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COVID-19: Retail Opening Timeline and SSP Claim Calculator

We’ll be covering the announcement that the Statutory Sick Pay Online Claim Calculator is now open, the Prime Minister’s timeline for retail businesses to open, and the additional government guidance updates for businesses.

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Statutory Sick Pay – Government Calculator Open

The calculator to claim back SSP due to Coronavirus is now live on the Government website. See: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-statutory-sick-pay

You are only responsible for paying SSP if:

  • you pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for your employee (or would do if not for their age or their level of earnings)
  • your employee was sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days)
  • your employee has told you they’re sick within your own time limit (or 7 days if you do not have one)

You cannot use the calculator for periods of sickness before 6 April 2011.

Contact us if you need assistance. We can help you complete any claim(s).

Prime Minister Sets Out Timeline For Retail To Reopen In June

Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out a timeline for retail to reopen in June.

Thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres across England are set to reopen next month once they are COVID-19 secure and can show customers will be kept safe, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed today.

The Prime Minister has set out:

  • Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. As with garden centres, the risk of transmission of the virus is lower in these outdoor and more open spaces. Car showrooms often have significant outdoor space and it is generally easier to apply social distancing.
  • All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare.

Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.

The government is taking action to help businesses re-open and protect their staff and customers, including:

Publishing updated COVID-secure guidelines for people who work in or run shops, branches, and stores, after consultation with businesses, union leaders, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Working with local authorities to continue to carry out spot checks and follow up on concerns by members of the public.

The updated guidance considers the best practice demonstrated by the many retailers which have been allowed to remain open and have applied social distancing measures in store. Measures that shops should consider include placing a poster in their windows to demonstrate awareness of the guidance and commitment to safety measures, storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor, placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas, and frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals, for example.

The vast majority of businesses will want to do everything possible to protect their staff and customers, but tough powers are in place to enforce action if they do not, including fines and jail sentences of up to two years.

As per the roadmap, hairdressers, nail bars and beauty salons, and the hospitality sector, remain closed, because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher where long periods of person to person contact is required.

General Government Announcements

Over the Bank holiday weekend, the Government has been busy outlining new funding and changes to legislation. Below is a summary of key announcements. Please scan through these as some will be important to you, your business, and your loved ones.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and cannot do

The most frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do?utm_source=c8e98732-5687-4ced-8368-f7ecd3e73714&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Business support grant funding – guidance for local authorities

Guidance for local authorities setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding?utm_source=1bc31221-7a64-4a82-8e9f-88e1fd4a4bc4&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Reopening High Streets Safely Fund guidance

Guidance to help local authorities and partners to deliver activities supported through the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-high-streets-safely-fund-guidance?utm_source=5f8590d8-6723-4259-b449-f6059b1e51f1&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Financial support for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to respond to coronavirus 

The government has pledged £750 million to ensure VCSE can continue their vital work supporting the country during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including £200 million for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, along with an additional £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts.

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-support-for-voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-vcse-organisations-to-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19?utm_source=03c3e55f-a62b-4b1e-8033-249b50bfa282&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

£50 million Funding to support the recovery of high streets

The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help councils in England introduce a range of safety measures in a move to get people back to work and customers back to the shops.

To prepare for the reopening of non-essential retail when the scientific advice allows, the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help councils in England introduce a range of safety measures in a move to kick-start local economies, get people back to work and customers back to the shops.

It will also support a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers. This will help get businesses get ready for when they can begin trading safely, not only in high streets and town and city centres, but also in other public spaces like beachfronts and promenades.

Councils will also be able to use this money to develop local marketing campaigns to explain the changes to the public and reassure them that their high streets and other commercial areas are safe. 

It is the government’s ambition to reopen non-essential retail in a phased way from 1 June, subject to the scientific advice. The government will set out further detail on how and when these can reopen safely shortly.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/50-million-boost-to-support-the-recovery-of-our-high-streets?utm_source=a66dbfa1-4808-44f7-94d9-56af80c1f2c2&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

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