Braintree District Council News

Webinars: Find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic. Join a free webinar, hosted by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to find out more about how to make your workplace COVID-secure. The webinars cover a range of different types of workplace settings which are allowed to be open. 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 the guides/webinars as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

  • Wednesday 27 May, 11am: Factories, plants and warehouses – Guidance for people who run factories, plants and warehouses

  • Wednesday 27 May, 3pm: Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery – Guidance for people who run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.

  • Thursday 28 May, 11am: Shops and branches – Guidance for people who run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

  • Thursday 28 May, 3pm: 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.

  • Monday 1 June, 11am: Construction and other outdoor work – Guidance for people who run outdoor working environments.

  • Monday 1 June, 3pm: Labs and research facilities – Guidance for people who run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments

  • Tuesday 2 June, 11am: Offices and contact centres – Guidance for people who run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments

  • Tuesday 2 June, 3pm: Homes – Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to home environments as well as their employers

Coronavirus support for business from outside government Public bodies, organisations and charities have produced additional resources that may be useful to employers and employees: ► Find out more here.

Staying healthy during COVID-19 This week is Mental Health Awareness week. It's fair to say that life has become more difficult for everyone right now. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed everything, and we're all struggling to adjust to new ways of living and working. There are some perks to working from home we can all enjoy, but at the same time we may also be feeling stressed, bored or anxious.  Alongside this, many of us may be worried about future job prospects and trying to look after children as well. These 7 simple tips can help you adjust to working at home, feel more productive and take care of your mental health in these unprecedented times. Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19) This guidance outlines how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic. It is designed to help employers understand their legal obligations, in terms of workers who continue to work or have been placed on furlough as part of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Update on small business and cash grants We are continuing to administer grants to support businesses across our district. Grants have now been issued to nearly 90% of eligible businesses so far. We’ve paid out £26.22 million in small business and cash grants (within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors) to support 2,250 businesses. We’ve been hearing that some accountants have been telling their business clients that they're not eligible for these grants when they actually are. There are just over 250 businesses in our district yet to come forward to make their claim. Amounts of up to £25,000 or £10,000 are available and businesses will not need to pay the money back. You can check your eligibility using this tool. If you're unsure, please email for a sense check. Webinar: Hospitality & Tourism Adjusting to the new normal The Digital Skills Partnership has worked with London-based digital marketing agency Three Sixtee to help create a webinar focused on how hospitality and tourism businesses are going to adjust to the 'new normal' in a post-COVID-19 economy.Abbey Oladapo, the founder of Three Sixtee, will host the webinar on Wednesday, 27th May at 11am. The topics include:

  • Some of the ways COVID-19 has changed the landscape

  • How businesses can transition to the new-normal

  • Tips to drive growth with digital solutions

You can register your interest here.

Transition - the future relationship between the UK and EU The UK is in a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.  The current rules on trade, travel and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period up to 31 December 2020. New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021.To help businesses keep up to date, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy publishes a free Transition Bulletin for businesses.   Subscribe to the Transition Businesses and Employers Bulletin by visiting Gov Delivery Subscriptions: i) Add Subscriptions, and ii) check 'Transition Bulletin' to subscribe to receive regular email updates.  National Cyber Security Centre Covid-19 guidance The cyber security centre has published 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 cyber centre is committed to equipping all 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 website. Coronavirus support from business representative organisations and trade associations The government is working closely with business representative organisations and trade associations to support the national response to coronavirus. There is a long list of organisations, across more than 30 sectors, you can speak with to get coronavirus related advice. Many of these organisations are also happy to respond to non-member queries. Pick for Britain helps bring workers and employers together The government and the Prince of Wales have urged students and furloughed workers to apply for seasonal farm work. As part of efforts to support British farmers and growers to recruit workers throughout the harvest period, the government launched the Pick for Britain website in partnership with industry to help match up available opportunities with local jobseekers. Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay payments they have made to their employees.   Employers will be able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.  HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. Guidance for food businesses The Food Standards Agency has collated guidance for food businesses operating during the coronavirus pandemic. Advice is available to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely in the food sector.The guidance provides information for food manufacturers, restaurants and takeaways and the farming and agriculture sectors. It covers a range of areas, including social distancing, cleaning and staff training. It also outlines the hygiene processes and requirements food businesses must follow as they develop new ways of working. Apply for the coronavirus Future Fund The government’s £500 million Future Fund opened for applications on Wednesday, 20 Maywith innovative and high-growth British businesses able to secure investment to help them through the Coronavirus outbreak. UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries. These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.  The Future Fund was developed by the government and is being delivered by the British Business Bank. £40 million boost for cutting edge start-ups In addition to the above Future Fund, Ministers have allocated £40 million through the Fast Start Competition to drive forward new technological advances, and to support innovative start-ups, including a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers’ market platform. This will give companies a vital boost, fast-tracking the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis. Getting help for your business The government's Business Support Helpline number has changed to FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098. The helpline provides free, impartial business support and signposting services to businesses – which currently includes business advice on Covid-19.  You can also find free support, advice and sources of finance through your local growth hub or speak to an advisor on webchat about support for your business.  You can also find the latest government information here.We will continue to bring you the most up-to-date advice via these emails, our website and on social media. You can also contact us on for help, advice and support. Please join our closed Braintree District Businesses Facebook group to find support from other businesses in our district.

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