Local restrictions and your business

Government has now placed South Yorkshire in the ‘Very High’ alert level for Coronavirus, effective from Saturday 24th October and to be reviewed after 28 days.

The package of support for the region includes £30m for businesses affected by the new measures, as well as their employees. We are working through what this support will look like and will update this page as soon as possible.

The Growth Hub is guiding businesses through the array of support that is available to local businesses during this time – please do get in touch to find out the best support available.

Some important points to know for employers and employees:

  • Work from home if possible
  • Travel is allowed for work but reduce the number of journeys you make and avoid travelling in to or out of very high alert areas if possible.
  • Pubs and bars not serving substantial meals will have to close.

The 3-tier alert system

At 00:01 Saturday 24th October, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield will enter into ‘Very High Alert’ (Tier 3) restrictions for Coronavirus. This is the highest alert level in England and the most severe set of restrictions in force.

You can find the latest government information on the government website.

Paying employees during local restrictions

The government has announced that it will pay two thirds of staff wages if businesses are forced to shut in lockdown areas. Businesses whose premises are legally required to close because of restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work, with the government paying two thirds of each employee’s salary (67%) up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages but will be asked to cover national insurance and pension contributions. The scheme will launch on 1 November and run for six months, with a review in January. Businesses which are already legally closed, such as nightclubs, will also be eligible.

The government is also increasing cash grants available to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks.

Mayor Dan Jarvis and the four council leaders Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, Mayor Ros Jones, Cllr Chris Read and Cllr Julie Dore have written to the Prime Minister asking him to back the five point plan to protect people, jobs and businesses. Read the letter on the Sheffield City Region website.

Reopen your business safely during coronavirus

Risk assessments

It’s a legal responsibility to protect your employees and other people on site. Adjustments and risk assessments are a great way to guide you through the steps you need to take to reopen your business safely.

You can carry out a risk assessment online in the reopening your business safely tool.

Face coverings

People are now required by law to wear masks in shops, supermarkets, indoor transport hubs, indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies, post offices and on public transport.

Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020 notice

Here is a notice to display to show your customers and colleagues that you have made your workplace COVID-secure. This has been updated to reflect the change to the guidance on working from home.

Sector Specific Guidance

Whatever sector your business is in, there is specific guidance available to help you to reopen and operate safely. This guidance is outlined below, with links to more detailed information from Government.

NHS Test and Trace Service

The NHS Test and Trace service will support businesses and economic recovery by:

  1. Providing free testing for anyone who has symptoms of Coronavirus.
  2. Asking those that test positive and their close contacts to self-isolate to stop the spread of the virus in the workplace.
  3. Enabling the government to go further in safely lifting lockdown measures.

The new NHS Covid-19 app is now live. The app allows people to report symptoms, order a Coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that may have Coronavirus. Businesses and organisations should display official NHS QR code posters at their venue entrances to help support contact tracing. Details on how to create your poster can be found here. You can find further information and resources here.

It is now mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, including the hospitality and tourism and leisure sectors, close contact services, local authority run services and places of worship, and to retain customer details for 21 days. In the hospitality sector, pubs, bars and restaurants will be required to refuse entry or service to customers who refuse to provide NHS Test and Trace data. You can find out more about what this means for your business here. 

Guidance on reporting an outbreak.

Get in touch with the Department of Health and Social Care for any queries that you may have on local lockdown with this new email created (updated 17.08.2020) TTDHSCexternalaffairs@dhsc.gov.uk

Public Transport

Government guidance has been issued which details that if you are able to work from home, then you should continue to do so for the foreseeable. All workers who cannot work from home should travel to their workplace either by bike, walking or private car.

If this is not possible, Travel South Yorkshire have up to date travel information and advice on using public transport in the region and what you need to do, including wearing a face covering on board all public transport as well as in interchanges and stations.

How we are helping – Re-Start to Growth

Experienced local business consultants can support you to get your business back on track with Re-Start to Growth – a free support initiative where you will have access to experienced and skilled experts to help assess, plan and restart your business. It’s an agreed programme of intensive support.

Renewal Action Plan

The Renewal Action Plan supports people, businesses and places across South Yorkshire with interventions designed to make Sheffield City Region’s economy stronger, greener and fairer.