Coronavirus Hub

The latest guidance for business

The latest guidance for businesses like yours across a number of different areas. Understand more about how your business can respond and what support is available. 



Most frequently asked questions



What are the things to keep on top of responding to coronavirus in 2021?

  • Ensure governance and HR teams are familiar with government advice for employers
  • Understanding local tiering restrictions and how they impact your business and your employees.
  • Communicate the latest information with employees, providing government advice as relevant for your business
  • Support those who are vulnerable and the mental health of staff during the pandemic
  • Reach out to the CBI to communicate any specific concerns or impacts of coronavirus on your company, for communication to the government’s response teams. You can send insight to the CBI’s Covid Support inbox at coronavirussupport@cbi.org.uk
  • Check your business has considered all the Frequently Asked Questions and takes proportionate actions to manage coronavirus.

What does my business need to know about the testing landscape for coronavirus?

  • Testing, tracing, and isolating are a core part of the UK’s toolkit in the fight against COVID-19, and are likely to remain so until the majority of the UK population is vaccinated.
  • There are a variety of different COVID-19 tests available, with trade-offs between accuracy, pace, cost, and usability – which may impact which scenarios or workplace settings they are most suitable for. These can often depend on whether tests are point-of-care or lab analysed.
  • Most businesses will engage with third-party providers rather than building an in-house testing system from scratch. Government expects employers using third-party testing providers to ensure that they meet the legal and regulatory requirements set out in its guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers.
  • To guide employers in their choices, the government has published a list of private testing providers who have declared that they meet the standards for private sector providers of COVID-19 testing – including reporting results to Public Health England (PHE), and having the relevant systems in place to report adverse incidents.
  • From 11 January 2021, the government announced asymptomatic testing to be rolled out across the country with community testing being expanded across all local authorities in England for people without symptoms.
  • For businesses who are interested in setting up a testing site, the email is business.testing@beis.gov.uk

What does my business need to know about the vaccine?

Where can I find details about the financial support available for my business?

  • Find information about the different financial support schemes, and see which ones your business is eligible for.
  • The government have created a coronavirus business support finder tool. By completing a simple questionnaire, the tool will signpost you to relevant government financial support available.

What specific support can I receive as a large or a small business?

What is the extended Job Retention Scheme and how does it work?

  • On 17 December, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extension of the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) for a further month until the end of April 2021, the JRS was due to run out at the end of March 2021.
  • Mr Sunak also confirmed that the government will continue to contribute 80% towards wages until the end of April, and the eligibility criteria for the UK-wide scheme will remain unchanged. Employers continue to be required to pay staff’s wages, National Insurance Contributions and pensions for hours worked, as well as NICS and pensions for hours not worked. Part-time furloughing of employees continues to be possible and employers can agree any working arrangements with their employees.

What is the Job Retention Bonus?

  • The Job Retention Bonus will no longer be paid in February as originally announce by the government in July 2020. This is because the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021.

How should businesses support flexible working for employees who can work from home?

  • The government has asked all employees to work from home unless it is impossible for them to do so. Businesses should therefore support flexible working as much as reasonably possible when working remotely.
  • Employers should encourage managers and employees with caring responsibilities to speak about any additional flexibility they may need during the day. This could be allowing employees to work reduced hours or flex their hours to work around their caring arrangements.
  • Employers should be sympathetic to any distractions that may arise at home, such as children or pets moving around or making noise.
  • Employees’ performance and productivity should be reasonably appraised while working at home, and businesses should consider relaxing performance management where appropriate.
  • Read the CBI’s latest article on the role businesses play in supporting employees to look after their loved ones as the pandemic rolls on.
  • The CBI has published a factsheet on employee engagement for virtual teams – from onboarding to performance reviews and collaboration.

How should businesses support flexible working for employees who cannot work from home?

  • Employers should adapt their practices to observe a distance of at least two metres between individuals wherever possible.
  • Employers should consider staggering shifts and processes to enable staff to continue operating both effectively and at a safe distance wherever possible. Find out more about flexible working options on gov.uk.
  • As well as ensuring the health and safety of staff, these practices can increase opportunities for more flexible working. Depending on the nature of the business, employers are considering the following practices:
    • Time-banking to allow workers to ‘accrue hours’ to take as time off at a later date, outside of their usual shift pattern
    • Introducing condensed shift patterns whereby employees are able to work their total contracted hours over fewer working days
    • Leveraging annualised hours contracts, by allowing workers to reduce the number of hours they’re working during the pandemic but still work the same number of total hours over the year
    • Splitting teams so that operations run below full capacity at any given time
    • Enabling individuals to take annual leave during this period.
  • Employers can also furlough staff who cannot work due to caring responsibilities resulting from COVID-19, including childcare.
  • Government and financial support

    Covering topics including tax payments, support for the self-employed, the Job Retention Scheme and commercial tenancies.

    Find out more
  • Employment

    Covering topics including supporting staff at risk of redundancy, pension schemes, holidays, migrant workers and SSP. 

    Find out more
  • Meetings, travel and events

    Answering your questions about external meetings, travel nationally and internationally, and how to help employees stuck abroad.

    Find out more
  • Cleaning and health in the workplace

    Addressing topics including what to do if staff or visitors become unwell, and workplace cleaning guidance.

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  • Supply chain

    Find out more about how other companies are managing disruption to their supply chains.

    Find out more

CBI factsheets

Always up-to-date with the latest information and insights, our factsheets can help inform your business response.



Case studies

How have other businesses risen to the challenges posed by COVID-19?



External resources

Quick links to the resources you need to coordinate your response