General Business Help & Support News England - 01.11.2021

Below is our weekly roundup of changes to government support information generally and for businesses, employers and the self-employed.

Menopause in the Workplace Toolkit

The UK workforce is ageing. People want and need to work for longer and employers need to draw more effectively on an older workforce. For women this is particularly true – they have been the major drivers of growth in the older workforce over the last decade.

Many women now return to work after childbirth and the reform of the pension system has extended women’s working lives. There are now five million women over 50 in the workplace, and many will be transitioning through the menopause.

Employers are now understanding the importance of supporting employees during the menopause in order to retain valuable knowledge, skills and experience within a key workplace demographic. The experience of these leading employers has shown that often simple actions, such as education and awareness-raising, can make a real difference.

The Menopause in the Workplace Toolkit has been produced by Business in the Community (BITC) in collaboration with The Open University, University of Bristol and De Montfort University.

The Menopause Toolkit is available to all during October 2021.

It provides insight on how the menopause impacts on women in the workplace and information on: 

  • reducing business costs
  • what employers can do to help
  • additional resources

See: Menopause in the Workplace - Business in the Community (bitc.org.uk)

UK government secures COVID-19 antivirals

In view of criticism about the slow roll out of booster jabs and rising numbers of infections and deaths, the UK government has secured COVID-19 antivirals to be rolled out through a clinical study from winter. The deals made by the Antivirals Taskforce are a step in its ambition to secure at least two new effective treatments by the end of the year for those who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with the virus.

Should the treatments be approved by the UK’s medicines regulator, thousands of NHS patients will be able to access the treatments to prevent the infection from spreading and speed up recovery time. The two new antivirals are expected to be given to those most at risk from the virus, helping reduce the severity of symptoms and ease pressure on the NHS over winter.

See: UK government secures groundbreaking COVID-19 antivirals - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Coronavirus: Film and TV Production Restart Scheme

The Film and TV Production Restart Scheme makes direct compensation available to eligible pre-existing and new productions that incur costs caused by coronavirus-related losses, such as abandonment or filming delays from illnesses amongst the cast and crew.

Eligible productions will receive compensation for costs caused by coronavirus delays up to a value of 20 per cent of the production budget, with the abandonment of productions due to coronavirus to be covered up to 70 per cent of the production budget. There will be a total cap of £5 million on claims per production.

The funding is available to all productions made by companies where at least half of the production budget is spent in the UK.

You must make an application via the appointed third party administrator, Marsh Commercial.

You can download the claim form from their website. Once complete, email your form along with all supporting documentation to mailto:restartschemeclaims@marshcommercial.co.uk.

Future claims made under the scheme can be backdated to 28 July 2020.

The registration deadline for this scheme is 23:59 GMT on 30 April 2022, and claims will be able to be submitted up to 23:59 GMT on 30 September 2022 for losses incurred up until 23:59 GMT on 30 June 2022.

See: Film & TV Production Restart Scheme - Scheme Rules - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Private providers of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing

The lists of and information about private providers who have self-declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for the type of commercial COVID-19 testing service they offer has been updated.

See: Private providers of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

DVLA Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

DVLA online services are working as normal and without delay. This is the quickest, easiest, and often cheapest way to deal with them. They recommend that you use the online services where possible. If you apply online, you should receive your driving licence or vehicle registration certificate (V5C) within 5 days.

If you have posted your paper application to them, here are the dates of applications they are currently processing.

Find out the date of applications DVLA are processing and how to access their online services below.

See: DVLA Coronavirus (COVID-19) update - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Submit your Kickstart Scheme vacancies

Applications to the Kickstart Scheme are closing soon. After 17 December 2021 you will not be able to apply for a new Kickstart Scheme grant or add more jobs to an existing grant agreement

You can submit your Kickstart Scheme vacancies after you have received a successful outcome to your online Kickstart Scheme grant application below.

See: Submit your Kickstart Scheme vacancies - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

This guidance is for apprenticeship providers, employers, assessment organisations and apprentices.

It describes:

  • the temporary flexibilities which have been applied during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
  • how and when apprentices can safely train and take assessments in the workplace, educational and assessment settings

See: Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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