General Business Help & Support News England - 04.10.2021

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

Business and industry challenges in filling vacancies

The government has published an analysis of UK businesses' ability to fill job vacancies across different industries, and reasons for any recruitment challenges. The data covers Summer 2021, primarily after coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions were eased.

Hospitality businesses are more than twice as likely as other industries to be experiencing challenges in filling vacancies compared with normal expectations for this time of year. Between 23 August and 5 September 2021, 30% of hospitality businesses said that vacancies were more difficult to fill than normal. This compares with 13% across all industries (up from 9% in early August).

Vacancy challenges are more common for larger businesses. Excluding those with fewer than 10 employees, 41% of businesses across all industries were struggling to fill vacancies in late August, up from 32% earlier in the month.

These difficulties coincide with a very busy time for recruitment, according to the latest labour market data, with hospitality among several industries posting record numbers of vacancies in June to August 2021. Aside from hospitality (30%), the water (27%) and health (23%) industries were most likely to be finding it more difficult than normal to recruit staff in late August.

See: Business and industry challenges in filling vacancies - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Live Events Reinsurance Scheme

The scheme rules for the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme have been published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

On 5 August 2021, the government announced that it is partnering with insurers to offer a cost indemnification insurance scheme which will make cover available against the cancellation, postponement, relocation or abandonment of events due to new UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to COVID-19.

The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme will support live events across the country — such as music festivals, conferences and business events — that are at risk of being halted or delayed due to an inability to obtain COVID-19 cancellation insurance. Cover will be available to purchase alongside standard commercial events insurance for an additional premium.

The scheme will not cover loss of revenue prompted by lower demand for tickets or venue capacity, and the scheme does not cover self-isolation of staff or performers. The scheme will cover a limited series, or run, of linked events, provided that the event organiser specifies which event dates from that limited series, or run, require cover and how much cover they are purchasing for each.

The Scheme will run to 30 September 2022 with a review point in Spring 2022. Cover will be available to purchase through participating insurers. A number of prominent insurers in the Lloyd’s market, including Arch, Beazley, Dale, Ark and Munich Re, are supporting the scheme. Event organisers can now start approaching these insurers to discuss their cover.

The full scheme rules, as published by DCMS, can be found on this page: UK Live Events Resinsurance Scheme (publishing.service.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 recently been updated.

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

Red, amber, green lists: check the rules for travel to England from abroad

From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.

See: Red, amber, green lists: check the rules for travel to England from abroad - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities

There is updated guidance following Prime Minister’s statement on the autumn and winter plan.

This guidance provides advice to landlords and tenants on the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020, and further advice for landlords, tenants and local authorities more broadly about their rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

See: COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

First UK manufactured rapid tests deployed across England

Rapid COVID-19 tests made by SureScreen in Derbyshire are the first UK-made lateral flow device (LFD) to get the green light for supervised testing. Rollout of SureScreen tests will support the testing of university students as they return to campuses and lecture theatres. The first UK-manufactured rapid tests – otherwise known as lateral flow devices or LFDs – are being rolled out to universities across England.

See: First UK manufactured rapid tests deployed across England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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