Useful Information & Guides

As and when new initiatives are launched – we will update this page.

InvestSefton Growth Hub is part of the City Region Growth Platform

In addition to what InvestSefton can offer – the Growth Platform is offering help & support to Sefton Businesses – to find out more click on the following link:

https://growthplatform.org/business-covid-19-advice/

To see all the latest updates from Government please click on the following link;

https://www.gov.uk/business-support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

A step by step guide for Employers

Coronavirus (COVID-19): apprenticeship programme response

This document sets out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response

General advice for Employers and Employees

Guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about the novel coronavirus COVID-19  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

Employer guide to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

https://www.gov.uk/employers-sick-pay

Working safely during Coronavirus

The UK government, in consultation with industry, has produced ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. The new guidance covers 8 workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19 .

The UK Government has updated its guidance on working safely https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches

Offices and contact centres

Guidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/offices-and-contact-centres

Labs and research facilities

Guidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/labs-and-research-facilities

Closing certain businesses and venues in England

All businesses and venues outlined in the table below must not open to the public. Failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the individuals responsible for the business being issued a prohibition notice, a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

Support for Businesses from Outside of Government

The Government is working closely with Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations to support the national response to coronavirus, including ensuring messages from Government are heard by all businesses and that business voices are heard by Government. Below is a list of organisations you can speak with to get advice. Many of these websites also include sector specific guidance and Q&A. This list doesn’t cover all trade associations and business representatives – but you may find it a helpful starting point. Many of the trade associations and Business Representative Organisations listed below are happy to hear from non-members and members alike, so do get in touch to find out more.

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/support-for-businesses-from-outside-of-government

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

Pubs and Restaurants allowed to trade as takeaways

The Ministry of Housing and Communities & Local Government has announced that planning rules will be relaxed to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.  The relaxed rules will be introduced as soon as possible and will last for up to 12 months.  The relaxation will apply for hot foot and drinks only.  Serving or supplying alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to existing licensing laws.

Read more about the planning rules at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-grant-permission-for-pubs-and-restaurants-to-operate-as-takeaways-as-part-of-coronavirus-response

 

Useful information for Convenience Stores

ACS (The Association of Convenience Stores) have a dedicated page on their website which contains resources for retailers with regard to COVID-19. The resources include information on home delivery, critical workers and protecting staff. They have also provided downloadable templates for relevant signs to put up in shops referring to social distancing. https://www.acs.org.uk/advice/covid-19-coronavirus

 

IR35 Reforms put back until 2021

HM Treasury has announced that the extension of IR35 rules to the private sector will be delayed until 6th April 2021.  As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Treasury has confirmed that the rules have been deferred to help protect hundreds of thousands of contractors’ livelihoods.

Read more about the delay at:

https://www.cityam.com/ir35-reforms-to-be-delayed-for-a-year-due-to-coronavirus

Free childcare to continue during coronavirus closures

The Chancellor has confirmed that the Government will continue to pay local authorities the free childcare entitlements for two, three and four-year-olds.  The Department for Education has also stated that it expects local authorities to pass the entitlement funding onto childcare providers if they are advised to close by Public Health England or if children are unable to attend due to coronavirus.

Childcare providers exempt from business rates

The Chancellor has announced that childcare providers are eligible for the 100% Business Rates discount that has been introduced to help support sectors that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.  The discount will apply for a year from 1st April 2020.

Read ore about the guidance at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-colleges-and-early-years-settings-to-close

 

Enforcement of drivers’ hours rules relaxed

The Department of Transport has announced a temporary relaxation of the EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales.  The relaxation applies to drivers of vehicles involved in the delivery of food, personal care, household paper and cleaning products and over the counter pharmaceuticals.  The relaxation will apply until 16th April 2020 and does not include drivers making deliveries directly to consumers.

Read more about the relaxation at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/temporary-relaxation-of-the-enforcement-of-eu-drivers-hours-rules

Coronavirus Helpline for the Self-Employed 0800 0159 559

Call for More Help for the Self-Employed: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51984275

Business Resilience Support for SME’s

Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership via Growth Platform is looking to enhance the current business support available to business to include Business Resilience relating to COVID-19.

Eligibility:  SMEs in all sectors. Estimated Size of Business:£1m – 45m Turnover Estimated Employee Numbers:    10+ Staff.

Read more about the support and how to get in touch: https://growthplatform.org/business-covid-19-advice/business-resilience-support-for-smes/

Gov.UK Business continuity planning

Guidance to help businesses plan to deal with the impact of a major incident or disaster.  Expecting the Unexpected: Business Continuity in an Uncertain World explains the importance of creating simple but effective plans, helping business to build resilience against any disaster.  This guide is the result of a unique partnership between the business community, police and business continuity experts.  Our aim is to provide you with a checklist and useful ideas on matching key business continuity management processes to your company.  This Joint publication is from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, London First and the Business Continuity Institute.   

Cashflow Planning

Cashflow planning has an important role to play in managing a business.  Now more than ever, businesses will be assessing the impact of Covid-19 on their finances, and planning for when the situation improves.  The following is a selection of cashflow planning resources from some of the main banks

  •  Barclays

www.barclays.co.uk/business-banking/business-insight/cashflow-forecasting/

  • HSBC

www.business.hsbc.uk/en-gb/gb/article/cashflow-forecast

  • Lloyds

www.lloydsbank.com/business/improving-cash-flow.html

  • Royal Bank of Scotland

https://www.business.rbs.co.uk/business/running-a-business/run/cashflow.html

  • Santander

www.santander.co.uk/business/business-support

www.santander.co.uk/assets/s3fs-public/documents/disaster_recovery_plan.pdf

Business Insurance

Business insurance cover for Covid-19 disruption and related issues varies, depending on the cover taken out, and your insurer’s terms.  Businesses are advised to check with their insurers what their cover includes.  Your insurance may also include access to a legal helpline, for specic issues.  The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also provides independent advice about business insurance, during the Coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

ACAS 

Acas provides free, impartial advice on workplace rights, and help to resolve disputes.  Their site has free template letters for employers and employees, including Covid-19, working from home, employment contracts, redundancy, and health and wellbeing. www.acas.org.uk/advice

Technology to help your business work from home:

  • Zoom  has created some video communications resources to help you work from home
  • Google is providing free access to the enterprise version of Hangouts Meet to all G-Suite and G-Suite for Education users.
  • Cisco is offering the free version of its Webex service with no time restrictions. In addition, it will allow up to 100 meeting participants and has added toll-free dial-in features with a 90-day license for businesses that are not already customers.
  • Facebook’s Business Hub is now available for all businesses to access. Previously a resource for Facebook employees and health experts, it will now be opened up to the wider world.

Guidance on closing certain businesses ands venues

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

 

Support for Manufacturing Businesses

McKinsey & Company have produced a guide on managing a manufacturing plant through the coronavirus crisis:

 https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/managing-a-manufacturing-plant-through-the-coronavirus-crisis

 

Better off Finance Scheme for the Self Employed

A Liverpool City Region wide scheme aimed at helping people improve their finances has been expanded to support the self-employed through the Coronavirus crisis. Entrepreneurs who have been critically impacted by the pandemic will now be able to access advice from a dedicated Better Off Finance Key Worker who can support them in accessing the best welfare support for them. This includes advice around Universal Credit and other legacy benefits like tax credits, housing benefits and council tax benefits. https://localgrowthhub.com/news/for-immediate-release-for-further-info-rmation-please-contact-sarah-brown-via-sarahbrown-thewo-org-uk-better-off-finance-a-dvice-scheme-to-p-rovide-a-l-ifeline-for-the-s-elf-e-mployed/

 

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

Further details of the five new ministerial-led taskforces that have been set up to develop plans for how and when closed sectors can reopen safely have been released. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-roadmap-taskforces

 

Government to support businesses through Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

The government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-support-businesses-through-trade-credit-insurance-guarantee?utm_source=8b939942-aacd-4435-98c6-752bb665de60&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

 

Holiday Pay Entitlement

An explanation of how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic, where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance. This guidance applies to those that have continued to work as well as those that have been furloughed.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/holiday-entitlement-and-pay-during-coronavirus-covid-19