Category Archives: Covid19

(COVID-19): Free UL safety data sheet for Hand Sanitiser, in the language of your choice

Businesses all over the world are beginning to manufacture hand sanitizers to meet the critical need. For manufacture and shipment of such products, a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is required, but many new manufacturers lack the expertise to create these required documents.

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a “Guide to Local Production: WHO-recommended Handrub Formulations” that contains specific formulations for both ethanol-based and isopropanol-based hand sanitizers. Additionally, in the United States, under the current public health emergency the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a “Policy for Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency”.

Following the specifications set forth in these documents, UL has created an SDS for both the ethanol-based and isopropanol-based hand sanitizer formulas that comply with both WHO recommendations and FDA requirements.

UL, states that safety is at the heart of their mission and drives every decision they make. they applaud the many groups who are stepping up to increase the supply of hand sanitizer in their communities and want to make their job easier. UL Safety Data Sheets are available in the relevant regional Globally Harmonized System (GHS) formats, and what’s better, they are currently offering them free of charge.

To obtain your free copy of an SDS, please complete the request form and email your completed request form to the email address provided. You will then receive your Safety Data Sheet in PDF format via email within two business days.
Link to Request form: https://msc.ul.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/UL-WHO-Formula-Hand-Sanitizer-SDS-Request-Form.pdf

EC Guidance on applicable legislation for hand cleaners and hand disinfectants

Guidance on the applicable legislation for leave-on hand cleaners and hand disinfectants (gel, solution, etc.)1

BACKGROUND

Following the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease many actions have been carried out in EU to prevent and reduce the transmission of the virus. This includes enhanced hygiene practices. As preventive measure against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommends “Washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or cleaning hands with alcohol-based solutions, gels or tissues is recommended in all settings”.

The use of hand cleaners and hand disinfectants in forms of gels, hand wipes or other leave-on products has increased dramatically in the last weeks and this has resulted in general shortages across most EU countries. Several economic operators, mostly SMEs, are investing/considering to shift production chain and increase production of Hand cleaners and Hand disinfectants to respond to the additional needs in the context of the current Coronavirus crisis. In that sense, we have noticed a steep increase in the submission to the Cosmetics Product Notification Portal under the Cosmetics Regulation (Article 13) and related questions on the applicable legislation. In fact, according to several factors (e.g. claims, composition and purpose of use), hand cleaners and hand disinfectants are subject to different legal frameworks: Cosmetic Products Regulation or Biocidal Products Regulation.

Clear guidance for economic operators on the applicable legislation and related requirements is urgently needed. This guidance is based on existing practices and practical examples. In particular, while normally soap is a cosmetic product, other products such as alcohol-based solutions, gels, hand-cleaners, hand-disinfectants, etc. might require further clarification.

Q1: WHICH ARE THE APPLICABLE EU LEGAL FRAMEWORKS IN THE CASE OF ALCOHOL-BASED SOLUTIONS, GELS, HAND-CLEANERS, HAND-DISINFECTANTS?

These products can be subject either to Cosmetic Products Regulation or Biocidal Products Regulation (normally only one legislation should be applicable to a product).

This depends first of all on the presence of an active substance and the main purpose of the product:

Products supplied with a main or exclusive cosmetic purpose (i.e. cleaning or cleansing the skin notably in absence of water rinsing) are covered by the Cosmetics Regulation.

1 N.B. These Guidelines are intended only to facilitate the application of Regulation (EU) 1223/2009 on cosmetics products, and Regulation (EU) 528/2012. However, the Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the information in this document. This information is:
• of a general nature only and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity;
• not necessarily comprehensive and complete;
• not professional or legal advice.

Products containing an active substance and supplied with a primary biocidal purpose (i.e. intended to control harmful organisms) are not covered by the cosmetics legislation and therefore fall within the scope of the biocides legislation. Examples include products containing an active substance and making a claim to improve public health through the control of infectious organisms, such as “disinfecting”, “kill viruses”, “kill bacteria”, which would go beyond the general perception of personal hygiene and can include antibacterial hand gels.
Therefore:
• When their main purpose is to cleanse or clean the skin they are probably subject to the Cosmetic Products Regulation.
• If no main purpose is declared and such products contain an active substance and are marketed with any claims of biocidal activity or specific effects of reducing cross- contamination, they would be probably subject to the Biocidal Products Regulation.

Q2: WHAT KIND OF CLAIMS WOULD SUPPORT A COSMETIC PURPOSE AND CLASSIFICATION FOR HAND CLEANERS?

Although the claims themselves are not the only decisive factor whether the product should be considered as covered by the Cosmetics Regulation or the Biocidal Products Regulation, they are a relevant indication of the purpose of the product. “Physically clean / visually clean” and “Hand cleaner” are typical claims where the function is in line with the definition of a cosmetic product with respect to cleaning and improving the appearance of the hands or body. The product will have to comply with the Cosmetic Products Regulation.

However, if the product is presented with a claim stating “Hygienically clean” (or similar wording), the function ‘hygiene’ might indicate in this context that it could be considered as biocidal. The term hygiene has a broad spectrum of meaning which range from simple cleanliness to disinfection, depending on the context in which it is used. While in the context of cosmetics, the term normally refers to ‘personal hygiene’, i.e. products for cleaning and keeping in good condition the skin, in a context of biocidal products, the term ‘hygiene’ is associated with ‘disinfection’.

It is therefore important to look at all the characteristics of the product, and in particular its composition, the purpose and the function of the product. If it is clear that the product is mainly intended to protect public health through biocidal action (e.g. disinfecting, antimicrobial/virus function), which would go beyond the general perception of personal hygiene, and the objective criteria for considering such a product as “biocidal product” are fulfilled, the product cannot be considered as a cosmetic product and will have to comply with the Biocidal Products Regulation.

Q3: WHAT KIND OF CLAIMS WOULD PRELIMINARILY SUPPORT A CLASSIFICATION AS BIOCIDAL PRODUCT CLASSIFICATION FOR HAND-CLEANERS AND HAND-DISINFECTANT?

The following list of examples is established solely on the basis of product claims. Claims may be a strong indication of the intended product purpose and will therefore help in forming a preliminary assumption on a product’s regulatory status. However, it is important to assess all the characteristics of the product, including its composition, the purposes of its use and the mode of action on the harmful organism, on a case by case basis before making a final decision.
The following claims would preliminarily suggest that the product is a biocide covered by the Biocidal Products Regulation:

• “Antibacterial”
• “Unique antibacterial formulation.”
• “Kills bacteria”
• “Kill bacteria/a wide range of germs and words having the same meaning”
• “Antiviral” and words having the same meaning
• “Kills viruses, Virokill” and words having the same meaning
• “Effective against flu virus H1N1”
• “Effective against coronavirus”
In these examples, the product clearly makes a claim of general human hygiene through skin disinfection, and hence a claim to protect public health through biocidal action. In this case, the biocidal function is likely to be considered as the main function to which the cosmetic function has become secondary. In consequence, if the product contains an active substance and has the required function, the product would be excluded from the scope of the Cosmetics Products Regulation, and would need to comply with the Biocidal Products Regulation.

Q4: I AM A COMPANY PRODUCING COSMETICS, AND I WANT TO MANUFACTURE “HAND DISINFECTANTS” TO HELP IN THE CONTEXT OF AN EPIDEMIC. WHAT SHALL I DO TO BE ALLOWED TO SUPPLY SUCH “HAND DISINFECTANTS” (ON THE MARKET TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, TO PROFESSIONALS, TO MEDICAL CARE FACILITIES ETC.)?

The supply of “hand disinfectants” is subject to rules established under the Biocidal Products Regulation. You are advised to contact first the national competent authorities on biocidal products in the Member States where you intend to make such a supply2. These authorities will be able to guide you on steps to follow, in particular to obtain an authorisation or an emergency permit if considered necessary by the Member States.

In particular:

– if your hand disinfectant would contain active substances still under examination in the “review programme” set out in Regulation (EU) No 1062/2014 (see Annex II), your hand disinfectant would have to be placed on the market in the Member States subject to compliance with the national rules, and possible derogation therefrom.
– If your hand disinfectant would contain active substances which have been assessed and approved under the Biocidal Products Regulation, the Member States would normally need to grant an authorisation in accordance with the Regulation. Member States can also grant you an emergency permit under Article 55(1) if they consider it necessary to allow your product on the market especially in the context of the current Covid-19 crisis.

You can check the situation of active substances on the European Chemicals Agency website: https://echa.europa.eu/fr/information-on-chemicals/biocidal-active-substances

Further useful links :

• Information on the cosmetic legislation : https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/cosmetics_en
• Information on the biocidal products legislation :
 https://ec.europa.eu/health/biocides/overview_en
 https://echa.europa.eu/regulations/biocidal-products-regulation
 https://echa.europa.eu/de/contact/bpr
http://echa.europa.eu/web/guest/support/helpdesks/national- helpdesks/list-of-national-helpdesks

2 The list of Member States competent authorities on biocidal products can be found here : https://echa.europa.eu/fr/contacts-of-the-member-state-competent-authorities ;
and here : https://circabc.europa.eu/w/browse/73cc1500-d360-4f43-98be-863713c4dd8d

(COVID-19): The Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – answers to your questions

WHAT IS THE Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?

CBILS is a new scheme that can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. CBILS supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities.

The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.

Please note: This scheme is just one of a number of measures announced by Government and you can find full details of the temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19 at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

WHEN CAN I ACCESS THE SCHEME?

The scheme went live on Monday 23 March and will initially run for six months.

WHAT ARE THE KEY FEATURES of CBILS?

CBILS guarantees facilities up to a maximum of £5m available on repayment terms up to six years for term loans and asset finance. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years. The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee against the outstanding facility balance.

There is no guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme. The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees.[1] You (the SME) will therefore benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.[2]

At the discretion of the lender, the scheme may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under. The Big Four banks have agreed that personal guarantees will not be taken as security for lending below £250,000. For facilities above £250,000, the scheme requires the lender to establish a lack or absence of security prior to businesses using CBILS. Primary Residential Property cannot be taken as security under the scheme. If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.

Please note: It’s important that you are aware that you, the borrower will always remain 100% liable for the debt. The CBILS guarantee is to the lender, not you, the SME.

HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER I’M ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

Smaller businesses (SMEs) from all sectors[3] can apply for the full amount of the facility, up to a maximum of £5m.

To be eligible for a facility under CBILS, your business must:

Be UK based in its business activity with annual turnover of no more than £45m
Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable your business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty
If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.
One of the eligibility criteria is for the business to have an annual turnover of no more than £45m. Would the £45m turnover threshold be measured on the entirety of the Group or could the funding be taken by a single operating subsidiary? Can the different companies within the group access their “own” guarantee?

If your business is part of a group, controlled on either a legal or de facto basis, the maximum turnover applies to the group undertaking. More than one company within the group can be considered for a CBILS facility but only if the consolidated group turnover does not exceed the £45m annual turnover threshold. The qualifying period is 12 months preceding application.

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION of an SME for the CBIL SCHEME?

Under the CIBL Scheme, the definition of SME is confined to the turnover of an Applicant (or an Applicant’s group) which must not to exceed £45m. The Borrower cannot be an individual other than where the individual is a sole trader or a partner in a partnership and is acting in a business capacity.

HOW CAN I ACCESS THE SCHEME?

CBILS is available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders, which are listed on the British Business Bank website here.

In the first instance, businesses should approach their own provider – ideally via the lender’s website. They may also consider approaching other lenders if they are unable to access the finance they need.

Decision-making on whether you are eligible for CBILS is fully delegated to the 40+ accredited CBILS lenders. These lenders range from high-street banks, to challenger banks, asset-based lenders and smaller specialist local lenders.

Note: if the accredited lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.

Additional application notes:

Given there is likely to be a big demand for facilities once the scheme goes live, we ask you to please:

Consider applying via the lender’s website in the first instance. Telephone lines are likely to be busy and branches may have limited capacity to handle enquiries due to social distancing
Consider the urgency of your need – it is possible that some businesses may be looking for regular longer-term finance rather than ‘emergency’ finance, and there may other businesses with a more urgent need to speak with a lender
What are the fees to borrow under CBILS?

There is no guarantee fee for SMEs to use the CBILS scheme.

WHAT TYPES OF FINANCE ARE AVAILABLE and WHO OFFERS WHICH TYPE?

CBILS supports a wide range of business finance facilities, including:

Term loans
Overdrafts
Asset finance
Invoice finance
Note: Not every lender can provide every type of finance listed.

CBILS is available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders, which are listed on the British Business Bank website here.

WHAT TYPES OF BUSINESSES is CBILS FOR?

The scheme is designed to support smaller businesses (SMEs) who don’t meet a lender’s normal lending requirements for a fully commercial loan or other facility, but who are considered viable in the longer-term.

IS THE SCHEME APPROPRIATE FOR Start-ups?

Potentially, if your business activity is primarily UK-based. For early stage businesses in their first two years of trading, the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme (loans £500 to £25,000 at 6% p.a. interest) may be more suitable.

Visit www.startuploans.co.uk for more information.

WILL I NEED SECURITY TO GET a CBILS-backed LOAN?

At the discretion of the lender, the scheme may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under. The Big Four banks have agreed that personal guarantees will not be taken as security for lending below £250,000. For facilities above £250,000, the scheme requires the lender to establish a lack or absence of security prior to businesses using CBILS. Primary Residential Property (PPR) cannot be taken as security under the scheme.

Note: If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.

Do I NEED EVIDENCE THAT I HAVE A VIABLE BUSINESS?

Yes. You must show in your borrowing proposal that were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, your business would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable your business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty.

I HAVE AN EXISTING EFG Facility WITH MY LENDER THAT I NEED TO DISCUSS. What do I do?

If you have a query about an active EFG facility, you should approach your current provider – ideally via their website, and not the British Business Bank.

ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON A BORROWER REFINANCING their EFG Facility to a CBILS Facility?

If you have a query about an active EFG facility, you should approach your own provider – ideally via their website – and not the British Business Bank. Any request for re-financing an existing EFG facility will be at each individual Lender’s discretion, be subject to certain limits, and you meeting the CBILS eligibility criteria.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TO THE OLD Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme (EFG)?

The EFG scheme is temporarily suspended at this point in time. If you wish to apply for a financing facility, your lender will be able to assess if you are eligible under CBILS.

HOW LONG WILL CBILS run for?

CBILS will initially run for 6 months.

WILL THE CBILS funds run out SO I CAN’T ACCESS THE SCHEME?

No. Government has confirmed that the amount of funding available under the scheme will be demand-led. Therefore there is no immediate need to approach a lender if you do not need finance in the short-term. The scheme will initially run for six months.

ARE SOLE-TRADERS / FREELANCERS eligible?

Yes, as long as the business activity is operated through a business account. The scheme is open to sole traders, freelancers, body corporates, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships or other legal entity carry out a business activity in the United Kingdom, with annual turnover of up to £45m, operating in all sectors[4].

The business must generate more than 50% of its turnover from trading activity.

I HAVE HAD DE MINIMIS AID IN THE PAST, CAN I STILL GET A LOAN?

Yes, as long as you meet the scheme’s eligibility criteria. Any previous de minimis state aid does not impact your eligibility for CBILS and does not need to be taken into account by the Lender. CBILS operates as a notified scheme rather than under de minimis as EFG did. There is no interaction between any de minimis state aid previously received by a business and the size of the CBILS facility they can access, should they be eligible.

I AM GETTING OTHER KIND OF AID TO HELP RESPOND to COVID-19 – CAN I STILL GET A LOAN?

Yes. The eligibility criteria for CBILS does not require Lenders to take into account the other forms of government support that SMEs may be benefiting from e.g. business rate reliefs or grants unrelated to the CBIL scheme.

HOW is CBILS DIFFERENT FROM the EFG SCHEME?

CBILS is a new scheme. It is different from EFG in a number of ways.

* There is no guarantee fee for SMEs to use CBILS. Under EFG, there was a guarantee fee paid by the borrower.
* The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the interest and any lender-levied fees in the first 12 months of any CBILS facility, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments (originally announced as 6 months). Following earlier discussions with the banking industry, some lenders indicated that they would not charge arrangement fees or early repayment charges to SMEs borrowing under the scheme. HM Government greatly appreciates this approach by lenders.
* The maximum facility provided under CBILS will be up to £5m. Under EFG, this was £1.2m
* At the discretion of the lender the need for security may be waived for facilities below £250,000. * The Big Four banks have agreed personal guarantees will not be taken as security for lending below £250,000. For facilities above £250,000, the scheme requires the lender to establish a lack or absence of collateral prior to businesses using the CBIL Scheme. Primary Residential Property (PPR) cannot be taken as security under the scheme.
* CBILS is for borrowing proposals which, were it not for the current COVID-19 pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty. The EFG scheme was only for facilities considered viable under the lender’s commercial terms.
* CBILS is available to businesses with annual turnover of no more than £45m. EFG was available to businesses with annual turnover of no more than £41m.

If you have any further questions please contact your current provider, not the British Business Bank.

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[1] Following earlier discussions with the banking industry, some lenders indicated that they would not charge arrangement fees or early repayment charges to SMEs borrowing under the scheme. HM Government greatly appreciates this approach by lenders.

[2] Fishery, aquaculture and agriculture businesses may not qualify for the full interest and fee payment.

[3] The following trades and organisations are not eligible to apply: Banks, Building Societies, Insurers and Reinsurers (but not insurance brokers); The public sector including state funded primary and secondary schools; Employer, professional, religious or political membership organisation or trade unions.

[4] The following trades and organisations are not eligible to apply: Banks, Building Societies, Insurers and Reinsurers (but not insurance brokers); The public sector including state funded primary and secondary schools; Employer, professional, religious or political membership organisation or trade unions.

COVID-19 Cleaning PPE

COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. cleaning an area with normal household disinfectant after someone with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people
2. wherever possible, wear disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons for cleaning. These should be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then thrown away in the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished
3. using a disposable cloth, first clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these surfaces with the cleaning products you normally use. Pay particular attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces, such as bathrooms, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells and door handles
4. if an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), consider using protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves and an apron
5. wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning

BACKGROUND
Experience of new coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) has been used to inform this guidance. The risk of infection depends on many factors, including:
* the type of surfaces contaminated
* the amount of virus shed from the individual
* the time the individual spent in the setting
* the time since the individual was last in the setting

The infection risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) following contamination of the environment decreases over time. It is not yet clear at what point there is no risk. However, studies of other viruses in the same family suggest that, in most circumstances, the risk is likely to be reduced significantly after 72 hours.

PRINCIPLES OF CLEANING AFTER THE CASE HAS LEFT THE AREA
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The minimum PPE to be worn, for cleaning an area where a person with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) is or has been, is disposable gloves and an apron. Hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds after all PPE has been removed.

If a risk assessment of the setting indicates that a higher level of virus may be present (for example, where unwell individuals have slept, such as a hotel room or boarding school dormitory) or there is visible contamination with body fluids, then the need for additional PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, mouth and nose might be necessary. The local Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection Team (HPT) can advise on this.

CLEANING AND DISINFECTION
Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned thoroughly as normal.

All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:
* objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
* all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells

Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, following one of the options below:
* use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine
OR
* a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants
OR
* if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this should be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses

!Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning!

Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.

When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used.

Any items that are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be cleaned by washing should be disposed of.

LAUNDRY
Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items.

Do not shake dirty laundry, this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.

Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above.

WASTE
Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths and tissues):
* should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.
* the plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.
* it should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.

Waste should be stored safely and kept away from children.
You should NOT put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known (or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours).
– if the individual tests negative, this can be put in with the normal waste
– if the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and then place it with the normal waste

If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, arrange for collection as a Category B infectious waste either by your local waste collection authority if they currently collect your waste or otherwise by a specialist clinical waste contractor. They will supply you with orange clinical waste bags for you to place your bags into so the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment.

(COVID-19): support package for your workforce

The Chancellor outlined on 20th March an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes as part of the national effort in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be set up to help pay people’s wages. Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of their workforce who remain on payroll but are temporarily not working during the coronavirus outbreak. Any employer in the country- small or large, charitable or non-profit will be eligible for the scheme.

Universal Credit and tax credits will also be increased as part of an almost £7 billion welfare boost, as he outlined one of the most generous business and welfare packages by any government so far in response to Covid-19.

To ease cash flow pressures for UK VAT registered businesses, VAT bills from now until the end of June, will be deferred until the end of the tax year.

* UK workers of any employer who is placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can keep their job, with the government paying up to 80% of a WORKER’S WAGE, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month. These will be backdated to 1st March and will be initially open for 3 months, to be extended if necessary.
* VAT payments due between now and the end of June will be DEFERRED. No VAT registered business will have to make a VAT payment normally due with their VAT return to HMRC in that period. INCOME TAX PAYMENTS due in July 2020 under the Self Assessment system will be DEFERRED to January 2021, benefitting up to 5.7m self-employed businesses.
* Additionally, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, launched at Budget, will now be INTEREST FREE for TWELVE months.
* The standard rate in Universal credit and Tax Credits will be increased by £20 a week for one year from April 6th, meaning claimants will be up to £1040 better off.
* Nearly £1bn of additional support for RENTERS, through increases in the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit. From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area.
HMRC are working night and day to get the unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme up and running and we expect THE FIRST GRANTS TO BE PAID WITHIN WEEKS.