s Insolvency Framework will add new restructuring tools to give companies breathing space and ensure they keep trading while they explore options for rescue.

The proposals will also include key safeguards for creditors and suppliers to ensure they are paid. The Insolvency Act will be temporarily suspended specifically to give confidence to directors to continue trading without the threat of personal liability should the company ultimately fall into insolvency. Read more information here.

The government will introduce legislation to ensure those companies required by law to hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) will be able to do so safely, consistent with the restrictions on movement and gatherings introduced to address the spread of coronavirus.

Companies will temporarily be extended greater flexibilities, including holding AGMs online or postponing the meetings. Read more information here.

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

The following temporary changes have been made:

  • checks can now be carried out over video calls
  • job applicants and existing workers can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
  • employers should use the Employer Checking Service if a prospective or existing employee cannot provide any of the accepted documents

Checks continue to be necessary and you must continue to check the prescribed documents listed in 'right to work checks: an employer’s guide'. It remains an offence to knowingly employ anyone who does not have the right to work in the UK.

Because of COVID-19, some individuals may be unable to evidence their right to work. During this period, you must take extra care to ensure no-one is discriminated against as a job applicant or employee because they are unable to show you their documents.

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

Normally, the destruction of beer must be supervised by a responsible person from the brewery. However, due to social distancing requirements this is currently difficult for brewers and publicans to follow.

Brewers can now appoint the publican or an agreed person at the premises to carry out the destruction of spoilt beer. An Authorised Company Representative (ACR) from the brewery does not need to be present.

HMRC will give at least 30 days’ notice before withdrawing these temporary measures.

Read more information here.

The new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.

Loans backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest and further details of the scheme will be announced later this month (April 2020).

The government has produced guidance for Ofsted-registered childcare providers for children of all ages, including: childminders, nurseries and wraparound childcare, before and after-school clubs and holiday clubs. The guidance does not cover nannies or au pairs, as they work in the child/children’s family home. Read this guidance here.

The Rural Payments Agency has created a webpage with the latest Information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Read this page for regular updates.


Support for the self-employed

Please find advice and support for self-employed people affected by COVID-19.

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 trading profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the next three months. This may be extended if needed.

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

Read the government's FAQs for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Eligibility criteria - to be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:

  • Be self-employed or a member of partnership
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
  • Filed a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have to do so by April 23rd 2020.
  • Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID-19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income comes from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true: having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income; OR having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period.

Not filed your 2018-19 yex return yet? If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23rd April 2020 to become eligible for this grant.

The scheme will be open for an initial three months, with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

How to access this scheme: You cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

HMRC has published guidance on the scheme here. This guidance will continue to be updated.

Read further government guidance for this scheme here.

Please note: You will access this scheme only through GOV.UK. If someone texts, calls or emails claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam.

If you’re self-employed, Income Tax Self-Assessment due on the 31st July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

How to access the scheme?

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.

Those who are not eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), for example the self-employed or people earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week, can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. More details on how to claim can be found here.

Changes to Universal Credit for self-employed people

The government has temporarily changed the way they work out Universal Credit for self-employed people on low incomes.

It has suspended the Minimum Income Floor for Universal Credit, meaning self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.

Call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 for more information or view the government's webpage on self-employment and Universal Credit.

If you want to know how COVID-19 affects the Minimum Income Floor, you can read the latest information about COVID-19 and claiming benefits, including Universal Credit.

Talk to your existing finance provider to see what they can do to help you manage existing debt. If you have an existing loan or asset purchase (for example a lease or hire purchase agreement), you could ask for a repayment holiday. You may also need a new or increased overdraft facility, or to secure additional finance.

Talk to your customers, especially large customers, and ask if they can pay your invoices more quickly. Some firms have already started doing this.

All self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0241 222. (This number has replaced the original number set up for this purpose, but calls to the old helpline number will be redirected to the new number automatically.)

Reforms to off-payroll working rules have been delayed by 12 months as part of the government’s COVID-19 economic response package.

The rules will now come into effect on 6th April 2021 instead of 6th April 2020.

The rules, sometimes known as IR35, make sure that workers who would have been an employee if they were providing their services directly to the client pay broadly the same tax and National Insurance contributions as employees.

More information can be found here.

The British Film Institute (BFI) and The Film and TV Charity are offering grants of up to £500 to provide stop-gap support for those in immediate financial distress. Details on eligibility and how to apply are here.

The two are also launching a new industry-backed COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund for freelance film and TV professionals. More details, including on how to be kept informed about this fund, can be found here.

The Film and TV Charity also provides mental health support to the industry, including counselling and legal advice, via a 24/7 support line on 0800 054 00 00.

Discuss preparations with your clients now, particularly about working remotely.

Check your contractual obligations, particularly with regards to unforeseeable circumstances that prevent you from fulfilling your contract.

Check to see what health or income protection insurance you might have in place.


Bank support & other grants

Banks are offering all or a combination of: loan repayment holidays, increased or new overdraft facilities, interest rate reductions, temporary and emergency loans.

Barclays has launched a free telephone helpline offering support and information to its business banking customers. It is also providing repayment holidays. Find out more here > 

You can also talk to your Relationship Manager or call 0800 1971 0861.

Santander's support includes a helpline and advice on managing finances. Find out more here >

You can also talk to your Relationship Manager or call 0800 731 6666.

The bank is also reminding customers to be alert to criminals taking advantage of coronavirus to carry out scams. It advises customers to be on the lookout for anything suspicious, including email messages about coronavirus claiming to be from their bank.

NatWest has announced a £5 billion fund to support small and medium-sized firms to deal with the impact of coronavirus. Support includes the provision of working capital, loan repayment holidays and temporary emergency loans with no fees. Find out more here > 

You can also talk to your Relationship Manager or call 0345 711 4477.

Lloyds has launched a £2 billion package to help minimise disruption to business operations. Support includes repayment holidays, no arrangement fees for new or increased overdrafts, invoice discounting and finance facilities. Find out more here > 

You can also talk to your Relationship Manager or call 0345 072 5555.

HSBC is allocating £5 billion to help businesses that need support and asking relationship managers to proactively contact customers to see what help their businesses need. They will also consider offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses; reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer; and providing trade finance solutions to support customers with their supply chains. Find our more here > 

You can also talk to your Relationship Manager or call 08000 121 614.

Facebook is offering $100 million (approx. £84 million) in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate. They will be taking applications in the coming weeks, but businesses can sign up for updates via a link on this page.


Support and funding for innovative businesses

NHSX is calling on all innovators who can support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19 to apply for government funding of up to £25,000 to test their solution.

A total of £500,000 of funding is available for technology companies who come up with digital support solutions for people who need to stay at home because of COVID-19.

The ‘Techforce19’ challenge aims to support those who need to stay at home for several weeks and need help. This could include people who need mental health support or who have social care needs.

Applications close at 12 noon on 1st April 2020.

Find out more information here.

Innovate UK has provided an update on the support available to businesses from Innovate UK due to COVID-19 and advice for award holders. Read the guidance here.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which Innovate UK is a part of, has also provided information on the impact of COVID-19 on UKRI-supported research. Read the guidance here.

UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £20 million to respond to new and urgent needs in UK and global communities during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

This fast response competition closes at noon on Friday 17th April.

The aim of this Innovate UK competition is to support UK businesses to focus on emerging or increasing needs of society and industries during and following the COVID-19 crisis. By fast-tracking innovation, the UK will be better placed to maintain employment levels and a competitive position in global markets, and make the UK more resilient to similar disruption.

Applications must demonstrate both realistic and significant benefits for society (including communities, families and individuals) or an industry that has been severely impacted and/or permanently disrupted by COVID-19.

Your proposal must focus on a clear need and the proposed innovation to address it. You must have the ability to deliver the project during the working restrictions brought about by COVID-19.

You can claim 100% of your project costs up to the maximum of £50,000. These will be paid in advance of the project start date.

Read more about this funding scheme.


Insurance information

The Association of British Insurers has produced a Q&A to help businesses understand their insurance cover during the coronavirus outbreak. Read the Q&A here.

Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19.

However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government-ordered closures and pandemics, or government-ordered closures and unspecified notifiable diseases, should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy).

Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

Notifiable diseases are certain infectious diseases that registered medical practitioners have a statutory duty to notify the ‘proper officer’ at their local council or local health protection team about when they come across a suspected case. The government keeps an updated list of notifable diseases. On 5th March 2020, the government added COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases.

Many insurers use diseases on this list as triggers for the activation or exclusion of insurance cover. For example, insurers’ policies that cover notifiable diseases will typically only cover a specific subset of notifiable diseases (such as Cholera or Anthrax) that the insurer will reference in the policy documentation. These policies will exclude any notifiable disease not on the insurers list, as well as future/unknown diseases (such as COVID-19). The price that the insurer charges for the policy is modelled against the risk posed by this set list of diseases.

Some businesses will have purchased add-ons for their insurance that cover for ‘unspecified notifiable diseases’. These policies effectively cover any disease listed as a notifiable disease, enabling the business to claim for losses for all notifiable diseases as well as from diseases that are unknown at the point the policy is written.

The effect of the government adding COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases is to ensure that businesses with unspecified notifiable disease cover are able to make a claim – subject to the terms and conditions in their policy.

The government asked a number of different businesses and venues to remain closed from 21st March 2020 onwards.

Insurers have agreed that this advice is sufficient for businesses covered for COVID-19 losses to make a claim (if the only barrier to them making a claim was a lack of clarity on whether the government had ordered businesses to close).

However, most businesses’ commercial insurance policies (including for denial of access) are unlikely to offer cover for COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

Businesses with event cancellation policies that include unspecified notifiable disease extensions should be able to make a claim for the necessary and unavoidable cancellation, abandonment, curtailment, postponement and disruption of their event for reasons beyond the control of organisers and participants (subject to the other terms and exclusions of their policy).

Insurance for major events is often bespoke to the specific event, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their insurer or broker.


Apprenticeship programme

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship, and to support providers during this challenging time. New guidance has been published for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations.

This guidance includes:

  • encouraging training providers to deliver training to apprentices remotely, and via e-learning, as far as is practicable
  • allowing the modification of end-point assessment arrangements, including remote assessments wherever practicable and possible
  • clarifying that apprentices ready for assessment, but who cannot be assessed due to COVID-19 issues, can have their end-point assessment rescheduled
  • confirming that, where apprentices are made redundant, it is our ambition to find them alternative employment and continue their apprenticeship as quickly as possible and within 12 weeks

Write formally to your training provider to ask them to advise on how they can manage this collectively, whilst also safeguarding the interests of the apprentice.

(See the FAQ section at the foot of this page for more advice on how apprenticeships are affected at this time.)


Further information and support for businesses and the self-employed

Business Debt Line offer telephone advice/web chat, budget tools, debt management letter templates and more. Further information can be found here, or call 0800 197 6026.

The National Cyber Security Centre has published advice on how to manage cyber security. There is advice for:

The Intellectual Property Office has said that its services are mainly unaffected.

  • The IPO will continue to operate hearings via telephone, Skype or other virtual methods
  • No further physical hearings will be booked or take place until 1st June 2020 (this date will be kept under review)
  • Parties will be contacted if their current hearing arrangements need to change

All rights holders and IP professionals are asked to continue to file as normal where possible. However, the IPO is now unable to process paper forms, faxes and paper correspondence. Customers are asked to use the online services whenever possible. For services that are not available online, an email address has been created - paperformcontingency@ipo.gov.uk - which can be used instead of faxing or posting documents to the IPO.

The IPO has declared 24th March, and subsequent days until further notice, 'interrupted days'. This means that any deadlines for...

  • patents
  • supplementary protection certificates
  • trade marks
  • designs

...and applications for these rights, which fall on an interrupted day will be extended until the IPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period. To support rights holders, businesses and IP professionals plan ahead, the IPO will provide a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice before ending the interrupted days period.

The situation will be reviewed on 17th April 2020, which will either see the period of interruption continue, or an announcement that the period will end after a further two weeks.

Further information on alterations to services for specific rights:

Visit the IPO website here.

The government has agreed measures with the energy industry to support vulnerable people through COVID-19:

  • People with pre-payment meters who are unable to add credit can approach their suppliers to discuss other options to maintain power.
  • Disconnection of credit meters will be completely suspended.
  • Energy customers in financial distress can also ask their suppliers for debt repayments and bill payments to be reassessed, reduced or paused. Further information can be found here.

Enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines are suspended for this reporting year (2019/20) due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The decision means there will be no expectation on employers to report their data.

Read further information here.
 

The government's new WhatsApp service is free-to-use and aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about COVID-19, and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

To use the free Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

Read more information here.

Buckinghamshire Council is providing daily video updates about local progress in combating COVID-19 – aired at approximately 3pm on their website.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) will be able to extend the maximum duration of their BID arrangements until 31st March 2021 by delaying BID ballots due to take place this year. This enables BIDs, and the local authorities who administer the ballot process, to concentrate on responding to the current emergency.

Read more information here.
 

The temporary MOT exemption will enable vital services to continue, frontline workers to get to work, and people to get essential food and medicine. Further information can be found here.

The contactless limit for in-store card transactions will increase from £30 to £45. This is being introduced in order to reduce the need for physical contact with PIN-Entry Devices (PEDs) at points of sale.


Guidance for businesses to support their staff and workplace

Read official government guidance for employers and businesses on providing advice to their staff on:

  • how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • what advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas
  • actions to take if staff come into contact with someone who is self-isolating or is a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19

Read this guidance here >

Government guidance sets out those whose work is critical to the coronavirus response and keeping crucial public services going.

Employers need to be responsible about who needs to be in the office and are encouraged to help their staff find alternative arrangements to support them working from home.

Read the guidance here.

Acas has published new guidance to help employers understand their obligations and protect the health and safety of their staff. It covers sick pay, dealing with incidents of coronavirus in the workplace, and employers’ obligations concerning workers who need to self-isolate or do not want to come into work. Read the guidance here.

Acas is delivering a series of free webinars on ‘Coronavirus – an advisory webinar for employers’. The webinar provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace, including:

  • steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus
  • effective ways of communicating with employees
  • self-isolating, time off, sickness certification and sick pay
  • altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements
  • remote working and the use of technology

Businesses can see upcoming dates of webinars and register here.

Blaser Mills have put together some information documents advising employers.

One is on lay-offs and short-time working and another is advice for businesses on whether they can break contracts.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) has produced a factsheet providing advice on how employers should respond to the COVID-19 threat and support employees by being prepared, particularly looking after employees’ health and safety and developing flexible resourcing plans.

Read the guidance here.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has created a Coronavirus Support Hub. Visit it here for information and support.

The Federation of Small Businesses has a dedicated webpage with news, information and support for businesses. Visit the website here.

A £500 million Hardship Fund will provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by COVID-19.

The government has set out that the Hardship Fund will go to local authorities in England to enable them to reduce the 2020 to 2021 council tax bills of working age people receiving Local Council Tax Support.

Councils will also be able to use the funding to provide further discretionary support to vulnerable people through other support arrangements such as Local Welfare Schemes.

Read more information here.

The British Retail Council (BRC) is providing a daily update on the actions taken by retailers to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. Read more information here.

The government has produced a list of organisations to speak with to get advice on COVID-19 matters, including some sector-specific organisations.


Requests for/ways to help in the fight against COVID-19

There are numerous requests for help from the government and organisations of all kinds urging businesses to support efforts to deal with the various challenges COVID-19 presents to the healthcare system, businesses, individuals and communities. Take a look below.

Do you have a specific need? Take a look at what support businesses are offering to each other and local communities at this time. (Search by keywords like COVID or coronavirus)

Can't find what you need? Call on advice and support from our community of over 12,000 local businesses by asking a question in our Q&A area.

Can you offer support? If you are able to offer support to other businesses in this time, please fill out this form with details of what you can offer and a member of the team will be in touch when your offer is live on our website.

The government has set up a service for business to reach out with offers of help in the response to COVID-19.

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

Find out more information here >

The government is looking for businesses to support in the production and supply of ventilators and ventilator components.

As well as manufacturers, it is seeking businesses with the following skills:

  • design/specification
  • rapid prototyping
  • contract/product assembly
  • certification/regulation/testing
  • logistics
  • medical training

If you believe your business can help, please register your interest here.

LifeArc is calling for applications from academics, NHS employees or companies that have therapeutics that could be repurposed or repositioned for use in COVID-19 patients.

Registration closes April 6th 2020. Read more information here.

Forms and guidance on what manufacturers need to do to place COVID-19 test kits on the market.

NHSX is calling on all innovators who can support the elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating during COVID-19 to apply for government funding of up to £25,000 to test their solution.

Find out more here.

The NHS is “rallying the troops” for the war on coronavirus, with volunteers being called up to help vulnerable people stay safe and well at home.

NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS and the care sector during the COVID-19 outbreak. To do this they need an 'army' of volunteers who can support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well.

Members of the public can sign up here.

Ways you can help:

  • Community Response volunteer - collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home.
  • Patient Transport volunteer - supporting the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring that they are settled safely back in to their home.
  • NHS Transport volunteer - transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites. This role may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.
  • Check-in and Chat volunteer: This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.

HMRC has produced guidance on temporary changes to the use and supply of denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits to help businesses who produce hand sanitiser and gel.

All guidance on the production and supply of hand sanitiser can be found here.
 

SEHTA has complied a catalogue of offers from companies that can offer support by supplying ventilators, respirators, PPE, screening, monitoring, digital health tech, etc. The full list can be found here.
 


Support for charities

Take a look at the information and support available for charities, voluntary and community groups and social enterprises.

Community Impact Bucks has produced a COVID-19 webpage in order to filter and interpret the huge amount of available information to help local charities, voluntary and community groups, and social enterprises.

This includes guidance for groups organising the community support for people affected by COVID-19:

Heart of Bucks is running a fundraising campaign, with the funds generated from the Bucks Coronavirus Response Appeal going to support people and charities in Buckinghamshire who are most affected and vulnerable at this time of crisis. Read more information here.

Guidance to help with running your charity during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Topic covered include:

  • Can our charity assist with COVID-19?
  • How do I get support to pay my charity staff?
  • Can I use reserves and restricted funds to help my charity through the crisis?
  • Can I cancel or postpone my charity’s AGM or other key meetings?
  • Can I use video, teleconferencing and the internet in place of face-to-face meetings?
  • What do I need to report to the Charity Commission?
  • Keeping people safe
  • Reporting accounts and finances

Read more information here.

Grants of up to £10,000 to help smaller charitable organisations affected by COVID-19 are available. Organisations with a charitable purpose and charitable activities, which had an income of £1million or less in their last financial year, can apply. Read more information here.

The government has announced a £3 million fund for organisations redistributing safe surplus food to those who need it during the coronavirus outbreak.

All food redistribution businesses and charities will be encouraged to bid for grants over the coming month, including those whose volunteer programmes have been affected by social distancing measures or those that cannot access their usual commercial support network. Read more information here.
 

Other organisations also have resources that may help charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers during the COVID-19 crisis:

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50 million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The £50m fund will be available for grants of between £3,000 and £50,000. It is available to organisations across the full breadth of heritage, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature. Read more information here.


Budget 2020 and COVID-19

Read about the package of measures announced by the government at Budget 2020 to support public services, individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19.

Read this information here >


UK Government activity re: COVID-19


Sign up to COVID-19 email alerts

Sign up for email alerts about the UK government’s response to COVID-19.


Health & wellbeing advice

Following the latest health, self-isolation and social distancing advice is crucial at this time, as is looking after your own physical and mental health.

The mental health charity Mind has a comprehensive list of support and advice for people at this time.

This information is for everyone. Please do read it if you can.

Government guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of COVID-19, including an easy-to-read guide to looking after your physical and mental health.

Visit the NHS website to read the following about COVID-19:

  • The symptoms
  • How to avoid catching it
  • What to do if you think you have it

Read the NHS guidance here >

Online NHS 111 COVID-19 service

Use the 111 online COVID-19 service if you think you have symptoms.

Read the government's stay at home guidance for those with possible COVID-19 infection.

Information and advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding COVID-19.

Guidance for British people travelling and living overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ensure you receive the latest support and information

Buckinghamshire Business First will be updating our members with all the latest information and support available to businesses as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. Our emails and newsletters will be a key source of information at this time.

If you are not already a member of Buckinghamshire Business First, please sign up here for free to ensure you don't miss out on information and support.


Business FAQs

Our business support team are working really hard to support as many businesses as possible and have collated a list of frequently asked questions they are answering on a daily basis. Please take a look below to see if you can find the answers to your questions before contacting the team.

Please note: The information provided in our FAQs is provided without any warranty, assurance, representation or opinion as regards the content, and Buckinghamshire Business First is not responsible for any loss arising from action taken or not taken based on the answers provided. If your business is affected by COVID-19, you need to revert to your usual professional advisers when advice is required on the specific circumstances that apply to you and your business. Above all, you must stay within COVID-19 emergency laws and procedures laid down by government.

Government funding & finance

Firstly, the £10k and £25k grants are only available for businesses paying business rates:

  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value under £15,000
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

Please note: the guidance is that businesses cannot receive both the £10,000 small business grant funding AND the £10,000 or £25,000 grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

If you pay business rates and fall into one of these categories of rateable value, then over the next few weeks the local authority that administers business rates will make contact with you and advise you as to the procedure for this.

Currently there are no details as to how this will be administered and paid. The local authorities are working hard to ensure that details will be released as soon as possible.

You should be able to confirm whether you pay business rates or not, or are in receipt of the reduced rates through the SBRR, as you will have received a Rate Bill from your local authority.

If you work from home, you are unlikely to pay business rates. That is unless you’ve specifically stated this to your local authority. If so, you are likely to be in receipt of small business rate relief (SBRR) and the relevant paperwork. See these links for more information:

If you do pay business rates or get the SBRR while working from home, then over the next few weeks the local authority that administers business rates will make contact with you and will advise you as to the procedure for this.

Currently there are no details as to how this will be administered and paid. The local authorities are working hard to ensure that details will be released as soon as possible.

You should be able to confirm whether you pay business rates or not, or are in receipt of the reduced rates through the SBRR, as you will have received a Rate Bill from your local authority.

If you work from home and do not pay business rates or receive the SBRR, then you are unable to claim the £10k grant.

Find and check your business rates valuation here >

If your property does not appear on the list, contact Valuation Office Agency at ndronline@voa.gsi.gov.uk or on 03000 501 501.

Job Retention Scheme

Companies and organisations will be able to apply for a grant from HMRC to cover the wages of people who would otherwise have been laid off due to COVID-19-related shutdowns. It will cover 80% of the salaries of these retained workers, up to £2,500 per month.

If you intend to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, discuss with your employee/s them becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that they are kept on your payroll, rather than being laid off.

To qualify for this scheme, they should not undertake work for you while they are furloughed. This will allow you to claim a grant of up to 80% of your employees' wages for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Staff will remain employed while furloughed. You could choose to fund the difference between this payment and your employees' salaries, but you do not have to.

If you pay yourself a monthly salary and are registered via PAYE (Pay As You Earn), you are eligible for this scheme. If you pay yourself a basic salary and top this up with dividends, you will be able to claim 80% of your basic salary paid through PAYE (but not the dividends).

You should check with your accountant or payroll provider to confirm if you are paid through PAYE.

You will also need to stop working in order to be eligible for this scheme, as you will become a ‘furloughed worker’.

Insurance questions

The vast majority of business interruption insurance policies held by small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will not include cover for business losses caused by a pandemic, as it will be listed as an exclusion.

In a very small number of cases in which an SME has purchased a business interruption insurance policy with additional cover for a “notifiable disease”, and no pandemic exclusion, that SME may be covered now that the government has certified COVID-19 as a notifiable disease.

The terms and conditions of insurance policies can differ significantly, so SMEs should check their specific policy and contact their provider if in any doubt.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have published a Q&A in relation to business insurance and COVID-19,

Apprenticeship questions

Many apprenticeship training providers are shutting their training centres and classrooms to students for an indefinite period.

We are getting regular feedback from our local providers, all of whom are adapting training delivery to make full use of technology such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Whatsapp etc.

Apprentices are being given work to complete, and regular contact with their assessor ensures learning is being tracked and captured.

Contact your apprenticeship learning provider immediately and ask for guidance. We expect this will be a common theme and await guidance from the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) on how they will respond and support both businesses and learners at this time.
 

No, absolutely not. An apprentice can recommence with another employer or have a ‘break in learning’, and there are circumstances where if the apprentice is close enough to completion, they can do so without an employer.

Messaging from the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) at this point suggests an absolute priority is to keep apprentices on programme, although how that is reflected in support remains to be seen.
 

Firstly, they should follow Public Health England advice on how to respond in terms of self-isolation etc.

In terms of the apprenticeship, the Department for Education (DfE) made a statement on 9th March confirming that apprentices affected by COVID-19, either directly or indirectly, should be assisted through more flexible application of the rules on ‘breaks in learning’.

This also covers, for example, where an assessor is unable to carry out End Point Assessment (EPA) due to illness or other COVID-19 measures.
 

The Department for Education (DfE) is working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) “to develop a comprehensive and complete set of measures that permit professional discretion so that individuals are protected and disruption is minimised, whilst safeguarding the quality of apprenticeships, should it not be possible to extend the length of an apprenticeship.”

They anticipate further announcements imminently. Read the full statement here
 

Government FAQs

The government website lists a series of business-related questions and answers on the subject of COVID-19.


Contact our Business Support Team

If you need to speak to one of our advisers, call 01494 927130 or email BusinessSupport@bbf.uk.com. Please be aware that our Business Support Team is supporting a large number of businesses at present and is extremely busy, but the team are working hard to deal with all enquiries.