Coronavirus News: The impact on Teesside businesses

Digital Teesside hopes to help you by providing all updates on the coronavirus outbreak and how it is affecting Teesside business’ health and safety, employees and funding, all in one place.

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HEALTH AND SAFETY

All businesses in Teesside should take extra precaution and follow all government guidelines and guidance from the NHS and WHO. 

Government guidelines on staying at home:

If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

EMPLOYEES

Sick pay

You can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.

If you are staying at home because of COVID-19 you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine.

To check your sick pay entitlement, you should talk to your employer, and visit the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) page for more information.

Furloughed workers

If your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access support to continue paying part of your wage, to avoid redundancies.

This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Support for rent costs

You should check your eligibility for Universal Credit, which is available for people in and out of work. Support for rental costs will be paid through Universal Credit.

FUNDING

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees

We will bring forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. Find out more. 

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. Find out more.

Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. Find out more.

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will support SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years. Find out more.

New technology challenge to support people who are isolating

Funding is now available to tech companies to develop digital solutions to tackle the effects of social isolation. Find out more here. £500,000 of funding is available for technology companies who come up with digital support solutions for people who need to stay at home because of coronavirus. Find out more.

If you are still unsure on anything, check the GOV website for coronavirus (COVID-19) and what you need to do, here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus