Covid-19: useful information for print businesses


UPDATED 18.5.20: Printweek is here to help in any way we can during the coronavirus crisis. We've put a host of useful links and info in one place, and we’ll keep updating this article with new information as it becomes available.

Here to help with useful information and advice in one place
Here to help with useful information and advice in one place

GOVERNMENT ADVICE AND SUPPORT


Covid-19: general advice for citizens
The latest government instructions on what we all need to do / not do

 

11 May update: Government publishes recovery strategy, and roadmap to lift restriction step-by-step.

 

Further update, 11 May: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) publishes new guidance Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new guidance covers different types of workplace and can be found here

 

NEW: Trade Credit Insurance Guarantee scheme

Announced on 13 May: HM Treasury is planning a new Trade Credit Insurance guarantee scheme.

Details should be in place by the end of May. Printweek's story about the new scheme can be found here

 

Covid-19: support for businesses

Information about the total package of measures put in place to support businesses.

The government has added a step-by-step guide to the support available

 

HM Government Business Support

This new website helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

Includes daily business bulletins detailing any new information.

 

Government webinars

Various government departments are hosting webinars to help businesses understand the support available.

For topics that cover supporting and retaining staff and the self-employed, register to attend future webinars or watch recorded sessions

For international trade register here

For small businesses register here

For changes to reporting, regulation and tax register here

 

Government measures, announced on 28 March

Regulations temporarily suspended to fast-track supplies of PPE to NHS staff and protect companies hit by Covid-19.

Government announces it will amend insolvency law to give companies breathing space and keep trading while they explore options for rescue

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), aka the ‘furlough’ scheme

This is the government web page that is being updated with details about the furlough scheme

12 May update: Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the JRS will be extended to 31 October, and will include additional flexibility. From August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time "with employers being asked to pay a % towards the salaries of their furloughed staff". More information here

17 April update: confirmation that the HMRC portal will go live at 8am on 20 April.

The application service can handle up to 450,000 applications an hour. Employers should then receive the money to pay their employees within six days, enabling them to meet the April payroll.

We know that many printing companies are keen to engage with this scheme. 

You will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

Read the step-by-step guide for employers about what to do and how to make a claim

An update was made on 15 April regarding newly-employed staff that firms can now claim for Employers can now claim for furloughed employees that were on the PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020. [The previous deadline was 28 February.]

Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to HMRC) and were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Further update 17 April: Following on from the 16 April announcement that social distancing measures would be kept in place for at least another three weeks, chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would now be open until the end of June – providing businesses with the certainty they need.

12 May update: Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces that the JRS will be extended until the end of October.

From August to October the scheme will continue, for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work. Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time. 

The government is also going to ask employers to start sharing the costs of paying people’s salaries, with details to be announced by the end of May. 

 

Covid-19 Self-employment income support scheme

This is the HMRC scheme for people who are self-employed, or a member of a partnership, and have lost income due to coronavirus. Information on how to claim a grant here

5 May update: HMRC is beginning to contact people who may be eligible for the scheme. 

Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.

The claims service will open on 13 May and is being delivered ahead of the original timetable. The claims process will be "very simple", and those eligible should have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, "or within six working days of completing a claim". 

HMRC's online checker went live on 4 May, which lets individuals check their eligibility for themselves, as well as giving them a date on which they can apply. 

 

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme 

18 May update: If you are a business with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing two weeks of coronavirus related Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government.

Find out how you can prepare for the new rebate scheme and check if your firm is eligible

 

Tax changes for companies using contractors (IR35)

HMRC has announced that the changes to the off-payroll rules due to come into effect on 6 April 2020 have now been delayed until April 2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic "and to help businesses and individuals deal with the economic impact of Covid-19".

Note: This is a delay to the introduction of the changes and is not a cancellation.

Information on how to prepare can be found here

 

Covid-19: general guidance for employees, employers and businesses

 

Covid-19: Information for individuals and businesses in Wales

 

Covid-19: Information for businesses in Scotland

 

Covid-19: Information for businesses in Northern Ireland

 

 

Health & Safety Executive

Latest information and advice that relates to HSE matters

Joint statement from HSE, the TUC and CBI clarifying safe working for employees who cannot work from home. Firms that can safely stay open and support livelihoods should not be forced to close by misunderstandings about government guidance.

HSE guidance on social distancing at work

14 May update: New HSE guidance published following the government's Covid-secure workplace advice, to help employers keep workers safe during the outbreak. 

It covers the steps you should take to protect workers and others, in line with normal legal duties in managing risk and risk assessment at work.

The two new guides will help you manage the risk from coronavirus in your business during this time:

Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak - a short guide
This guide covers who should work, protecting those at higher risk, getting into and leaving work, organising work areas, and good hygiene.

Talking with your workers about working safely during the coronavirus outbreak
Guidance on consulting your workers and measures to prevent coronavirus in your workplace and to make it Covid-secure.

 

Companies House

Updated information on 16 April: Companies House will temporarily pause the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved. This will give businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak the time they need to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register.

Firms were already able to apply for a three month extension to file accounts. 

More information can be found here.  

 

 

ACCESS TO FINANCE


HM Treasury

Factsheet how to access government support if you or your business has been affected by Covid-19

HM Treasury guidance page related to Covid-19

 

British Business Bank

The British Business Bank has put in place the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, or CBILS.

Update: From 20 April, this scheme is being extended to firms with turnover of £45m-£250m. Companies will be able to apply for short-term loans and financial support - up to £25m - if they have been impacted by the virus shutdown.

More information about the extension of CBILS announced on 16 April.

Firms with sales of more than £250m can now also access the support, but if they do so they cannot also access the Bank of England's special Covid Corporate Financing Facility. 

24 April update: a new 'sale and HP back' variant via CBILS which operates in addition to any support businesses may currently be applying for or receiving through their bank. Businesses can apply to refinance current hire purchase or lease agreements and unencumbered machinery to release working capital, providing an increase in funding, potentially lower repayments and 12 months interest free. It is available via Compass Business Finance (see below).

Printing industry specialist Compass Business Finance is one of the accredited lenders tasked with delivering the scheme. Story here 'Compass ready with new government backed finance'. 

Compass website www.compassbusinessfinance.co.uk  

 

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

19 May update: HM Treasury has announced that its Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), designed to help bigger businesses, is being increased to a maximum loan size of £200m.

The scheme previously had two options: loans of up to £25m for firms with sales of between £45m-£250m; and loans of up to £50m for firms with sales of more than £250m.

The new loans will be available from 26 May. Firms can borrow up to 25% of turnover, up to the £200m ceiling.

It is being delivered through the British Business Bank, via accredited lenders.

However, the scheme also has comes with new caveats around dividends and executive pay. Read more here.

 

Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses

27 April update: Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new Bounce Back Loan scheme targeted at small businesses, with fast-track loans from £2,000 to £50,000 available without any complicated pre-conditions.

The government will cover the interest bill for the first 12 months. Application will be via a simple online form, with the scheme set to launch on 4 May. This new loan scheme will run alongside CBILS.

 

Financial Conduct Authority

Fact page with information for businesses and consumers

 

 

USEFUL RESOURCES


Printweek matchmaking service

We’ve set up a page with details of print firms that have shuttered or spare capacity that could be used for the production of essential items, or items that are in unusually high demand because of the crisis.

You can find the list here.

We’ll update the list regularly as new information comes in.

 

BPIF advice for members

(Requires member log-in) www.britishprint.com/coronavirus 

BPIF information and advice for companies with apprentices / furloughed apprentices

BPIF Impact Survey results (first survey carried out from 23 March - 6 April)

BPIF Support Schemes Survey (second survey carried out from 22-30 April)

 

IPIA

Information and advice for members ipia.org.uk

IPIA and BAPC joint industry impact survey. Results can be downloaded here

 

ICSM Credit

Advice about chasing down unpaid invoices. ICSM recommends using any downtime to go through your ledger and urgently draw up a list of overdue accounts.

ICSM has created a suite of free legal letters "which have an 87% success rate within 14 days".

Also offers debt collection services. 

Contact: Ian Carrotte Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com  www.icsmcredit.com

 

Royal Mail

Service status updates www.royalmail.com/coronavirus

Royal Mail 'Open for Business' incentive scheme went live in May and runs until the end of the year

 

Paper merchants

Merchants have adapted their operations in line with official advice on hygiene and social distancing. 

Antalis has set up a dedicated helpline on 01530 517298 or contact@antalis.co.uk. This is for any questions directly relating to Covid-19, or to provide feedback on how Antalis can further support customers.   

Denmaur Paper Media said that to date its supply chain remained robust with minimal impact from the virus, although some manufacturers are taking downtime. Stock levels remain strong.Please continue to e-mail or call your local office / contacts as you would in normal circumstances.

EBB said that it continues to have high levels of stock through its network of warehouses. None of its facilities, or supplier facilities, are currently in a quarantined area. For questions or further information, contact your usual EBB sales representative.

Premier Paper said that product availability remains good, however in order to meet the challenges caused by the virus crisis it will be necessary to make some changes to delivery schedules. All account managers and branch teams are contactable by telephone or email.

Warren Board, part of the Aims Group, said its Leicester and West Bromwich sites are operating normally (with social distancing measures in place) and additional stocks are in place. It is offering flexibility on orders for call off where possible. The merchant has ordered a 'significant number' of Korsnäs reels, available cut to size within five working days. The firm has also made a 1,115sqm warehouse unit in Leicester available to the NHS.

 

ECMA and Pro-Carton - transport of cartonboard

The European Commission has confirmed that the transportation of packaging, including paper-based cartons and cartonboard, will be able to use its fast-track ‘green lanes’ and has updated its Guidelines for Border Management to reflect the recommendation.

ECMA, the European Carton Makers Association and Pro Carton, the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers, have issued a document in 11 languages for hauliers to display when transporting printed cartons and cartonboard. A hi-res version is downloadable here.

 

The Printing Charity

Can offer practical and emotional support for industry colleagues in need.

Email support@theprintingcharity.org.uk or call 01293 542 820.

The Printing Charity has also responded to the coronavirus crisis by fast-tracking the rollout of its confidential telephone helpline service to SME print businesses, providing a free emotional and practical support service for employees.

The service is completely free to companies and their employees, all costs are covered by the Printing Charity. However, a company director has to sign the business up to the service for staff to be able to access it. Once signed up, employees' immediate family members in their household can also use the helpline.

More details and information on how to sign up, here

 

HR magazine

Also published by Printweek's publisher, our sister magazine has lots of useful advice on HR issues caused by the pandemic.

 

Public Health England

Dashboard showing reported cases of coronavirus in the UK, including new cases, cases by upper tier local authority in England and number of deaths.

Version for viewing on desktop computers or mobile version

 

Covid-19 symptom tracker

Non-profit initiate to help support scientists at King’s College London help our health services.

Take one minute to self-report daily, even if you are well. Help King's College scientists identify:

  • High-risk areas in the UK
  • Who is most at risk, by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions
  • How fast the virus is spreading in your area

App can be downloaded on the App Store or via Google Play. More info here https://covid.joinzoe.com/

World Health Organization

Covid-19 global situation dashboard (updated daily)

WHO has also put together a suite of materials on the mental health and psychosocial support aspects of Covid-19. Includes a useful infographic on 'coping with stress during the outbreak'.

 

 

FREE STUFF

For more information on useful free resources for work and play, visit the separate article here

 


Want us to add something to this page? Please send suggestions for other useful links to printweek.newsdesk@markallengroup.com with the subject line 'Covid-19 useful info'

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