BFA Update Brexit and Covid-19

Dear Member,

We have a quite a large number of updates for you today covering both Brexit and Covid-19. Summarised below, with full details at the bottom of this email.


This update includes:

Covid-19

  • Business evictions ban extended until March 2021
  • Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the drivers’ hours rules
  • New Guidance
    • Senior executives can temporarily leave quarantine in England
  • Updated Guidance on
    • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
    • Safe working during Coronavirus
    • Statutory Sick Pay eligibility for those self-isolating or shielding due to coronavirus

 

BFA COVID-19 USEFUL LINKS

Brexit

  • The Northern Ireland Protocol and movement of goods in and out of Northern Ireland
  • Trade agreements
  • VAT
  • Webinars for EU-based organisations that trade with the UK

BFA BREXIT USEFUL LINKS


As ever, if there is anything specific regarding either Brexit or Covid-19 that you need help with please do not hesitate to reach out to me here or through the BFA WhatsApp groups.

Together we are stronger,

Lucy Reece-Raybould
BFA CEO

Covid-19 Updates

Business evictions ban extended until March 2021

Business owners affected by the pandemic will be protected from eviction until the end of March 2021. This final extension to protections from the threat of eviction will give landlords and tenants 3 months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent. Further guidance to support negotiations between landlords and tenants will also be published shortly. A review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation has also been announced, to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions.

More information is available here.


 

Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the drivers’ hours rules

In response to pressures on local and national supply chains, the Department for Transport has introduced a temporary and limited urgent relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales.  This temporary relaxation will apply from 12:01am on 10 December 2020 and will run until 11:59pm on 30 December 2020.

Find out about who the relaxation applies to and information on using the relaxation here.

 


 

NEW GUIDANCE: Senior executives can temporarily leave quarantine in England

Senior executives can temporarily leave quarantine in England if they are undertaking business activities which are likely to be of significant economic benefit to the UK.

Find out who is exempted; how to comply with the exemption and examples of activity that would or would not likely to qualify for an exemption here. 


 

UPDATED GUIDANCE: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of March 2021 for all parts of the UK. From 1 November, the UK Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The terms of the scheme will be reviewed in January.

The revised terms are as follows:

  • You must continue to pay the associated employer National Insurance contributions and any pension contributions from your own funds.
  • You and your employees do not need to have benefited from the scheme before, to claim for periods after 1 November.
  • There are now monthly deadlines for claims. This means that you may need to submit earlier than you have in previous months.
  • You must submit any claims for November, no later than 14 December.

The full guidance for claims from November onwards, including how you can check if you’re eligible and how to calculate and make a claim online, can be found here. 


 

UPDATED GUIDANCE: Safe working during Coronavirus

Shops and branches

Workplace canteens open to staff only do not need to collect data for NHS Test and Trace.

See the ‘What’s changed’ section for further information here. 

What you can and cannot do in areas in Tier 1 and Tier 2 of local restrictions

Check updated information on visiting venues and added links to guidance on which businesses and venues are permitted to be open in both Tier 1 and Tier 2:

Tier 1: Medium alert – Visiting venues; and business and venues.

Tier 2: High alert – Visiting venues;  and businesses and venues.

Guidance for businesses and organisations on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus

This page has been updated with a section ‘Early outbreak management action card example’.

Check updated information contained within the “action card” here.


 

UPDATED GUIDANCE: Statutory Sick Pay eligibility for those self-isolating or shielding due to coronavirus

If your employee is sick or incapable of work, you must pay them a minimum of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), where they are eligible.

If your employee is clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot work because they have received a notification advising them to shield, you can furlough them under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if you are eligible to do so. As a minimum, you must pay them SSP, where they are eligible.

You must pay SSP from the first day of your employee’s absence from work if they are self-isolating due to COVID-19. This could be because:

  • They are displaying symptoms of, or have tested positive for, COVID-19
  • Someone in their household (including linked or extended household) is displaying symptoms of, or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • They have been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that they have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.

Your employee may be required to self-isolate multiple times. Each time they are required to self-isolate “provided all eligibility criteria are met” they must receive SSP for the duration of their absence.

Small and medium employers can reclaim up to two weeks of SSP paid per employee for absences related to COVID-19.