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Coronavirus advice for employers, businesses and charities

Coronavirus advice for employers and businesses.

Businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible.

Read the latest government advice for businesses.

Read the latest government advice for employees.

Business reopening

Employers that want to reopen their business have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site.

Read the government guidance on which businesses can reopen and guidance on risk assessments and adjustments to the workplace.

Businesses can now bring furloughed employees back to work part-time as part of the government's flexible furlough scheme.

Working safely

The government has produced new guidance for working safely during coronavirus. There are 8 guides available covering a range of different occupations including construction, office work and factories. The guidance is for employers, employees and the self employed.

There is also guidance on mass gatherings in the workplace. It is against the law to gather in groups of more than 30 people in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces). However, businesses following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host larger groups.

You can also read the latest government guidance about going to work and safer spaces.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26 May 2020.

This scheme will allow small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay.

Test and trace

Test and Trace is the national NHS programme set up to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

It’s the process for testing people who have coronavirus symptoms and tracing people they have been in close contact with so that they can get a test and self-isolate if they test positive.

As part of the programme, some businesses, including hairdressers, cafés and restaurants, have new responsibilities to collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors on their premises.

You can find information about which businesses should collect this information, what information should be collected and how records should be maintained on the government's website.

Financial support for businesses

There's a lot of financial support available for large and small businesses and individual employees.

You can find out more about the full range of business support available, including how to access support, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply for all of the following:

  • low interest bounce back loans for 25% of turnover (between £2,000 and £50,000) repaid over a period of up to 6 years with no interest or fees in the first 12 months - businesses can apply from 4 May 2020
  • a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs - an online service will go live on 26 May 2020 for employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay payments to their employees
  • business rate relief for small businesses and pubs
  • support for businesses that pay little or no rates through the small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rates relief (SBRR) and rural rates relief
  • the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
  • the coronavirus large business interruption scheme for medium to larger sized businesses who are seeing their cashflow disrupted
  • the HMRC time to pay scheme
  • job retention scheme
  • grants of up to £25,000 for retail businesses, hospitality and leisure
  • business rate holidays for nurseries
  • COVID-19 corporate financing facility for larger companies
  • VAT deferral
  • income tax deferral
  • protection from eviction for commercial tenants
  • deferral of self-access payments
  • Future Fund loan scheme for high growth firms
  • grants and loans through the Innovate UK scheme for small and medium sized businesses focussing on research and development
  • top-up grant scheme for businesses who do not qualify for the existing business grant funds scheme
  • businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to the pandemic
  • dairy response fund for dairy farmers

Businesses can check their eligibility for support by using the financial support checker tool.

Small business grant funding

The government website states that local authorities will write to all eligible businesses with information on how to claim this grant. In Derbyshire, this means your local district and borough council.

Find out more about Small Business Grants and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, eligibility criteria and more.

A new Discretionary Grant Fund is now available to support small and micro businesses who are not eligible for other grant schemes.

Rent deferral for our business tenants

If you rent business premises from us, we're offering you the opportunity to defer up to 3 months of your monthly rent payments.

If you are self employed

The government has launched a self-employment income support scheme to support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by coronavirus.

The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month based on the average profits from tax returns in 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019.

If you're eligible you must make your claim for the first grant on or before 13 July 2020.

If you're eligible for the second and final grant, and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you'll be able to make a claim from 17 August 2020. You can make a claim for the second grant even if you didn't make a claim for the first one.

There is more guidance and support available if you are self-employed and find yourself with little or no work.

Rent support for businesses

Commercial tenants who can't pay their bills due to coronavirus will be protected from eviction. The Emergency Coronavirus Bill currently being passed through parliament will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment within the next 3 months. Read more about the ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments.

We're working hard with the Chamber of Commerce, D2N2 Growth Hub, the government's Department for Work and Pensions and other local authorities to pull together a package of support for Derbyshire businesses.

In addition to the government's financial package, this includes a redeployment triage service which will match those recently made redundant with new work in sectors experiencing a surge in employment demand such as food retail, care, and distribution.

Free webinars and workshops for businesses

East Midlands Chamber has launched a programme of free webinars and workshops throughout April for local businesses. These sessions will provide support and advice on how to deal with the impacts of coronavirus. Find out more about business events in the East Midlands.

The government are hosting a series of free webinars for businesses to help them understand the support available. Topics include skills, information for small businesses and the changes to reporting, regulation and tax.

The Department of International Trade has launched a series of export related webinars to help UK businesses. Experts will provide practical advice and guidance to help businesses to respond to the challenges and potential disruption caused by COVID-19. All webinars are free and open to any business.

Restructuring and insolvency advice

The government's insolvency service has published information outlining the support and advice available for businesses that are in financial difficulty.


If you are a community or voluntary group, charitable organisation or active in your community in other ways, there are a number of sources of information, advice and funding that can help support you through the coronavirus crisis.

If you pay business rates, then the government has set up a range of grants and relief schemes that you may be eligible for.

But other sources of funding and support are available. A number of existing voluntary and community support organisations, private sector companies and charitable individuals have established funding streams to help the sector deal with the impact of coronavirus.

National Lottery Community Fundis working with grantees, partners, and other vital civil society organisations to understand how it can support communities and the sector during coronavirus.

Neighbourly Community Fund launched a series of micro-grants of around £350, to support good causes that are helping communities affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The National Emergencies Trust launched a coronavirus fundraising appeal to raise funds for local charities. The British Red Cross will be managing donations. They will award grants and distribute money raised through a number of charitable organisations, for example local community foundations.

Charities and community groups can apply for individual grants of between £100 and £100,000 as a new foundation, funded by the UK's gas network Cadent.

Standard Life Foundation launched funding for work directly related to the coronavirus pandemic. Grants will be made to organisations which tackle financial problems and improve living standards for those on low-to-middle incomes in the UK. It's likely that grants will be made in the range of £5,000 to £50,000, however, there's no set amount that people can apply for.

Persimmon Homes Building Futures scheme has been relaunched for 2020 to support children in sport, health and education.

Persimmon Homes Community Champions offers £64,000 every month in single donations up to the value of £1,000. From April 2020, all funding will go directly to groups supporting the over 70s.

John Lewis and Waitrose launched a £1 million community support fund. Waitrose stores will have these funds to support their local area based on the needs of the community.

William Morris Big Local has a new version of Community Chest Fund in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Applications for up to £1,000 per project.

Good Finance is a general source of advice for charities and voluntary community organisations.

The Charities Aid Foundation has paused its current round of funding for small charities and social enterprises struggling during the current crisis.

A £500,000 emergency fund to support sight loss organisations set up by the Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) to support sight loss organisations has now closed.