A letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to all businesses registered in England about free COVID-19 tests for staff who cannot work from home has been published. This urges employers with 50 or more employees to utilise the free lateral flow testing kits to test their staff.
The test kits are entirely free of charge until 30 June 2021 for firms that have registered by 31 March at https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests
The Department for Health and Social Care will also offer advice and guidance to support setting up testing facilities, along with a list of accredited private providers who can organise testing on your behalf if preferred. Companies with fewer than 50 employees can take advantage of community testing for their staff.
Lateral flow tests are good at detecting those who are infectious and have already been hugely successful in finding positive cases that would not otherwise be found, enabling those people to be taken out of the transmission chain. Workplaces that have introduced regular testing find they can plan with more certainty and spot individual cases before whole teams fall ill.
Companies House (CH) Update
Strike off (dissolution)
Following a temporary pause, CH resumes their strike-off processes from 8 March 2021. They will continue to write to companies who are late filing their annual accounts or confirmation statement and help them bring their record up to date.
They state they understand that this is a difficult time and that they are committed to supporting businesses that may be struggling with their filing requirements during the coronavirus outbreak.
Access coronavirus business innovation support package
Existing award holders and additional business advisory support services can access the scheme providing continuity grants and loans. The scheme has been updated to replace Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) with Innovate UK EDGE.
Up to £90 million is available in continuity grants, paid upfront, to SMEs and third sector organisations who are existing Innovate UK award holders and who are at risk of abandoning their project due to a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funds directly related to COVID-19.
These grants are for eligible organisations that expect to have a funding gap (between £25,000 and £250,000) in the remaining period of their project because they are facing loss or damages, such as reduced access to capital, canceled orders or increases to costs, and are therefore seeing cashflow disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.