Guidance and advice on COVID-19

Guidance for employees, employers and businesses in providing advice about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Intelligence Alert

Be aware of COVID-19 scams. We are aware of an increase in scam emails, calls and texts relating to COVID-19 Government business grants which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Don't give out private information or reply to text messages, and don't download attachments in emails you weren't expecting. If you would like to report any instances of suspected COVID-19 fraud, please visit Action Fraud and the Suspicious E-mail Reporting Service; launched recently to capture COVID-19 related scams.

Latest News

Grant Schemes Update

Last updated on 23 February 2021.

Closed Business Grant

Businesses who have already applied for the tier scheme and received payment for January 2021 will automatically get these payments without the need to reapply.

These funds will be released once North Lincolnshire Council has received funding from the Government, this may take 7-10 working days, so please do not contact your dedicated account handler until Monday 8 March 2021.

The amount businesses will receive is dependent on rateable value. Payments will be made for a 44 day period from 16 February 2021 – 31 March 2021 and are as follows:

  • £2,096 for businesses with a rateable value under £15,000
  • £3,143 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £4,714 for properties with a rateable value over £51,000

If you have not already applied for the January lockdown and/or tier payment scheme, you can apply here.

For the January 2021 lockdown the deadline for applications is 31 March 2021 with last payment being made by 30 April 2021.

For the next lockdown extension (February 21 – March 21) the deadline for applications is 31 May 2021 with payments needing to be made by 30 June 2021.

For the Closed Business Lockdown Payment (Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Top Up Grant) the deadline is 31 March 2021 with final payments on the 30 April 2021.

If you are a new applicant to this scheme, we will contact you as soon as possible but please note we are dealing with a high volume of applications.

Discretionary Grant

There will be a further payment of the discretionary grant to those businesses who applied during previous application windows, the amount is still be confirmed and once we have the exact amounts with payment dates we will update our website accordingly.

We will not be opening the grant for new applicants.

Please do not contact your dedicated account handler until we have confirmed the amount of grant funding that will be received.

Furlough Scheme extended

  • The furlough scheme has been extended at its first introductory rate equal to 80% of wages for time not worked, up to £2,500 per month until end of April 2021.
  • Employers will have to contribute NIs and pension.
  • Employers can now furlough employees who were on their PAYE Payroll by 30th October 2020.

For more information, please visit gov.uk

Self-employed grant expansion

The self-employed grants will be calculated at 80% of trading profits for November, an increase from 40%.

As this grant is calculated over 3 months, this will increase the value of the grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for November to January, with a maximum monetary value of £5,190.

For more information, please visit the HMRC website.

£1.3 billion investment to deliver homes, infrastructure and jobs

Funds to deliver up to 45,000 homes, create up to 85,000 jobs and upgrade skills and infrastructure to help fuel a green economic recovery announced.

  • Over 300 shovel-ready projects in England to share £900 million investment to build homes and infrastructure, and create jobs
  • £360 million investment confirmed to deliver 26,000 new homes on brownfield land
  • Strict accreditation rules for tradespeople involved in the £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme to ensure homes are of the highest quality

Further details can be found here.

Quality assurance at heart of new £2 billion green homes grants

Tradespeople are urged to sign up for TrustMark accreditation as part of the new Green Homes Grant scheme.

  • Government urges tradespeople to sign up for TrustMark accreditation in drive to support over 100,000 jobs through a new energy efficiency scheme
  • new Green Homes Grant will give over 600,000 homeowners in England up to £10,000 to install insulation, heat pumps, draft proofing and more to help households cut energy bills
  • strict accreditation rules for tradespeople involved in the scheme, giving households confidence that improvements to their homes will be of the highest quality

Further details can be found here.

New law to ensure furloughed employees receive full redundancy payments

Government brings in law to ensure furloughed employees receive statutory redundancy pay based on their normal wages, rather than a reduced furlough rate.

  • New law will ensure that furloughed employees receive statutory redundancy pay based on their normal wages, rather than a reduced furlough rate
  • changes will mean those furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are not short-changed if they are made redundant
  • the changes will also apply to statutory notice pay and other entitlements, providing some reassurance during this difficult time

Further details can be found here.

More businesses set to benefit from government loan scheme

Changes to state aid rules as a result of UK Government and industry lobbying mean that more small businesses can now benefit from loans of up to £5 million under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), it was announced on the 30th July 2020.

Previously businesses which were classed as ‘undertakings in difficulty’ were unable to access CBILS because of EU rules. From today, businesses in this category and which have fewer than 50 employees and a turnover of less than £9 million can apply to CBILS.

  • Government expects lenders to make changes in approvals processes.
  • Over 57,000 businesses have benefitted from £12.6 billion of support through CBILS to date.

Reporting outbreaks of coronavirus

New guidance for businesses and organisations on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus has been published. COVID-19 early outbreak management information has been created to make sure that people who run businesses or organisations:

  • know how to recognise and report an incident of coronavirus
  • are aware of measures local health protection teams may advise in order to contain it.

Action cards have been developed to cover a range of businesses and organisations to provide specific advice on the issues each type of organisation may face. The cards are designed to be printed or downloaded to keep on hand in your business or organisation.

Employer help from Jobcentre plus

This site offers a range of advice to help your business overcome challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are needing to expand rapidly, or worried about redundancies, you can find advice on next steps and the best ways to support your staff here.

Job help is also available online through Jobcentre plus. If you are looking for work Jobhelp is a good place to start.

Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

This updated document sets out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes information on which apprentices should be prioritised for face-to-face training from 15 June, and details of the flexibility for end-point assessments ahead of calculated functional skills qualification results.

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Covid-19 SME Guidance

NCSC has guidance to support businesses moving from physical to digital delivery as part of the ongoing Covid-19 response. The guidance has been created specifically to support businesses who are relying more heavily on IT services to run their business. The NCSC is committed to equipping all UK businesses with the best cyber security advice. The support package includes guidance on home working, video teleconferencing and spotting email scams related to Covid-19. All additional and pre-existing guidance for business can be found on the NCSC website.

Local Enterprise Partnerships

A range of support is available to support businesses with the challenges they face due to the COVID-19 outbreak through the Humber LEP Business Growth Hub and Greater Lincolnshire LEP. This support can be accessed by visiting their dedicated COVID-19 Business Support pages:

Working safely during COVID-19

The UK government, in consultation with industry, has produced 'COVID-19 secure' guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. The new guidance covers 8 workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways. Guidance is also available on how to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment and how to clean your workplace safely.

The 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep employees safe.

  • Construction and other outdoor work - Guidance for people who work in or run outdoor working environments.
  • Factories, plants and warehouses - Guidance for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses.
  • Homes - Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to home environments as well as their employers.
  • Labs and research facilities - Guidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments.
  • Offices and contact centres - Guidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments.
  • Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery - Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.
  • Shops and branches - Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
  • Vehicles - Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar.

Review of Social Distancing

Following the announcement of changes to social distancing measures, the following mitigations should be applied across all settings to reduce risk:

  • Maintain 2 metres where viable
  • Staff must stay home when symptomatic, or if a member of their household is symptomatic, and to get tested to allow contact tracing of positive cases
  • Staff should minimise the duration of contact at less than 2 metres with people outside their household
  • Maintaining hand hygiene and cough etiquette
  • Thorough and regular cleaning of shared areas, including toilets
  • Wearing face coverings when distances of 2 metres cannot be kept in indoor environments where possible
  • Recording staff contact details and working patterns to support test and trace.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is focusing on the key issues surrounding Government measures to protect the public during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Guidance on how OPSS is supporting businesses and local authorities and protecting consumers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can be found here. This is the 2nd version of the guidance for manufacturers and makers of face coverings on complying with the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 published, amended to reflect the latest government guidance on when a face covering should be worn.

Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Information and Support

Take a whole systems approach to health and wellbeing using these Business In The Community Toolkits.

North Lincolnshire Healthy Lifestyle Service

North Lincolnshire Healthy Lifestyle Service are offering remote telephone support for weight management, stop smoking support and other lifestyle related areas. Contact: 01724 298212 Email: nlc.healthylifestyles@nhs.net

Production and supply of ventilator components

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the government’s response to COVID-19.

You can find more information on the production and supply of ventilator components here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my business eligible for a grant?

You can find out the eligibility criteria for the current grant schemes here.

What does national lockdown mean for my business?

North Lincolnshire is in national lockdown. Find out what this means for your business here.

If my business is eligible for a grant, when should I expect payment?

Businesses must go through eligibility checks prior to grants being paid, but we will make payment as soon as possible.

What if a member of staff tested positive for COVID-19?

If a member of staff tests positive, they must self-isolate for 10 days along with any close contacts they may have had in the workplace. Close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days.

How can I ensure my business is Covid safe?

Guidance for having a Covid-Safe business can be found here.

How can I get or update my business rates details?

For business rates account details you must contact our business rates team directly. You can do this by emailing nndr@northlincs.gov.uk OR by ringing 0300 3030164.

How do I find out my business rates valuation?

You can find out your business rates valuation by filling out the form on the GOV Website.

What support is available to a sole trader?

You can find out what support is available for all types of businesses here.

Will I be eligible to pay tax on covid business grants?

Draft legislation on this is available on the government website here.

I applied and was successful in receiving a November lockdown tier payment. Do I need to reapply for January lockdown?

Businesses who have already applied for the tier scheme and received payment for November will automatically get their payments without the need to reapply.

Successful November applicant payments will be credited to accounts 7 to 10 working days from Monday 18 January 2021.

How do I apply for a closed covid business grant?

If you have not already applied for the November lockdown and/or tier payment scheme, you can apply here.

I am applying for a closed covid business grant, I applied in spring 2020 but not since. Can I backdate my application for November as well as January?

Yes, closed applications can be backdated for the November lockdown period.

I am applying for a discretionary covid business grant, I applied in spring 2020 but not since. Can I backdate my application for November as well as January?

Unfortunately we cannot backdate Discretionary applications to November.

I applied for the January discretionary grant, I have not received a payment for it as yet, how long will this take?

All discretionary grants will be verified week commencing 1 February 2021 and payments to successful applicants will be made in the following weeks. If you have not been contacted by 15 February please contact your dedicated account handler by email.

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