Coronavirus news and updates

26 November 2020

Estonia and Latvia removed from of the UK’s travel corridor

People arriving in the UK from Estonia and Latvia from 4am Saturday 28 November will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks.

Read more

23 November 2020

Staying mentally well this Winter

The UK Government has published a plan to support people's wellbeing and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic this winter. This includes topics such as difficulty with money, looking after others and community support.

Read the plan here

19 November 2020

Companies House advice

Companies in the UK are being urged to not leave their annual account filing to the last minute. Companies House are advising businesses to go paperless and to use their online filing service. The deadline for filing these accounts are 31 December 2020.

Read more

Northern Ireland 2 week circuit breaker

The Executive has introduced a circuit breaker from November 27 until December 11. Some of the measures include Close of non-essential shops, closure of hospitality, closure of gyms. Schools will remain open and the Executive will be announcing a finical support package.

Read more

Tradespeople in level 4 areas

Tradespeople should only go into a house in a level 4 area to carry out or deliver essential work or services, for example:

  • to carry out utility (electricity, gas, water, telephone, broadband) safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations
  • to carry out repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the household’s health and safety
  • to deliver goods or shopping
  • to deliver, install or repair key household furniture and appliances such as washing machines, fridges and cookers
  • to support a home move, for example furniture removal

Please note, when working in someone’s house tradespeople should stay 2 metres apart from the people who live there, wear a face covering and follow good hand and respiratory hygiene.

Up to, and including ,level 3, non-essential repairs and maintenance to homes can go ahead; provided that the tradesperson and occupants of the house are well and are not showing coronavirus symptoms and there is no one in the household who is self-isolating.

Read more

Accommodation for work

The Scottish Government has released guidance for certain sectors of the economy who rely on shared, self-catering accommodation for work, such as construction. Employers are now advised to complete individual risk assessments for those workers staying away in shared accommodation for work purposes. Workers must be made aware that the risk assessments are dynamic and may be subject to change depending on the conditions found on arrival at the accommodation.

Read more

17 November 2020

Travel restrictions

New travel restrictions for Level 3 and 4 areas will become law from 20 November. Some exceptions apply. Please note, travel is still allowed for construction work in tier 4 areas. It is important that safety guidelines must be followed.

Find operating guidance here

New protection levels to some local areas

The Scottish Government has announced that some areas will move from tier 2 into tier 4 from Friday 20 November. These include:
East Ayrshire
East Dunbartonshire
East Renfrewshire
Glasgow City
North Lanarkshire
Renfrewshire
South Ayrshire
South Lanarkshire
Stirling
West Dunbartonshire
West Lothian

East Lothian and Midlothian will move down to tier 2 from Tuesday 24 November.

Read more here

13 November 2020

New funding for employers to access training

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund helps businesses continue to invest in their workforce and is available for all of Scotland’s employers who pay to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy. For the first time, the fund will now be available for both levy payers and SMEs, across the private, public and third sectors. Applications open on 16 November 2020.

Read more here

More places added to quarantine list in Scotland

Travellers from Greece (excluding Rhodes, Cos, Corfu, Crete and Zakynthos (Zante) and The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia will be required to self-isolate from 4am on Saturday 14 November.

Read more here

11 November 2020

Covid Smart digital learning toolkit

As part of the CICV Forum, SNIPEF worked with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre to help create a digital learning toolkit that our members can use to help ensure they are covid safe. raining programme aims to raise awareness of COVID-19 safety by:
• Educating those working on site, in homes or in places of learning
• Encouraging the use of safe working and learning, and
• Empowering the construction workforce to call out unsafe behaviour.

Read more here

10 November 2020

Check what covid protection tier your area is in

The Scottish Government announced that from Friday 13 some local authorities will be changing their protection tiers. This includes Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus moving from Level 2 to Level 3.

Check your tier here

07 November 2020

Denmark mini outbreak

Visitors arriving from Denmark to the UK will be denied entry from 4am, Saturday 7 November. British Nationals, visa holders and permanent residents who have travelled to Denmark in the last 14 days will have to self-isolate along with their household.

Read more

05 November 2020

Sweden and Germany removed from travel corridor list

People arriving in the UK from Germany or Sweden will need to self-isolate from 4am Saturday 7 November.

Read more

Furlough extended till March 2021

The UK Government have extended to help people during the pandemic and winter months. The scheme will pay 80% of a person's wage up to £2,500 a month.

Read more

02 November 2020

Increased support for self employed

The UK Government increases support under the third instalment of the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, with people receiving 80% of average trading profits for November. The grants will also be paid faster than previously planned – with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December.

Read more

Furlough Scheme extended

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a further month. The UK Government will cover 80% of wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Read more

Guidance on working from home

Guidance to help employers support their staff while working from home. This includes guidance on communication, expenses, health and safety and workforce planning and support.

Read more

30 October 2020

Allocations of levels to local authorities

The Scottish Government has published a list of covid tiers that will apply to each local authority from 2nd November.

Read more

Updated school guidance

School safety guidance has been updated to coincide with the new tiers being introduced. This includes s4-6 pupils in areas levels 3 and 4and their teachers wearing face coverings in classrooms, as well as when they are moving around the school and in communal areas.

Read more

PPE Action Plan

The Scottish Government have published a PPE Action Plan to support those in the health, social care and other essential public services where people need to wear masks, gloves, eye protection and/or gowns to combat the virus.

Read more

Face covering exemption cards

These are being launched by the Scottish Government to support those who are unable to wear one to feel more confident and safe when accessing public spaces and using public services.

Read more

29 October 2020

Business Support Loans

During the coronavirus pandemic, businesses have been able access financial support by applying for government loans. Large businesses can apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and smaller businesses can apply for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). These loans allow businesses to borrow up to 25% of their annual turnover.

Applications for these loans are open until 30th November 2020.

Apply for the CLBILS here

Apply for the BBLS here

Cyprus and Lithuania removed from Travel corridor

From 1st November 2020, Cyprus and Lithuania will no longer be on the exempt countries list and anyone arriving from these countries will have to self-isolate for 2 weeks.

Read more

23 October 2020

Scotland’s Strategic Framework

The Scottish Government has published their Strategic Framework to supress the coronavirus. Included in the framework is topics such as:

Suppressing the virus

Supporting broader health

Mitigating social harms

Supporting the economy

The Construction Sector will be allowed to continue to operate under all five Levels, although there may be other facets of the framework that still influence your operations. 

Scottish Ministers would very much value any immediate feedback on the new framework before the Parliamentary Debate on the subject. While this may be primarily from a construction sector perspective, we would also welcome any more general comments you may have. Please feel free to distribute this email to your wider memberships as appropriate.

Areas you may wish to consider could include:

Are the restrictions in each level clear?

Are there any issues the levels may create that would affect your operations going forward? Examples may include travel implications or the rules for shielding employees at page 43.

Are there improvements which could make the levels and guidance clearer, while still maintaining the conditions to closely control the virus?

Should we adjust the current construction guidance to take into account the different levels?

How can the guidance (both for the Strategic Framework and the Construction sector guidance) help you to support compliance?

On this last point, you may also wish to note the commitment on page 35 of the Framework that we will work with sectors to develop appropriate evaluation tools to assess the ongoing effectiveness of the implementation of their measures. We are already in receipt of feedback from the HSE as the sectoral regulator and would find it very helpful to continue to receive feedback from trade unions and business too. Your continuing support in this is vital.

In order to help collation of responses please respond to covid.construction@gov.scot by 12 noon on Tuesday 27 October.

Click here to view the framework

Grants for businesses

From 2 November, firms that are required by law to close will be eligible for grants every four weeks for as long as the restrictions last.

Read more

Job Support Scheme

The UK Government has increased their levels of support to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to covid-19. Now, open businesses which are experiencing considerable difficulty will be given extra help to keep staff on as the government has increased contribution to wage costs under the Job Support Scheme, and business contributions drop to 5%.

Read more

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The scheme has been extended by another six months and will be split into two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.

Read more

International Travelling

Travellers from Canary Islands (not the Balearic Islands or mainland Spain), Denmark, the Maldives and Mykonos will be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate from 4am on Sunday 25 October. However, travellers from Liechtenstein will have to now self-isolate from the same date and time.

Read more

Financial guidance and support for Northern Ireland

The NI Business Info website has published guidance and support to help with financial issues due to the coronavirus.  This includes information on:

Localised Restrictions Support Scheme

Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme

Tax relief for employees working from home

Business and financial planning grants

Read more

20 October 2020

Proposed delay to fire alarm regulations

The Scottish Government has asked parliament to delay new regulations on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by one year. This is due to the impact of coronavirus. The legislation is due to come into effect in February 2021.

Read more

16 October 2020

Additional restrictions in Northern Ireland

More information on the new restrictions will be in place for 4 weeks from 16 October.

Read more

15 October 2020

More destinations added to quarantine restriction list

Travellers arriving in Scotland from Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City State will be required to quarantine at home, or another specified address, for 14 days from 4am Sunday 18 October

Read more

Further face covering rules announced

The Scottish Government has announced that from Friday 16 October, wearing face coverings is to become mandatory in communal workplace areas, such as corridors, canteens and social spaces.

Read more

14 October 2020

Northern Ireland Executive tightens COVID restrictions

A range of significant time-bound restrictions will come into effect from Friday 16 October. This includes school closures, closure of the hospitality sector (except deliveries and takeaways), no unnecessary travel, bubbling to be limited to a maximum of 10 people from two households and more.

Read more

12 October 2020

Employee wellbeing

Watch the Business gateway video tutorial to understand employee wellbeing and mental health and get guidance on social distancing and introducing a positive mental health attitude.

Read more

Cyber-attack helpline

With the increase in working online, the SBRC has launched the UK’s first cyber incident response helpline for the SME community. The free helpline will help organisations confirm they have been the victim of an attack and, if so, provide expert guidance to get them back to secure operations. The helpline is open weekdays 9am-5pm.

Call: 01786 437 472

Guidance for homeworking

The Scottish Government has produced guidance for homeworking during the coronavirus pandemic, while Organisations should make every reasonable effort to make working from home the default position. The guidance includes topics such as:

  • Health and safety
  • Employee wellbeing
  • equipment and IT systems
  • communication and engagement
  • expectations
  • pay, expenses and finances

Read more

7 October 2020

New moves to stop COVID-19

Further measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus are to come in force from Friday 9 October. These include hospitality premises only being open between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol and premises may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed).

In the central belt, all licensed premises will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway services.

Read more

SQA Awards 2021

The Scottish Government have announced Higher and Advanced Higher exams to go ahead in 2021, while National 5 exams will be replaced by a system where grades are awarded based on coursework and teacher judgement.

Read more

6 October 2020

Construction recovery

The Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) has published a plan for the sector’s recovery from the impact of coronavirus. The plan will focus on maximising support for employers and employees and establishing new ways of working to manage infection control, health and safety and shared learning opportunities.

Short and medium term initiatives include work to help apprentices into trades and preparing the industry to deliver a net-zero built environment.

Read more

2 October 2020

Further Job Retention Bonus information 

The UK government has announced more information on the Job Retention Bonus. The bonus will work alongside newly announced Job Support Scheme and could be worth more than 60% of average wages of workers who have been furloughed – and are kept on until the start of February 2021. Businesses can claim for the Bonus from 15 February until the end of March.

Read more

Click here for an example of the bonus

Not being able to pay your tax bill on time

You should contact HMRC as soon as possible if you have missed any payments. Because of coronavirus you may be able to delay (defer) your Self Assessment payment on account due in July 2020 until 31 January 2021.

Read more

Deferral of VAT Payments

HMRC are offering a Time To Pay service, which may eligible if you need more help to pay your VAT.

Read more

New testing centre opened in Glasgow 

The new walk-through coronavirus testing centre in west Glasgow is easily accessible for people without a car. Tests must be booked in advance at NHS Inform or by calling 0800 028 2816.

Read more

1 October 2020

More destinations added to the quarantine list

Poland, Turkey and the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba have been added to the quarantine list. This means that travellers from there are required to self-isolate at home, or another specified address, for 14 days from 4am Saturday (3 October).

Read more

25 September 2020

Helping communities through the pandemic 

The Scottish Government has now committed more than £350 million to support communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The package included over £120 million to tackle food insecurity, with £12.6 million making sure 175,000 children and young people were able to access free school meals over the summer holidays.

Read more

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and quarantine

Quarantine rules and information on the process for people entering the UK. Updates apply to Curacao, Denmark, Iceland and Slovakia

Read more

Winter Economy Plan to support Scottish firms and workers

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, unveils the UK Government’s plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months.

Read more

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension

The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020.

Read more

23 September 2020

New measures to drive down infection rate

Further measures to protect the population from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) were announced by the First Minister on Tuesday 22 September as Scotland faces an upsurge in cases. The new restrictions focus on no household visits and a 10pm closing time for all hospitality settings. 

Read more

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you can and cannot do

Updated guidance on seeing friends, family and travel. Added information on new restrictions on meeting others indoors and hospitality opening hours

Read more

22 September 2020

New package to support and enforce self-isolation

A new package has been announced to support and enforce self-isolation.

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Find someone to apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on your behalf

List of Kickstart gateways in Scotland who can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on behalf of a group of employers.

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Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on coronavirus.

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Ban on meeting households across Scotland

The First Minister announced today that there is to be a ban on visiting another household indoors as of Wednesday 23 September. There are exceptions such as those living alone, couples who are not cohabitating, to tradespeople, and for the provision of informal childcare – such as grandparents.

Read more

17 September 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and quarantine

Updated travel information for Singapore, Thailand, Slovenia and Guatemala.

Read more

14 September 2020

Covid-19 – What you can and can’t do

The Scottish Government have updated their ‘can and can’t do’ guidelines to reflect their latest guidance. The sections on seeing friends and family, travel, eating/drinking out, sport and gatherings have been updated to include the rule of 6.

Read more

11 September 2020

Northern Ireland local restrictions

The Northern Ireland Executive have introduced a series of localised restrictions to stem the increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and keep people safe.

Read more

Maximum gathering set at six people from two households

The number of people who can gather together, indoors or outdoors, will be set at maximum of six from two households. These changes will be enforced from Monday (14 September), but people are urged to ‘abide by these stricter new limits immediately.

Read more

Protect Scotland app launches

The Protect Scotland app is now available to download for free via Apple and Google stores. Supported by a dedicated Protect Scotland website, the app is an extra tool complementing existing person-to-person contact tracing which remains the main component of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system.

Read more

7 September 2020

UK Government to fund international Covid-19 studies in Scotland

The UK Government is investing £7.2 million in research projects across the UK, including at the universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde.

Read more

Jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

Find out which jobs qualify for travel exemptions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more

4 September 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): local advice and measures

Travel advice and guidance relating to local outbreaks or clusters of coronavirus cases (Updated 3 September).

Read more

1 September 2020

Changes in Job Retention Scheme from 1 September

From 1 September the government will pay 70% and employers will pay 10% of employees’ wages for the time they are being furloughed. Employers will also continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions.

Read more

27 August 2020

Face coverings in schools

In light of the latest scientific and public health advice, guidance for pupils and staff on the use of face coverings in schools and on school transport has been updated. The changes will apply from 31 August.

Read more

21 August 2020

Scotland remains in Phase 3 

Scotland will remain in Phase 3 of the route map out of lockdown because Covid-19 remains a significant threat to public health, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on 20 August. 

Read more

Foreign travel health rules extended

Quarantine measures for further countries have been announced. Those travelling abroad should check in advance for any local requirements to quarantine on arrival at their destination.

Read more

18 August 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Scotland's route map – what you can and cannot do

Information about easing the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Read more

14 August 2020

Updates to quarantine requirements for travellers 

France, the Netherlands, Aruba, Turks and Caicos, Malta and Monaco will be removed from the list of destinations exempt from quarantine requirements due to an increased number of cases of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Read more

11 August 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19): public health measures at borders (international travel) 

Quarantine rules and information on the process for people entering the UK. Andorra, the Bahamas and Belgium were removed from the country exemption list on 8 August.

Read more

Companies House to resume the compulsory strike off process 

From 10 October 2020 the process to strike off companies that are no longer carrying on business or in operation will be resumed. 

Read more

5 August 2020 

Local restrictions introduced in Aberdeen

Following an increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Aberdeen, local restrictions on travel, indoor gatherings between households and the closure of indoor and outdoor hospitality will be introduced in the Aberdeen City local authority area. 

Read more 

30 July 2020

Safety at work to calculate risk 

The Scottish Government have introduced a new tool and guidance to help calculate individual risk assessment in the workplace. It is applicable across all industries and should be used by employers to support staff and line managers to understand and carry out effective risk assessments. 

Read more

29 July 2020

Right care, right place

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland offers expert help in the community. People will be able to get healthcare advice and support to treat minor illnesses and common conditions in their local community following the launch of this new service.

Read more 

Families to be alerted to additional financial support

The Scottish Government is to actively inform families that they may be eligible for Best Start Foods and the Best Start Grant. A first for social security in Scotland.

Read more 

The UK Government further boosts chances of UK receiving Covid-19 vaccine

Deal announced which will secure early access to a promising new coronavirus vaccine, enhancing the UK’s growing portfolio of vaccine candidates. 

Read more 

A sample poster from the UK Government's Eat Out to Help out campaign

Eat Out to Help Out

Diners who eat-in will benefit from a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on food and non-alcoholic drinks, any Monday to Wednesday in August. 

Read more 

Coronavirus (Covid-19): shielding advice and support

This advice applies to most people who have been asked to shield. This includes people who are pregnant. It also includes any children and young people who have been asked to continue to shield. 

Read more 

Coronavirus (Covid-19): guidance on individual risk assessment for the workplace

Risk assessment guidance and tool for staff across all industries which should be used by employers to support staff and line managers to understand and carry out effective risk assessments. 

Read more

If you've claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

Find out what you need to do if you've claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Read more

28 July 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19): countries and territories exempt from advice against ‘all but essential’ international travel

The FCO updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel, exempting destinations that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers.

Read more  

24 July 2020

Shielding to be paused

People who have been advised to shield because of Covid-19, will no longer have to do so from 1 August.

Read more 

Sending your forms to Companies House during the coronavirus outbreak 

As an emergency response to coronavirus (Covid-19), the UK Government has developed a service allowing you to upload a number of completed forms and send them to Companies House digitally. (Updated 23 July). 

Read more 

Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy

The UK Government have published and updated the recovery strategy for the UK. The next chapter of the strategy has now been released.

Read more 

20 July 2020

Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Updated 17 July).

Read more 

17 July 2020

Construction Scotland – safe operating guidance 

Construction Scotland have updated their guidance (15 July) for the construction sector to allow for Phase 4 of the restart plan to begin.

Access the construction restart guidance here. 

15 July 2020

Scottish Government update construction sector guidance

The Scottish Government has updated their guidance on construction sites and associated works. As of 15 July, the sector is able to proceed into Phase 4 of the Restart Plan.

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Construction moves to next stage of Covid-19 restart after PPE supply assurances 

Close working can now take place on construction sites as the sector commences Phase 4 of its restart plan, the Scottish Government has announced. Until today, Phase 3 of the six-step phased model allowed for ‘steady-state operation’ only where physical distancing can be maintained. The move to the next phase means that close working can now take place on-site – with appropriate PPE use – if necessary. 

Read more 

14 July 2020

Companies House to restart the voluntary strike-off process

From 10 September 2020, Companies House will restart the process to dissolve companies that have applied for voluntary dissolution. 

Read more 

9 July 2020

Scotland to move into Phase 3 

The Scottish Government is moving into Phase 3 of the route map through and out of the crisis. It mentions that non-essential offices and call centres can re-open following implementation of relevant guidance (including physical distancing) most likely from August. 

They have issued detailed guidance on the phase, view it here. 

Free advice to small business 

The Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the UK Government, provides small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery. 

Read more

8 July 2020

Summer statement plan for Scotland 

The Chancellor’s summer statement was released yesterday announcing a furlough bonus scheme, £2 billion Kickstart scheme to subsidise jobs for young people and 5% VAT cut for the hospitality sector. 

Read more

7 July 2020

PPE expenses during Covid-19

If your employees work in a situation where there is a risk of Covid-19, then PPE is required and must be provided free of charge. Any PPE you provide must fit properly. The provision of PPE to your employees is non-taxable.

If your employee requires PPE to carry out their role and you are unable to provide this, you must reimburse the actual expenses of employees who purchase PPE themselves. This is non-taxable and employees cannot claim tax relief on these expenses from HMRC. 

Read more 

6 July 2020

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

The Scottish Government and Business Gateway have introduced the newly self-employed hardship fund. If you're newly self-employed on or after 6 April 2019 and facing hardship, you will be eligible for a £2,000 grant. Applications are now open and will be managed by Local Authorities. Applications close on 10 July 2020. 

Read more 

Companies House guidance 

The 'upload a document' service is now live. It will allow users to upload more form types, including Scottish limited and qualifying partnerships, articles and resolutions. 

Read more 

2 July 2020

Final Phase 2 measures confirmed 

The First Minister today announced final Phase 2 measures. These include: 

  • Five mile limit for leisure travel will be lifted 
  • Children aged 11 and under will be able to play outdoors, without physical distancing 
  • Mandatory face coverings in retail settings from Friday 10 July. 

Read more 

1 July 2020

Deferral of VAT payments due to Covid-19 

If you’re a UK VAT-registered business that deferred VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you now need to: 

  • Set-up cancelled Direct Debits in enough time for HMRC to take payment 
  • Continue to submit VAT returns as normal, and on time 
  • Pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30 June 

Any VAT payments you have deferred between 20 March and 30 June should be paid in full on or before 31 March 2021. 

Read more

Flexible furlough scheme starts today

From 1 July there are changes to the Job Retention Scheme. Furloughed staff can be brought back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked Scheme. 

Read more

Driving and theory tests  

If you’re a critical worker, you can now apply for an emergency driving test and an emergency theory test. Non-emergency tests are currently suspended. 

30 June 2020

SCDI green recovery plan 

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has published its plan for a Green Recovery from Covid-19. They are calling Scottish and UK governments to deliver ‘green stimulus’ to kick start the economy, create new jobs and fuel ‘clean growth’. 

Read more

29 June 2020

Safe return to college and university

The Scottish Government has issued guidance which maps out full reopening of Scottish campuses. Topics included are: 

  • Workforce planning and student support 
  • Public health measures 
  • Progressing through the phases 
  • Health and safety. 

Read more 

MOT testing to be reintroduced

The UK government has announced that mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August. The move will help ensure that vehicles are kept safe to drive. 

Read more

26 June 2020

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill now an Act 

The act will relieve the burden on businesses during Covid-19 and allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate. This includes: 

  • introduces temporary easements for Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and filing requirements for public limited companies (PLCs) 
  • introduces new corporate restructuring tools to the insolvency regime to give companies the time they need to maximise their chance of survival 
  • temporarily suspends parts of insolvency law to support directors during this difficult time. 

Most companies will also be given more time to file their accounts. 

Read more 

Paying Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back

If you’ve overclaimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can either: 

Read more 

25 June 2020

Updated information when claiming back statutory sick pay 

Information about employees who have transferred under the TUPE regulations has been added. 

Read more

Skill support for furloughed or those facing redundancy 

The Open University is encouraging those who are furloughed or those facing redundancy due to Covid-19 to apply for a selection of fully funded modules that offer vital post-pandemic skills. 

Read more 

24 June 2020

Returning to work safely

The Scottish Government has issued guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely. The guidance looks at transport, test and trace and offers advice. 

Read more

Companies House guidance 

Users can now file their change of constitution forms using the temporary Upload a document to Companies House service. 

Read more 

Scotland route map – dates for Phase 2 and early Phase 3 

The Scottish Government has announced specific dates for the reopening of certain businesses and services. This includes: 

  • 3 July – travel distance relaxed 
  • 6 July – outdoor hospitality 
  • 13 July – all holiday accommodation permitted 
  • 15 July – hairdressers and barbers 
  • 15 July – museums, galleries, cinemas, monuments, libraries. 

Read more 

23 June 2020

Return to full-time schooling

The First Minister announced that schools in Scotland will return full time in August if Scotland continues to make progress in suppressing coronavirus. 

Read more 

22 June 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19): returning to work safely

The Scottish Government guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely has been updated and includes details on which sectors are able to restart or can prepare to return to work and how to do this safely. 

Read more 

Coronavirus (Covid-19): shielding support and contacts 

Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. The Scottish Government has updated their advice and guidance for people in this group. 

Read more 

Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (Covid-19) 

The guidance on the temporary changes to the VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 has been updated with information regarding the ending of the VAT deferral period. 

Read more

Coronavirus (Covid-19): construction sector guidance 

The Scottish Government has published guidance on construction sites and associated works that can continue under specific conditions (updated 22 June).

Read more 

NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect advice

Households will be sent information explaining how the Test and Protect system works and setting out what to do if someone develops coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms.

Read more 

18 June 2020

Construction sector given green light to move to Phase 3 of restart plan 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced today that Scotland's construction sector is to move into the next phase of its restart plan from Monday 22 June 2020.

Read more 

Face coverings mandatory on public transport from 22 June

Face coverings will become mandatory on public transport from Monday 22 June, as part of operators’ preparations for progress towards recovery and to reduce the risk of transmission.

Read more 

17 June 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19): letter from the Planning Minister about the role of certification 

Letter to local authorities from the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning Kevin Stewart MSP providing guidance on the role of certification as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19): letter from Building Standards Division about construction industry restart 

Stephen Garvin, Head of the Building Standards Division, has issued a letter to local authorities about the restart of the construction industry and site inspections.

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12 June 2020

Coronavirus (Covid-19): construction sector guidance

The Scottish Government has published further guidance on construction sites and associated works that can continue under specific conditions. 

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11 June 2020

Financial support for students 

The Scottish Government has brought forward access of £11.4m of discretionary funds which will be administered by colleges and universities. Colleges now have flexibility to offer funds to help between bursary payments ending in June and Universal Credit payments starting. SAAS have also suspended all debt recovery in respect to grants and bursaries until September for students whose circumstances have changed and may have to return overpayments. 

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9 June 2020

Updated advice for people shielding in Scotland

Outdoor exercise can be taken from later this month. 

People who are shielding are being advised that though they should continue to do so until at least the end of July, they can if they choose, go outdoors to exercise from 18 June while maintaining strict physical distancing. 

Those affected will receive letters from the Chief Medical Officer explaining that the decision on outdoor exercise has been taken after careful consideration by clinical advisors. Prevalence of COVID-19 has decreased and the evidence now shows the risk of outdoor infection is very low if people stay two metres apart. The exercise can be a run, wheel, walk or cycle but those shielding should not meet people from other households. 

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8 June 2020

New health measures for travellers to Scotland 

New public health measures will come into force today (Monday 8 June) to help suppress coronavirus (Covid-19) and prevent new cases being brought into Scotland.

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Trade Credit Insurance backed by £10 billion guarantee

The UK Government is to provide guarantees of up to £10 billion to Trade Credit Insurance schemes for business to business transactions.

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5 June 2020

Important changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1 July 2020

The final date you can furlough an employee for the first time will be Wednesday 10 June. Find out if you're eligible and how much you can claim below.

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Domestic Reverse Charge VAT for construction services – delayed to March 2021

The Revenue and Customs Brief 7 (2020) published by the UK Government explains that the introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed from 1 October 2020 until 1 March 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus on the construction sector.

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Cover of theAutumn 2020 issue
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