Coronavirus (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.

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

We have opened up for a second round of applications following successfully awarding £1,390,000 of our fund. We have £360,000 remaining and are looking to support local businesses as we move to re-open our economy. You cannot reapply if you have been awarded funding in the first round of applications.

We will be accepting applications for the discretionary grant from the 1 July 2020 until midnight on 15 July 2020.

Business grant register

If you would like to apply for the open Business Support Grant Funding, please register your details here. For information regarding the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, please see below for further details.

Guidance and advice on COVID-19

Latest News

Government unveils £200 million package to help innovative businesses bounce back

The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help companies across all parts of the UK recovering from the impact of coronavirus keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive. The Sustainable Innovation Fund will help power the UK’s economic recovery and develop new sustainable opportunities for businesses in any sector following the coronavirus pandemic, while helping the UK meet its ambitions to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

Businesses can apply for support through the Sustainable Innovation Fund by visiting the Innovate UK website from Monday 29 June. Find out more here.

Flexible furlough scheme starts today

Businesses will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time from today as part of the government’s plan to re-open the UK and kick-start our economy. Find out more here.

Reopening of Certain Businesses

As lockdown eases many more businesses can open subject to being Covid-secure. The full list of businesses eligible to open is published here.

COVID Secure guides cover a range of different types of work:

  • Find the new hotel and guest accommodation guidance here.
  • Find the new close contact guidance here.
  • Find the new visitor economy (hotels, guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, business events and consumer shows) guidance here.
  • Find the updated restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services guidance here.

Changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers

  • This guide has been updated with more information about flexible furlough and overpayments.
  • From 1 July 2020, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.
    • Employers will be able to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part time and decide the hours and shift patterns they work to suit the needs of their business. From 1‌‌ August, employers will be asked to contribute towards wages costs.
    • For the latest information, join the following live webinar: Choose a date and time. Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing - will take you through the changes, flexible furloughing, claim periods and key dates.

New plans to get Britain building in coronavirus recovery

New measures to help the construction industry boost building and return to work safely have been announced. Planning permission deadlines will be extended, planning appeals will be sped up and builders will be allowed more flexible working hours following agreement with their local council. You can find more information here.

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

The 50 page document published by the government on 11 May 2020 can be viewed and downloaded here.

Business support

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This package includes support for:

  • Paying your employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The full step by step guide for employers is available here
  • The self-employed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Check if you are eligible to claim here
  • Claiming back sick pay paid to employees due to coronavirus. For more information about eligibility and how employers (or you on their behalf) can prepare to use the scheme, please visit GOV.UK. Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Deferral of VAT payments and Self Assessment payments due to coronavirus
  • Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates
  • Nursery businesses that pay business rates
  • Businesses that pay little or no business rates
  • Small and medium-sized businesses
    • Business Interruption Loan Scheme
    • Coronavirus Future Fund
    • Coronavirus Bounce Back loan
  • Large businesses
  • Trade Credit Insurance guarantees

For full details of of these schemes and up to date guidance visit: Gov.uk financial support for businesses during COVID-19

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:

Open 4 Business GRANTfinder

To support you through these challenging times, small and medium sized businesses are able to search for new local, regional and national funding on the Open 4 Business GRANTfinder portal available here:

The Portal is updated regularly and can be easily searched by businesses on the basis of their industry, region and business size, and provides information on how to apply for funding and contact funders directly.

If you are having trouble accessing the portal, please contact sheryle.price-jones@northlincs.gov.uk for technical support.

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.

Useful contacts