Coronavirus | Hub

Stay updated on the coronavirus pandemic

This page provides an index to all our COVID-19 related content and the latest updates on this ever-changing situation. Scroll down to see the updates plus links to essential documents and webpages which you can download and view. 

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new: CORONAVIRUS HEALTH & SAFETY SPOT CHECKS BY THE HSE

The Government has updated its advice on self isolation and the workplace and what is expected of employers and employees. The updated guidance also covers what each should do if they receive contact alerts from the NHS Test and Trace app.

Click below to see our new page regarding the updates. It includes a summary of the guidance with links to the relevant pages on the Government and NHS websites. 


new: GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS ON CORONAVIRUS IN THE WORKPLACE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is continuing to carry out spot checks and inspections by calling, visiting and inspecting all types of businesses in all areas to ensure they are continuing to work safely since following the removal of some coronavirus restrictions in July 2021.

The spot check programme provides expert advice during the calls and visits, advising businesses on how to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors. HSE are also working closely with local authorities, assisting them in the sectors they regulate such as hospitality and retail.
Officers that visit premises will be carrying identification from their business and a letter of authorisation from HSE. If you wish to verify an officer that calls or visits your organisation, please call 0300 790 6896.

If you receive a call or visit from HSE, you should participate in the spot check as failure to follow current health and safety guidance could lead to enforcement action

You can find out more about the HSE Spot Check programme by clicking below


ACAS ADVICE ON HYBRID WORKING

Acas has published advice on hybrid working to help employers who are considering introducing it and to help them develop policies for managing requests from staff wanting to split their time between working remotely and in the workplace. 
The advice was developed with the Acas Council and the Flexible Working Taskforce chaired by BEIS and CIPD. 
It covers; Considering hybrid working, consulting and preparing, creating a policy, treating staff fairly, supporting and managing staff.
For more information, click the button below to visit the dedicated hybrid working webpage at Acas.


RECOVERY LOAN SCHEME LAUNCHED APRIL 6, 2021

The Recovery Loan scheme was launched on April 6 to help businesses as they recover from the coronavirus pandemic and remains open to applicants until December 6, 2021 (subject to review).
Click below for more information.

Priority steps for businesses

Before you reopen your premises to the public, please make sure you have taken the appropriate actions to ensure the wellbeing and safety of your customers and your employees.

Click the link below for risk assessment forms and other essential documents and guidance.


England

For the latest information on restrictions to trading during coronavirus in England click the button below.

Scotland

For the latest information on restrictions to trading during coronavirus in Scotland click the button below.

Wales

For the latest information on restrictions to trading during coronavirus in Wales click the button below.

Northern Ireland

For the latest information on restrictions to  trading during coronavirus in Northern Ireland, click the button below.


Essential Links

The UK government has set up a series of Helplines and Webpages which you will find useful in managing your business and finding the right support during the current crisis. 


FAQs

We have included a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to keeping your business safe and compliant during the coronavirus emergency.

Try and visit these often as we are constantly updating them when new information arrives in and the situation changes.

Financial Support Index

Click below to view links to all the information you need regarding the various financial support packages that the government has made available to business.

Includes full detail on the CJRS (Furlough) scheme, bounce back loan scheme, claiming for holiday pay & SSP, income tax plus support for the Self Employed.

Bulletins

The latest Government-issued bulletins for businesses and employees contain important advice and updates supplied by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Click below to view the bulletins and stay appraised of the latest updates.


Organisations

Click on 'Organisations' to view essential advice, information and guidance provided by the NHS, ACAS and the government.

The advice from these organisations takes precedence over any other content on this page.

Documents

Click on 'Documents' to find links to the documents we have been sent by the government & advisory agencies or published ourselves. Includes setting up your COVID-19 Risk Assessment

(You will need to be logged in to your Retra account to view all of these)

Retra Risk Assist

You should also check in with Retra Risk Assist where you can view, download and follow links to a variety of additional business resources to help you manage the current situation.

(You will need to have an account with Retra Risk Assist to view these pages)


MORE USEFUL INFORMATION

Government guidance on face coverings

Please remember that until further notice, it is still mandatory for people to wear face coverings in retail premises. See below for the Government's official guidance  on the use of face coverings. 
Click below to see more.

Data protection during coronavirus

As lockdown restrictions start to ease and businesses begin to reopen, the ICO has set out the key steps organisations need to consider around the use of personal information. Click below to view our page on managing your personal data policy during coronavirus with particular emphasis on data relating to your employees.


GENERAL ADVICE


As a rule, employers should continue to do the following:

Keep communication flowing. 

This is an ever-changing situation so it’s important to keep talking about the actions you are taking. 

Have an open-door policy for any concerns that employees may have.

In addition, you should make it your duty to familiarise yourself with the general guidelines listed below:

  • Review and update all employee contact numbers and emergency contact details.
  • Know where your staff are travelling to and returning from. This applies to both business and holiday travel.
  • Remain current with government advice The rules, restrictions and regulations now vary from region to region as well as nationally. You should make it a habit to check the current guidelines with your local authority. 
  • Managers should be informed of how to spot symptoms of coronavirus, (see 'organisations' and 'FAQs' above).
  • Have a clear process to follow if someone is diagnosed with coronavirus. You can login and download our Managers Guidelines to help you with this.
  • Have a home working policy. The general advice is that employees and managers should still work from home if they can. Clearly this isn't possible with shop floor staff but it may be possible to allow some of your operational workers to do so, perhaps even on a rotational basis.
  • Have a business continuity plan. The pandemic has already changed the business landscape and will no doubt change it further in the months ahead. It is highly unlikely that things will return to how they were before coronavirus. Therefore, you should have a plan in place to ensure the survival of your business going forward.
  • Consider the wellbeing of your employees. The crisis has caused a general deterioration in peoples' mental health across the globe and this will affect the behaviours and performance of the people you work with. Check in on our partners at retailTRUST for excellent advice on how to spot signs of increased stress and how to manage and support colleagues who may be suffering in the workplace.


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