To ensure our BID members have the latest business guidance we have created this webpage which is being updated regularly.
We monitor all the updates issued by the UK government, NHS, TfL and other organisations that may be of interest for our members.
Check all of our BID updates and digital newsletters here.
- through our personal emails or our general firstname.lastname@example.org
- more updates can also be found on our Twitter or Facebook @StratfordOrig
You can always reach out to us if you need any additional information, help, advice or guidance.
Click on each link below to find out more
On Monday 21st Feb 2022, the Prime Minister announced the government’s Living with COVID-19 plan.
You can find the full document, the Prime Minister's statement and this news story online. You may also find this HSE page useful, as it provides the latest information on keeping workplaces safe from COVID-19
The ongoing response will be structured around four principles:
- Living with COVID-19: removing domestic restrictions while encouraging safer behaviours through public health advice, in common with longstanding ways of managing most other respiratory illnesses;
- Protecting people most vulnerable to COVID-19: vaccination guided by Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice, and deploying targeted testing. You may wish to read this press release and share this tweet detailing the latest JCVI advice to offer a spring COVID-19 vaccine dose for the most vulnerable;
- Maintaining resilience: ongoing surveillance, contingency planning and the ability to reintroduce key capabilities such as mass vaccination and testing in an emergency; and
- Securing innovations and opportunities from the COVID-19 response, including investment in life sciences.
Key announcements include:
- Ending of legal requirement to self isolate following a positive test result from today 24 February.
- Ending of legal requirement to test for 7 days after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive from today 24 February.
- End of routine contact tracing from today 24 February.
- Ending of free testing for the general public from 1 April.
- Ending of guidance for voluntary COVID-status certification for certain venues from 1 April.
As the Government's 'Plan B' restrictions are lifted and regulations are relaxed across England from Thursday 27 January, we are reminding customers that face coverings continue to be required on TfL services.
Those who do not wear face coverings may be prevented from using our services or asked to leave the network, unless they are exempt.
We are grateful that the vast majority of people have followed the rules to help control the virus, keeping each other and our staff safe. We ask you to continue to do so.
Our enhanced cleaning regime also continues to ensure the transport network is cleaner than ever. Trains, trams, buses and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing protection.
Independent testing by Imperial College London has been carried out monthly since September 2020, taking swabs of touch points in stations, buses and air samples in ticket halls. Up to the last verified round of testing round in December 2021, this has found no trace of coronavirus on the public transport network.
The transport network is also well ventilated. Train and bus doors opening frequently ensures a regular exchange of air across the public transport network, while the constant movement of trains draws fresh air into the system.
In the deeper Tube lines, ventilation shafts and fans supplement this air movement. Buses, which are cleaned daily, have windows that can be opened to increase the supply of fresh air. We've modified these where we can to keep them propped open. Buses are also fitted with a range of filtration and ventilation systems which are regularly maintained.
The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) has been temporarily reintroduced to support employers facing heightened levels of sickness absence due to COVID-19.
If you’re a small or medium-sized employer with under 250 employees, you may be eligible to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs for up to two weeks per employee for COVID-19 related absences from 21 December 2021.
While this is a reintroduction of the scheme which ran until 30 September 2021, it is a new claims period, which means you can claim for eligible employees whether or not you claimed for them under the previous scheme.
Make sure you have the latest information by joining our webinar, COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme 2, which includes:
- who can claim for SSPR
- when to start paying SSP
- what you can claim under SSPR
- making a claim
- connected companies or charities
- keeping records
During this interactive webinar you can ask questions using the on-screen text box and download handouts giving detailed examples and links to more information. Unfortunately, we are not able to give advice or discuss personal circumstances.
Afterwards we’ll also send you a link to a video recording of the webinars in case you'd like to see any of it again.
We will continue to update our webinars to reflect the latest information as it becomes available.
This means that:
- face coverings will not be required by law in indoor venues;
- mandatory COVID-19 certification will end, but venues may choose to use the NHS COVID Pass voluntarily;
- it is still a legal requirement for those with COVID-19 to self-isolate for 10 days with the option to end self-isolation after 5 full days following two negative LFD tests.
In addition, as of 19 January, the government no longer asked people to work from home. People should speak to their employers about arrangements for returning to the office, and should follow the Working Safely guidance.
Since 11 January anyone in England who receives a positive lateral flow device test result has been required to self-isolate immediately and isn't required to take a confirmatory PCR test.
Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and continue to take a PCR test. They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.
For more information click here.
On 8 January the UK Government confirmed that England's Plan B rules will continue for now. These measures will be reviewed again by 26 January.
For more information click here.
The Department for Education have created a COVID-19 universities toolkit to support comms professionals in universities and higher education institutions in sharing key messaging.
Please also see a Department for Education blog post on what Plan B means for schools, colleges, universities and other education settings.
England has now moved to Plan B. The new measures include:
- From 10 December, mandatory face coverings in most indoor settings (excluding hospitality settings - see list)
- From 13 December, guidance is to work from home where possible.
- From 15 December, mandatory certification will be required for certain settings. This will mean a requirement to show vaccination status or a recent negative test.
On Sunday 12 December, the Prime Minister announced that all adults will be offered their COVID-19 Booster vaccine by the New Year in an urgent effort to protect people against the new Omicron variant.
You can find details on the announcement here.
There are new social assets on the CRC to help in your communications encouraging people to 'Get Boosted Now'.
The Prime Minister has announced a move to Plan B measures, as outlined in the Covid-19 Autumn/Winter Plan. Plan B measures will come into force while more data on vaccine efficacy is assessed. Moving to Plan B will help to slow the spread of the Omicron variant and reduce the chances of the NHS coming under unsustainable pressure, while buying time to deliver more boosters.
The communications strategy of the Cabinet continues to help the public recognise risk and protect themselves from Covid-19, enabling people to continue their normal lives as much as possible.
In summary, the measures announced as of 8th December 2021:
- From 10 Dec, mandatory face covering rules are extended to most indoor settings (but will not include hospitality settings).
- From 13 Dec, guidance is for people to work from home if they can. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to travel to their workplace.
- From 15 Dec, introduction of mandatory certification for certain settings. This will mean a requirement to show vaccination status or a recent negative test to enter certain high risk settings.
These measures are in addition to:
- A continued push on testing, with a focus on testing to enable. This includes people testing before they meet others, socialise or go to crowded or enclosed places.
- A continued push on vaccines and boosters - being fully vaccinated is the best way for people to protect themselves against catching Covid-19.
- Continued messaging on ventilation - let in fresh air when meeting indoors.
To top-up your immunity over Christmas, the National Booking Service has been updated to allow those eligible for a booster vaccine to pre-book their jab five months after their second dose.
Last Wednesday the UK Government received news of a new variant called Omicron spreading around the world, with 14 cases identified here in the UK at the time of the publication of Business Update.
The Prime Minister said: “As always, and I must stress this, with a new variant, there are many things that we just cannot know at this early stage. But our scientists are learning more hour by hour and it does appear that Omicron spreads very rapidly, and can be spread between people who are double vaccinated.”
As part of the Government’s targeted and proportionate measures against a variant that is more transmissible and vaccine resistant, from today face coverings are compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport, unless individuals are exempt from doing so; all travellers returning to the UK will require PCR testing. This advice is set to be reviewed in three weeks’ time.
In line with new Government regulations on the wearing of face coverings on public transport from Tuesday 30 November, we are reminding all customers travelling on the TfL transport network that they must wear face coverings for the duration of their journeys or risk being fined, unless they are exempt.
The Government has confirmed that face coverings will become compulsory again on public transport and in shops across the country in order to help prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant in the UK. Since the Government removed the national requirement to wear a face covering on public transport, face coverings have remained mandatory on TfL services under TfL’s condition of carriage but enforcement powers under these conditions were highly limited.
This new regulation means that customers must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth for their entire journey, including on transport services, in stations and on platforms, unless they are exempt. Additionally, face coverings should be worn by everyone in taxi and private hire vehicles for the duration of their journey. Exemptions include people who have trouble breathing, children and anyone who finds it difficult to manage them correctly.
TfL’s 500 uniformed enforcement officers and TfL's police partners will be out across the transport network ensuring that customers comply with the Government regulation. Anybody who does not comply may be refused entry, directed to leave the network or face a fine.
Customers are reminded to treat everyone on the network with respect and compassion, and to understand that some customers and staff will be unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons or other permitted reasons that may not be immediately obvious.
Scientific advice suggests that although face coverings are unlikely to prevent an individual from catching the coronavirus, they can help prevent someone who is infected from infecting others and thus help control the virus.
To support the reintroduction of national regulations, TfL is also handing out face coverings at key locations across the capital for a short time to help Londoners do the right thing and keep each other safe. Alternatively, face coverings can be purchased at a number of local shops or online.
TfL is continuing to ensure customers can travel safely and confidently on its services. Tube trains and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing protection. Independent testing by Imperial College London has been carried out monthly since September 2020, taking swabs of touch points in stations, buses and air samples in ticket halls. No traces of coronavirus on TfL’s public transport network have been found.
TfL's enhanced cleaning regime continues to make the network cleaner than ever, with more than 1,100 hand sanitisers installed across the network, and at least 200 UV light devices continually sanitising escalator handrails. TfL’s buses and trains are well ventilated, with air on a typical train carriage changing every two to three minutes on average.
Here is the latest information about the closure of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme.
Now that the schemes have closed, you may want information on other support that could be available for you and your business, including the Kickstart and Help to Grow schemes. Search 'Plan for Jobs' on GOV.UK for more details.
1. Submit your CJRS claims for September
2. Reporting coronavirus grants on your tax return
3. The end of the CJRS – frequently asked questions
4. Final claims for the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
5. Closure of extended appeal window due to coronavirus
6. A word about scams
1. Submit your CJRS claims for September
The CJRS closed on 30 September. Thank you if you’ve submitted your September furlough claims already. If you haven’t submitted them yet, you must do so by the final deadline of Thursday 14 October.
You can claim 60% of furloughed employees' usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £1,875 per month per employee. You'll need to contribute 20% from your own funds so that your furloughed employees continue to be paid at least 80% of their usual wages in total, for the hours they do not work (up to a cap of £2,500 a month).
What you need to do now:
- work out how much you can claim, and the contribution you’ll need to make, to reach 80% of usual wages, by searching 'Job Retention Scheme' on GOV.UK
- submit any claims for September, no later than Thursday 14 October
- keep records supporting the grants you claim, in case we need to check them
- make sure you pay CJRS-related employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, and contact us if you're struggling to pay
- include grants in your Self Assessment return, if you usually file one (see section 2)
- search 'Plan for Jobs' if you want to see other support that may be available to you.
2. Reporting coronavirus grants on your tax return
Don’t forget that grants to support businesses and self-employed people during the pandemic are taxable. If you’ve claimed CJRS grants, you need to include these as income on your tax return as well as some other COVID-19 grants you might have received. Depending on your business type you’ll need to report this as income on your corporation tax return, your partnership return or the self-employment pages of your individual tax return. To find out how to include a grant or payment on your tax return, search 'reporting coronavirus grants and support' on GOV.UK.
3. The end of the CJRS – other UK Government support available
You can find everything you need to know about the CJRS on GOV.UK by searching 'Job Retention Scheme'. Below are some answers to our most frequently asked questions:
What support is available for my employees if I’m unable to bring them back to work?
There’s UK Government support available for your employees through the JobHelp website, offering a range of support, training and advice, to help people find their next opportunity. This includes the Kickstart scheme and other Plan for Jobs support measures, along with advice on learning new skills and finding out who’s recruiting. Search 'Plan for Jobs programmes' on GOV.UK for more information.
Normal redundancy rules and protections apply to furloughed employees – Search GOV.UK for 'Plan for Jobs programmes for employers' to find out how your business could benefit.
What support is available to help my business grow?
If you’re looking to grow your business, the UK Government Help to Grow scheme offers management and digital programmes to help you learn new skills and reach more customers. To register your interest, search 'Help to Grow' on GOV.UK.
If you’re considering taking on new employees, there’s a range of UK Government support available to help your business, including placements, apprenticeships and training opportunities. Search GOV.UK for 'Plan for Jobs programmes for employers' to find out how your business could benefit.
4. Final claims for the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme closed on 30 September 2021 and you have until 31 December 2021 to submit any final claims, or to amend claims you have already submitted.
As a reminder, if you’re an employer with fewer than 250 employees and if you’ve paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to employees for sickness absence or self-isolation that was coronavirus-related until 30 September, you could be eligible for support. You can make claims yourself, or speak to your tax agent about making claims on your behalf. The repayment can cover up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP.
For more information on eligibility and how to make your final claims, search 'check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay' on GOV.UK.
5. Closure of extended appeal window due to coronavirus
In February 2020, HMRC introduced a three-month extended window to appeal against tax decisions and penalties if the delay in making the appeal was due to coronavirus. This ended on 30 September. For tax decisions and penalties dated up to and including 30 September 2021, the extended window to appeal is still available. You should follow the normal process and times for appealing decisions dated from 1 October onwards.
We know that some customers are still feeling the impacts of coronavirus, and this may still be a reasonable excuse for not meeting their tax obligations on time in some cases. We will consider appeals and ask for evidence if needed. For more information search 'disagree with a tax decision' on GOV.UK.
6. A word about scams
We are urging customers to be careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. We continue to see high numbers of fraudsters calling, emailing or texting customers claiming to be from HMRC.
If in doubt, we advise you not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact HMRC straight away and search GOV.UK for 'HMRC scams'.
The National Cyber Security Centre has a helpful guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cyber crime, which you can find by searching 'Cyber Aware'.
As part of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, anyone who has been identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for Covid-19 no longer has to self-isolate, as long as they have been fully vaccinated and do not have any Covid-19 symptoms.
When you should self-isolate
If you test positive or have Covid-19 symptoms you still need to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of your vaccination status.
Self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test on gov.uk as soon as possible if you have any of these 3 symptoms of COVID-19 even if they are mild:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
The scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Grants are available from 1 April 2021.
Eligible businesses will be paid:
- a one-off grant of up to £6,000 in the non-essential retail sector
- a one-off grant of up to £18,000 in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors
Phase 4 of the Additional Restrictions Grant will support some Newham-based business owners (excluded businesses) across a range of sectors that were able to remain open 5 January-12 April 2021 but experienced a significant reduction in income and trade due to reduced footfall. It’s available for both business ratepayers and non-business ratepayers occupying a commercial property in Newham and who were ineligible for previous and current Covid-related business grant schemes that we administer (Additional Restrictions Grant, Local Restrictions Grant and Restart Grant). Look out for our Phase 4 opening announcement on LB Newham website.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Additional Restrictions Grant have been extended to support domestic/residential-based businesses which are registered with Companies House or registered with HMRC. In particular, we are targeting businesses severely impacted by government-imposed restrictions during the following periods: 5 November 2020-2 December 2020; 20 December 2020-4 January 2021 and 5 January 2021-12 April 2021, and which fall into the following categories:
- Phase 1: Provide in-person services and are unable to trade due to government restrictions.
- Phase 2: Suppliers to those businesses which were required to close (retail, hospitality, events, leisure) and have lost, or have a much-reduced, customer base.
As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called a COVID-19 risk assessment and it'll help you manage risk and protect people.
- identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
- think about who could be at risk
- decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
- act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn't possible, control the risk
All businesses with employees in England who can’t work from home can now sign up for free, rapid workplace testing, including those still closed due to lockdown. You’ll be provided with all the information you need to plan and deliver testing, and you can order tests through the GOV.UK portal.
You’ll need to register by 31 March, and free tests will currently be provided until the end of June.
As announced in the 2021 Spring Budget, the CJRS has been extended until the end of September 2021.
The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, up to the end of June 2021.
For periods in July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees' usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.
Claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are currently open for pay periods in March 2021.
Claims for February are now closed, but if you find you need to make a change because you didn’t claim enough you can do this until Monday 29 March.
Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme webinar, which includes:
- who can claim
- who you can claim for
- how to calculate what you can claim
- how to make a claim.
Businesses have been challenged for the past year with multiple lockdowns, curfews and restrictions. As yet another re-opening is approaching, we want to understand better which support our businesses require the most and how we can help in the best way possible. We have various ideas for our businesses from an improved training program to the re-launch of 'My Stratford Rewards' Programme. To successfully address your needs, we want to hear from you. Please, fill out the survey which will take you less than a minute of time.
The Mayor of London has launched a £1 million challenge fund to help London emerge stronger from COVID-19 and ensure the capital is prepared for future disruptive challenges. Do you have a solution?
Whether you are an early-stage or fully funded start-up, an engineer, a social enterprise, or a team with a great idea, we want to hear from you and how you would solve one of 10 challenges identified by the Resilience Partners and the Mayor of London. Applications are open until 1 April 2021. Find out more here.
LB Newham have started to contact eligible businesses which were successful in Phase 1 to apply for Phase 3 i.e. they were effectively forced to close and were affected by the 10pm early closing Tier 2 restrictions 2 December 2020-4 January 2021. The closing date for applications is 22 March 2021.
the application has been extended from 15 March until 29 March 2021.
Within this phase, support will be provided to businesses in the retail, hospitality, events and leisure sectors (for business ratepayers and non-rate payers occupying a commercial property) who were required to close 5 November-2 December 2020 and 20 December 2020-4 January 2021.
The government’s new Help to Grow programme will help small and medium-sized businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits.
There are two options available:
- Help to Grow: Management - an Executive Development programme that could help you improve business performance and growth potential through
- Help to Grow: Digital - free online advice and money off software that could help you save time and cut costs through
Additional Restrictions Grant for suppliers to businesses in the retail, hospitality, events and leisure sectors.
LB Newham is now inviting applications for Additional Restrictions Grant from businesses that supply the retail, hospitality, events and leisure sectors which were required to close on the following dates: 5 November 2020-2 December 2020; 20 December 2020-4 January 2021.
Applications are invited from both rate-paying and non-rate paying businesses which occupy a commercial property in Newham.
You can now submit your claims for periods in February. These must be made by Monday 15 March.
You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your employees will work so you don’t have to amend your claim later.
If you deferred paying VAT due in the period from 20 March to 30 June 2020, you should pay it by 31 March 2021 if you can.
If you can’t afford to pay by 31 March 2021, you can join the VAT deferral new payment scheme and pay your deferred VAT over a longer period.
The online service will open on 23 February 2021 and close on 21 June 2021. You can make up to 11 monthly instalments, interest-free. The earlier you join, the more months you can spread your payments across.
You can join the scheme online without the need to call – search 'Pay deferred VAT' on GOV.UK for more information and to join quickly and simply online when the scheme opens.
If you need more time, please contact GOV.UK. Go to their website and search 'if you cannot pay your tax bill on time'.
Within this phase, support will be provided to businesses in the retail, hospitality, events and leisure sectors (for business ratepayers and non-rate payers occupying a commercial property). It is expected that it is launch by the end of the month, we will notify you as soon as the details are published on LB Newham's website.
Newham Council are continuing to take applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). To encourage more eligible businesses to apply, we have extended the application deadline to 28 February 2021. Please apply by this date to avoid missing out on the grant.
The Department for Health recently published information about a new drive to increase workplace testing in sectors open during lockdown, in order to detect COVID-19 in people who are not showing symptoms.
Businesses can register to order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests for employees if:
- The business is registered in England.
- The business employs 50 people or more.
- Employees cannot work from home.
This service is not intended for use by employees who have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should order an individual test and stay at home.
Find out what to do if you are an employer and publishing your claim details could leave individuals at risk of violence or intimidation.
Claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
This edition of the Employer Bulletin covers:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- end of tax year reporting and the checks which need to be completed
- VAT reverse charge and changes to off-payroll working (IR35)
- National Insurance holiday for employers of veterans.
• 50% or more of the stock of a business must be ‘essential items’ to be deemed an essential retailer
• Essential items include food, hardware and building materials
• Mixed retailers such as pound shops are not necessarily an essential retailer – they would have to change their stock so that 50% are essential items
• If businesses decide to stock food, they must register with Food Safety as a food business
• Non-essential retailers can operate as a ‘click and collect’ service
• Customers can pre-order and collect but they cannot enter the premises
• Business can also close altogether and/or offer an online and delivery service only
For further guidance please email: email@example.com
How to order
- Goods need to be pre-ordered
- Orders can be taken online, by phone call, text or post
- Customers can’t order at the shop
- Customers aren’t allowed in to collect their goods
- Doors need to be closed
- If there is no door the shutter needs to be down and lifted when goods are handed over
- Appropriate signage should be placed at the front of the premises saying ‘click and collect’ only
- Customers can’t go into the premises to pay
- Payment needs to be taken before they arrive ideally, or taken outside the premises Following the COVID-19 rules for non-essential retailers
For further guidance please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newham Council are continuing to take applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). To encourage more eligible businesses to apply, we have extended the application deadline to 16 February 2021. Please apply by this date to avoid missing out on the grant.
Businesses that were open as usual, but then required to close due to national restrictions imposed by government may be eligible for the LRSG (Closed) Addendum schemes:
- from 5 January 2021 onwards
- between 5 November and 2 December 2020
Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each period under national restrictions.
The Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions that began on 5 January 2021.
Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council.
Local councils will pay the same businesses that are eligible to receive the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum for the national lockdown period that began on 5 January.
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. In addition, larger grants can be given than those made through LRSG (Closed).
Local councils can determine which businesses to target and determine the amount of funding from the ARG.
Businesses that were open as usual and were then required to close due to local Tier 2, Tier 3 or Tier 4 restrictions may be eligible for LRSG (Closed) or LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4.
Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period they are closed.
Businesses that have not had to close but which have been severely impacted due to local Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions may be eligible for LRSG (Open).
Eligible businesses may be entitled to a cash grant from their local council for each 14 day period under local restrictions.
Local councils have the discretion to provide grant funding for businesses under this scheme. They will use their discretion in identifying the right businesses to receive this funding, based on their application process.
The Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs supports pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food and have been severely impacted over the festive season due to temporary local restrictions.
Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of £1,000 from their local council in areas under Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions.
Local councils will use their discretion to identify the right businesses to receive this funding.
The Supreme Court ruled insurers must pay out policyholders for their Covid claims starting with the Spring lockdown 2019.
On 17 December, the UK Government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until the end of April 2021 to support businesses impacted by coronavirus restrictions. The Government will pay 80% of an employee’s salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions.
Last week the government announced additional support for businesses, which will be distributed by boroughs. Businesses that have been required to close due to national restrictions imposed by the government as of 5 January 2021 may be eligible for a one-off grant of up to £9,000. Check if your business is eligible here.
The government has also provided 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, £1.1 billion existing discretionary funding for Local Authorities, the furlough scheme now extended to April and 100% government backed loans, extended until March.
- All non-essential shops, gyms and leisure facilities, hairdressers and salons will close from 00:01 Sunday
- Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of those providing food and drink for takeaway only (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
- Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences can remain open
- Market stalls selling essential retail can also stay open
This Christmas, it’s safest if you spend time only with your own household or support bubble. From 23 December to 27 December, you may choose to form a Christmas bubble if you feel you need to.
A Christmas bubble can meet in a private home, a place of worship or an outdoor public space. In all other settings, if you do form a Christmas bubble, you must still follow the rules for the tier you meet in.
Between 23 and 27 December, the rules on who you can meet in bars, pubs and restaurants will not change.
The temporary 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors will be extended to the end of March 2021. In addition, those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid until January 2022.
Check the payments to avoid a penalty. Find out how to pay back all or some of the payments your business claimed if you have over claimed when taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
The extension will last until April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum installments, each covering a three month period from November 2020-January 2021 and February-April 2021. The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions. Find out if you are eligible and how much you can get following the link below.
Application guidelines for the Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG), also referred to as Discretionary Grants, are currently in development. The Newham Council want to use this funding to support businesses to contribute to the recovery and reorientation of Newham, they want to develop criteria that align with our Towards a Better Newham Covid Recovery Strategy.
Council is currently devising the criteria and will provide the necessary information on their website when these are finalised and the application window is open. Please note that the funding is available for allocation up to March 2022, subject to national and local Covid alert levels.
- for properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per four weeks
- for properties with a rateable value of over £15k and below £51k, grants to be £2,000 per four weeks
- for properties with a rateable value of £51k or over, grants to be £3,000 per four weeks.
If you have been able to continue to trade during the lockdown period you will not be eligible to receive grant funding.
Webinar dates: 12th January, 9th February & 9th March. Time: 10.30am-12.30pm
To register or to find more information please visit London Business Hub.
The Tier 3 restrictions mean that Londoners should avoid travelling outside of the capital unless for education or work purposes where work cannot be done from home.
The UK Government has reviewed the terms of the scheme, and announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain at the current level of 80% of usual wages for the hours not worked, and will be extended until the end of April 2021.
All 32 boroughs plus the City of London are in Tier 2 until 12:01am on 16 December, at which point they will move to Tier 3.
From Wednesday the 16th of December, London will move into Tier 3 – Very High alert. Find out what it means for your business.
The UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The terms of the scheme will be reviewed in January.
There are now monthly deadlines for claims. Claims must be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, unless this falls on a weekend in which case the deadline is the next weekday. We'll continue to send you reminder emails before the deadline each month
As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called a COVID-19 risk assessment and it’ll help you manage the risk and protect people.
The guidance by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is for employers, but workers and the self-employed may also find it useful.
It gives an overview of the things you should do to help make your work and workplace COVID-secure.
Tier-2 is classified as High Alert. This is for areas with a higher or rapidly rising level of infection, where some additional restrictions need to be in place.
Some of the key rules are:
- businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
- pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
- hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
- provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
- close between 11pm and 5am
- stop taking orders after 10pm
- hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
Get expert advice to help adapt your sales strategy in the current COVID-19 landscape.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday 31 October 2020 regarding a national lockdown from Thursday 5 November 2020 - Wednesday 2 December 2020 additional grant funding has been made available to those businesses who are facing restrictions.
A new film has been designed to explain the importance of letting fresh air into your home to stop the spread of coronavirus.
You can watch the video on Youtube.
Newham Council have partnered with Central Government to deliver the new Kickstart Scheme. This scheme gives employers the opportunity to create 6 months placements for 18-24-year-olds Newham residents offering £1,500 incentive to employers. Learn more information following the link below. If interested please contact Nkosi Moyo Nkosi.Moyo@newham.gov.uk as soon as possible to discuss next steps. Please be mindful that due to popular demand, this opportunity is limited.
From Thursday 5 November, everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:
· For education;
· For work, if you cannot work from home;
· For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
· For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
· To shop for food and essentials;
· And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
Small or large employers , charitable or non-profit, are eligible for the extended Job Retention Scheme, which will continue until the end of December.
Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions which, for the average claim, accounts for just 5% of total employment costs.
Further details, including how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, will be provided shortly.
From Saturday, October the 17th, the Government moved London into the high-level alert level. Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law. Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues will still close at 10 pm. Customers will still need to wear a face-covering at all times, apart from when seated to eat or drink, and staff will need to wear a face-covering at all times.
Find the updated version of the Covid-19 secure guidelines for hospitality business as of September the 29th.
The three levels will be set at medium, high, and very high.
The “medium” alert level - which will cover most of the country - will consist of the current national measures, which came into force on 25 September. This includes the Rule of Six, and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.
The “high” alert level will reflect many current local interventions, but there will now be consistency across the country.
The “very high” alert level will apply where transmission rates are causing the greatest concern, based on an assessment of all the available data and the local situation.
Non-essential retail, schools and universities will remain open in all levels.
Unless you are exempt, you could be refused travel or face a £200 fine which doubles with every violation up to £6,400.
There are new measures in place across our network to keep everyone safe. Find out what safety measures you can expect to see when travelling, including hand sanitiser, our enhanced cleaning regime and face covering enforcement.
The action cards provide instructions to anyone responsible for a business or organisation on what to do in the event of one or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in your organisation.
Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1 October mean that employers will need to fund 20% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for the hours they do not work and continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions.
The scheme closes on 31 October and you will need to make any final claims on or before 30 November.
Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live webinar:
The second taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.
Applications for the second grant are now open. Make your claim from the date HRMC give you. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.
You can claim a grant if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and your business has been adversely affected due to coronavirus.
This webinar gives an overview of the changes to the scheme and more information on:
- changes to the scheme
- the Job Retention Bonus
- flexible furloughing
- who can claim
- making a claim
- Venues should take account of the Performing Arts guidance in organising any performances of drama, comedy, and music.
- All food and drink establishments are strongly advised to follow guidance on how to open and operate safely.
- Wedding receptions and celebrations may take place, but from 28 September only 15 people may attend. See guidance.
- Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can continue beyond 10pm, but only if the performance started before 10pm (food and drink cannot be served after 10pm).
Restrictions and stricter rules on certain food and drink businesses and venues from 24 and 28 September, which must close from between the hours of 10pm and 5am.
- Organised outdoor sport or licensed outdoor physical activity, and supervised sporting activity (indoors or outdoors) for under-18s can occur in groups of greater than six.
- Organised indoor sport or exercise classes can also take place in larger numbers, provided groups of more than six do not mix.
- Organised indoor team sports for disabled people can take place in any number.
These should not be open, other than for hosting meetings and business events for under 30 people. The planned return of business events and socially distanced crowds in stadia from 1 October and pilot events has now been paused.
Continued opening up of the economy and public services is reliant on NHS Test and Trace being used to minimise transmission of the virus. In order to ensure that businesses and local services are able to remain open, it will be mandatory that organisations in designated sectors must:
● Ask at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to 6 people) to provide their name and contact details.
● Keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details.
● Keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested.
● display an official NHS QR code poster from 24 September 2020, so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details.
● Adhere to General Data Protection Regulations.
Any designated venue that is found not to be compliant with these regulations will be subject to financial penalties. It is vital that relevant venues comply with these regulations to help keep people safe and to keep businesses open.
Designated venues will need to keep records of customers, visitors and staff for a period of 21 days and make them available when requested by NHS Test and Trace or local public health officials to help contain clusters or outbreaks.
Venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, in line with guidance for their sector, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6 (unless they are all part of the same household or support bubble). It is also important that people from different households (who are not meeting as a support bubble) remain socially distanced.
Businesses should demonstrate to their workers and attendees that they have properly assessed their risk and taken appropriate measures to mitigate it, for example by publishing their risk assessment online or making it available at the premises/event.
The Police have the powers to issue a £10,000 FPN to anyone holding or involved in the holding, of an illegal gathering of over 30 people.
From 24 September, staff in retail and hospitality settings will be required to wear a face covering and all businesses must remind customers to wear a face covering where mandated, such as by displaying posters.
- Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bingo halls must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).
- Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September)
- Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law (from 24 September).
- Business conferences, exhibition halls and large sporting events will no longer able to reopen from 1 October.
- Check more business updates following the link below
Today, on September the 24th is the national rollout of the NHS app.
The pilot of the app in London Borough of Newham played a crucial role in indicating some key strategic insights and findings before the national rollout.
NHS, the Central Government and Newham Council are urging businesses to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.
Newham businesses and residents are invited to take part in independent research about the NHS Test and Trace App and receive £30 high street voucher as thanks for their support, a £100 honorarium for organisations.
From October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed Learn more.
Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From Friday 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, which must be kept for 21 days.
From Monday 14 September it will not be possible to meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than six. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes. Education and work settings are unaffected;
From 1 September HMRC will now pay 70% of usual wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.
What you need to do now
- Continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant yourself.
- The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if your employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in September, you are entitled to claim 70% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work up to £1,093.75 (50% of the £2,187.50 cap).
- Continue to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds.
- Small Business Leadership Programme - The 10-week programme – which will be delivered virtually by experts from university business schools – will teach participants how to maximise their business’s potential by improving productivity, organisation and efficiency.
- Peer Networks Programme - will focus on helping business owners improve their problem-solving skills, through a series of sessions where common coronavirus related business challenges will be discussed.
Working safely during coronavirus (updates from August the 12th):
Covid-19 secure advice and risk assessment for hospitality business (updates from August the 11th)
This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.
As the employer, you will be able to claim the bonus after you have filed PAYE information for January 2021, and the bonus will be paid from February 2021. More detailed guidance, including how you can claim the bonus online, will be available by the end of September.
DEADLINE: 16th August 2020.
London Borough of Newham has now set a deadline for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund.
From the 1st August, employers will need to pay National Insurance and pension contributions for furloughed employees from their own resources as these will not be covered by future grants.
Join the webinar to learn more about the scheme, including flexible furloughing, examples of how to work out the amount you can claim, and the changes due in September and October.
Face coverings must be worn in additional enclosed public spaces from 24 July in England, as the government takes further steps to help curb the spread of the virus. As well as shops and supermarkets, face coverings must be worn in banks, building societies and post offices.
- Offices and contact centres - Updated guidance on consulting the workforce before returning to work (section 2) and protecting people who are at higher risk (section 2.1)
- Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services - Updated guidance on gatherings of multiple households (section 2.1), consulting the workforce before returning to work (section 3) and protecting people who are at higher risk (section 3.1)
- Shops and branches - Updated guidance on consulting the workforce before returning to work (section 3), protecting people who are at higher risk (section 3.1) and where to wear face coverings (section 6.1)
These are FAQ from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy webinars on working safely during coronavirus. If you would like to watch the webinars, you can do it on Youtube. You can keep up to date with other government coronavirus webinars for businesses here.
- The daily charge will increase from £11.50 to £15 per day (£17.50 for those paying during the three days after the day of travel)
- Charging hours are extended to 07:00 to 22:00 from the current hours of 07:00 to 18:00, to reflect peak traffic hours during the epidemic.
- Auto Pay and Fleet Auto Pay £1 daily discount will be removed.
- The residents’ discount scheme will close to new applications from 1 August. Existing discount holders will continue to receive the discount.
- NHS patient reimbursement scheme will be expanded.
- The scheme will close to anyone who hasn’t been furloughed for 3 weeks by 30 June. The rules of the scheme are changing from 1 July.
- From 1 July, you’ll have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time, you can decide the hours and shift patterns they work to suit the needs of your business.
- For periods starting on or after the 1 July, the maximum number of employees you can claim for in any period cannot be higher than the maximum number you have claimed for in a previous period.
- From 1 August, you will need to contribute towards the wage costs of your furloughed employees until the scheme ends on 31 October.
From 15th June: All other non-essential retail can reopen as long as the social distance is in place, here is the list of businesses who must remain closed.
Preparation is vital for a smooth transition from lockdown to reopening of your business.
The 8 guides which cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, shop or a takeaway. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.
These businesses have been unable to access other government business support programmes, such as CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment. The scheme will deliver an initial commitment of £250m of new government funding which will be unlocked by private investment on a match funded basis.
The application process is investor-led. This means an investor, or lead investor of a group of investors, applies in connection with an eligible company.
TFL has created a plan to help London and businesses to re-open safely. The service levels are going to be increased, however, will be operated differently due to the national requirement to maintain 2 metres distance between passengers. Hand sanitiser points will be introduced across the transport network, along with special signage and platform stickers as well as restricting entry if the necessary and one-way system.
TFL asks businesses to help them enable social distancing wherever possible by keeping the numbers of people travelling on the network down. It is important for businesses to have discussions with their employees regarding TFL’s plans tips for planning to return to work in the coming weeks and in the longer term.
Save and return option now added
In response to feedback from customers using the service, we’ve added a 'save and return' option. This means that you can now return to a partially completed claim, rather than having to do it all in one go.
On May the 1st additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding was announced for small businesses.
This additional fund was aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund.
The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.
Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – will be eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.
This scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to apply for loans of up to £50,000.
- 100% government guarantee
- Available from 9am on Monday 4th May 2020
Arts Council England have a number of funding opportunities for organisations and individuals within the arts
The Chancellor has announced a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.
Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail, regardless of their Rateable Value will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.
Businesses do not need to take any actions, the relief will be applied automatically.
Apply for the Coronavirus business grant funds:
➣ Small Business Grant Fund - £10,000 grant payment.
➣ Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant - up to £25,000.
CBILS is financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) who are UK - based, have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million and were disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
What do you get?
- Loans up to £5million (you can apply for a loan between £25,001 and £5,000,000)
- Spread repayments of your loan from 1 to 6 years
- No interest payments for the first 12 months (covered by the UK government under “Business Interruption Payment”)
The scheme applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’.
All UK businesses are eligible.
- HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
- The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.
The Government has launched the website where you can find all the information on the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on your business.
You'll find ALL the schemes (loans, business rates, grants, etc) available for businesses, eligibility and advice.
"The Metropolitan Police Business Crime Hub was created to improve partnership and communication with the business community to reduce the impact of crime".
In the official statement issued by Metropolitan Police, you'll find tips on preventing crime during these unpredictable times created by the Coronavirus, including:
- If your staff fall victim to an assault or witness violence in your premises
- Closed Premises/Venues that have been temporarily shut
- Physical Protective Measures
- Large gatherings/Queuing
Read the full document below for more information.
The phone helpline aims to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
You can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 0159 559
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm.
The helpline will not be available on Bank Holidays.
--> HERE you will find out about the support for businesses who:
- are paying sick pay to employees (COVID-19 refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee)
- pay business rates (100% retail discount for the 2020 to 2021 tax year for properties below £51,000 rateable value)
- pay little or no business rates (grant of £3,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief)
- support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (up to 80% covered by the government)
- for businesses and self-employed paying tax (may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs)
will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff on:
- the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
- how to help prevent the spread of all respiratory infections including 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
Please stay healthy and follow the basic routine to protect yourself and those around you from the virus.