25th March: COVID 19 Update

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COVID-2019 Updates
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Please see below the latest update from the Department for Business, Industry and Energy. 

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin

25 March 2020
This bulletin provides information for employers and businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19). All guidance, information and announcements can be found at GOV.UK. Organisations should pay particular attention to the guidance for employees, employers and businesses which is being updated regularly with the latest advice.


Further businesses and premises to close – updated guidance

Guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises, as part of further social distancing measures has been updated to include additional details to the list of businesses and premises that must remain closed. Guidance has also been added on work carried out in people’s homes.The guidance is available here.
Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

Companies to receive a 3 month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19.

Companies House have announced that businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Full guidance on applying for an extension can be found here


New Updates and Guidance

COVID-19 advice for accommodation providers
Guidance and advice for those providing hotel and other accommodation in the UK has been published for the first time here.

Commercial insurance
Most commercial insurance policies are unlikely to cover pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases, such as COVID-19. However, those businesses which have an insurance policy that covers government ordered closure and pandemics or government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable disease should be able to make a claim (subject to the terms and conditions of their policy). Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Further information is available.

Protection from eviction for commercial tenants
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. Further details are now available.

Extension of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) arrangements
BIDs will be able to extend the maximum duration of their BID arrangements until 31 March 2021 by delaying BID ballots due to take place this year. This enables BIDs, and the local authorities who administer the ballot process, to concentrate on responding to the current emergency.

DIT support for UK businesses trading internationally
The advice for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of COVID-19 has been updated.

Employers do not have to report gender pay gaps
Enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines are suspended for this reporting year (2019/20) due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The decision means there will be no expectation on employers to report their data.

How to place a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test kit on the market
Forms and guidance on what manufacturers need to do to place test kits on the market.
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