12th May 2020
- The Chancellor has today announced that the Job Retention Scheme will be extended to the end of October. The scheme will continue to pay 80% of an employee’s wages up to £2500 per month. The Chancellor has said that he will expect, from August, businesses to share the cost of furloughing workers but we are yet to get details on what that precisely means. He also said he wants to allow the scheme to accommodate part-time work so flexibility will be introduced into the scheme from August. More details will be published later this month.
You can read the announcement here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-scheme-until-october
- Members will hopefully have had time to digest the Government’s detailed guidance for businesses on working safely during Covid-19 that I sent round last night.
Here again is a link to the various guidance for different types of business. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19. An important part of the guidance makes is clear that:
- All businesses should conduct an assessment of the the risks posed to their employees and their customers from Covid-19.
- This is a requirement of Health and Safety legislation.
- For businesses with 5 or more employees this risk assessment must be written down.
- The guidance includes a poster you should display to show that you have followed the guidance.
- The papers contain some helpful tools you can use to think through the risks associated with this disease and the sorts of measures you can use to minimise risks.
- Bacta has prepared a template risk assessment. This is based upon our Re-Opening paper. Please note it is not legal advice. It is constructed with AGCs and FECs in mind and from the perspective principally of minimising risk to customers. There may be some additional thinking required in respect of your staff as the Government guidance indicates, around getting to and from work, use of staff rooms etc. Similarly any members with offices, warehouses, or manufacturing or distribution facilities will need their own risk assessment using the relevant government guidance note.
- We continue our lobbying in Scotland and Wales on rates relief and grants. Regional Chairman, Richard Case and I spoke to Welsh MS, Darren Millar, this morning to gain support for the campaign. The picture in both countries is mixed and it is likely we will have to pick off individual councils that are not interpreting guidance correctly one by one.
- Please click here to see my latest video address to members https://bacta.org.uk/2020/05/12/john-white-addresses-industry-110520/
- With the PMs address suggesting limited easing of the commercial lockdown from June 1st and July 4th we are lobbying to get AGCs and FECs open asap. As per my previous updates, I would encourage all members to write to their MPs along the lines suggested to explain what measures you have put in place to reopen and what continuing Government support you are going to need – which is all set out in our Re-Opening paper. Although on slightly different paths, I would urge all members in Scotland and Wales to do the same to both MPs and MSPs/MSs respectively.
- DCMS have requested members’ help in assessing the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on sectors covered by the Department. I would be grateful if you could take literally a few minutes to complete the short survey. It will help our cause. Please click here DCMS Business Impacts of Coronavirus Survey
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