Essential information for businesses in Luton
Think Luton | 15 October 2020 Coronavirus special
This latest issue highlights the work the council’s Environmental Health team has been carrying out with local businesses. Their work helps to keep employees and customers safe during this time of ever changing guidance and regulations.

We've also included information on where you can get financial support if you or a staff member needs to self-isolate after being contacted by the government’s test and trace service.

It also includes details of the latest financial support package announced by government as part of the Job Support Scheme.

There's also information on:
  • a free local network of employment support
  • latest details on how you need to prepare during this transition period now that the UK has left the EU
HM treasury image stating that the job support scheme has been expanded, with an image of a building displaying a closed sign

Job Support Scheme


The chancellor announced the Job Support Scheme (JSS) last week, part of the winter economy plan, for any business that would need to close their doors due to coronavirus restrictions.

Highlights
  • Government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries to protect jobs over the coming months.
  • Cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns also increased to up to £3,000 per month.
Firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work.

The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
JSS expanded to firms required to close due to Covid restrictions
Image of a woman sitting on a sofa with a laption and the words 'Define your career - take control this winter'

Define Your Career with SEMLEP


This month SEMLEP have launched their Define Your Career initiative.

Recognising the detrimental effects of unemployment on mental health for some people, this new initiative:
  • aims to help empower you to take control of your futures
  • supports you to access key information and resources to secure employment or training
If you're at risk of redundancy or want to reflect on your career, visit the SEMLEP website to take a look at the free local network of employment support available.
SEMLEP employment and skills support
Image showing an icon of a person inside their home and the words 'if you're self isolating by staying at home then you may be able to get financial support'

Legal duty to self-isolate

If you've been told by the NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because you've either tested positive for coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.

The notification will come with an 8 letter unique identifier, and is not part of the NHS ‘app’ notification scheme.
Test and Trace support payment in Luton
Image showing a member of the council's Environmental Health team checking temperatures at a venue in Luton

Rules and legislation for businesses


Businesses in Luton are dealing with the ever changing Covid-19 guidance and legislation, and the council’s environmental health team has have been working to make sure that they get the support and help they need.

Whilst most businesses are taking a sensible approach and doing a really good job of keeping customers and staff safe, the team’s work has also involved day time and late night patrols to inspect and enforce.  

More recently the legislation introduced includes 10pm closing for hospitality venues and seated table service only for premises serving alcohol.

The team is also checking that:
  • necessary measures are in place for NHS Test and Trace QR codes
  • social distancing is being observed and implemented
With new enforcement powers, they've been able to serve direction notices to limit activity and have identified premises that have been operating past 10pm and therefore subject to fixed penalty notices.

The team will be rolling out a ‘covid pledge’ for businesses to sign up to locally, similar to the Food Hygiene Rating Friday 5’s campaign. This will reinforce the message and at a local level.
Making your workplace covid secure
Image showing the words 'UK's new start - let's get going' and traffic light icons for check, change and go

BREXIT – the transition period

The transition period will end on 31 December 2020 and as we move to a new relationship with the EU, businesses do need to take action to prepare.

From 1 January 2021, there will be a series of guaranteed changes for businesses. Many of these will be required regardless of the agreement we reach with the EU on our future trade relationship, as the UK will be leaving the single market and customs union.

UK businesses can use the transition checker and sign up to the sector webinars below.
  • Metals and materials - 20 October
  • Electronics and machinery - 21 October
  • Consumer goods - 22 October
  • Life sciences - 27 October
  • Construction - 28 October
  • Aerospace - 29 October
For traders that import from EU new tariffs will be phased in.

From 1 January
Checks on Controlled substances (for example alcohol and tobacco); For Standard goods (for example clothes and electronics) - basic customs procedures. 

From 1 April
Products of animal origin (for example meat, milk or egg products) - to pre-notify officials and provide relevant health paperwork.

By 1 July
All goods will be liable for relevant tariffs and customs declarations and full safety and security declarations.

For Luton residents that are EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you'll be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.

The scheme helps eligible people settle in the UK after Brexit. Deadline for applying for settled status is 30 June 2021.

Telephone guidance is available from the EU Settlement Resolution Centre (0300 123 7379).
Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme
Getting ready for Brexit
Image with Towal Wellbeing Luton and Stoptober logos, and the words 'quitting is not just for Stoptober'. It also has contact details for Luton's stop smoking service - there are replicated in the text below.

Stoptober - set yourself the 28 day challenge


Stopping smoking is one of the best things you'll ever do for your health. It gives your lungs the chance to repair and you'll be able to breathe easier. There are lots of other benefits too which start almost immediately.

Total Wellbeing Luton is offering free advice and support to those who want to quit smoking. For support in Luton text STOPTOBER to 60066 or call 0300 555 4152

You can also download the free NHS Stoptober app to help you quit. The app allows you to:
  • track your progress
  • see how much you're saving
  • get daily support
If you can make it to 28 days smoke-free, you're 5 times more likely to quit for good!
Quit smoking this Stoptober
Image of a man using a pressure sprayer to prevent pests

Pest control and your business


Businesses should remember that they must have adequate pest control in place or they could face closure and prosecution – this is absolutely critical for food businesses.

You should check frequently for signs of pests and act straight away. You can contact the council’s traded Pest Control Service for advice and treatment on 01582 546814.
Pest control services in Luton

Advice

Our Economic Development team is on hand to support and advice local businesses. Send an email to [email protected].

You can also email our dedicated, single point of contact inbox for enquiries and help for workplaces - [email protected].

We can also help support your business to upskill people who are now looking at different way of working, or for staff who are looking for a new role due to redundancy, through Luton Adult Learning.

Passport to Employment sessions - for more information or to book an online course, please email [email protected] or visit the Adult Learning website.

We regularly update our webpages with the latest announcements and where to go for advice and support

Full list of financial support for businesses during coronavirus.

You can also get advice and guidance locally from:

Support sought from local businesses


If you have a business that can offer support by supplying items such as hand sanitiser, gloves and other equipment that can be used in the fight against coronavirus then do get in touch with our Economic Development team [email protected].