Click here to download a PDF of our latest weekly Keeping You Informed newsletter, or read it below.
This week our update on government announcements focuses on the launch of the online application portal for the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, and an update from TfL on their approach to managing London’s transport system in the coming weeks. They have provided a business briefing which is in the link below.
On Tuesday, we teamed-up with Kingston Chamber of Commerce to provide our Voices for Kingston for Kingston session on Commercial Law Changes during Coronavirus. The panel included commercial law experts from Russell Cooke and Pearson Hard Solicitors, along with serviced office company City Skyline. To view the webinar click here or watch it below. Our webinar series will return in June with guests discussing business issues and providing specialist advice on themes linked to how we gradually approach reopening and modifications of the lockdown.
Our contact details for business support and advice to our members is below.
Business Support Announcements and Updated Guidance
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to launch
On Tuesday, the government announced that from 26 May small and medium size employers, with less than 250 employees, will have access to a new online service to recover Statuary Sick Pay [SSP] payments. Businesses will be able to receive repayments that have been paid to current or former employees from the 13 March 2020. The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks of SSP. It is important to note that in order to claim employers should keep records of all the SSP payments they would like to claim.
Find Out More: How you claim and details of the criteria for sick pay can been found on the government website.
Housing Market Re-Opens
Last week the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed that Estate Agents could officially re-open in order to kick start the housing market. Agents are being advised to consider how and when to reopen their premises given government guidance on safer working. Strict government led guidelines have been put in place on how viewings and housing moving operations can be managed safely during the pandemic.
Find Out More: All details for estate agents on how to activate house viewings and sales can be found on the government website.
Radical transformation of London’s Streets
Transport for London this week released ‘The London Streetscape’ programme. Developed in response to the governments easing of the lockdown restrictions the plan looks at how London streets will be radically transformed to accommodate the increase in cycling and walking. TfL are working with local boroughs across London at how plans such as widening pavements and creating new temporary cycle networks can be implemented across the capital.
Find Out More: A detailed business briefing pack has been put together by TfL, to read in full please click here.
Government Business Support Helplines:
- Coronavirus Business Support Tool: online help tool from the government on how to get access to the right financial support.
- Government Business Support England Helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm on 0300 456 3565
- HMRC Helpline: is open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm on 0300 200 3200.
Draft re-opening guidelines for Pubs and Restaurants announced
On Wednesday UKHospitality submitted proposals to ministers on how the hospitality industry could re-open safely. The draft guidelines have been written for pubs and restaurants and although businesses are required to complete site by site risk assessments the template has been designed to act as a ‘blanket guidelines’ for all those businesses hoping to open in July.
Click here to read about the guidelines on Big Hospitality.
Supporting Mental Health
To mark the start of Mental Health Week workplace experts ACAS published new guidance to help support employers to manage their staff’s mental health at work during the pandemic. With the easing of the lockdown restrictions there has been increased concerns from employees around safety and a physical return to work, ACAS have laid out some practical advice on how employers can support.
We are planning a Voices for Kingston webinar which will focus on how businesses should approach ongoing employee mental health during this pandemic details to follow.
Kingston Town Centre Footfall
For w/c 10 May, footfall across Kingston town centre was -81%, compared to the same week in 2019. By comparison for the same week, across Greater London footfall was -83% and across the UK it was -81%.