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Government Briefing and Additional Updates and Guidance 15th June 2020

‘New furlough’ guidance released
The government has announced the closure of previous Coronavirus Job Retention scheme and released guidance on its replacement. From July 1, employers can:

  • Only claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks between 1 March – 30 June.
  • Flexibly furlough employees, meaning employees can come back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern.
  • Still be able to claim the furlough grant for the hours the flexibly furloughed employees do not work, compared to the hours they would normally have worked in that period
  • From 1 August, the level of the grant will be slowly reduced. No grant will be available for Class 1 employer National Insurance or pension contributions from 1 August – although these will remain payable by the employer.
  • From 1 September, employers will also be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages to ensure they continue to receive at least 80% of their wages for the time they’re on furlough.

You can find out more here on how the amount of grant available through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

HMRC are running a webinar to be held on Thursday 18 June 9:45am-10:45am and Friday 19 June 11:45am-12:45pm. It provides an overview of the changes to the scheme, how employers will be affected, flexible furloughing, key dates and support available. Sign up here.

Border and transition period announcement

The government has formally notified the EU it will neither accept or seek any extension to the EU Exit Transition Period.

Recognising the impact of coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare, the government has announced it will introduce the new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021.

  • From January 2021: Traders importing standard goods, covering everything from clothes to electronics, will need to prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods, and will have up to six months to complete customs declarations. While tariffs will need to be paid on all imports, payments can be deferred until the customs declaration has been made. There will be checks on controlled goods like alcohol and tobacco. Businesses will also need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods. There will also be physical checks at the point of destination on all high risk live animals and a proportion of low-risk live animals.
  • From April 2021: All products of animal origin (POAO) – for example meat, pet food, honey, milk or egg products – and all regulated plants and plant products will also require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation.
  • From July 2021: Traders moving all goods will have to make declarations at the point of importation and pay relevant tariffs. Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for SPS commodities there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples: checks for animals, plants and their products will now take place at GB Border Control Posts.

To support businesses with the new processes taking effect next year, the government has developed a new £50million package to boost the capacity of customs intermediaries – including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operator

Find out more here.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES AND GUIDANCE

Retail guidance updated

New guidance on working safely during coronavirus has been issued to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. It includes updated guidance on managing product handling and returns, guidance on the test and trace service, guidance on safer travel and to provide guidance on managing security risks. Paul Scully, Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets, has also written a letter to the retail sector.

2,500 new places on artificial intelligence and data science conversion courses now open to applicants

Government launches an application process to the world’s first artificial intelligence and data science conversion courses

COVID-19: safer aviation guidance for operators
Update to the safer travel and working principles for airports and aviation operators includes the new requirements for passengers to wear face coverings. Find out more here. For guidance for passengers, find out more here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to the retail sector

Page summary
Letter from the Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets, Paul Scully, to those working in retail.

Change made
First published.

Time updated
12:49pm, 15 June 2020

£70 million funding to secure UK position as a world-leader in quantum technology

Page summary
The government has announced 38 new UK projects that will benefit from more than £70 million government investment to help mark the start of Quantum Tech Digital Week.

Change made
First published.

Time updated
2:10pm, 15 June 2020

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Page summary
Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Change made
Vehicles – Updated to reflect industry feedback, removal of coverage of taxis as superseded by additional guidance issued by Department for Transport, guidance on test and trace service, guidance on safer travel and to provide guidance on managing security risks.

Time updated
4:44pm, 15 June 2020

Business Secretary leads economic recovery roundtables

Page summary
Business Secretary Alok Sharma chaired a series of economic recovery roundtables that brought together businesses, business representative organisations, regulators and leading academics.

Change made
First published.

Time updated
6:38pm, 15 June 2020

Government-funded Imperial College COVID-19 vaccine moves into first human trials

Page summary
Clinical researchers will begin human trials of a new coronavirus vaccine developed by researchers at Imperial College London.

Change made
First published.

Time updated
10:00pm, 15 June 2020

Preparing for the wider opening of schools from 1 June

Page summary
Planning guides for school leaders to help them prepare to open their schools for more pupils during the coronavirus outbreak.

Change made
Added information to ‘Planning guide for primary schools’ on how primary schools can use flexibility to welcome back additional pupils this term. Added information to ‘Guidance for secondary school provision from 15 June 2020’ about how secondary schools can now welcome year 10 and year 12 pupils in for some face-to-face support and where possible, invite pupils in other year groups in for a meeting this term.

Time updated
1:44pm, 15 June 2020

Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak

Page summary
Guidance for further education (FE) providers on maintaining education and skills training, changes to funding arrangements, data collections and assessment.

Change made
We have added additional wording to clarify that we would not normally expect adults to be included in the cohort returning to on-site delivery from 15 June and that providers can offer all learners under 19 years old a face-to-face meeting before the end of term, where it would be beneficial. We have also added information on the date traineeship flexibilities run from, supported internships, awarding of vocational qualifications and additional case studies in the toolkit for engaging vulnerable young people.

Time updated
2:00pm, 15 June 2020

Primary schools to be given flexibility to bring back more pupils

Page summary
Headteachers are being encouraged to invite back more primary pupils before the summer, where they have capacity to do so

Change made
First published.

Time updated
3:23pm, 15 June 2020

Thank you to White Label Creative who have been invaluable in passing on relevant information to us on a daily basis and Croydon Council Economic Development Team – we hope that in re-circulating the salient points, we can all work together to help as many businesses as possible.

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