25 January 2022
This week’s update covers:
- Help to grow: Digital scheme launched
- Sick Pay scheme opens
- The four nations Government ease COVID-19 restrictions
- Mask survey
- COVID-19 guidance
Help to grow: Digital scheme launched
Small business owners in the UK can now access the Government Help to Grow: Digital scheme. The new platform offers free and impartial online support on how technology can boost their business performance. Eligible businesses with more than five employees will be able to apply for a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000.
Sick Pay scheme opens
The Government has opened its Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, allowing employers to claim for employees who were off sick due to Covid on or after 21 December 2021.
The Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) is exploring the opinions of workers and the public on the wearing of face coverings in small consulting rooms within a retail environment, such as pharmacies, opticians, hairdressers or beauty salons. You can fill in the online survey or visit the project website.
The four nations Governments ease COVID-19 restrictions
The UK Government has announced that England will fully return to Plan A on Thursday, 27th January, thanks to the success of the booster programme, with ministers urging anyone who has still not had a top-up jab to come forward and Get Boosted Now.
People will no longer be advised to work from home, face coverings will no longer be mandatory in indoor venues, and organisations will be able to choose whether to require NHS COVID Passes.
The Northern Ireland Executive has announced a number of restriction changes. Although none of the easing of restrictions affect hair and beauty salons, the legal requirement to wear face coverings and the associated duty on businesses to take reasonable measures to ensure compliance remains and will be reviewed early in February.
In Scotland and Wales, some easing of COVID-19 restrictions have been announced. However, the latest updates do not affect close contact services such as hairdressers. By law, face coverings must continue to be worn in most indoor public places including those where close contact services are provided. More information about face coverings in close contact services.
COVID-19 guidance – recently updated with the latest Omicron guidance
Read our four nations’ FAQs which include links to the latest Government guidance that must be followed.
Members can call our membership team, Monday-Friday, 9-5, on 01234 831965. Please be patient due to the extremely high level of calls we are currently getting.
For legal advice, Members can login to get our 24/7 legal helpline number. Again, please be patient. The legal team is also dealing with a considerable number of calls.