5 April 2022
Latest NHBF update – 5 April 2022
This week's update covers:
• Final call: State of the Industry survey – your views, please
• National Living and Minimum Wage rise
• Official Inquiry - COVID-19 and business support
• Scottish Government COVID-19 Adaptations Survey
• New guidance for businesses on living with COVID
Final call: State of the Industry survey – your views, please
After a difficult winter for many businesses, we are keen to hear from you about how your business is faring as we move into the spring.
We use the results of our quarterly State of the Industry surveys in a wide range of reports, submissions and media releases.
Your feedback and input are critical in assisting us in future campaigns and lobbying efforts to bring your voice and issues directly to the attention of the Government.
The deadline for responses is 5pm on Wednesday 6 April.
National Living and Minimum Wage rise
The National Living and Minimum Wage increased on 1 April for two million eligible workers, including apprentices, in the UK. The National Living Wage has increased by 6.6%, from £8.91 to £9.50. The hourly rate for the National Minimum Wage employee’s age and whether they are an apprentice.
Official Inquiry - COVID-19 and business support
The official 'UK Covid-19 Inquiry' is now underway, running an online public consultation on what it will examine.
This is important work as it will inform any future Government's approach to future pandemics. Anyone can participate in the online consultation, which will close on 7 April. You can have your say - for instance, on the need for the inquiry to examine gaps in support for business owners during the pandemic.
Scottish Government COVID-19 Adaptations Survey
As part of the updated Strategic Framework, the Scottish Government recognised the positive steps taken by businesses and other organisations during the pandemic and the need for them to have greater permanency in its aftermath – such as increased hybrid and flexible working, enhanced sanitisation and hygiene and improved ventilation within the workplace.
This survey is aimed at helping the Scottish Government understand the adaptations that have already been made across different businesses and sectors.
The Scottish Government will aim to publish specific guidance on adaptations for businesses, which will help support the economy to live safely with Covid-19 in the medium to long term.
We want businesses to help shape the Scottish Government's long-term guidance, so we would be grateful if you could take 15 minutes to complete the COVID-19 Adaptations Survey by Thursday, 28 April 2022, 5pm.
The survey will collate information on possible workplace adaptations and help inform further stakeholder engagement via workshops.
If you have any issues with the survey, would like to know more, or register your interest to attend a workshop, please email SaferWorkplacesCovidAdaptations@gov.scot
New guidance for businesses on living with COVID
The UK Health Security Agency has set out new public health principles for workplaces for businesses, organisations and employers in England to consider managing the risk to their workforce from respiratory infections such as COVID-19.
The new guidance sets out actions that businesses should follow to help reduce the spread of infections, including ensuring adequate ventilation and encouraging vaccinations. Whilst there is no longer an expectation that every employer will consider COVID-19 explicitly in their risk assessment, employers should continue to comply with their legal obligations to their staff. Further information is on GOV.UK.
Free COVID-19 tests are no longer available for the general public. Still, the Department for Health and Social Care has confirmed that tests will continue to be available to help protect specific groups, including eligible patients and NHS and care staff.
Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result is advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious.