Tuesday 30 March: Government published updated Work From Home (WFH) guidance - Follows CBI calls for an evidence response, plus wider engagement with BEIS, the Cabinet Office and others, BEIS updated the guidance and published further clarification on what WFH if you can actually means in practice.
Sunday 28 March: Through continued engagement with BEIS and DHSC, the CBI was able to advocate for rapid home testing where it was not possible for firms to set up testing on-site, due to a lack of space or operation across multiple sites. From 6 April, businesses with over 10 employees who cannot offer on-site testing will be eligible to order the home test kits online to distribute to their employees.
With the 31 March deadline for businesses to apply for testing fast approaching, the CBI called for an extension to the deadline to increase the number of firms work place testing. As well as announcing new home testing, the government extended the application deadline until 12th April, giving businesses more time to apply for funding for workplace testing
Thursday 25 March: As called for by the CBI, the government announced extra, targeted £1.5bn business rates relief for businesses who have been unable to benefit from the existing business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. This will particularly help firms in the supply chains of these sectors.
Tuesday 16 March: Following continued engagement with the Scottish Government, businesses welcomed steer and cautious optimism offered by the First Minister setting out indicative dates for reopening some of Scotland’s hardest-hit.
Monday 15 March: Following CBI Wales engaging with the Welsh government, it was confirmed that there would be a relaxation of the commitment to Working From Home in Wales to allow people who wish to return to work for their Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Tuesday 9 March: As called for by businesses, the Scottish Budget included the extension of business rates reliefs for the retail, leisure, hospitality and aviation sectors.
Monday 8 March: Following extensive CBI engagement, the government announced workplace testing will now be available to all businesses, including those with fewer than 50 employees. Businesses are encouraged to register interest by 31 March to access free workplace testing.
Wednesday 3 March: As called for by the CBI, the Northern Ireland Budget included business rates support extended for 12 months, and business grants acting as a lifeline for many small businesses, especially those that are only partially opened and experiencing low volumes of trade.
As called for by the CBI, the Chancellor announced an extension of the Job Retention Scheme until September, further business rates holidays and £5bn Restart grants. The Chancellor also extended 5% VAT cut for hospitality and tourism, announced a new Recovery Loan Schemeand loss carry-backs for Corporation Tax.
Tuesday 2 March: Business confidence has been bolstered with the confirmation that COVID-19 support and economic recovery is at the centre of the Welsh Budget with investment in long term priorities like infrastructure and business rates relief extended for 12 months.