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 is a central source of information so you can understand how it may affect your business and make informed decisions.
Business support from Government
The UK Government and devolved administrations have launched several measures for businesses to help them navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. To find out more, use the Government business support search tool.
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.
If you trade internationally, the Government has published guidance which you can access here.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ended in October 2021
The Kickstart Scheme closes on 17 December 2021. From then you will not be able to apply for a new grant or add additional employees to an existing grant. However, applications submitted prior to the 17 December will still be processed. If your application is successful, you can spread the job start dates up until 31 March 2022. You’ll get funding for 6 months once the young person has started their job.
You can apply for Kickstart Scheme grant by either:
- Applying online yourself
- Getting help from a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the Kickstart Scheme.
If you need help with the Kickstart Scheme process, contact your local Kickstart Scheme contacts.
Loan and grant schemes
The current Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) closed for new applicants at the end of March 2021.
Recovery Loan Scheme – A UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme will take their place to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery. The scheme launched on 6 April 2021 and is available for companies trading in the UK who have been affected by coronavirus, including businesses who were in receipt of the previous schemes. Further details on how to apply and details of accredited lenders will be released in due course.
The scheme has been extended to 30 June 2022. A series of changes will come into effect from 1 January 2022.
From 1 January 2022, the following changes will come into force:
· The scheme will only be open to small and medium sized enterprises
· The maximum amount of finance available will be £2 million per business
· The guarantee coverage that the government will provide to lenders will be reduced to 70%
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme – 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. Details about when the scheme can be accessed and when employers can make a claim will be announced as soon as possible. Find out more.
Tax and customs
Deferment of VAT payments – The Government have announced a VAT deferral ‘New Payment Scheme’, where businesses that deferred VAT due from March 2020 to June 2020 now have the option to spread their payments over the financial year 2021-2022. Rather than paying in full at the end of March 2021, businesses will be able to choose to make 11 equal instalments over 2021-22 Find out more
Business Rates Relief– the Government’s Business Rates Relief has been extended to the 2021/22 financial year. This will be at 100% for three months, from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021, and at 66% for the remaining period, from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. There is no cash cap on the relief received for the period from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021 relief has been capped at £105,000 per business, or £2 million per business where the business is in occupation of a property that was required, or would have been required, to close, based on the law and guidance applicable on 5 January 2021.
Time to Pay – 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.
Support for self-employed
In addition to being able to access some of the business support schemes above, those who are self-employed will be able to access the following schemes.
Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme – The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is now closed.
The Government will also give the self-employed and other taxpayers an additional 12 months to pay self-assessment tax payments due in January 2021. Find out more
The guidance is constantly being updated and we advise you to check the following page regularly: Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do
New Government guidance for businesses and organisations on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus has been published including specific action cards for manufacturers.
Lateral Flow Tests have been made available to everyone in England, including those without symptoms. Tests can be ordered to homes online here. You can use the NHS app to allow individuals to order tests and enter results.
Bespoke testing regime unveiled for exempt international arrivals
Aerospace engineers are on the list of professions for the bespoke testing scheme for international arrivals into England. Regular negative tests required compared to a long period of quarantine (every 2 – 3 days). Additionally, From 6 April, new testing requirements will be introduced for hauliers entering England from abroad, to help reduce the risk of new COVID-19 variants entering the UK. All hauliers staying in the country for longer than two days will be required to take a lateral flow test before the end of day two. Find out more
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 events are currently due to take place as scheduled.
A new, simplified travel system has come into force making international travel easier. Travel rules will vary depending on where you have been and your vaccination status. Please familiarise yourself with the current guidance prior to travel. Full guidance can be found here.
- All countries have been removed from the red list
- Fully vaccinated travellers from over 135 countries and territories have simpler, cheaper rules, with just a single post arrival test needed. 3. US Travel Restrictions have been eased for UK Arrivals from November 2021.
On 9 November 2021 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy alongside Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive revised their guidance on working safely during coronavirus.
The guidance asks businesses to complete a new health and safety risk assessment, provide employees with adequate ventilation and new guidance on turning away employees and visitors who have COVID-19 symptoms, it is now an offence for businesses to allow employees to come to work if they have symptoms or are mandated to self-isolate. There is specific guidance for offices, factories, plants and warehouses including further details on how to consult with your workforce, the enforcement responsibilities for a business and ways to manage risks of COVID-19.
Security tips and guidance
ADS has launched a new Cyber Security Toolkit – Guidance for the Supply Chain, supported by the National Cyber Security Centre.
Facilitated and constructed in partnership with ADS Special Interest Group, the Digital Information and Systems Integrity Group (DISIG), the toolkit aims to equip the ADS supply chain to cater and respond to the increasing cyber security threats that confront us today.
Online resources for businesses and employers
- If you are looking for business support or guidance, your local Growth Hub can assist you. Businesses can also call the Business Support Helpline on 0800 998 1098 to speak to a business support advisor (9.00am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday).
Other useful information includes:
- Check what you need to do about Statutory Sick Pay
- ACAS has published information for employees and employers, including information on simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff, sick pay and absence from work
- Find out what to do for different businesses and organisations
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.