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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin

12 February 2021

Government boost to rapid workplace testing

An online portal has been launched to make it even easier for business in the private sector to get involved and find out more about offering rapid testing in the workplace. Business that are open during lockdown can now sign up to rapid testing programmes that identify cases of Covid-19 in employees who are not showing symptoms, to help stop the spread of Covid-19, and ensure vital public and economic services can continue.

Businesses can register to order coronavirus rapid lateral flow tests for employees if:

  • Your business is registered in England
  • You employ 50 people or more
  • Your employees cannot work from home

Testing is key to breaking the chains of transmission. Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. This expansion of testing will find more positive cases, keeping workers who cannot work from home unknowingly passing on the virus and protecting vital public services. For more information, click here.

 

Financial Support

Bounce Back Loan – new payment flexibilities

Bounce Back Loan borrowers will now have the option to tailor payments according to their individual circumstances.Pay as You Grow repayment flexibilities now provide businesses with the following options to:

  • Extend the length of the loan from six years to ten
  • Make interest-only payments for six months, with the option to use this up to three times throughout the loan
  • Pause repayments entirely for up to six months

The scheme is open to applications until 31 March 2021.Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan.

Find out how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020

You can pay now or get ready to join the VAT deferral new payment scheme. The new scheme lets you pay your deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free and choose the number of instalments, from 2 to 11 (depending on when you join). Find out more here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Guidance on ‘What to include when calculating wages’ has been updated to give more information about non-monetary benefits and employer pension contributions under salary sacrifice.

Payment of Class 2 National Insurance contributions through a Time to Pay arrangement

Guidance has been updated, with added information about payment of Class 2 National insurance contributions, through a Time to Pay arrangement, and paying in instalments.

 

Working safely

Court safety for legal professionals:New information on the arrangements in place at courts and tribunals is available.

Covid-19 and the private security industry: Frequently Asked Questions have been updated.

Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles: Guidance has been updated with information on tests and vaccinations.

 


New video content to help keep your business moving

Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring.

All businesses can ind out what has changed,and check their preparations,by visiting new video content from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.The short,on-demand videos cover 18 topics, including importing and exporting,rules of origin and audit and accounting. Register now to immediately access the video content. New rules are here – make sure your business is prepared.

 

Travel

New quarantine enforcement measures come into force on Monday 15 February.

Haulier advice site locations: Page has been updated with information that Hauliers need a negative COVID-19 test result before travelling to:

For more information click here.