UK Rules That Have Been Relaxed to Help Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have published a list of the rules that have been temporarily relaxed to make it easier for businesses to continue working through the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).
The government has temporarily relaxed the rules in the following areas:
- Annual leave: Workers will be allowed to carry over leave into the next 2 years.
- Business rates revaluation postponed: Revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus.
- Childcare funding: Councils will be able to move around government funding for free childcare entitlements to make sure sufficient childcare places are available for vulnerable children and those of critical workers.
- Companies House enforcement: Enforcement process has been relaxed, including temporarily pausing the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved.
- Competition law: Rules have been relaxed for certain agreements that would normally be considered anti-competitive.
- Corporate insolvency and governance: New measures have been introduced to relieve the burden on businesses, including:
- temporary easements on filing requirements and Annual General Meetings (AGMs)
- a new moratorium to give companies breathing space from their creditors while they seek a rescue
- temporarily removing the threat of personal liability for wrongful trading from directors
- Delivery drivers’ hours: Rules have been relaxed for 30 days for drivers supplying supermarkets.
- Destroying spoilt beer: Temporary measure to help brewers and publicans.
- Driver CPC requirement: Temporary changes to allow bus and lorry drivers who cannot complete compulsory Driver CPC training to continue to drive.
- Energy supply: Guidance from Ofgem on how to manage this.
- Eviction protection for commercial tenants: A ban on eviction for businesses who cannot pay their rent.
- Filing accounts and annual statements: 3-month extension from Companies House.
- Gender pay gap reporting: Deadline suspended for one year.
- Hotel accommodation for key workers: Letter to hotel chief executives allowing them to offer accommodation to support key workers and vulnerable people.
- Intellectual property services alterations: Patent applications.
- MOTs suspended: vehicle owners have been given a 6-month exemption.
- Navigation charges deferred: Charges for air navigation services in European airspace deferred for up to 14 months.
- Off-payroll working rules (IR35): The new rules have been delayed by 12 months.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitiser: New suppliers will be able to bring products to market more quickly and easily.
- Pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways: Pubs and restaurants will not need planning permission.
- Right-to-work checks: Temporary adjustments will make it easier for employers to carry out.
- Statutory Residence Test: Temporary changes for those coming to the country to work on COVID-19 related activity.
- Tax cuts to reduce PPE cost: PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against coronavirus will be free from VAT for a 3-month period.
- Taxable expenses: Find out what is taxable while employees are working from home.
For further information on any of the above, please see the full Government Guidance at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rules-that-have-been-relaxed-to-help-businesses-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic
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