Welcome to the West London Business Helpline

Find answers to your Coronavirus queries online or call 020 8607 2500

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Knowledge Base

Our knowledge base is updated daily with the latest insights from local and central government, as well as partner law firms, accountants and HR practitioners.

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Post any issue relating to Coronavirus and its impact on your business that we have not answered in the Knowledge Base or FAQs. Don't be shy!

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Are you baffled by the new terminology that comes with Coronavirus from Furloughing to 'Time to pay'? Take a browse through our glossary of terms.

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Frequently Asked Questions Browse Full FAQ

How do I register for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme?
Register here (at bottom of page) To register, you must have:
  • the Government Gateway ID and password for your business (if you do not have one, you can create one when you register)
  • the name and address of each establishment to be registered, unless you are registering more than 25
  • the UK bank account number and sort code for the business (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the address on your bank account for the business (this is the address on your bank statements)
  • the date your business started trading
You may also need your:
  • VAT registration number
  • employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • Corporation Tax, Self Assessment or Partnership Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
If you are registering 25 establishments or less, you must provide the details of each. You should provide a link to a website which contains details of each establishment participating in the scheme including the trading name and address. You may also need to provide a list to HMRC on request, with details of all participating establishments.
How does holiday pay work for furloughed employees?
  • Furloughed employees continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract.
  • The employer and employee can agree to vary holiday entitlement as part of the furlough agreement, however almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory paid annual leave each year which they cannot go below.
  • Employees can take holiday while on furlough. If an employee is flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours. Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period. Working Time Regulations require holiday pay to be paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay or, where the rate of pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay received by the employee in the previous 52 working weeks. Therefore, if a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay their usual holiday pay in accordance with the Working Time Regulations.
  • Employers will be obliged to pay additional amounts over the grant, though will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need. This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period.
  • If an employee usually works bank holidays then the employer can agree that this is included in the grant payment. If the employee usually takes the bank holiday as leave then the employer would either have to top up their usual holiday pay, or give the employee a day of holiday in lieu.
Find out more information on holiday pay during furlough.
What health and safety measures do I need to take when reopening my business?
Employers that want to reopen their business have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site. Use this guidance (which will provide information tailored to your type of business, the number of employees you have and whether you have customers on site) to help you carry out a risk assessment and make sensible adjustments to the site and workforce.
Will our business insurance policies typically cover coronavirus losses?
Unfortunately most will not. According to the  Association of British Insurers: Only a very small number of businesses choose to buy any form of cover that includes business interruption due to a notifiable or infectious disease. Usually these extensions list very specific diseases that are covered, not any notifiable disease that may emerge such as COVID-19. An even smaller number will have cover where the notifiable or infectious disease is unspecified enabling them to potentially claim for the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, such policies often respond only when the disease is present at the premises as they cover the interruption to trade caused where business premises have been infected by an illness such as Legionnaires’ disease or norovirus and where the building needs to be closed and cleaned to deal with the specific incident. Speak to your insurer directly to confirm whether or not you are covered.
How do we access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme?
You should apply via your lender’s website or through one of the 40 accredited finance providers offering the scheme (and not the British Business Bank).  You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via the lender’s website. Note: There is high demand for CBILS facilities. Phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person or may currently be shut down to enable social distancing.   Read more >>
How can I find out more about the government’s scheme for the self-employed (SEISS)?
The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) supports self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme provides a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Those eligible under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), will be able to claim a second and final grant in August. The grant will be worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total. Read more on the scheme >>