Coronavirus COVID-19 Hub

Last updated: Friday 3 April, 17:00

The impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on business is constantly evolving in the UK and globally.

To help keep ADS members informed and updated with the latest advice, information and resources available, we have created this COVID-19 Hub which will be a central source of information so you can understand how it may affect your business and make informed decisions. Please send your business intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting your business or any questions you may have to covid19@adsgroup.org.uk.

Key Resources

Current Government COVID-19 Guidance

The guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus infection is constantly being updated. We advise to check the following pages daily:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

The Government announced new rules on staying at home and away from others on 23 March 2020:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • Stay two metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Non-essential shops and community spaces are closed
  • Gatherings of more than two people are prohibited.
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Further guidance is outlined here:

The Government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. The Government have identified key workers whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response. Relevant to our sectors, this includes:

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

If your school is closed then please contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area that your child, or children, can attend. Parents are asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

Guidance for British people living or travelling overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find the update guidance here.

Business support announced by Government

For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is gov.uk. However, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is scaling up their Business Support Helpline so businesses in England, of all sizes, can pick up the phone and speak directly to an advisor (Devolved Administrations have their own equivalent services in place). T: 0300 456 3565

If you trade internationally, the Government has published guidance which you can access here.

Business support announced by Government includes:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will provide employment support to companies of any size with a PAYE scheme. Employers will receive support to cover the wages of employees, who the firm could otherwise not afford to cover the cost of. Support will cover 80% of salaries up to £2,500 per month, and the Government will also cover the employer’s National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Support can be backdated to 1 March 2020 and will be open initially for three months. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. The Government is placing no limit on the funding available and will pay grants to support as many jobs as necessary. The Chancellor intends that grants will be paid within weeks and before the end of April. Find out more 
  • To support lending to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will provide loans of up to £5m, with no interest due for the first 12 months  This applies to SMEs with a turnover of no more than £45 million a year. The Government has confirmed that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible. They are also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals. For loans over £250,000, personal guarantees will be limited to just 20% of any amount outstanding on the loan after any other recoveries from business assets. Lenders have already been prohibited from asking business owners to use their home as a personal guarantee. Find out more
  • The Government is launching the new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) which 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. Further details will be available later in April.
  • The Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term cash flow problems . It will operate for at least 12 months. Find out more
  • The Small Business Grant Scheme will provide £10,000 grants to 700,000 SMEs in England. Find out more
  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay  per employee will be refunded by the Government in full.  Find out more
  • Deferment of VAT payments from now until end of June. Businesses will have until the end of the financial year to pay their VAT bill (March 2021). Find out more
  • The Government is temporarily increasing the Business Rates Relief, specifically the retail discount in England which will be 100% for 2020-21 for properties with a rateable value less than £51,000. Find out more
  •  New rules will be introduced to allow companies undergoing restructuring to continue access to supplies and raw materials. There will also be a temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions for company directors to remove the threat of personal liability during the pandemic, which will apply retrospectively from 1 March. Find out more
  • The Government has announced guidance on how to pay no import duty and VAT on protective equipment, relevant medical devices or equipment brought into the UK from non-EU countries during the coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak. Find out more

Support announced for those who are self-employed includes:

  • The newly announced Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme will see taxable grants of 80% of monthly profits up to £2,500 being paid. It will be open to those with trading profits of up to £50,000. Money will be paid by HMRC as a lump sum in June. HMRC will contact those who are eligible. Those applying must have already filed their tax return for 2019. Find out more
  • Deferral of self-assessment payments until 2021.
  • Being able to access some of the business support schemes above, including the Business Interruption Loan Scheme and deferred VAT payments, as well as being able to access Universal Credit payments

Other support:

  • A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. More information can be found here.
  • Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts. Find all the information here

For companies operating in Scotland, the Scottish Government has implemented additional business support.

For companies operating in Wales, the Welsh Government has outlined the measures available. 

For those in Northern Ireland, information for businesses can be found here. 

Guidance for the defence industry

The MOD Permanent Secretary Sir Steven Lovegrove has written to the defence industry to outline how the department is applying the new COVID-19 key workers guidance across the relevant programmes and projects the department runs, and how applies to Defence contractors working to support those activities.

In support of this top-level guidance Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) teams have also written to companies to share programme specific information which will be flowed down supply chains where relevant. MOD is working with ADS to share information about critical programmes and key workers in Defence.

This guidance has been welcomed by ADS members and where members have not yet been contacted, they should contact their customer and ask whether their work has been categorised as a critical programme by the MOD.

Guidance for manufacturers and industry 

Going to work

The Government has stated people can travel to and from work, but only where the work they do absolutely cannot be done from home.

With the exception of the organisations specifically ordered to close by the Government, there is not a requirement for any other businesses to close.

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

Where this is not possible, for instance in parts of manufacturing, it is permissible to continue going to work, providing employers ensure employees are able to follow Government guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.

Tips for keeping manufacturing sites open

Download tips as a printable PDF here

Ensure Strict Cleaning Routines

The best way to protect yourself and your staff from the coronavirus is making sure that the environments they operate in are clean and employees are following healthy and safety guidance.

Staff

  1. Staff need to be responsible for their own hygiene and clean their hands each time they are entering and exiting the facility, with the hand washing technique guidance made clearly visible.
  2. If it is not possible to have a hand wash station, hand sanitiser should be provided.
  3. Ensure frequently used objects and surfaces are cleaned regularly and especially after use.
  4. If you use an external cleaning company, work with them to ensure the same people visit your site to lower the chance of the disease spreading.
  5. Protective shoe covers or a change of shoes for operating on the production floor may be advisable as well as protective clothes especially if using public transport to get to work.

Employers

  1. Hold checks throughout the day to make sure that proper procedure is being followed.
  2. Pay extra attention when cleaning to frequently used areas such as breakrooms and bathrooms.
  3. Ensure parts of your machines that are frequently touched are regularly cleaned, especially between shift changeovers.
  4. Appoint someone in the management team to make sure cleaning practices are being carried out.
  5. Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.

Increase Changeover Times to Reduce Staff Interaction

By limiting interactions between staff, especially those on different shifts, you can help reduce the chances of the virus spreading between people.

  1. Stagger changeover times between shifts as much as possible which will also allow for additional cleaning time as well as minimising potential spread between staff.
  2. Assign staff to the same shift teams and avoid swapping with others which will help protect teams.
  3. Limit social interactions to essential only, applying the two-meter rule when interacting if possible.
  4. Discourage staff from entering parts of your site unless essential to their role.
  5. Rotate lunch and break times to avoid large gatherings and encourage staff to bring their own in.

Provide Clear Communication to Staff and Visitors

It is extremely important to communicate with staff as much as possible and keep them informed of the Government guidance is it develops as well as the protocols the company are putting in place. Although minimising visitors is advisable, some visits may be unavoidable, and guidance must be accessible to all on site.

Staff

  1. Consider printing guidance posters and making them visible across your facilities.
  2. Review your policies to ensure that any workers who are feeling symptoms know to stay at home and to keep you informed.
  3. Ensure employees know the latest guidance and you communicate major decisions with them as soon as reasonably possible.

Visitors

  1. Minimise visitors from your facilities and only allow those who absolutely need to come to your facilities enter the premises.
  2. Provide reception staff with appropriate cleaning supplies and guidance as they are most likely to interact with the majority of people coming in and out of the site.
  3. Ensure clear requests to clean hands are clearly displayed in key areas.

Decontamination processes

If a worker does become ill and you need to clean your facilities then it is important to do it as correctly to avoid cross contamination. Full decontamination procedures can be found at on gov.uk

Member FAQs

Government Support  

Q: If manufacturers are listed as able to continue and staff are not able to come in, are we able to claim 80% of salaries? 

A: If you furlough workers because they are unable to work, then you claim 80% of salary up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per worker. Further guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found here.  

Q: How can companies claim the Government support that has been made availableif they can’t fulfil contracts or delivery timelines? 

A: If you are an SME you can claim for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) Scheme which is delivered through the high street banks.  To do so please refer to the British Business Bank’s quick eligibility checklist. Please note that this scheme is for borrowing proposals that would be considered viable, if not for the COVID-19 pandemic, and which could enable you to trade out of any short to medium-term difficulty. 

If you are a large company, you should consider the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). This is intended to support liquidity among larger firmsYou must demonstrate that you were in sound financial health prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which ordinarily means that you have a certain investment grade rating. 

Q: If I am a contractor working through my own limited company rather than being self-employed, what support is available?

A: Government has outlined that individuals who are unable to apply for the self-employment income support scheme, might be able to access other support such as deferral of Self Assessment income tax and VAT paymentsgrantsUniversal Credit and the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Q: School closures are having an impact on employees and presenting challenges to maintaining output. Are there any measures in place from Government to support this? 

A: ADS has informed Government of a number of key roles in our industry that we believe should be included in occupation criteria, to make sure the necessary support is available for those workers who can continue to work at their normal site. The full list of key workers as outlined by the Government can be found here.

Q: Are the interventions stated by the Government general or is there any specific support for the aerospace sector? 

A: Most of the support detailed is general in nature, available to companies across a wide range of sectors. The Government has subsequently ruled out a specific support package for the entire airline industry but will enter into negotiations with individual airlines seeking additional bespoke support. ADS has also asked for support measures such as business rates announced recently for other sectors to be extended to manufacturers. 

Q: To maintain the flow of orders, has Government indicated what it is doing to maintain development and issuing of Invitation to Tenders, Request for Quotations? 

A: Government’s current focus is on immediate support for business . ADS will continue to raise these issues with Government and ensure that the long-term implications are communicated and understood by Government. 

Working / Unable to Work 

Q: Can staff work when on furlough? 

A: To be eligible for the subsidy through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, furloughed employees cannot undertake work for or on behalf of their company – this includes providing services or generating revenue. Further guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found here. 

Sick pay 

Will my employer be obliged to pay me while I stay at home? 

Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by coronavirus. 

Government guidance on sick pay can be found here. 

Q: What support is there for the self-employed? 

A: The Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The business support website provides more information and FAQs.  You can also apply for Universal Credit. 

Q: Is there any specific guidance for production workers that cannot work from home? 

A: Government guidance has been issued advising companies that if a role cannot be done from home, such as in manufacturing, workers can continue to travel to their normal place of work. In addition, certain roles, such as defence contractors, have been defined as essential roles. 

Q: Is there guidance for high risk individuals regarding working? What are they eligible for if they do not go to work?   

A: Government has produced guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 

Salaries can either be met through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if employees are categorised as furloughed, or for those self-employed through specific support. Either scheme will provide 80% of normal earnings. Depending on circumstances, individuals may be able to claim Universal Credit, and if required can access advance payments upfront without needing to attend a Jobcentre. 

Q: What roles are categorised as key workers? 

A: ADS has informed Government of a number of key roles in our industry that we believe should be included in occupation criteria, to make sure the necessary support is available for those workers who can continue to work at their normal site. The full list of key workers as outlined by the Government can be found here 

As a key worker, if your school is closed then please contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area that your child, or children, can attend. 

Industry Impacts 

Q: Will ADS monitor impact of COVID-19 on major industry programmes, and communicate this with members?

A: ADS is working to make sure we have the fullest possible picture of the impact of COVID-19 on industry at all levels. Members will be receiving regular communication from ADS on these issues and we will look at how we can best support members facing impacts of issues with major industry programmes. 

QWhat analysis or models are available that demonstrate the impact on ADS sectors?  

A: ADS is monitoring the disruption to our sectors from a range of perspectives, from passenger demand through to supply chain disruption. As the full effects of the virus are still being felt and at this point in time are growing, it is difficult to identify specific timescales.

ADS has been clear in asks to Government that the UK manufacturing sector will require long term investment and R&D support to ensure future long-term competitiveness.  

Q: How will aircraft orders be affected given the decline of aviation around the world as a result of COVID-19? 

A: There still remains a global backlog of 14,094 aircraft orders in February 2020 which is significant for the industry. It is likely businesses will rely on these orders which translate to about 8 years’ worth of work. It is expected that over the coming months fewer new orders will be made, and deliveries of aircraft could be delayed.    

The potential impact on orders is likely to depend upon the length of restrictions on normal daily life, the effectiveness of Government support and the wider global economic outlook. It will be some time before there is a clear picture.  

Q: How affected is demand for civil aircraft parts like engines? 

A: ADS is monitoring the impacts on member companies and asking companies to share information on supply chains and future demand with us to build this picture. 

Other Issues 

Q: The Scottish Government has requested that all non-essential business should close, what is the official advice?  

A: ADS is encouraging UK and Scottish governments to coordinate their approaches. Guidance for businesses in Scotland can be found here. The Scottish Government has advised all business premises to close unless essential to health, supporting essential services, capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with social distancing or if wider public health, health and safety considerations apply.   

Q: With Brexit at the end of the year presenting another challenge for our sectors, what representation is ADS making to the Government? 

A: ADS continues to work with Government and officials as they negotiate future trade arrangements. The current situation presents clear challenges for the Government in achieving its ambition to negotiate and implement a new relationship with the EU to take effect when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. ADS believes Government should consider whether a delay will be necessary, taking into account the economic disruption from COVID-19, delay in negotiations, and necessary focus of all levels of Government on the current situation. 

Online resources for businesses and employers

For the latest information and advice, employers and business owners should visit guidance for employees, employers and businesses. Check the page regularly for updates and subscribe to receive email alerts.

Other useful information includes:

Businesses should check for daily updates at GOV.UK and subscribe to receive email alerts to ensure they are acting on the most up to date information. 

Legal Guidance

ADS members and legal experts Brodies LLP have created their own dedicated COVID-19 hub providing informed and pragmatic thought and commentary on the key issues, considering all the latest Government updates. These include:

Staying safe online

Considering Government advice to work from home wherever possible, there has been a huge rise in home working by companies and their employees, which will be a new experience for many. Even if the possibility of home working has been on offer for some time, it is likely that for many companies it is happening at a much greater scale.

Criminals are adapting to the rise of home working and there has been a rise in phishing, malware and other forms of cyber-attacks and fraud, seeking to exploit coronavirus. Companies should take the following actions during this time:

  1. Support your colleagues in the transition to home working and ensure they are cyber aware;
  2. Reduce the risk of cyber-attacks through appropriate security measures;
  3. Manage your data protection arrangements.

To help with this, there are several online resources you should look at:

Tips for communicating with employees

With advice and guidance in relation to COVID-19 constantly evolving, both clear and effective internal communication with your employees is critical. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) have shared the following advice for communicating with employees at times of crisis, specifically COVID-19:

  • People will look to you for trusted information and guidance. They will want information regularly (with timings clearly communicated) – without this they will fill in the blanks and that will lead to speculation and rumours. Use trusted sources to make your decisions, such as NHS, WHO and Public Health England.
  • It’s ok to not know the answer to everything but you do need a plan – tell people what you are doing, who is involved and where they can ask questions. You can set up a dedicated email address or a group on one of your internal social networks if you feel it is needed.
  • Make sure everyone knows how, where and when future updates will be provided. It is important that there is a single source of news and updates for the organisation and that everyone knows what this is. Have a clear channel for the communication so that people know where to get correct, accurate and up to date details. Make sure the message is consistent and if you’re making changes to the guidance, make it clear where those changes are.
  • Video messages are a great way to communicate messages from your CEO. At times of uncertainty employees like to see updates directly from leaders, it can help bring reassurance and clarity on the organisations approach.
  • This isn’t the time to introduce new communication tools or platforms – stick to what people already know and use. Remember traditional channels can be effective such as posters and leaflets, especially in a large operational workforce with hard to reach workers.
  • As part of your Business Continuity Plan, work closely and meet regularly with a core group of managers from across the business ensuring that all decisions are communicated promptly to staff. This should include clarifying working from home policies and plans you have in place, including for those who need to stay at home (self-isolate). A precedent will be set with the first decision so this needs to be a decision that can scale.

Tips for working from home

  1. Maintain a sense of routine
    Especially in the morning, although this new routine may be different to your usual working day as there is no commute, it is important that you have regular working hours and a schedule that you are able to stick to.  Avoid the temptation to work in pyjamas, by getting up at a normal time, washing and getting changed you will improve your state of mind and psychologically prepare for a day of work
  2. Create a daily catch up call with your team/line manager and commit to what actions you’ll be completing before the end of the day
    This is a good way of giving you a sense of purpose for the day and helping each other manage workloads. Ensure you review the previous day what was committed to and what was completed, if  a task was not completed, confirm why it wasn’t completed and what hindered you.
  3. Enjoy your Flexibility
    Take a break by going for a walk, or a bike ride. As your work schedule can be more flexible working from home, make sure you set some time a side to get out the house (if not self-isolatingand take your mind of the office. If you are self-isolating or not, ensure you take regular breaks away from your screen.
  4. Make a Group Chat with your colleagues
    This is a good way of reducing email traffic, keep it light-hearted to check in with your co-workersEnsure you do not go the whole day without speaking to anyone, pick up the phone and call someone to ensure you do not feel isolated.
  5. Communicate, and don’t hesitate to ask for what you need
    Even more than you think is necessarily – make your colleagues aware of your movements and just general check in with colleagues. No one wants to feel like they suddenly don’t have a team or don’t have support. It is also acceptable to advise that things are not ‘business as usual’ if you have a dog that is barking or if your child needs attention whilst on a conference call.
  6. Designate a workspace
    Even if it’s just half of a table, it is important for your wellbeing to be able to separate out work and home. Working from home does not mean working from anywhere around the house.Having a designated space will get you into a productive frame of mind, and similarly once your workday is over, avoid that designated work space to be able to relax. 

Tips for conducting virtual meetings

Team Defence Information (TDI) have published a best practice guide for running virtual meetings including virtual meeting roles, meeting setup, meeting practices for general meetings, workshops and conferences and post meeting actions. Find out more here

Travel guidance and advice for members due to attend events

With the situation and Government advice constantly evolving, we ask all members to regularly check our Events Listings page to check the latest status on all ADS events. Where changes and postponements have been incurred, these will be updated online and ADS members who have been booked to either attend or exhibit at the event will be notified by our Events Team. Unless shown or notified, all other 2020 events are currently due to take place as scheduled.

Moving forward our meetings / committees / events will be held remotely utilising Skype for Business. For existing meetings / events that have been set up the facilitator will be in contact to confirm if the meeting is going ahead, and if so to provide details of how to connect.

The government announced new rules on staying at home and away from others on 23 March 2020:

  1. People are required to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Non-essential shops and community spaces are to be closed
  3. Gatherings of more than two people are prohibited.

Further guidance is outlined here:

Exceptional travel advisory notice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising British people against all non-essential travel worldwide for a period of 30 days from Tuesday 17 March 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. Please continue to check FCO travel advice on UK for the latest updates.

Live calls for industry support

Find out more about the latest Government calls to industry to support stakeholders in the management of the COVID-19 crisis:

The Government have launched a service to tell them how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.

The support needed includes things like:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • 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

You’ll be asked some questions about the type of support you can give. You’ll then be contacted as soon as possible if your support is needed. You’ll also need your company number if you have one.

Find out more

How is COVID-19 impacting business?

The Government is closely monitoring developments in relation to potential economic impacts on the UK economy and individual businesses and supply chain and we are keen that our members feed back any specific concerns.

We welcome information on:

  • The impacts across supply, demand and labour markets
  • Actions being taken by firms to address these impacts
  • Any gaps in the Government response from your perspective

Please send your business intelligence or any questions you may have to covid19@adsgroup.org.uk. We understand that individual company information may be commercially sensitive, and it will be treated accordingly. For any questions we will attempt to get back to you as soon as possible, and any common queries will be answered within the Member FAQs section of this Hub.

Weekly COVID-19 Email Bulletin

Distributed every Tuesday, the COVID-19 Bulletin provides a summary of the latest information and advice from the online COVID-19 Hub straight into your inbox.

Members can sign-up to receive the bulletin here:











Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Support Webinars

For the coming weeks, ADS will host an online COVID-19 Business Support Webinar every Thursday to give members a live update on the latest advice, information and resources available to them, as well as provide a platform for members to engage directly with the senior members of the ADS Executive Team on key issues, questions and feedback on how COVID-19 is impacting your business.

Next webinar: Thursday 9  April, 14:30 – 15:30 – Sign up for free

Catch-up on previous webinars

COVID-19 Webinar #3 – 2 April 2020

COVID-19 Webinar #2 – 26 March 2020

COVID-19 Webinar #1 – 19 March 2020