Working from home? Trying to recruit or manage meetings?

Follow these useful tips from Glen Callum Associates on keeping your business moving.
Businesses’ are considering alternative forms of interviews/meetings to allow for a work from home situation. Drawing on our own experience as recruiters, having interviewed many international candidates from an office base, we have shared some hints and tips to help ensure the wheels of industry keep moving!
Telephone interviews
The simplest solution is a telephone interview/meeting, albeit easily conducted this may vary in cost, and international calls could be quite pricey dependent on your contract or telephone technology/network.  There are various forms of telephone dial in options to enable group calls, however a group call does require some management to ensure you aren’t all speaking over one another!
Video Meetings
The favoured option for group meetings, and to allow a visual of your attendees, would be a Video meeting facility. We have tested a number of video meeting providers and each has differing benefits / limitations.
Microsoft Teams
Teams allows you to instant message, share documents and conduct group video meetings within your business.
You can sign up for a free Microsoft teams account, however if you are an office365 business user already it is worth checking if you will be a “free forever user” or a “free trial for one-year user”.   Microsoft purchased Skype for business, hence this is the new alternative for business users who enjoyed the Skype format.
Zoom
Zoom offers a free account that allows you to invite someone to a meeting via a link sent by email. Zoom may also link with your calendar and email providers such as Google and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Invitees can join your meeting for free from their phone, desktop, mobile and tablet devices. The invitee does not require a Zoom account in order to join a meeting.
  • Unlimited 1 to 1 meetings, with up to 100 invitees
  • 40 mins limit on group meetings
  • Screenshare ability
  • Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android compatible
It is worth noting that you can upgrade your account to have more than 40 minutes on a group video meeting.
You can download Zoom here: https://zoom.us/ 
Skype personal
Skype is a part of Microsoft (see reference above) and has replaced Skype for Business, however, you can set up a free skype account using your mobile number or a personal email address. It isn’t ideal for professional users however it offers a free solution for video calling.
Skype is available on all desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
Google Hangout
Google Hangout offers a free, easy to use video conferencing system. You can host and join meetings from the web or through the Android or iOS app. Hangout allows screen-sharing of documents, spreadsheets, or presentations. All you need is the invitees email address to send them a link, this will prompt them to download the app or create a free google account.
Facetime
Facetime is Apple’s offering for video meetings. Provided both participants of the call have apple devices, you can use facetime to make a video call. It is free and simple to use as a video meeting function. Please note this option is not available to android phone users.
Duo
Duo is Google’s mobile video meeting option. It requires a telephone number that can receive SMS messages. If you have a google account, you automatically have a DUO account.
Duo is available on both Android and IOS. Just search for Duo on the apple store or play store.
WhatsApp
WhatsApp is free and available on all mobile devices. It will require both participants to have WhatsApp installed. Simply start a new conversation and add the telephone number of the person you are trying to meet with and click on the camera icon. You can use WhatsApp to make voice only or video calls.
WhatsApp is available on both Android and IOS. Just search for WhatsApp on the apple store or play store. You can also use WhatsApp Web which allows you to easily use the chat feature online on a PC if you prefer to use a laptop or desktop.
Facebook Messenger Video call 
If you have a Facebook Messenger account then you will have access to both the voice and video call features via Messenger. As Facebook is not typically used for professional purposes, it may be beneficial to create a “professional” Facebook account for work purposes. It is also worth noting that your connections may have privacy settings preventing them from being discoverable through the main search function.
While there are various other options for communication, we have found the above are the most commonly utilized by our clients and the most useful for our needs.
Once you have the software installed and connected you need to check you are prepped! The following is a great tick list, ensuring your environment is ready!
So, do you have…
  1. A reliable internet connection?
  2. The contact information of the invitee i.e., their email or telephone number?
  3. A quiet environment free from distraction?
  4. An agreed time and date where you are all available?
  5. Headphones with a microphone feature and a webcam/camera?
Glen Callum Associates recruit across the globe so have a vast amount of experience in contacting candidates where face to face meetings are not feasible. Our expert recruiters are available to help you with your recruitment needs and can assist in arranging any of the above options to suit your recruitment efforts. You can call our recruitment team on +44 (0) 1384 485274.
The above information was correct as of the 17th March 2020 and is offered as a guide only, we would recommend that users contact the individual service providers.

Impression to hold crisis communications surgeries for businesses in the automotive industry

Award-winning automotive PR agency, Impression Communications is holding “Crisis communication surgeries” for companies during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Impression is currently working very closely with clients and advising them on effective communication through this very difficult and unprecedented time.

In accordance with its crisis management planning on Covid-19, Impression has equipped many clients with the tools necessary to effectively communicate with employees and customers. It has also invested in extra resources to provide additional support to clients.

With availability 24 hours a day / 7 days a week the company will be offering bespoke crisis communication surgeries to businesses in the automotive industry worried about how best to communicate with staff and customers.

The surgeries will be open from 8am to 9am daily, including weekends. Those interested simply need to post a question on any of Impression’s social media feeds below or contact Mark Field on email [email protected]

Mark Field, Impression Director, said: “We’ve been speaking to many businesses in the automotive aftermarket including garages, motor factors and suppliers and advising them of how best to communicate during this very difficult time. We have a responsibility as an experienced automotive PR agency to open this up to the wider industry as these surgeries will offer useful advice and tips to any business that needs them.”

“It’s business as usual here at Impression and we have the processes in place to continue assisting clients and the automotive aftermarket wherever possible, as safely as possible.”

The agency is also sharing best practice for businesses operating in the automotive aftermarket via its social media platforms.

Impression works with businesses across the automotive aftermarket supply chain such as parts suppliers, warehouse distributors, motor factors and independent garages. Covering all aspects of automotive aftermarket marketing, including social media, event management, customer newsletters and PR to name but a few, Impression is able to quickly establish itself within a client’s business and work towards their objectives.

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COVID-19: How do I inform employees they are to be put on Furlough Leave?

IAAF service supplier member Lawgistics have already seen a keen interest wishing to utilize the recently announced Job Retention Scheme, for many it appears the only viable option of saving the jobs.

Whilst the Government is still building the dedicated HMRC portal and working out the fine details, the two letter templates below can be used to inform your employees that they are put on the furlough leave.

Remember that to utilize the scheme, either the employment contract must have a clause allowing lay-offs or suspension from work, other than disciplinary, or you need specific consent of your employees to be furloughed.

Please use Template 1 if you are contractually entitled to lay off your staff. Template 2 should be used where there is no such term in the employment contact and consent is required.

It is the decision of the employer how is put on furlough leave and who carries on working. The employee may volunteer to be furloughed but the employer is not required to consent. The furlough leave selection criteria must be fair and non-discriminatory.

The HMRC has announced that the first payments under the scheme should be expected by the end of April 2020.

TEMPLATE 1

We write following our previous announcement that the company would be exploring the recently announced Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as an alternative to staff being laid off or being made redundant, in view of the downturn in the company’s business caused by the ongoing coronavirus epidemic [and the closure of our showroom imposed by the Government on 23 March 2020].

[The company consulted with you in a meeting of DATE and it was proposed/agreed that your position should be added to the pool of ‘furloughed workers’.]

The company has decided to invoke the lay-off clause of your employment contract and put you on furlough leave under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Your furlough leave starts on [DATE] and will continue for the time being. The company is unable to advise you on the duration of your furlough leave but will endeavour to notify you of the date when your leave ends or provide an estimate of its duration as soon as the company is in a position to do so. We can only advise you at present that the Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will last for 3 months initially with a possibility of an extension.

For each day you remain on the furlough leave the company will pay you 80% of your normal wage gross of tax and NI contributions or £2,500 per month gross, whichever is lower. The company cannot top up your pay during the furlough leave to the full normal amount due to the limited resources and the severity of the crisis. Should this change, the company shall advise you accordingly.

It is expected that the normal pay cycle will not be disturbed. However, the Scheme is currently being set up by the Government and the company is dependent on the funds being released under the Scheme. The company shall notify you in case of any delay.

Throughout the furlough leave, you remain bound by all terms of your employment. You must not do any work for any third party either as an employee or a worker, self-employed or a contractor. If you are in breach of this condition, the company may have to withhold your pay or pay you a reduced amount reflecting your breach.

You must remain available for work. The company is entitled to cancel your furlough leave at any time and require you to perform your job role.

Should you fall ill or need to self-isolate, you must notify the company as per the terms of your employment and the notified company procedure.

Throughout duration of the furlough leave you must strictly follow the advice of the Government and stay at home and limit your social contact, only going out if absolutely necessary, for example, to get food or medication, if required by your childcare arrangements or for other most essential reasons.

The furlough leave and the pay arrangement fall within the terms of your contract of employment and, as such, the company does not require your consent to implement the proposed leave. That said, the company does wish to take account of your views. In the circumstances, if there are any issues you wish to raise, presently or at any point whilst you stay on the furlough leave, please contact [NAME] by [DETAILS].

TEMPLATE 2

We write following our previous announcement that the company would be exploring the recently announced Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as an alternative to staff being laid off or being made redundant, in view of the downturn in the company’s business caused by the ongoing coronavirus epidemic [and the closure of our showroom imposed by the Government on 23 March 2020].

As an alternative to laying off your job role or considering redundancy, the company proposes that you should be put on a furlough leave under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and seeks your consent.

Your furlough leave starts on [DATE] and will continue for the time being. The company is unable to advise you on the duration of your furlough leave but will endeavour to notify you of the date when your leave ends or provide an estimate of its duration as soon as the company is in a position to do so. We can only advise you at present that the Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will last for 3 months initially with a possibility of an extension.

For each day you remain on the furlough leave the company will pay you 80% of your normal wage gross of tax and NI contributions or £2,500 per month gross, whichever is lower. The company cannot top up your pay during the furlough leave to the full normal amount due to the limited resources and the severity of the crisis. Should this change, the company shall advise you accordingly.

It is expected that the normal pay cycle will not be disturbed. However, the Scheme is currently being set up by the Government and the company is dependent on the funds being released under the Scheme. The company shall notify you in case of any delay.

Throughout the furlough leave, you remain bound by all terms of your employment. You must not do any work for any third party either as an employee or a worker, self-employed or a contractor. If you are in breach of this condition, the company may have to withhold your pay or pay you a reduced amount reflecting your breach.

You must remain available for work. The company is entitled to cancel your furlough leave at any time and require you to perform your job role.

Should you fall ill or need to self-isolate, you must notify the company as per the terms of your employment and the notified company procedure.

Throughout duration of the furlough leave you must strictly follow the advice of the Government and stay at home and limit your social contact, only going out if absolutely necessary, for example, to get food or medication, if required by your childcare arrangements or for other most essential reasons.

The proposal of furlough leave has not been put forward lightly but as a measure of saving your job. You are not obliged to consent to this proposal. If you do not consent, the company, with regret, will have to explore the options of laying you off and the redundancy, in view of the precarious position of the company [and suspension of its trade].

If you require any clarification or have any views you wish to put forward, please contact [NAME] by [DETAILS].

[Insert this paragraph if you are proposing to put 20 or more employees on furlough leave:- In view of the special circumstances of the coronavirus epidemic, the company believes that consultation with employees’ representative under s.188 TULRCA 1992 may be dipensed with and will not be undertaken.

If you accept the proposed furlough leave, please fill in and sign as indicated below and return the letter to us. We are sending you this letter in duplicate, please return once copy for your records.

——————————-

I consent to the proposed furlough leave arrangements on the conditions set out above.

Signed: …………………………… Name:…………………………….

Date:……………………………….

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Driving tests and MOTs for heavy vehicles suspended for up to 3 months to help tackle spread of coronavirus

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is suspending driving tests in England, Scotland and Wales for up to 3 months from 21 March 2020.

The decision has been made to help prevent the spread of coronavirus as tests lead to extended contact between candidates and examiners in vehicles.

Motorcycle tests are also being suspended.

There are separate arrangements in Northern Ireland.

DVSA has put in place plans to provide tests for critical workers.

Protecting the public
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are having to take big decisions to protect the public in our national battle against COVID-19. Regrettably, we have had to suspend driver testing for up to 3 months to help tackle the spread of the virus.

It is vital that those who need a test can get one so DVSA is offering tests to those who have a critical need, such as the NHS and drivers delivering goods across the UK.”

Those who have tests cancelled will have priority when testing resumes.

The tests being suspended include:

  • car driving tests
  • motorcycle tests
  • lorry, coach and bus driving tests
  • approved driving instructor (ADI) tests and checks

DVSA will contact everyone with a test booked during this time to let them know their test has been cancelled and that it will automatically re-book for them.

The decision will be kept under review. The latest information about driving tests and COVID-19 is on GOV.UK.

MOTs for lorries, buses and trailers
DVSA has suspended MOTs (annual tests) for all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and public service vehicles (PSVs) for up to 3 months from 21 March 2020.

All HGV and PSV vehicles with an MOT will be issued with a 3-month certificate of temporary exemption (CTE) until further notice.

Vehicles must be maintained, kept safe to drive (roadworthy) and operate within the terms of operators’ licence conditions.

Check what you need to do to exempt your vehicle.

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New rules on MOT testing for light vehicles

Due to the unfolding COVID-19 situation, cars and vans and motorcycles due their MOT from 30 March 2020 will have their MOT extended by 6 months.

This will continue until confirmed otherwise.

This will allow vehicle owners to continue to be able to get to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home or do essential shopping.

Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition and drivers can be prosecuted if they drive an unsafe vehicle.

The DVSA has published guidance for garages.

The have also published 2 guides for the public:

guidance on MOTs due before 30 March
guidance on MOTs due from 30 March

Guidance for MOT garages
The government has extended the requirement for certain businesses to close, but garages are allowed to stay open.

This is to make sure that essential vehicle maintenance and repair to keep vehicles, goods and key workers moving and safe can continue.

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COVID-19: government support for businesses

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

Eligibility
All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme
You will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
HMRC will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system may be deferred until January 2021.

VAT
For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

Eligibility
All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.

Income Tax
For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021.

Eligibility
If you are self-employed you are eligible.

How to access the scheme
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment until January 2021.

HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of COVID-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
HMRC will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:

  • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible

Eligibility
You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based
  • your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020

    How to access the scheme
    A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility
You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property

    How to access the scheme
    You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years.

The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to pre-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.

Eligibility
You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria

    How to access the scheme
    The scheme is now open for applications. All major banks are offering this scheme.

To apply, you should talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible, to discuss your business plan. You can find out the latest on the best ways to contact them via their websites. Please note that branches may currently be shut down to enable social distancing.

The full rules of the scheme and the list of accredited lenders are available on the British Business Bank website.

If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility
Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms.

Eligibility
All non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible.

How to access the scheme
The scheme is now available for applications.

More information is available from the Bank of England.

Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.

These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Eligibility
You are eligible if your business:

  • pays tax to the UK government
  • has outstanding tax liabilities

    How to access the scheme
    If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

If you’re worried about a future payment, please call us nearer the time.

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.

Notifiable diseases
Notifiable diseases are certain infectious diseases that registered medical practitioners have a statutory duty to notify the ‘proper officer’ at their local council or local health protection team about when they come across a suspected case.

The government keeps an updated list of notifable diseases. On 5 March 2020, the government added COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases.

Many insurers use diseases on this list as triggers for the activation or exclusion of insurance cover. For example, insurers’ policies that cover notifiable diseases will typically only cover a specific subset of notifiable diseases (such as Cholera or Anthrax) that the insurer will reference in the policy documentation. These policies will exclude any notifiable disease not on the insurers list, as well as future/unknown diseases (such as COVID-19). The price that the insurer charges for the policy is modelled against the risk posed by this set list of diseases.

Unspecified notifiable diseases
Some businesses will have purchased add-ons for their insurance that cover for ‘unspecified notifiable diseases’. These policies effectively cover any disease listed as a notifiable disease, enabling the business to claim for losses for all notifiable diseases as well as from diseases that are unknown at the point the policy is written.

The effect of the government adding COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases is to ensure that businesses with unspecified notifiable disease cover are able to make a claim – subject to the terms and conditions in their policy. For example, someone infected with COVID-19 may need to have been on the premises.

Government ordered closure
The government asked a number of different businesses and venues to remain closed from 21 March onwards.

Insurers have agreed that this advice is sufficient for businesses covered for COVID-19 losses to make a claim (if the only barrier to them making a claim was a lack of clarity on whether the government had ordered businesses to close). As such, intervention by the police or any other statutory body is no longer required to trigger cover in the current circumstances.

However, most businesses’ commercial insurance policies (including for denial of access) are unlikely to offer cover for COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

Event coverage
Businesses with event cancellation policies that include unspecified notifiable disease extensions should be able to make a claim for the necessary and unavoidable cancellation, abandonment, curtailment, postponement and disruption of their event for reasons beyond the control of organisers and participants (subject to the other terms and exclusions of their policy).

Insurance for major events is often bespoke to the specific event, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their insurer or broker.

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

These measures will mean no business will automatically forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment up until 30 June.

There is the option for the government to extend this period if needed.

This is not a rental holiday. All commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent. Commercial tenants are protected from eviction if they are unable to pay rent.

Eligibility
All commercial tenants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are eligible.

How to access the scheme
The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent. No action is required.

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.

Eligibility
The measures apply to any BID in England due to ballot between now and 31 December 2020.

How to access the scheme
The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent. No action is required.

Support for businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Because some elements of business support are devolved, the measures you can access may differ if your business is in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Businesses in Scotland
View the latest guidance on coronavirus for businesses in Scotland.

Businesses in Wales
View the latest guidance on coronavirus for businesses in Wales.

Businesses in Northern Ireland
View the latest guidance on coronavirus for businesses in Northern Ireland.

Your Comments

COVID-19 update

Following the government’s new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 (23 March), the IAAF is seeking clarification on exemption for businesses in the automotive aftermarket. Currently, it is the understanding of the IAAF that suppliers, motor factors and wholesalers can remain open for the foreseeable future.

On the subject of retail closures, the government announced the forced closure of all non-essential retail outlets.  However, garages are exempt from the closures but showrooms will be expected to close.

While the government, under new social distancing measures, is requiring people to stay at home, motor factors can stay open in order to supply workshops who continue to support logistics providers, local councils, blue light services and key workers, ensuring that the necessary parts, tools and information remain available to them.

Individual businesses will have to make their own commercial decisions as to how they can respond to the new social distancing measures, but the government has clearly highlighted the importance of ongoing service, repair and MOTs of emergency vehicles and those of key workers and services.

Parts distributors that offer a trade counter service should adhere to the strict government social distancing measures implemented throughout all essential services, however retail counters should close. One IAAF parts distributor member is now operating a ‘one in – one out’ trade counter policy in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.

In recent days, IAAF has issued letters to a number of government departments, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, urging for more help for the entire automotive aftermarket supply chain.

Further information:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close

Your Comments