Rules that have been relaxed to help businesses following Coronavirus

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 provided by 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.

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