Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:
Friday evening, 20th March, saw the announcement of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme offering grant support to cover 80% of salary costs of anyone not working due to Coronavirus
Deferred VAT and Self-Assessment payments:
VAT payments have been deferred for 3 months.
Self-Assessment tax payments due on 31st July 2020 have been deferred until 31st January 2021
Closure of Pubs, Clubs, Bars and Restaurants:
The Government announced that from Friday evening, all pubs, clubs, restaurants and bars were to close until further notice to help in the spread of the disease. They will only be allowed to open to provide a take-away service where interaction was restricted.
Yesterday evening’s press conference from the Prime Minister concentrated on two key areas: Protecting the Most Vulnerable and Social Distancing – ‘stay at home’!
Protecting the most vulnerable
Now steps have been introduced to protect and shield the most vulnerable including social isolation for a period of 12 weeks, a necessary step to protect them from Coronavirus, to stem the spread of the disease and to reduce the strain on the NHS including staff, ICU and respiratory equipment.
This week, NHS England will contact those ‘who have clinical conditions which are likely to put [them] at the highest risk of mortality and severe morbidity.’
The wider group, who broadly speaking comprise the criteria of adults eligible for an annual flu vaccine, will not all be proactively contacted but have been asked to take steps to reduce their social interactions in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
Government updates here
There is a subset of this group who have clinical conditions which are likely to put people at the highest risk of mortality and severe morbidity from COVID-19.
The group includes:
1. Solid organ transplant recipients
2. People with specific cancers • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer • People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors. • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD 21 March 2020 2
4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
6. People who are pregnant with significant congenital heart disease
People identified as being in these groups will be sent a letter with advice on how to protect themselves and access the care and treatment they need during the COVID19 incident. This involves strict social isolation with no contact from the outside world beyond that absolutely necessary, for a period of at least 12 weeks.
Letters should start arriving by Tuesday 24th March with the first supply parcels by end of next week
Social Distancing – stay at home
It is crucial that people heed the measures that have been put in place around ‘social distancing’ and wherever possible, stay at home except for unavoidable trips, for instance to buy food & supplies or visit the pharmacy.
As of yesterday afternoon, the Prime Minister was still urging people to take the current advice, stay at home as much as possible. However, he did say that it was also important that people still go outdoors but that everyone must stay at least 2 metres apart social distancing, crucial that advice is followed.
However, the Prime Minister didn’t rule out more stringent measures and may introduce Lockdown to stem the spread further and to ensure people act upon the advice that has been given.
From today, all schools and colleges in England will close for the foreseeable future.
Only pupils whose parents / carers / guardians are designated KEY WORKERS and vulnerable children will be able to continue to attend – check the list here
Health & Wellbeing: Find out more here
Across the UK, much of the public transport network has brought in revised timetables and frequency.
Northern Rail updates
Latest changes across Stockport – https://marketingstockport.co.uk/news/changes-to-bus-rail-services-affecting-stockport/
John Lewis will close all its stores from close of business today.
McDonalds chain of restaurants across the UK will also close, even for take-aways.
Business Growth Hub:
The Business Growth Hub hosted a series of webinars looking at support available for businesses and these are now available online: https://www.businessgrowthhub.com/coronavirus/resources/2020/03/coronavirus-business-support-webinar-series
Stockport Council have announced that they will be launching a job matching website in the next few days to help support individuals across the Stockport borough who are looking for work.
The service, Stockport Jobs Match, will help to connect employers who have urgent temporary or permanent vacancies with applicants who are immediately available and in need of employment.
The website will feature job opportunities from all sectors including those that are experiencing a surge in demand or need to cover priority functions due to sickness, such as retail, warehouse, driving, cleaning, healthcare, social care and education.
Individuals will be able to upload their CV (or an overview of their recent employment and key skills if they do not have a CV) to be alerted to open vacancies.
Employers will be able to submit details of their vacancy, the experience or minimum criteria required from applicants, the working hours and duration. They will then receive notifications directly with suitable applicants and a copy of their CV where included.
The Stockport Jobs Match service will be a free to use resource by both individuals and businesses. The website will be launched in the coming days and will also help signpost individuals to available support services and information.
Jobs available in Stockport – https://marketingstockport.co.uk/news-category/coronavirus-recruitment/
Latest News: For further information, follow the latest Coronavirus News updates at https://marketingstockport.co.uk/coronavirus-information/