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Coronavirus confusion

  • 22nd April 2020

With new initiatives appearing regularly, it can be very difficult to know what your business can and cannot do. As is often the case in such circumstances it makes sense to go back to basics.

Here we look at some of the key rules impacting what you can do, and how you can do it.

Key points

Most people will have heard mention of “key workers” or “essential services” but often their relevance is not fully understood. As can be seen here, the rules relate to which workers can still send their children to school. And that is all.

We have received numerous queries from clients wanting to know whether they can continue to work as they are not on this list. The quick answer is “It depends”. However, what it does not depend upon is whether your trade or profession is on the list of businesses which must close.

Closed shop

There are certain businesses that have been told they must close (with limited exceptions in some cases). Full details of these businesses can be found here. If you are on the list you must follow the government guidance and either shut up shop or operate within the permissible guidelines.

You’re not on the list

If your business is not on the list of businesses that must close then you have to back to the general guidelines. The mainstay of these is that, if you can, you (and your staff) should work from home.

If this is not possible then you should be asking “Can I operate my business in some capacity without compromising my staff or the general public?” To help you answer this question you can refer to the general government guidance here.

Sector specific guidance

In addition to the general guidelines the government have produced more specific guidance for a number of business sectors. Altogether there are 12 business types covered here.

One sector that is covered is Construction, a sector that has seen much media debate about whether or not it should be closed down. Like much media debate this subject has not always been sensibly covered. The bottom line is there are many areas of construction that can continue to operate safely, while others will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to put necessary safeguards in place.

Next steps

If you are uncertain about whether you are allowed to continue working and whether it is safe (for everyone) for you to do so, then use the links above to establish the facts. They offer a much more balanced approach than many headlines and posts on social media.

Above all Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.

Any news or resources within this section should not be relied upon with regards to figures or data referred to as legislative and policy changes may have occurred.