Coronavirus news and updates - SNIPEF

Coronavirus news and updates

26 July 2021

COVID-19: Test and Protect

Information and Support for people who are asked to self-isolate because of COVID-19 from the Scottish Government.

See here  for guidance if you have been “pinged”

Self-Isolation Rules

Changes have been made by the Scottish Government to self-isolation rules for close contacts of COVID-19 to allow essential staff in critical roles to return to work to maintain lifeline services and critical national structure.

For more information and support check here

COVID-19 Business Recovery Support for Midlothian

Midlothian Council regularly updates this resource to provide timely information on local and national coronavirus grant funds and other forms of relief and support available to businesses to help them recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to see details on how to apply or submit an enquiry

New UK Government COVID-19 testing site in Aberdeen

The UK Government on Friday 23 July, opened a new walk-through coronavirus testing centre at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, located at Car Park 4, Garthdee Campus, Robert Gordon University, AB10 7AQ.

For directions and more details see here

COVID -19: What to do if you are Self-Employed and Getting Less Work or no Work

Guidance for people who are self-employed and getting less work, no work or cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The UK Government have removed the guidance on what you could claim if you’re off work because you’re shielding. Shielding in England, Scotland and Wales have stopped and the time limit for making a backdated claim has passed. Also removed information about an easement on Self-Assessment payment as this has now ended.

For more details check here

22 July 2021

Working to Deliver Economic Transformation

The Scottish Government are looking for you to submit ideas, view, and suggestions on their 10-year economic strategy. Transforming Scotland’s economy is a national endeavour.

With a deadline to contribute of 27 August 2021 check here

21 July 2021

Construction Product Availability Statement

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation and Peter Caplehorn, CEO of the Construction Products Association, co-chairs of the Construction Leadership Council’s Product Availability working group, have issued a statement discussing the significant supply disruption and availability within the commercial construction industry.

To read the statement in full see here

19 July 2021

Webinar: women in Business: 21 July 2021

Business Gateway webinar will look at specific support, advice, and inspiration for women in Scotland starting up or running a business.

To register check here

16 July 2021

New Government COVID Testing Site in Tory, Aberdeen

On Wednesday 14 July, the UK Government opened a new walk-through coronavirus testing centre in Torry, Aberdeen. The test centre is located at Torry Youth and Leisure Centre (AB11 8ER)

For more details & directions check here

Check to see if you can Claim Through the Job Retention Scheme

Calculate how much you have to pay your employees and how much you can claim back from HM Revenues & Customs here and how to claim for wages here with examples of employee’s wages. National Insurance and Pension Contributions here  

15 July 2021

Level 0 from 19 July

People should continue to follow the Scottish Government and public health measures to protect one another as all of Scotland prepares to move to Level 0 at 00:01 on Monday 19 July.

For more details see here

Roll up your Sleeves

If you are aged 18 to 49 get ready to roll up your sleeve. The NHS will be inviting you to get the first dose of your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine between now and the end of July, depending on vaccine supply.

To check when you will be invited click here

12 July 2021

Help and Support if your Business is Affected by COVID-19

Watch videos, sign up for email alerts and register for free webinars from HM Revenue & customs for support if your business is affected by COVID-19.

For sign up details see here

8 July 2021

COVID-19: Returning to the Office

The guidance supplied by the Scottish Government aims to support employers to plan for a phased and limited return to offices in Level 0 of the COVID-19 protection levels by providing reference to a range of sources of support and guidance which will inform workplace plans.

For more details see here

Blackburn Travel Restrictions Lifted

The Scottish Government have lifted the last remaining restriction on non-essential travel between Scotland and northwest England. Journeys between Scotland and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will be permitted for any reason from 00:01hrs on Thursday 8 July.

For more information click here

7 July 2021

Self- Isolation to Ease for Adults in Step 4

As part of step 4 of the Government’s COVID-19 roadmap, double vaccinated people will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, the Health and Social Care Secretary has confirmed (from 16 August 2021) if the Government takes the decision to move into step 4.

For more information and exemptions check here

Work out your Turnover so you can Claim the Fifth Grant

Find out your turnover before you apply for your fifth grant with advice from Hm Revenues & Customs.  

For more details see here

6 July 2021

Drop-in Surgery for Business Support

GrowBiz are offering free impartial advice to help you start and grow your business. The weekly drop-in zoom surgery provides one-to-one appointments with one of the knowledgeable and experienced GrowBiz team. They can help with any business issue, however small.

For more details see here

Rural Enterprise Directory Scotland (REDS)

The Rural Enterprise Directory Scotland promotes businesses, social enterprises and the self-employed in Scotland’s rural and island economies. Through Find Business Support the aim is to make every small rural and island business visible and to stimulate community, collaboration, and trade with the huge variety of Scottish rural micro-enterprises.

For more information and to sign up check here

COVID-19 Protection Levels: What Can You Do

Scotland follows a COVID-19 levels system (0-4). Each has a different set of rules on what you can and cannot do from the Scottish Government. Find out the level and rules for an area and updates on 28 June to reflect current guidance.

For updates see here

Business Rates Relief

The Scottish Government has introduced extra rates relief discounts to help owners of certain non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of coronavirus. 100% rates relief will be available to retail, hospitality, leisure, and eligible aviation businesses until at least 31 March 2022.

To fill in an application form with your local council to receive this relief check here

Travel Restrictions Lifted with Manchester, Salford, and Bolton

The Scottish Government have lifted the temporary restrictions on travel between Scotland and Manchester, Salford, and Bolton on 30 June. Restrictions will remain in place in relation to travel between Scotland and the area of Blackburn.

For more details see here

Networking Events

Connect with other business owners and hear from experts on a range of topics from Gov.scot at GrowBiz’s regular networking events. These monthly networking events feature speakers or panels of inspiring business owners and entrepreneurs. They provide an opportunity to connect with others who are starting, running, or growing a business in rural Scotland.

For more details and to sign up see here

Invest Northern Ireland is running a second call for applications to the COVID-19 Energy Efficiency Capital Grant (EECG)

EECG helps businesses recover from COVID-19 and build resilience through green efficiency. They are providing grant to support for the installation of energy efficient equipment that offers greater efficiency in the use of energy, providing cost savings and carbon savings. EECG is open to existing Invest NI customers and businesses eligible to become an Invest NI customer.

For more information see here

24 June 2021

Physical distancing review

The Scottish Government published a review of physical distancing. It stated that from 19 July (subject to confirmation) physical distancing will no longer be required outdoors which will apply to outdoor construction work. Indoor physical distancing will be reduced to 1m and this will apply to internal construction work (repair and maintenance, housebuilding etc).

From 9 August (expected date – subject to confirmation) we will move beyond level 0 and all COVID restrictions will be removed for businesses and individuals. Some baseline measures will remain and construction businesses will still be required to adhere to these i.e. Good hand hygiene and surface cleaning, Continued promotion of good ventilation, Requirement for face coverings in certain settings (e.g. public transport), Continued compliance with Test and Protect, including self-isolation when necessary, Ongoing need for outbreak management capability, including active surveillance.

Read more here

23 June 2021

CICV guide advises on Professional Indemnity Insurance

In its latest initiative as a major voice within the Scottish construction sector, the CICV Forum has unveiled a new guide to the crucial and increasingly complex issue of professional indemnity insurance (PII).

The easy-to-understand downloadable document, produced by the Forum’s unique collaboration of trade associations, professional bodies, companies and individuals, outlines the state of the insurance market, the precautions firms should take and the pitfalls they face.

Read it here

21 June 2021

Sustainable Economic Recovery

An initial 25 projects designed to help meet skills needs in a range of sectors will receive a share of up to £20 million from the Scottish Government as part of the second phase of the National Transition Training Fund (NTTF). This includes construction and digital technology.

For more information and to apply check here

COVID-19: Ventilation Guidance

Read the Scottish Government advice for fresh air in the workplace and how to dilute infected particles and reduce the risk of COVID infection.

For more details click here

Webinar: Women in Business

Business Gateway webinar will look at specific support, advice and inspiration for women in Scotland starting up or running a business, on 22 June 2021.

To register see here

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme Grant

If you are an employer looking to create jobs for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme through the UK Government.

To find out how the scheme works and apply click here

18 June 2021

EU Settlement Scheme Webinar

Scottish Building Federation has partnered with the Citizens’ Rights Project to deliver a short, free webinar to construction employers and workers on the EU Settlement Scheme;

EU citizens (but not Irish citizens) and citizens from EEA countries including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland who are currently living in Scotland are required to apply to the settlement scheme before the deadline of 30 June 2021.

Applicants must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and will no longer have the right to live and work in the UK if they do not apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before the deadline.

This webinar is open to all and will cover EU Settlement Scheme application requirements and documentation, timeframes, settled and pre-settled status, continued residence, family members and employer support.   

17 June 2021

Business Support Survey

As businesses start to reopen Find Business support are looking to provide the best advice and guidance to support the needs of businesses. This short survey will help them adapt what they provide to make them as helpful as possible.

To take the survey click here

International eCommerce Summer Series

A series of 4 one-hour weekly webinars from Scottish Enterprise during July aimed for companies who sell products direct to consumers.

Check here for more details and to sign up.

16 June 2021

This update from the Scottish Government directs businesses towards the most up to date information on COVID-19.   The Find Business Support website has details of support and guidance for businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.

Today in a statement to Parliament the First Minister confirmed there would be no changes to the current COVID-19 Protection levels. She cautioned that it was unlikely any part of the country would move down a level at next week’s review which will consider possible changes from 28 June onwards.  It had been previously hoped the country would move to Level 0 but the First Minister warned that it was more likely that current restrictions would be kept in place for a further three weeks to give more time for people to be fully vaccinated.   The First Minister also said any changes that can be made safe within the levels will be considered.   In addition, the Scottish Government intends to publish a paper setting out what life will look like beyond level 0 when all or virtually all restrictions can be lifted, and also publish the outcome of the review on physical distancing, next week.  
Read the full statement here.
Guidance on COVID-19 Protection Levels has been published. The guidance sets out what you can and cannot do at each level.
Safer workplace guidance is released on a sectoral basis and can be found here.  
The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.  

Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme for Northern Ireland

Following the decision to extend the New Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme and the Return, Retain and Result Incentive Scheme for 2021/22, the application forms for both schemes were revised.

It is essential that employers submitting claims to either scheme use the most recent version of the application form. Please do not forward previous versions of the forms to employers as using those versions will lead to delays in processing. The most recent versions of the forms can always be found following these links:

Coronavirus: New Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme (nibusinessinfo.co.uk)

Coronavirus: Apprenticeship Return, Retain and Result Scheme (nibusinessinfo.co.uk)

When discussing the schemes with employers, it would be helpful to ensure that they understand that they should not submit claims until their apprentice has completed the relevant qualifying period.

If there is any additional information that you need to assist you in your discussions with employers about these schemes, please do not hesitate to contact ApprenticeshipsRecovery@economy-ni.gov.uk

14 June 2021

EU Settlement Deadline

Invest in Northern Ireland and nidirect government services have set out guidelines to help workers apply to stay in Northern Ireland after the 30 June deadline.

For more details see here

Innovation Vouchers

Business in Northern Ireland can apply for a £5,000 voucher to work in the public sector through Invest in Northern Ireland from Monday 7 June 2021 until Friday 25 June 2021.

For application forms and more information check here

Free Training Courses

NI Business have set out various free training course to help you and your staff develop skills and make your business more competitive.

For more details see here

Supporting Staff on Returning to the Workplace

The Northern Ireland Executive have laid out guidance and advice to safeguard public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current NI Executive advice being that people should work from home where they can, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their staff working from home.

For more information see here

Claiming for Wages through the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme

HM Revenue & Customs have extended the scheme until 30 September 2021 with details on what you need to make a claim found here and the template if you are claiming for 16 – 99 employees can be found here.

Scotland Unlocking Ambition

Unlocking Ambition and the Scottish Government are now open to receive applications to select up to 40 company founders to be part of Scotland Flagship business growth.

To apply and for more information see here

COVID-19 Guidance for a Safer Workplace

Information about changing the workplace environment from the Scottish Government as been updated to include enhance hygiene, handling goods, moving around buildings and workplaces and more.

For the full list check here

Rapid Test Kits Rolled out to Pharmacies

The Scottish Government have extended access to rapid testing to community pharmacies for those without COVID-19 symptoms.

For more information see here

10 June 2021

Supporting people to get Online

The Scottish Government have launched a £26 million Connect Scotland programme, to help those on lower incomes and groups such as the elderly with online training skills as well as providing iPads and Chromebooks.

For more details see here

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Fifth Grant

The Scottish Governments 5th grant covering May 2021 to September 2021 will be open for claims from late July 2021.

Guidance for claiming the grant can be found here

PACE: Supporting Business through Redundancy

Skills Development Scotland and PACE support businesses of any size, no matter how many employees. It is free of charge and can help in all areas of redundancy.

See here for more information

COVID Testing Centre opens in South Lanarkshire

A new UK Government COVID-19 testing centre has opened at Springwell Neighbourhood Hall, Blantyre, South Lanarkshire. (G72 0LL)

For more details see here

4 June 2021

Transforming Scotland’s Economy

Outlining how business will be supported to build a sustainable economic recovery, the Economy Secretary Kate Forbes announced a £12 million funding for businesses in Level 2 areas.

For more details and to read the full statement see here

Making Scotland’s Future – a recovery plan

The final version of “Making Scotland’s Future – a recovery plan for Manufacturing” has been published with revised actions established from the Scottish Government by industry, public sector, trade unions and academia to be taken forward by the end of 2021.

To download the full paper click here

3 June 2021

Cautious Easing of Restrictions

In line with Scottish Government advice Glasgow will be moving to Level 2 from 00:01 on Saturday 5 June 2021. Check where your local authority is placed and what you can and cannot do.

For details check here

Online Event: World-Class Digital Transformation

Sign up for this online event and learn how DBS Bank has become one of the world’s best.

To register and sign up click here

2 June 2021

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – Fifth Grant

Find out from HM Revenues & Customs if you are eligible for the fifth grant which covers the period from May 2021 to September 2021. All Claims for the fourth grant have now closed. The last date for claims was 1 June 2021

To find out more see here

Scottish Enterprise Webinars

Free business webinars providing insights from sector and market specialists to help grow your business on key topics including access to the pool of international graduates, recruitment from Europe and beyond, the effects of the new points-based system on Sponsor Licence holders, and an ERA-Net call on accelerating the heating and cooling transition.

To sign up and more information check here

Scottish Enterprise online events

Free online events and workshops for expert tips and advice to help manage your business.

To view the latest events programme click here

Podcasts

Scottish Enterprise have launched their ‘Think Climate’ podcast series, with a range of topics from the green economy recovery, conservation biodiversity and electric vehicles.

To follow the podcasts and more information see here

1 June 2021

Protection Levels Up-date

Glasgow will move to level 2 from 5 June 2021, as long as key indicators remain stable or fall. Further funding from the Scottish Government has made funding available to Glasgow City Council to provide additional support for businesses in hospitality and leisure in Glasgow.

For more details check here

Apply for the Flexible Workforce Development Fund

Funding has been provided by the Skills Development Scotland to UK Apprenticeship Levey-payers and SMEs in Scotland to up-skill and re-skill their employees to support inclusive economic growth in Scotland.

To find out more see here

Outdoor Access Guidelines During COVID1-19

It is important to remember that Scotland’s open spaces may look a little different. Visit Scotland have set up an Outdoor Access Code, with three principle main codes.

To view the Outdoor Access Code for tips and advice see here

COVID-19 Restrictions: What you can and cannot do

Find out what you can and cannot do while restrictions remain in place with advice from the UK government with update travel guidance to align with Northern Ireland.

See here for more information

28 May 2021

Download a Template if you are claiming for 16-99 Employees through the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme

Complete and upload the UK Government template with details of the employees you are claiming for on or after 27 May 2021.

For more information and to download the template see here

Payback COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme Grants

Find out how to pay back all or some of your grant if you have over claimed or if you no longer need the grant, with guidance from the HM Revenue & Customs.

Click here to correct overclaims

27 May 2021

COVID-19 guidance on Ventilation

Guidance on ventilation from the Scottish government to support the mixing of individuals safely in indoor and domestic properties has been updated with a ventilation advice card.

For more details see here

COVID-19 Guidance on returning to Work  

A reminder from the Scottish Government to help employers and workers know what to expect when they return to work has been published.

For more information check here

26 May 2021

COVID-19 Protection Levels: What you can do

Scotland follows a COVID-19 levels system from 0-4. Each Level has a set of rules set out by the Scottish Government on what you can and cannot do.

Find out here for your areas level and rules

24 May 2021

New Testing Centre opens in East Lothian

A new UK Government COVID-19 walk-through testing centre has opened at Ramsay Croft Car Park Dalkeith. (EH22 1JD).

For directions see here

Levels and Travel Restrictions Update

Moray will change to level 2 from 21 May 2021. Glasgow will remain in level 3. The Scottish Government have advised that travel from Scotland to 3 local authority areas in England will be restricted from Monday 24 May 2021 due to the high level of CIVID-19 in Bedford, Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen.

For more details check here  

Claims for wages thought the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme

Claims for furlough days in May 2021 through the UK government must be made by 14 June 2021

To check your claims, click here

National Transition Training Fund

Launched in October 2020 to help tackle the rise in unemployment due to COVID-19, Skills Development Scotland helps people aged 25 and over prepare for a new career by offering short sharp training opportunities for in-demand skills.

For more information and eligibility see here

20 May 2021

Help and support if your Business is Affected by COVID-19

Watch videos and sign up from alerts from HM Revenues & Customs as well as free webinars to learn what support is available if your business is affected by COVID-19.

For more details see here  

COVID-19 Vaccination Status Scheme Launches

The Scottish government have launched a service that allows people travelling abroad to access their record of vaccination status.

For more information check here and logon details click here

Protecting Scotland

Anyone who was part of vaccine groups 1-9 and missed their appointment is being called to come forward by the Scottish Government and arrange their vaccination.

For more information check here

Webinar: Women in Business: Starting up or Running a Business in Scotland – 25 May 2021

Business Gateway has set up a webinar that will look at support and advice for women in Scotland starting or running a business.

To register click here

19 May 2021

Let in Fresh Air when Meeting Others Indoors

To reduce the spread of COID-19 the Department of Health and Social Care have launched a new campaign over TV, radio, press and social media. Backed by medical experts and businesses they are urging the public to open windows when meeting family and friends indoors.

For more details click here

18 May 2021

Glasgow and Moray to remain in Level 3

From Monday 17 May 2021 travel to and from these areas will remain prohibited other than for permitted purposes in accordance with the Scottish Government guidelines, due to the high rate of COVID-19. With the decision to be reviewed in a week.

For more details click here

COVID-19 Local Restriction Grant

Financial support is available to businesses from the Scottish Government that remain in COVID-19 Level 3 restrictions.

For more information see here

17 May 2021

New COVID-19 Walk-Through Testing Site

A new UK Government testing centre has opened in the car part at Milngavie Station (G62 8BX).

For more details and directions see here

COVID-19 Protection Levels: what can you do

COVID restrictions remain in place as most of Scotland move into level 2, with advice and local area restrictions from the Scottish Government.

To find out which level your area is in click here

14 May 2021

Next Steps out of Lockdown

On Monday 17 May, the majority of Scotland will move to level 2, with eased restrictions set out by the Scottish Government on entertainment, education, hospitality, and sport.

For more detail in your area see here

COVID-19 Protection Levels: what can you do

Find out the rules set out by the Scottish Government on what you can and cannot do while restrictions remain in place.

Check here for more information

Help and Support for Businesses affected by COVID-19

Videos and free webinars from the Scottish Government to help you deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19 and a webinar for the Self-Employment Support Scheme. – the fourth grant was added on 10 May 2021.

For more information see here

Meet the Buyer

The Supplier Development Programme have released the 12th Annual Meet the Buyer event and it will take place as a live, virtual event on 8 June 2021

To register and for more information check here

Job Start

Job Start is a new employer scheme set up with the Department for Communities (DfC) that has been set up to help young people aged 16 – 24 at risk of long-term unemployment in Northern Ireland. Employers can receive up to 100% government funding to create six-month job opportunities.

For more details and to apply click here

COVID: Apprenticeship Recovery Package

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has developed an Apprenticeship Recovery Package for employers who take on an apprentice in Northern Ireland. There are two elements to the package, for those who have had to furlough an apprentice and for new apprenticeships, with grants available for both.

For more details and to apply see here

COVID-19 Process and Organisational Improvement Grant

The COVID-19 Process and Organisational Improvement Grant (POIG) has been set up by Invest in Northern Ireland to support business and implement a range of operational improvements and help eligible companies build internal teams and engage with consultants. All forms must be submitted by 12 noon on 21 May 2021

For more details and to apply check here  

How to deal with Stress

Invest in Northern Ireland have set out stress related guidelines to tackle work-related stress to ensure the well-being of both you and your staff. With the guide outlining common causes of stress at work and the common causes of personal stress.

For more details check here  

COVID-19: Large NAV Business Grant

This scheme set up by Invest in Northern Ireland provides financial support to businesses that occupied commercial premises with a NAV (Net Annual Value) over £51,000 on 1 March 2021, who were awarded the 12-month rates holiday for 2002-21.  This includes manufacturing and retail.

For more details, to apply and exclusions see here

Events and Workshops

Search for events related to training, workshops, networking, seminars and more from various organisations set up by Invest Northern Ireland.

To register click here

All-Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference

The inaugural All-Island Female Entrepreneurs Conference will take place on 10-11 June 2021 as a virtual event broadcasting live from Dublin and Belfast. Looking at women in business, changing consumer behaviours post-pandemic, pitching skills masterclasses and an Entrepreneurs panel.

To register and find out more see here

13 May 2021

COVID-19: Right to Work Checks

The Home Office & Immigration Enforcement have updated the advice for employers carrying out right to work checks during the pandemic.

See here for more information

Traffic Light System: Safe to Return to International Travel

From 17 May 2021 the “Stay in the UK” regulations will cease, and international travel will be allowed to restart, governed by the Department of Transport’s new traffic light system.

For more details see here

Government COVID Testing Centre opens in Glasgow

A new UK Government walkthrough COVID-19 centre has opened at Glasgow Green Hockey Centre (G40 1HB).   

For directions click here

10 May 2021

Employment and Redundancy Advice

Skills Development Scotland can help you with advice on redundancy, employment online learning, jobs, and other wider support services.

For more details see here

Webinar: Back to Business: Strategies for Business Growth and Survival – 13 May 2021

Business Gateway are hosting practical and outcome driven webinars, focusing on strategic planning designed to fit in with the need of small businesses in both B2C and B2B environments.

To register to attend click here

Webinar: Remote and Flexible Working – 7 June 2021

Business Gateway will highlight potential options for flexible working and provide a steer on employment legislation associated with formal requests from employees as we move towards a post-pandemic world.

To register see here

Supporting Scottish Businesses Towards a Brighter Future

If you are starting a business or thinking of switching to self-employment, Business Gateway and its DigitalBoost programme can help you with a wide range of free support, including specialist digital consultants, experienced advisers, and webinars to help you up-skill, market research and use online tools.

See here to watch the video

07 May 2021

Job Retention Scheme Updates

Check here to see if you are eligible for furlough and how much as an employer you can claim here, with new updates from HM Revenue & Customs  – with all claims for April must be made by 14 May 2021 and find out how to pay back all or some of the grants if you have overclaimed. Click here

06 May 2021

Webinar: Women in Business: Everything you need to start or run a Business in Scotland – 11 May 2021

Business Gateway has a new webinar for advice, support, and inspiration to help women in business across Scotland with financial advice, digital technology, and web-building advice.

To register click here

3 May 2021

Free Webinars and Online Events

Scottish Enterprise have set up free business webinars, videos and online events providing insights from sector and market specialists, to help grow your business.

To register and more information on webinars click here and for the online events see here

Check-in Scotland

A new digital service by Gov.scot to support businesses in collecting details for contact tracing purposes has been launched, for participating venues.

For more detail see here

COVID-19: Compliance Self-Assessment Tool  

A self-assessment tool is available from the Scottish Government to check the effectiveness of COVID-19 control measures in your workplace.

See here for more information

General Guidance for a Safer Workplace

COVID-19 guidance for a safer workplace for businesses and organisations not covered by the sectorial guidance has been issued by the Scottish Government: for example, general offices.

Check here for more details

30 April 2021

SME Loan Fund

The SME Loan funded by the Scottish Government can be used for the installation of heating renewables, ventilation, air conditioning, building fabric and more.

For more details and to check eligibility see here

Help and Support if your Business is affected by COVID-19

Videos and free webinars are available from Gov.UK to support with the economic impact of COVID-19 for businesses and self-employed people, including advice on the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employment Income Support and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme.

See here for more details

29 April 2021

Reopening Update for Scottish Businesses

A wide range of businesses from hospitality to retail are now open. Read hot tips from the Federation of Small Businesses to prepare for trading.

For re-opening guidelines see here

Virtual Business and Webinar Events  

Business Gateway hare holding national webinars covering Remote and Flexible working, Adapting your Business and Team: through to back to business, and Strategies for Business Survival and Growth.

To view the webinars click here  

COVID-19: Information for Individuals and Businesses in Scotland

Updates on general guidelines, individuals and families and businesses in Scotland has been issued by the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland.

See here for more details

27 April 2021

Non-Essential work in Scotland is now Open.

Members should follow Health & Safety guidance during the opening up of non-essential work and follow the timetable for easing of restrictions and protection levels set out by the Scottish Government. The advice set out by the CICV Forum is subject to change depending on updated information issued by the UK & Scottish Governments.

For details of the easing of restrictions click here and protection levels see here

COVID-19 Restrictions: what you can and cannot do.

Find out what you can and cannot do while the COVID restrictions remain in place, with advice from Gov UK.

See here for more information

Regular Rapid Testing for Everyone.

From 26 April 2021, everyone in Scotland is eligible to access free lateral flow testing for COVID, even if they have no symptoms.

More guidance on how to access free testing can be found on the Scottish Government website here

Webinar: Recovery, Rebuild and Grow – financial Readiness – 5 May 2021

A Scottish Enterprise webinar to help you on funding your journey as we move out of the COVID-19 pandemic. With guest presenters, who will give a brief overview of Equity, Corporate Finance ‘How to get Funder ready' and Bank Sustainability Funding, followed by a Q&A session.

To register click here

COVID-19: Compliance Self-Assessment Tool

The Scottish government have made available a self-assessment tool to check the effectiveness of COVID-19 control measures within your workplace.

See here for more details

COVID-19: Calculating Physical Distancing Capacity in Public Settings

Guidance issued by the Scottish Government has been set out to work out the maximum number of people who can physically distance in a public setting: including businesses, places of worship and public events.

For more information click here

Check-in Scotland Launches

A new digital service from the Scottish Government has launched, collecting details for contacting tracing purposes and is now available in participating venues

See here for participating venues.

26 April 2021

Ventilation Advice for Everyone at Work

A new Scottish Government advice card (in Pdf.) highlighting ventilation practices at work is now live, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep customers and employees safe.

See here for more information

COVID-19: Creating and Maintaining Safer Workplaces

Guidance for workers and employers returning to work during COVID-19 from the Scottish Government.

Click here for more details

Other Types of Employees you can Claim for:

Find out if you can claim through the UK Government COVID job retention scheme for different types of employees. Updated section for contractors engaged with the public section.

For more details click here

COVID-19: Guidance on Using Companies House

Companies House have adapted the way they work to maintain services for the public, to the same day service to electronically file a change of name, close a company or incorporate your company.

For more information see here

COVID-19: Recovery Phases in Scotland

VisitScotland have update their advice and information on exploring Scotland during COVID-19. What you can do right now, how to plan your holiday and the restrictions in each level

Find out more here

23 April 2021

Helping your Business to Reopen Safely’ Toolkit.

This has been set out by the Scottish Government to support businesses across Scotland to help reopen safely by providing posters and digital assets you can use to promote the latest guidance and regulations to employees and customers.

We encourage you to utilise them in key spaces where staff and the general public can see them. The guidance and regulations promoted in the resources are critical in our combined efforts to enable businesses to reopen safely while minimising the spread of COVID-19.

The campaign toolkit attached includes the following resources:

·         5 posters, covering messaging for both business staff and customers

·         4 social / digital posts

·         An A5 leaflet

·         A window sticker

Please check the Dropbox below:

Ø  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3pgcypr12hjncf5/AAAhGXqfM-stD1BAORLVAuZma?dl=0   

Types of Employees you can claim for Through the Job Retention Scheme

Find out if you claim through the COVID Job Retention Scheme set out by HM Revenue & Customs for different types of employees and the updated section for contractors who engage with the public sector.

See here for more details and to check which employee scheme to use click here

22 April 2021

How to claim the grant through the Self-Employment Income Scheme

The fourth grant is now available from the UK Government if you are self-employed or a member of a partnership.

To check if you can make a claim see here

21 April 2021

Financial Support for Large Business that Occupy Commercial Premises in Northern Ireland

The large NAV business grant is now open for applications in Northern Ireland, through NI Business, with financial assistance and guidelines on how to apply.

To apply and see is your company is eligible click here

Help and Support if your business is affected by COVID-19

The Scottish Government have issued videos and Webinars to help support businesses with the impact of COVID.

For more details check here

Moving to Level 3

From Monday 26 April venues and hospitality in Scotland can reopen following the Scottish Government guidelines. For more details see here

COVID-19: Right to Work Checks

Advice from the Home Office & Immigration Enforcement has been updated on the right to work checks during the pandemic.

For more detail see here

Help and Support if your Business is Affected by COVID-19

Register and watch for free updated video’s and webinars from the UK Government, to help you learn more about the support available on how to deal with the economic impact of COVID-19.

Click here for more information

  This update from the Scottish Government directs businesses towards the most up to date information on COVID-19.   The Find Business Support website has details of support and guidance for businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.

The
most recent Brexit advice and support can be accessed here.
  Today the First Minister gave an update on changes to COVID-19 restrictions which come into effect from Monday (26 April). Read the full statement here. Hospitality venues such as cafés, pubs and restaurants can reopen, along with tourist accommodation, and non-essential retail outlets and close contact services such as beauty salons can also reopen, along with indoor attractions and public buildings such as galleries, museums and libraries. All parts of the country will move to Level 3 from the same date and remaining travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted and travel within the UK will be permitted for any purpose.

Updated guidance on the collection of customer and visitor contact details for businesses and other establishments to assist contact tracing has been published. Guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector, including procedures for staff and customer safety and an operations checklist, has been published ahead of the 26 April reopening. Guidance covering Wedding receptions and funeral wakes is also included. Updated guidance on face coverings and face masks has also been published. The guidance includes information on face coverings in the workplace and additional information for businesses or operators carrying out close contact work. In addition, a general advice card for everyone at work has been published and a specific advice card for those working in the waste sector providing guidance for managers and workers is also now available.  

***The Scottish Parliamentary pre-election period began on the 25 March and runs until the election to the Scottish Parliament takes place on 6 May 2021. This places some restrictions on the activities of civil servants. Our response to COVID-19 is ongoing we are issuing this update to signpost you towards new and essential information***  
 
  The Scottish Government’s timetable for easing restrictions has been published. The timetable sets out how and when we plan to lift the current coronavirus restrictions over the coming weeks and months.  
  Safer workplace guidance is released on a sectoral basis and can be found here.  
  The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.  
20 April 2021

Help and Support if your Business is Affected by COVID-19

Pay VAT Deferred due to COVID

You can now pay VAT payments that were deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020 by HM Revenues & Customs. Plus, information on interest and penalties has been added that may be charged and how to avoid these.

Check here for more details  

Webinar: Women in Business: Everything needed to run or start a Business in Scotland, 27 April 2021

Join Business Gateway for a webinar looking at specific advice and support for women in Scotland, who are running or looking to start up a business.

To register click here

Help and Support if your Business is affected by COVID-19

Register and watch the video and webinars from HM Revenue & Customs for free: on support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19

Click here to register

19 April 2021

17 April 2021

New UK Government COVID Testing Centre in Dundee

The Department for Health and Social Care have opened a new walk-through COVID testing centre at Kirkton Community Centre Car Park in Downfield, Dundee, DD3 OAX.

See here for more details

12 April 2021

Apprenticeship Recovery Package extended to 31st March 2022.

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has been offering Apprenticeship Recovery Packages for Northern Ireland that channels financial support to local businesses to help apprenticeship system respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Ongoing restrictions have meant many have been unable to take advantage of this support to renew and regrow their businesses. These incentives previously supported the return and retention of furloughed apprentices and the recruitment of new apprentices up to 31st March 2021; however, the schemes have been extended with support and now available until 31March 2022.

The New Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme

This scheme is open to employers who take on an apprentice participating in the Department for the Economy funded Apprenticeships NI or Higher-Level Apprenticeship programmes with up to £3,000 available to employers for each new apprenticeship opportunity created between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2022.

This incentive is available for all new apprenticeship opportunities created including those made available for apprentices who have been made redundant by another employer.

:

  • Payment 1 - £2,000 after 90 days retention following start of new paid apprenticeship
  • Payment 2 - £1,000 after 200 days retention following start of new paid apprenticeship

Further information and to download an application form for the scheme please see:  www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-recruitment-new-apprenticeships

Apprenticeship Return, Retain and Result Scheme

This scheme is open to employers participating on the DfE-funded Apprenticeships NI or Higher-Level Apprenticeship programmes, who return apprentices who were furloughed as part of the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

DfE will provide incentive payments to help return your apprentice(s) from furlough, retain them in work and for successful completion of their apprenticeship, with up to £3,700 available per apprentice.

  • Return - £500 per returned furloughed apprentice payable for the first full month of paid apprenticeship between 1 November 2020 and 31st March 2022.
  • Retain – maximum of £2,000 available: £500 per month for up to 4 consecutive months of paid apprenticeship following the “return” month between 1 December 2020 and 31 March 2022.
  • Result - £1,200 for successful completion of all apprenticeship components by a returned furloughed apprentice.

For further information and to download an application form for the scheme please see:  www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-apprenticeship-return-retain-result-scheme

Webinars on Back to Business: Advice and Guidance on Reopening

Join Business Gateway and Partners on 15 April for webinars on how the Scottish retail and contact business can reopen safely in April.

Check here for more information

Plan ahead – a Guide to Safe Travel in Scotland

Advice from Scotland Alba and Visit Scotland on where to stay and how to plan day trips/overnight stays in Scotland and check out the good to go scheme to see if businesses have had COVID-19 risk assessments.

For more information click here

COVID-19: What to do if you were Employed and Lost your Job

The Department of Work & Pensions has issued guidance for people who were employed and have lost their job due to COVID-19.

For more detail see here

11 April 2021

New UK Government Covid-19 Testing Centre in Glasgow

The UK Government have opened a new walk-through COVID testing centre at Kinfauns Drive, Drumchapel Community Centre in Glasgow. G15 7HA.

For directions click here

10 April 2021

Claim a grant through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The online service to claim the fourth grant has been updated and will be available from late April 2021 from HM Revenue & Customs

Check here for more details

7 March 2021

COVID -19 information for individuals and businesses in Scotland

The Office for the Secretary of Sate for Scotland has updated the guidance on the virus for people in Scotland, including details on the 5-level system and how you can check which level you are in.

For more details click here

Recovery Loan Scheme launched

A new Government-backed loan scheme was launched on 6 April 2021 to provide additional finance to those businesses that need it.

For more information check here  

02 April 2021

COVID-19 Compliance Self-Assessment Tool

A self-assessment tool to help evaluate workplace effectiveness is downloadable from the Scottish Government and can be used as a checklist to help for reopening.

Click here for more information

COVID-19 Local Protection Levels

Find out what you can and cannot do as the stay-at-home guidance is replaced by the Scottish Government.

For an updated timetable check here

Top Tips for Reopening your Business

The Federation of Small Business and Environmental Health Specialists have prepared top tips for reopening your busines.

Check here for details

Claiming Employees’ Wages from the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme

To find out if you are eligible to claim cover for employees on temporary leave (furlough) from COVID-19. All claims must be made through Hm Revenue & Customs by 14April 2021.

Check here for more details

1 April 2021

COVID-19 Timetable for Easing Restrictions

The Scottish Government have updated how and when they plan to lift current COVID-19 restrictions over the coming weeks.

For more details see here

Redundancy and Employment Advice

Skills Develop Scotland can help you find the support you need from employment, redundancy, online learning, jobs, and a wider support service.

Check here for more information

Webinar Recovery, Grow and Rebuild for Financial Readiness

Scottish Enterprise can help you on your funding journey as we move out of the pandemic, with guest presenters in their webinars on Equity, Corporate Funding and Bank Sustainability funding.

To register click here

30 March 2021

Scottish Enterprise Webinars

Free updated business webinars providing insights on key topics to help your business grow have been set out by Scottish Enterprise on Low Carbon Funding, Immigration, Industry 4.0, Financial Readiness and Hydro Nation Water.

For more detail and to register see here  

29 March 2021

COVID-19 Recovery Phases in Scotland

The Visits Scotland guide on what you can do to plan a holiday for later on this year and the safety measures that are in place to keep you safe, has been issued.

See here for more information

27 March 2021

Check to see if you can claim back COVID-Related Statutory Sick Pay

Hm Revenues & Customs have updated the details for employers to claim back Statutory sick Pay related to COVID-19.

See here for eligibility

26 March 2021

COVID-19 Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The COVID-19 Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme facilitates access to finance for medium-sized and larger business affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. with the closing date 31 March 2021.

See here for large business and here for details on small to medium businesses

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small to medium businesses 100% guaranteed by the UK Government will close for applications on Wednesday 31 March 2021

Find out more here

Calculate how much you can claim using the COVID Job Retention Scheme

HM Revenues & Customs have announced changes in the extension of the Job Retention Scheme, with the extension until 30 September 2021.

For more details see here. and to claim check here

25 March 2021

UK Government Support for Businesses in Scotland

The UK Government have compiled a Coronavirus Business Support Finder to see what financial support is available for your business.

For more information check here

22 March 2021

Scottish Enterprise Webinars

Free business webinars from Scottish Enterprise have been updated to watch live or playback. To register click here

Apprenticeship Employer Grant

All applications for the Apprenticeship employer Grant from Skills Development Scotland must be submitted before 25 March 2021.

For more information see here

£4 million available for green jobs with support for Business to Create New Green Jobs

This is the first of a series of grant funding calls to help support economic recovery and stimulate the creation of new green jobs to advance Scotland’s net zero emission ambitions.

The £4 million green jobs call is part of a three-year £27 million package of green funding targeted for our new call programme. It will open to applications on Tuesday 18 May 2021 with grants from £50,000 up to a maximum of £500,000 being awarded on a competitive basis.

Supported through the Scottish Government’s Green Jobs Fund, the funding call is part of our wider commitment to supporting Scotland’s net zero transition that delivers benefits for our environment, people and economic prosperity.

The call aims to support business to create jobs that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources and jobs that help drive more environmentally friendly processes in Scottish businesses.

For more information see here

20 March 2021

New Government COVID-19 Testing Centre in Glasgow

The UK Government has today announced the opening of a new walk-through coronavirus testing centre at Cranhill, Community Centre in Glasgow (G33 3HE).

Check here for directions and more information

19 March 2021

Helping Young People Succeed

More jobs, internships and training opportunities have been made available for young people via the Scottish Government.

See here for more details  

Spot checks & inspections

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive are carrying out inspections and checks on all types of businesses in all areas to ensure they are COVID-19 compliant. This will include carrying out risk assessments and hygiene procedures.

Click here for more information

17 March 2021

In a statement to Parliament yesterday, the First Minister set out an indicative timetable for the re-opening of parts of the economy over the next two months.

The indicative timetable includes:

From 2 April:

A lifting of the ‘Stay at Home’ requirement and replacing it with a ‘Stay Local’ message (retaining the current, local authority-based travel restrictions for at least a three-week period) From 5 April:

Reopening of non-essential ‘click and collect’ retail

Extending the list of retail permitted to include garden centres (indoor and outdoor), key cutting shops, mobility equipment shops, baby equipment shops, electrical repair shops, hairdressers and barbers (with shopfronts – not mobile services) by appointment only, homeware shops and vehicle showrooms (appointment only) and forecourts

From 26 April:

Travel within all of mainland Scotland permitted (subject to other restrictions that remain in place)

Remaining shops can reopen, and mobile close contact services can resume

Gyms can reopen for individual exercise

Tourist accommodation to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering)

Work in people’s homes to resume

Driving lessons to resume

Weddings and funerals for up to 50 (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted)

Libraries, museums, galleries re-open

Outdoor hospitality to open till 22:00 with alcohol permitted. Indoor hospitality permitted without alcohol and closing at 20:00

From 17 May:

Further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 22:30 indoors with alcohol permitted and 2-hour time-limited slots and until 22:00 outdoors with alcohol permitted

adult outdoor contact sport and indoor group exercises can resume

Cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can re-open

Small scale indoor and outdoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints (to be confirmed following stakeholder engagement)

Non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors

June

The First Minister said it is too early to give specific dates beyond May. However, understanding the need for people and businesses to plan, from the start of June, it is hoped that Scotland can move back to Level 1 of the Strategic Framework, allowing further relaxation across all areas of the economy and society, while still applying physical distancing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions and the FACTS guidance.

A move to Level 0 is hoped to be able to take place from the end of June.


Business Support

The last four-weekly Strategic Framework Business Fund payment of up to £3,000 will be paid on 22 March, as scheduled and grants of up to £7,500 for retailers and up to £19,500 for hospitality and leisure businesses will be paid in April to help businesses re-open progressively. These one-off re-start grants will replace ongoing SFBF payments and will provide more money upfront to help with the costs of re-opening. Eligible businesses must have applied to the SFBF by 22 March in order to receive these payments.

Further Information

Link to the full indicative timetablehttps://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-timetable-for-easing-restrictions/pages/timetable/

Link to further information on support for businesses https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-timetable-for-easing-restrictions/pages/support-for-business/
Link to the First Minister’s statement https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-march-16-2021/
Link to News Release https://www.gov.scot/news/timetable-for-further-lockdown-easing/

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework is now operational, you can find out exactly which coronavirus lockdown restrictions apply to you by using the Scottish Government's postcode checker.

15 March 2021

Business Gateway’s Webinars

Sign up for Business Gateway’s national Webinars: including social media and search engine options.

Click here for ore more information

12 march 2021

Help to Grow your Business

The UK Governments Help to Grow programme will help small and medium businesses across the UK learn new skills.

To find out how this can help you check here

New temporary Tax Relief

From 1 April 2021 HM Revenue & Customs are introducing a temporary 130% super deduction for main rate assets and a temporary 50% first-year allowance for special rate assets.

For more details see here

More Funding Available to make Cycling Easier  

£1.79 million has ben allocated by the Scottish government to support 173 organisations across Scotland.

See here for more information

11 March 2021

New UK Government Testing Centre Opens in Govan, Glasgow

The UK Government has opened a new testing centre at Ibrox Football Centre in Glasgow Govan (G51 2XP).

For more details click here

10 March 2021

COVID-19: General Guidance for Safer Workplaces

The Scottish Government have updated the general guidance for workplaces and organisations during the pandemic.

For more information see here

Changes to Level 4 Restrictions

From Friday 12 March 2021, more people will be able to meet outside, the First Minister announced, following good progress in suppressing COVID-19.

For detail see here

9 March 2021

The CICV Forum has published new open-source COVID-19 advice

A handy checklist of questions, to help businesses prepare for spot checks and health and safety inspections.

 Check here to see more information

08 March 2021

Recovery Loan Scheme

The UK Government have detailed a Recovery Loan Scheme that will support UK businesses as they recover and grow following the disruption of COVID-19.

The scheme launches on 6 April 2021 until 31 December 2021.

For more information see here

Employment and redundancy Advice

Skills Development Scotland have given support and advice on redundancy, employment, online learning, and a wider support service.

Click here for more details

06 March 2021

Kickstart Scheme

The UK government have updated information on how to help employers with the Kickstart Scheme and how to add young people into job placements.

See here for more information and here to apply

New COVID-19 Testing Centre in Glenrothes

The UK Government have opened a new drive through testing centre in Bankhead Park in Glenrothes (KY7 6GH)

For more detail check here

05 March 2021

Northern Ireland Latest Guidance and Support

NI Business have updated their information and advice to include online training, trader support services, budget updates and webinars. Check here for more advice

03 March 2021

As part of the Budget, the UK Government has announced further support for you and your employees

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended to the end of September 2021.

The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, up to the end of June 2021.

For periods in July, grants will cover 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50.

In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.

You need to continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to the cap of £2,500 per month.

For periods between July and September, you will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grants yourself. 

You can top up wages above the 80% if you wish, but you are not required to do so.

You must continue to pay the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions on subsidised furlough pay from your own funds.

See here for more details on the changes and here to claim

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme eligibility from May

1‌‌ ‌May 2021 onwards, you will be able to claim for eligible employees who were employed by you and on your PAYE payroll on 2 March 2021.

This means you must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021.

You and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

For more information on the extension to the scheme and the support available, see 'Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

February Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims

You can now submit your claims for periods in February. These must be made by Monday‌‌ ‌15‌‌ ‌March.

You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your employees worked so you don’t have to amend your claim later.

Check if you and your employees are eligible and work out how much you can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples, by searching 'Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌‌‌.UK.

VAT Deferral

If you deferred VAT payments due between 20‌‌ ‌March and 30‌‌ ‌June 2020 and still have payments to make, you should pay by 31‌‌ ‌March 2021 if you can.

If you cannot afford to pay by 31‌‌ ‌March this year, you can now use the online VAT deferral new payment scheme to spread your payment.

The new scheme lets you pay your deferred VAT in equal monthly instalments, interest free. You can spread your payments across a number of months depending on when you join – the earlier you join, the more months you have to spread your payments across.

  • 11 instalments if you join by 19‌‌ ‌March
  • 10 instalments if you join by 21‌‌ ‌April
  • 9 instalments if you join by 19‌‌ ‌May
  • 8 instalments if you join by 21‌‌ ‌June.

You can join the scheme quickly and simply online without the need to call HMRC. To find out more information, including the things you need to do before joining, go to GOV‌‌‌.UK

The online service will close on 21‌‌ ‌June 2021 – if you want to join the scheme online, you must do so before this date.

1 March 2021

Webinars: Business Gateway national

Business Gateway have added new dates for several webinars across Scotland, with advice on bookkeeping, recruitment, sales and running a business.

See here for more details

All Households with School-age Children to get two Rapid Tests Per Week

The Department of Health & Social Care have announced that households with school age children, including those in support bubbles, will be eligible for two rapid tests per week as the schools return from 8 March 2022.

For more details see here

28 February 2021

New UK Government testing Site in Granton, Edinburgh

The UK Government have opened the 33rd walk-through COVID-19 testing centre in  Ainslie Park Leisure Centre Car Park in Granton, Edinburgh EH5 2HF.

Click here for more details

27 February 2021

Make sure your COVID-19 Secure in the Workplace

The Health & Safety Executive have set out an overview for employers, workers and the self-employed covering Risk Assessment, Social Distancing, Ventilation, Working from Home, Vulnerable Workers and more.

To see how to provide the information and complete a COVID-19 risk assessment click here

COVID-19 Information for Individuals and Business in Scotland

The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland has issued general guidelines and social distancing rules for people and businesses in Scotland.

For more information see here

25 February 2021

Essential Workers Prioritised for COVID-19 Testing

The Department of Health & Social Care have issued a recommended list for those essential workers who will be prioritised for COVID-19 testing.

Check here to see the list  

New Campaign to Encourage the Nation to Stay at Home

The Department of Health & Social Care have launched a new campaign over TV, Radio and Social Media, to encourage people to stay at home as the vaccine is being rolled out.

To see advice and view the campaign click here

COVID- Job Retention Scheme

HM Revenues & customs have updated the instructions on how to claim if your employer has out you on temporary leave through the furlough scheme. All claims must be made by 15 March 2021.

Check here to see if you are eligible and here to see how much you can claim

New COVID-19 Test Centre in Edinburgh

A new COVID_19 walkthrough test centre has opened by the UK Government in Edinburgh Niddrie, in the shared car park of the Jack Kane Leisure Centre and Jack Kane Community Centre in Niddrie, Edinburgh (EH16 4ND).

See here for more details

Latest on lockdown measures - Letter from SNIPEF CEO

Dear Member

This week the First Minister gave details of the updated Strategic Framework and set out an indicative timeline for easing lockdown restrictions, more details of which will follow mid-March.

Further information on the First Minister’s announcement can be found here  and a link to the statement here

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Members who have been adhering to the guidance and more recently regulations for working in the construction sector during the pandemic and remind those of you working in people’s homes that this should be strictly limited to the provision of essential work. Safer workplace guidance is released on a sectoral basis and can be found here.

In meetings I attended last week the reports made by the Scottish Government and HSE indicated that while there had been very few cases of COVID linked to construction, they have noticed a marked increase in the number of cases since the new year with raised concerns associated with weaker social distancing compliance, poor cleaning regimes, shared travel, and accommodation arrangements.

I would remind Members that while there may understandably be an element of COVID “fatigue” and at the same time optimism about vaccinations, we must not become complacent. There will we know be some businesses who continue to operate with disregard to the rules and regulations, but they do so at their own risk: risk of claims from their employees or customers, reputational risk, and insurance risk to name a few.  

By working together and following the guidance we know that we will have played our part towards the sector remaining open, albeit in a limited form, until we can resume “business as usual”.

Take care, keep safe and let us know if we can assist you in any way.

Best Wishes

Fiona Hodgson, Chief Executive

23 February 2021

Scottish Government Update

In a statement to Parliament today, the First Minister gave details of the updated Strategic Framework and set out initial priorities and an indicative timeframe for cautiously easing lockdown restrictions. Further details on the plans will be published in mid-March.

The First Minister said, while lockdown measures have had a positive impact, suppression of the virus is still heavily reliant on restrictions due to high transmissibility and case numbers. However, it is hoped that vaccination will become the main tool for suppressing the virus once the vast majority of the adult population has received at least one dose.

The Framework sets out:

A progressive easing of the current level 4 restrictions that apply across most of Scotland at intervals of at least 3 weeks - along with changes nationally on education and care home visiting - with the immediate priority being the continued return of schools. The first easing started yesterday with the partial return of schools.

A move – subject to the data allowing it - fully back to a levels system from the last week in April, when it would be expected to see phased but significant re-opening of the economy, including non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers. More detail will be set out in mid-March on the indicators that will guide decisions on levels, as well as on any revision to the content of each level - taking account of experience and sectoral views - and the order in which we expect those parts of the economy that have been restricted to start reopening.

Ongoing financial support, which is set out in the Framework, continuing to be available to businesses. This includes the ongoing commitment to fund the Strategic Framework Business Fund and to provide Level 4 payments for an additional month once businesses are moved down a level. These proposals are contingent on receipt of additional consequential from the UK Government.

Further Information:
Read the updated Strategic Framework

The Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework is now operational, you can find out exactly which coronavirus lockdown restrictions apply to you by using the Scottish Government's postcode checker.

Safer workplace guidance is released on a sectoral basis and can be found here.

Grants are available for businesses that are required by law to close or to significantly change operations as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Find out who is eligible and how to apply here.

The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.

Easing of Lockdown Restrictions

The Scottish Government’s phased and careful easing of lockdown restrictions has been outlined by the First Minister.

For full information and proposed dates check here

22 February 2021

Covid-19 Employee Testing Guidance

The Scottish Government have set out advice and expectations for employers running private COVID-19 testing among their staff.

See here for more information

Quick Guide for COVD-19 Business Support

Top tips and getting your applications right have been issued by Find Business Support.

To access the information click here

20 February 2021

Care Home Residents to be Allowed, One Visitor

The UK Government have announced that all care home resident will be allowed one indoor visitor from 8 March 2021.

For more details see here

19 February 2021

A new vaccine campaign has been rolled-out

Celebrities and social media platforms have teamed up with the NHS and the UK Government to show support for the vaccine roll-out.

For more information and the links to Facebook and Twitter click here

18 February 2021

Kickstart Scheme Update

The UK Government have updated the Kickstart Scheme funding for those who have already been offered funding.

Check here to see updates

16 February 2021

Scottish Government Update

The First Minister in a statement from parliament this afternoon announced the latest review of the COVID-19 results and restrictions.

Apart from the phased return to schools planned from 22 February 2021, all other current restrictions will remain in place,

Scottish Government is setting out a revised Strategic Framework to implement a gradual route out of the restrictions.  The updated framework will be published within next two weeks following discussions with opposition parties, business organisations and trade unions, third sector bodies and others.

It will set out as far as possible the conditions that need to be met, in terms of the data, exit from lockdown and it will detail the overall order of priority for re-opening, including what a return to a geographic levels approach might look like for the future.

In addition, retail, tourist, hospitality, and aviation businesses will pay no rates during 2021-22 under proposals outlined today by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. It is one of a series of measures proposed following confirmation of a further £1.1 billion of consequential funding arising from UK Government COVID-19 spending.

Two funds to help support people who have been affected by COVOD-19 are now open to applications. These include grants that will be available for mobile and home-based close contact service businesses – such as make-up artists, hairdressers, and registered driving instructors – and the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, which paid out more than £11 million in vital support last year, will also re-open for a second round.

Travel Advice

The UK Government have updated the guidance for those who are legally permitted to travel abroad during the pandemic.

For more information check here

15 February 2021

International Travel and Managed Isolation

From 04.00 Monday 15 February 2021, you will be required to quarantine in managed isolation for 10 days on arrival in Scotland. The Scottish Government have issued guidelines on how to book and pay for your managed isolation and further information can be found here.

COVID-19 Self-Isolation Factsheet

The Scottish Government have issued an updated version of the COVID-19 factsheet, if you or anyone in your household have any symptoms and need to self-isolate.

For more details see here

COVID-19: Jobs that Qualify for Travel Exemptions

The Department for Transport and Border Force have published the jobs that are exempt from quarantine, passenger location forms and testing requirements.

For the latest information click here

13 February 2021

New Testing site in Kirkcaldy

The UK Government have opened a new walk-through COVID-19 testing centre at Overton Community Centre in Kirkcaldy (KY1 3JP) All tests must be booked in advance at NHS Inform or by calling 0800 028 2816.

Form more information see here

12 February 2021

Local Authority Discretionary Fund

Scottish Local Authorities will be distributing a £120 million fund to help with short-term financial challenges experienced by businesses. This fund is for those who have not been eligible for previous support grants.

See here for more information

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

The UK Government highlights apprentices and employers throughout the UK, paying tributes to both employers and apprentices.

For more details see here

Northern Ireland latest support and guidance

Invest Northern Ireland and indirect Government Services have set out the guidelines for minimum wage, support and advice for the self-employed, UK visa sponsorship for employers and a newly self-employed support scheme.

For more see here

09 February 2021

Self-Assessment tax Payments

Hm Revenues and Customs have updated the advice for self-assessment tax payers who deferred their 2020 payment on account.

For full information see here

08 February 2021

General Guidance for Safer Workplaces

The Scottish Government have updated the guidance for those working in businesses and organisations not covered by sectorial guidance. This covers tradespeople providing goods and services in or to other peoples homes.

For full guidance check here

Repayment Options for Bounce Back Loans

HM Treasury have announced more flexibility for replaying bounce back loans, this includes delaying repayments for a further six months and tailored payments according to individual needs.

For more details see here

6 February 2021

Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Introduced

From 15 February 2021 anyone traveling to the UK will be required to quarantine in a Government-approved facility for 10 days. The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed this will be mandatory and will be in touch will all travellers entering the UK.

For more detail see here

New UK Testing Site in Glasgow

A new UK Government walk-through testing site has opened in Pollock Community Centre in Glasgow (G53 5DP)

See here for more information

5 February 2021

Scottish SME’s to benefit from Open University Funding

Open University has launched training and funding up to £5,000 for small to medium-sized businesses through a new programme launched on 1 February 2021

For more information see here

03 February 2021

New measures to tackle COVID-19

The Scottish government have announced a series of new measures of supervised quarantine and expansion testing as the schools return.

To see more information click here

Support for those who need to self-isolate

The £500 support grant has been extended for people on low incomes, earning the living wage or less as part of the Scottish Government COVID-19 response plan.

To see eligibility click here

Back to School

The phased return of early learning and childcare and primary 1-3 is due to start from 22 February 2021. The Scottish Government have also said that a limited number of S4-6 will also be able to attend school for practical work only.

See here for more information  

03 February 2021

NI Apprenticeship Recovery Package Schemes

The NI Department for the Economy (DfE) launched an Apprenticeship Recovery Package for Northern Ireland last year with the aim of providing financial support to local businesses to help the apprenticeship system respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.  

One scheme, the Applications for the Apprenticeship Challenge Fund, closed last year but there are two other schemes still available:

Recruitment of New Apprenticeships

This incentive is available to all employers to support the recruitment of new apprentices. Employers will be eligible for up to £3,000 for each new apprenticeship opportunity created from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. This bonus will apply to all new apprenticeship opportunities and includes apprentices who have been made redundant:

  • Payment 1 - £2,000 after 90 days retention following start* of new apprenticeship
  • Payment 2 - £1,000 after 200 days retention following start* of a new paid apprenticeship

Further details on the scheme, full eligibility terms and how to apply can be found here

Apprenticeship Return, Retain and Result Scheme

To help return apprentices from furlough, and retain them until 31st March 2021 and on to successful completion of their apprenticeship, DfE will provide incentive payments to employers to support the return, retention and result for apprentices.  The total amount payable under the scheme will be a maximum of £3,700 per apprentice, distribution as follows:

  • Return - £500 per returned furloughed apprentice payable for the first full month of paid apprenticeship from 1 November 2020
  • Retain – maximum of £2,000 available: £500 per month for up to 4 months of paid apprenticeship between 1 December 2020 and 31 March 2021
  • Result - £1,200 for successful full framework achievement of a returned furloughed apprentice

Further details on the scheme can be found here

01 February 2021

Strategic Framework Business Fund

To receive this via Find Business Support fund, you must apply by 5 February 2021. This is for business that are required to close by law during the COVID-19 restrictions.

See here for more details

30 January 2021

Trading conditions that affect your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

HMRC have updated the guidelines and given examples of eligibility on how to claim for the fourth grant to be announced 3 March 2021. Applications for the third grant are now closed.

For more details see here

29 January 2021

Western Isles in lockdown

Due to an increase in prevalence of COVID-19 and an increase in infection rates Na h-Eileanan Siar will move to Level 4 from 00.01 Saturday.

Clinical advice is that the move to lockdown is necessary to avoid the NHS becoming overwhelmed.

Nobody who lives in an area under lockdown should leave or remain outside their home except for an essential purpose like caring responsibilities, outdoor exercise and work that cannot be done from home.

Read more

Business Rates Relief

The Scottish government have introduced relief rates to help non-domestic properties during see here to COVID-19.

See here to see if you are eligible

28 January 2021

Scottish Government Budget Update 2020 – 2021

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced a 1.1 billion support for jobs and skills, including a new Green workforce Academy, £100 million Green Jobs Fund, £7 million towards a Digital Business Hub and £125 million for a Young Person’s Guarantee (skills and employability).

A £90 million family budget is also available for Local Councils to freeze the council tax.

This along with an increase of 5.3% increase for Health to over £16 billion and the £869 million to tackle COVID-19 more than triples the increase to health funding by £500 million above inflation.

Further proposals also cover:

  • £1.9 billion for primary health care to help deliver more services in the community. A further £550 million is earmarked to build new Elective Care Centres and the Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre in Aberdeen
  • £711.6 million for affordable housing and £68 million for the first full year of the Scottish Child Payment, tackling child poverty
  • £3.1 billion in resource and capital investment for education and skills, and £567 million to provide 1,140 hours of early learning and childcare.
  • £27 million to expand woodland creation, supporting green jobs
  • £11.6 billion for local government, which represents a £335.6 million increase in core revenue funding, including the £90 million to compensate local authorities which choose to freeze Council Tax, plus £259 million in one-off funding
  • £98.2 million to improve Scotland’s digital infrastructure.
  • a new £55 million programme to support town centres and community-led regeneration projects.

Further details can be found here, with the Full Scottish budget 2020/2021 available to download online

COVID-19 Grants Pay-Back

The UK Government have updated how to pay back overclaimed grants, or if you want to make a voluntary repayment if you do not want or need the grant for wages, tax or pension contributions.

See here to use the online service  

Border Controls to protect Public Health

The Home Office and the Department of Public Health have announced further action of outbound and inbound passengers to minimise travel and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

For full information see here

27 January 2021

Homeworking Guidance

The CICV Forum has published guidance and a checklist for working from home. It includes information on Health and safety, IT support, emotional needs and contracts.

View it here

26 January 2021

How to calculate your employee’s wages

HMRC have updated examples on how to calculate your employee’s wages, National Insurance contributions and pensions if you are claiming through the COVID-19 job retention scheme.

See here for more information on how to calculate and here to see if you can claim.

Scottish Government Interventions in response to Covid-19

In response to the challenging impacts of Covid-19, the Scottish Government has introduced a range of interventions to maximise apprenticeship uptake and create opportunities for young people throughout Scotland.  

Apprenticeship Employer Grant

The Scottish Government have introduced a new Apprenticeship Employer Grant to encourage more employers to take on apprentices.

The grant includes £5,000 for employers taking on or upskilling a 16 to 24 year old apprentice, and for those aged up to 29 years old who are disabled, care leavers and Minority Ethnic. Any employers who take on or upskill an apprentice aged 25 or older will receive a financial incentive of £3,500. 

Funding will be available for eligible employers where the apprenticeship start date was on or after 1st December 2020 and will be available until 25th March 2021.


Adopt an Apprentice

The Scottish Government allocated £10 million on measures to recruit and retain apprentices helping Modern and Graduate apprentices who are facing redundancy get back into work. This includes the enhanced Adopt an Apprentice programme of a £5,000 incentive for employers who are willing to employ a redundant Modern or Graduate apprentice.

Further information on Adopt an Apprentice can be accessed on Adopting an apprentice (ourskillsforce.co.uk).

Young Person’s Guarantee

Officially launched by the Scottish Government last year, our Young Person’s Guarantee sets out our ambition that within two years every 16-24 year old in Scotland will either be in paid employment, enrolled in education, involved on an apprenticeship or training programme, or engaged on a formal volunteering or supported activity programme.

Further information on the guarantee can be accessed on The Young Person's Guarantee | My World of Work.

Creating Job Opportunities - Employer Recruitment Incentives

As part of the Young Person’s Guarantee, £30 million has been allocated by Scottish Government to Local Authorities for additional investment in local partnerships. A significant part of the funding will be for employer recruitment incentives with these incentives delivered by each of the 32 local authorities.

For more information speak with your local authority employer recruitment team.

Pathway Apprenticeships

As part of the Young Person’s Guarantee, our £10 million Pathway Apprenticeships programme, aimed at 16 and 17 year olds, is already up and running and will help young people gain key skills in sectors like construction, business skills, software and hardware IT, engineering and early years, helping them prepare for the world of work.

Further information on Pathway Apprenticeships can be found on Apprenticeships | Pathway Apprenticeships.

Flexible Workforce Development Fund

In response to the introduction of the UK Government Apprenticeship Levy, the Scottish Government introduced the Flexible Workforce Development Fund which allows levy-paying employers to access up to £15,000 to upskill and reskill their workforce.

The Scottish Government have doubled the Flexible Workforce Development Fund to £20 million, providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities to the existing workforce, and have opened it out for the first time to non-Apprenticeship Levy paying SMEs to help them adapt as required.

Levy-paying employers can access up to £15,000 with wider access through colleges or Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in 2020/21. SMEs will be able to access up to £5,000 through college and Open University training in 2020/21.

Further information on the Flexible Workforce Development Fund can be accessed on Flexible Workforce Development Fund (ourskillsforce.co.uk).  

Individual Training Accounts

Individual Training Accounts are available to help people develop the skills they need for work, giving people who are unemployed or in low paid work the opportunity to access £200 towards training. Applications for the Individual Training Accounts scheme are currently open until the 28th February 2021.

Further information on Individual Training Accounts can be accessed on SDS Individual Training Accounts (ITA) | My World of Work.

National Transition Training Fund

The National Transition Training Fund aims to tackle the rise in unemployment caused by Covid-19 by offering short sharp training opportunities for people to learn in-demand skills. Anyone age 25 and over who is facing redundancy or is unemployed is eligible for the fund and will equip people with the skills they need to enter into sectors or occupations where we are most confident of a strong recovery, high demand, or tangible job opportunities.

Further information on the National Transition Training Fund can be found at National Transition Training fund | My World of Work.

Kickstart Scheme Grant updates

The department for Work and Pension are updating the Scheme from 3 February 2021, removing the threshold of 30 job placements.

To see more information check here and to apply here

22 January 2021

Vaccination Campaign

The Health and Social Care Department have issued a new campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible.

To see the “Roll their Sleeves up” Campaign check here

Letter from the Finance Secretary

The Scottish Government Finance Secretary has provided an update on support for business during COVID-19 through a letter directly to businesses in Scotland.

To see the letter in full click here

Updated Construction Operating Guidance

The CICV Forum have produced updated COVID-19 Construction Operating Guidance.

Read it here

How to treat benefits and expenses for employees during COVID-19

The UK Government has issued guidance on availability of Taxable expenses and benefits and how to report them to the HMRC, depending on the individual benefit and/or expense.

See here for more information.

New walk-through COVID-19 test Centre

The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Department of Health & Social Care have opened a new walk-through testing centre at Bridge Street, Car Park in Paisley (PA1 1XN)

This gives Scotland 6 drive through sites, 26 walk-through sites and 21 mobile units.

For more information click here and to book a test contact NHS inform or call 0800 028 2816

Essential work infographic

The CICV Forum has produced a handy infographic giving an at-a-glance guide to essential domestic #construction work and the health & safety measures that should be taken during any projects

Download it here

15 January 2021

COVID-19 Guidance for Safer Workplaces

The Scottish Government has issued updated guidelines for those businesses and tradespeople who provide goods and services in or to other people’s homes. This includes engineers’, domestic installations, cleaners, and furniture deliveries. Strict limits are now in place, with work only being legally allowed that is essential for the upkeep of maintenance and to maintain the functioning of a home.

Work carried out inside homes can continue within COVID-19 protection levels, but strict limits should be adhered to at level 4 or lockdown restrictions.

This includes utility engineers, electricity, gas, water, and solid fuel. Urgent repair can only be conducted as long as they do not threaten the safety of the householder and the engineer.

A minimum of 2 metres should be maintained at all times, with good ventilation and face coverings worn.

Ensure the customer has provided contact details for trace and track.

Physical and hand hygiene and avoidance of contact with household surfaces should be mitigated to avoid transmission.

A range of guidance is available for those undertaking work within households, this includes physical distancing, face coverings, working in domestic properties, close contact, travel and transport and for those who need to isolate.

If your job involves dealing directly with clients and customers remote tools should be used where possible and face to face meeting should only happen where essential.

See here for more details

Guidance on Working from Home

The Scottish Government have updated the guidelines for those working from home for employers and the employee.

See here for contents

Limited Company Directors Support Scheme NI

The minister for the Economy has issued details, administered by Invest in Northern Ireland a scheme to support company directors who have been impacted by COVID-19.

To see what is available click here

New Self-Employed Support Scheme NI

Invest in Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy have launched a support scheme designed to support newly self-employed individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19.

To see who eligible click is here

COVID-19 Restriction Business Support Scheme NI

Business forced to close in Northern Ireland can apply for A Business Support Scheme issued by the Department for the Economy, which has now reopened.

Part A available here and part B here

All UK travel corridors temporarily suspended

The Department for Transport have issued new border measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coming into the UK. From Monday 18 January 2021 all travel corridors have been suspended.

See here

14 January 2021

 Support and Help if your Business is affected by COVID-19

HMRC have released recorded webinars and email alerts to help with the Job Retention Scheme, Income Support Grant Extension and Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

To sign up for updates click here

Aruba, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, Chile, Qatar, Madeira, and the Azores removed from the corridor travel list

The Department for Transport have removed the above from the travel corridor list and people returning to the UK from these countries will now need to self-isolate for 10 days.

For more information see here and a list of countries where you can travel to and may not have to self-isolate can be found here

Travel from South American destinations Banned

 New travel restrictions from 4am Friday 14 January 2021 will come into place for passengers arriving in the UK from South America, Portugal, Panama, and Cape Verde.

For more details see here

 Advice for jobs that are qualify for travel exemption

The Department of Transport, UK Visas and Immigration and Border Force have issued a list of jobs that qualify for travel exemption and self-isolation.

For details see here

13 January 2021

Rules tightened for domestic work

Today the First Minister made a statement regarding tightening the rules for tradespeople working inside people’s homes.

“We will strengthen the provisions in relation to work inside people’s houses. We have already issued guidance to the effect that in level 4 areas work is only permitted within a private dwelling if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household. We will now put this guidance into law.”

We will update members once the regulations are published.  

Lockdown Restrictions

The Scottish Government has issued new measures to be introduced from 00.01 on Saturday 16 January 2021. These covers working from home, click and collect and restrictions on the consumption of alcohol in public places. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said” “At this critical and dangerous moment, please: Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”

See here for more information

COVID-19 guidance for working from home

Update guidelines have been issued for working from home has been issued for Employers and employees. The stay at home regulations came into effect on 5 January, with the Scottish Government advice covering Health and Safety, Communications, planning and support and operational guides.

Click here for more information

Safe site practices

Please be aware that the Scottish Government has directly raised the importance of ensuring employees adhere to the following safe practices:

It’s so important, more than ever just now, that Members reinforce this across the board.  Please cover these important practices in toolbox talks or email employees to reinforce safe practice regarding the virus.

12 January 2021

Webinars

Scottish Enterprise have provided free webinars from sector and market specialists on immigration, tier two licence holders, the energy sector and how to implement digitalisation.

Online events also include a master class in email marketing tools, International Ecommerce, selling with Amazon, digital health care and access to an International Exhibition on offshore technology 2021.

To register to attend and watch the webinars here

Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary residents

The UK Government has updated information for those outside the UK and British Nationals who need to apply for a passport and are affected by travel restrictions associated with COVID-19

See here for updates

Visiting care homes and out of care

The Department of Health and Care have issued new guidelines for residential care for older people, adults of working age, care providers and those planning to enable visits to care homes.

To see details on how to set up arrangements for visits out of care homes see here and for visiting care homes see here

List of Private Providers of COVID-19 Testing

The Department of Health and Social Care have released a list of private providers for testing who meet the governmental standards.

To access the list click here

Vitamin D opt-in Service for Vulnerable Groups

The NHS have issued guidelines and a free opt-in 4-month supply of daily supplements of vitamin D for all adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

See here for more information

Travel Advice COVID-19

Updated information has been made available from the UK Government for those who are departing from Scotland travelling over seas during the pandemic, if they are legally permitted to travel.

For updated advice see here

11 January 2021

Claiming for wages through the Corona Virus Retention Scheme

The UK Government has extended the scheme to 30 April 2021, however, all claims for furlough days in December must be submitted by 14 January 2021. More information on how to claim and what you will need can be found here

Manufacturing guidance for COVID-19

The Scottish government have set out guidance for the manufacturing sector, with procedures for implementing a safe environment for all during the pandemic. This includes workforce planning, operational guidelines, assessing the risk and compliance.

To see more check here

PPE: Local contacts for providers

The UK Government has drawn up a list of who can get PPE through their local Authority or local resilience forum. Click here to see if you are eligible.

UAE removed from travel corridor

People returning from the United Arab Emirates to Scotland will now need to self-isolate for 10 days.

See here for more information.

Deployment of first British-manufactured testing for COVID-19

The department of Health and Social Care has announced that two million tests will be validated and rolled out by 15 January 2021.

For more information see here

8 January 2021

£4.6 Billion in grants to support retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and projects

A one-off grant has been announced to help retail, hospitality and leisure businesses through to spring, worth up to £9,000 per property. HM Treasury has also made available discretionary funding to support other impacted businesses.

To find out more click here

University and college return delayed

The vast majority of University students will be taught online, with returns not due to the end of March. Colleges will be following the set guidelines of their local authorities; the Scottish Government have divided this into a phased return.

For more information see here

Quarantine Rules for international travel

Updates and travel advice have been made for the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This takes effect from 4.00 Saturday 9 January 2021

Visit here for full information

Stay at home guidance guide to childcare

Parentclub.scot in conjunction with gov.scot website has issued guidelines for those with children at Schools, nurseries and other childcare needs. The rules on informal childcare are staying the same as they were at level 4.

Full details can be found here

Transport Scotland Advice for travelling in a vehicle with others

You should only travel with members of your own, or extended, household.

There may be occasions when there is no alternative but to travel with people from out with your household. This should be limited as much as possible.

On such occasions, you should:

·       keep to small groups of people, up to 6 at any one time

·       keep your distance and take care entering and exiting the vehicle

·       sit as far apart as possible in the vehicle, avoiding face-to-face

·       maintain good ventilation by keeping the car windows open

·       wear a face-covering, unless you are exempt

·       clean your hands before and after your journey

·       if the vehicle is your responsibility, clean the door handles and other areas that people touch.

·       If you regularly share transport whether it is a car or minibus or other private vehicle, try and share with the same people each time.

If you are travelling in a vehicle as part of your job or business, safe operation of workplaces applies, therefore please refer to your employer. For employers, you may wish to refer to guidance for safer workplaces.

7 January 2021

Mask for Task

Please follow the health and safety advice regarding masks from the CICV Forum.

6 January 2021

Safe Travel to work

Please follow the travel safety advice from The CICV Forum when going to and from work.

5 January 2021

New restrictions

Scotland

Following yesterday’s lockdown announcement by the First Minister, Scottish SNIPEF members should note the following key points:

  • At present, outdoor workspaces, construction and manufacturing premises can remain open but employers should plan for minimum numbers of people on-site; this will be kept under review.
  • Guidance for tradespeople in Level 4 is as before, i.e. tradespeople should only go into a house to carry out or deliver essential work or services i.e. utility safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations, and the carrying out of repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the household’s health and safety.

Business representatives from the sector are meeting with the Scottish Government today to discuss whether further restrictions will be required.

Read the Scottish Government guidance here

Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive issued the statement below from 26 December for 6 weeks,

“Unless they are specifically required to close under the regulations, workers, builders, tradespeople and other professionals can continue to go into people’s houses to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries.”

The Northern Ireland Executive is meeting today to discuss whether further restrictions will be required.

Read the Northern Ireland Executive guidance here

Please see CICV Forum guidance for relevant Health and Safety information

Physical distancing and businesses guidelines

The Scottish Government have updated the guidelines for businesses regarding physical distancing, so that workplaces can maintain a safe environment while operating in regulation with compliance.

View here

Updated guidance for safer workplaces

The Scottish Government has issued updated safety guidance for training and compliance, risk assessment, planning and support, deliveries distribution and visitor sites.

This also includes tradespeople providing services in other people’s houses.

Full guidance can be found here

Strategic Framework Business Fund

Find Business Support have issued new details for Scottish business that are required to close or are restricted by law due to COVID-19, a grant has been made available. With the earliest date of a claim backdating to 2 November 2020.

Grants will be paid 4 weeks in arears and paid through local authorities

Eligibility and claim details are available here

18 December 2020

Northern Ireland 6 week lockdown

The NI Executive has announced that from 26 December there will be a 6 week lockdown.

Media comments and coverage about which businesses will be forcibly closed have been confusing and we are very conscious that many firms are closing today for Christmas.  We have been engaging in the past 24 hours with the Executive and its Departments and whilst the detail still does not appear to be published, we have had it confirmed from within the Executive that "Sectors such as manufacturing and construction can continue to operate".

To keep up to date with guidance as it emerges please check the NI Direct website Coronavirus (COVID-19) | nidirect for the latest updates.

Furlough and loan schemes extended

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. Also extended is The Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Read more here

Travel health rules updated

Travellers arriving in Scotland from Namibia, Uruguay and the US Virgin Islands must quarantine for 10 days at home or another address, from 4 am on Saturday (19 December).

Read more here

14 December 2020

Marks for Tasks

The CICV Forum have issued guidance on wearing masks during COVID. The campaign ‘Mask for Task’ shows operatives how to wear masks and what type to wear.

View the guidance here

2 December 2020

COVID-19 vacation programme

Regulators have authorised the first vaccine for use in the UK. Deliveries of the first coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to Scotland are expected early next week, with injections being given from Tuesday 8 December.

Read more

Apprentice employer grant

A new Apprenticeship Employer Grant will be available from early January to further support employers when taking on Modern or Graduate Apprentices within their business.

Read more

1 December 2020

COVID-19 Sector Advice Card for Construction

The Scottish Government have issued a COVID-19 Sector Advice Card for Construction.Designed for managers and employees to guide action to prevent the spread of COVID-19; to support workplace communications and training, and take action in the event of an outbreak.

View it here

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on coronavirus.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more 

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.

Read more 

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. 

Read more 

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. 

Read more

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. 

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more 

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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