26 November 2020
People arriving in the UK from Estonia and Latvia from 4am Saturday 28 November will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks.
23 November 2020
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.
19 November 2020
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.
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.
Tradespeople should only go into a house in a level 4 area to carry out or deliver essential work or services, for example:
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.
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.
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.
The Scottish Government has announced that some areas will move from tier 2 into tier 4 from Friday 20 November. These include:
East Lothian and Midlothian will move down to tier 2 from Tuesday 24 November.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
People arriving in the UK from Germany or Sweden will need to self-isolate from 4am Saturday 7 November.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Scottish Government has published a list of covid tiers that will apply to each local authority from 2nd November.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on Tuesday 27 October.
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.
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%.
The scheme has been extended by another six months and will be split into two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.
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.
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
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.
More information on the new restrictions will be in place for 4 weeks from 16 October.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HMRC are offering a Time To Pay service, which may eligible if you need more help to pay your VAT.
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.
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).
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.
Quarantine rules and information on the process for people entering the UK. Updates apply to Curacao, Denmark, Iceland and Slovakia
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, unveils the UK Government’s plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months.
The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020.
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.
Updated guidance on seeing friends, family and travel. Added information on new restrictions on meeting others indoors and hospitality opening hours
A new package has been announced to support and enforce self-isolation.
List of Kickstart gateways in Scotland who can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on behalf of a group of employers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on coronavirus.
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.
Updated travel information for Singapore, Thailand, Slovenia and Guatemala.
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.
The Northern Ireland Executive have introduced a series of localised restrictions to stem the increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and keep people safe.
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.
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.
The UK Government is investing £7.2 million in research projects across the UK, including at the universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde.
Find out which jobs qualify for travel exemptions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Travel advice and guidance relating to local outbreaks or clusters of coronavirus cases (Updated 3 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.
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.
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.
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.
Information about easing the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
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).
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.
From 10 October 2020 the process to strike off companies that are no longer carrying on business or in operation will be resumed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deal announced which will secure early access to a promising new coronavirus vaccine, enhancing the UK’s growing portfolio of vaccine candidates.
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.
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.
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.
Find out what you need to do if you've claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The FCO updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel, exempting destinations that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers.
People who have been advised to shield because of Covid-19, will no longer have to do so from 1 August.
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).
The UK Government have published and updated the recovery strategy for the UK. The next chapter of the strategy has now been released.
Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Updated 17 July).
Construction Scotland have updated their guidance (15 July) for the construction sector to allow for Phase 4 of the restart plan to begin.
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.
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.
From 10 September 2020, Companies House will restart the process to dissolve companies that have applied for voluntary dissolution.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The First Minister today announced final Phase 2 measures. These include:
If you’re a UK VAT-registered business that deferred VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you now need to:
Any VAT payments you have deferred between 20 March and 30 June should be paid in full on or before 31 March 2021.
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.
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.
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’.
The Scottish Government has issued guidance which maps out full reopening of Scottish campuses. Topics included are:
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.
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:
Most companies will also be given more time to file their accounts.
If you’ve overclaimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can either:
Information about employees who have transferred under the TUPE regulations has been added.
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.
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.
Users can now file their change of constitution forms using the temporary Upload a document to Companies House service.
The Scottish Government has announced specific dates for the reopening of certain businesses and services. This includes:
The First Minister announced that schools in Scotland will return full time in August if Scotland continues to make progress in suppressing coronavirus.
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.
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.
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.
The Scottish Government has published guidance on construction sites and associated works that can continue under specific conditions (updated 22 June).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Scottish Government has published further guidance on construction sites and associated works that can continue under specific conditions.
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.
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.
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.
The UK Government is to provide guarantees of up to £10 billion to Trade Credit Insurance schemes for business to business transactions.
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.
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.