21 September 2021

Latest NHBF update – 21 September 2021

This update covers:

  • Pandemic sick pay rebate scheme deadline
  • The Government’s Autumn and Winter Covid Plan
  • Government Covid advice updated
  • Net zero competition
  • COVID-19 guidance

Pandemic sick pay rebate scheme deadline

If you're an employer, find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is coming to an end on 30 September; you have until the end of the year (31 December) to make any claims.

The Government’s Autumn and Winter Covid Plan

Last week, the Prime Minister set out the government’s plan to manage Covid throughout autumn and winter.
The key points for business are:

  • People are encouraged to protect themselves and each other through

 - good ventilation
 - wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces
 - getting tested
 - self-isolating where necessary.

  • Lateral flow tests are still available free of charge, but this will end at some point in the future.
  • Anyone who test positive for coronavirus s legally obliged to self-isolate, as are their unvaccinated contacts.
  • Financial support for those self-isolating on certain benefits will continue in its current form until the end of March.
  • The Government has also set out its ‘Plan B’ of further measures it might have to introduce to control the spread of the virus through autumn and winter, such as:
  • Requiring proof of vaccination in certain settings
  • Legally mandating face coverings
  • Asking people to work from home

These measures will only be implemented if the data suggests that the NHS is at risk of becoming overwhelmed.

Government Covid advice updated

Following the release of the Government's autumn and winter plan for Covid, its advice for England on how to work safely during coronavirus has been updated. Guidance for people who were previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable has been removed, as the shielding programme has now ended.

Businesses are advised to clearly communicate with customers that are clinically vulnerable - that they should not come to your facility if they need to self-isolate, for example because they have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Net zero competition

Small businesses with under 50 employees can apply to the Heroes of Net Zero competition, organised by the Government. The winners, who best demonstrate the steps they have taken towards sustainability, will receive a prize package worth £4,500 and an invitation to the COP26 climate summit in November.

COVID-19 guidance

Read our four nations’ FAQs which include links to the latest government guidance that must be followed.

Coronavirus: Business closures and restrictions in Northern Ireland
Coronavirus: Safer businesses and workplaces in Scotland
Working safely during coronavirus in England
Workplace guidance for employers and employees in Wales


See all updates