COVID-19: Advice and guidance for employers and businesses

Monday 16 March 2020

The rapidly changing nature of the Covid-19 outbreak has meant that information and advice from government is changing quickly.

The UK Government and the Welsh Government websites offer the latest information as well as advice and guidance on Covid-19.

Small businesses are being urged to make themselves aware of, and follow, Covid-19 guidance for employers and businesses from the government. This guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on:

  • The novel coronavirus, Covid-19
  • How to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including Covid-19
  • What to do if someone with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 has been in a workplace setting
  • What advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas, as outlined by the chief medical officer
  • Advice for the certification of absence from work resulting from Covid-19
  • What happens if you have to close your business due to Covid-19

In response to the outbreak of Covid-19, the Welsh Government has announced a package of support worth £1.4bn for small businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.

The package covers:

  • Shops, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100 per cent business rates relief.
  • Pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill
  • A further £100m will be available for a new grant scheme for small businesses.
  • A refund for businesses and employers required to access Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
  • Additional £2.2 billion funding support for small businesses that pay little or no business rates because of the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR).
  • Government support – information on support provided via the Welsh Government, including business rate relief and business grant schemes.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) guidance to employers and businesses about Covid-19 –information and guidance from the UK Government on areas such as Statutory Sick Pay, advice for employees who have travelled to high risk areas and home-working.

A new, temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to be delivered by the British Business Bank, providing lenders with a guarantee of 80 per cent on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to small and medium enterprises.

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

A Development Bank of Wales loan and equity funding available immediately to Welsh businesses.

For more details on this support visit the Welsh Government website.

For further support and business advice contact Business Wales on 03000 6 03000.

Bridgend County Borough Council leader Huw David said: “We understand the concerns that businesses have and the sudden shock they are experiencing due to the escalating measures imposed during the outbreak of coronavirus.

“We will do our best to help support local businesses through this time – please follow the advice and guidance issued by the UK Government, Welsh Government and the Federation of Small Businesses.

We want to reassure residents that, together with our partners, all necessary steps will be taken to support the well-being of our communities as much as possible.”

Meanwhile, businesses which are able to help with the urgent call for ventilator production are urged to contact the UK Government’s business support helpline on: 0300 456 3565 or via email.

Further guidance regarding coronavirus can be found via:

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