Should further restrictions be absolutely necessary, businesses must be involved and consulted throughout the process. Rumours and spurious briefing about potential new restrictions only serve to sow further confusion among already wary business communities.
While there can be no substitute for an open, functioning economy, as a Chamber we are clear that any new restrictions must go hand in hand with a comprehensive support package for firms forced to close or reduce capacity through no fault of their own.
Above all, government must rapidly improve the ailing Test and Trace system, which is the only viable way to avoid economic paralysis. Mass testing, faster processing and proportionate financial support for those forced to self-isolate are essential to support businesses and communities in the months ahead.
We will as always keep you updated.New guidance on £9 billion Job Retention Bonus
Further information has been published on how businesses can claim the UK government’s Job Retention Bonus. The Job Retention Bonus, worth up to £9 billion is set to support millions of employers who have kept on furloughed workers.
The bonus will work alongside the newly announced Job Support Scheme and could be worth more than 60% of average wages of workers who have been furloughed – and are kept on until the start of February 2021.
Businesses can claim from 15 February until 31 March 2021. Find out if you’re eligible and what you need to do to claim.
Department for Education launches new Skills Toolkit
Following the Prime Minister’s speech about retraining and adult skills, the UK government has launched a new Skills Toolkit with additional courses that target employers, prospective learners and employees among others.
Refreshed Small Business Guidance
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Small Business Guide has been revamped for 2020 to help organisations ensure they have key cyber defences in place. The updated guide sets out five key areas for business to improve their cyber security and is the latest measure from the NCSC, to help small businesses thrive online. Read more here.
Home Office campaign to help employers prepare for the new immigration system
The Home Office has prepared a partner pack to help communicate the updated guidance for the new UK points-based immigration system. The employer pack contains key messages and provides communication products for use on channels including social media, email updates and e-newsletters. I am sure you will find this of interest.