Here you will find the latest news, updates and communication resources from the BVRLA. Members, media partners, journalists and other commentators can feel free to republish the content in part or in full, crediting the association.
Latest Email Bulletins
The BVRLA issues a series of regular email bulletins to keep members informed of the very latest advice, guidance and support from government relating to the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit. Any individual working for a member organisation can sign up to receive BVRLA updates, including the Bulletins below:
22 January 2021
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
HMRC has published a 15-minute video providing information on how to claim the third Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. Information relating to the fourth grant, covering the period February to April 2021 will be published in due course.
Additional support for closed businesses
The Government has introduced a Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) to supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions that began on 5 January 2021. Eligible businesses in England may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council.
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is also available from local councils to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted. Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants.
Employers asked to support workplace testing
The Government has confirmed that rapid, regular testing for people without symptoms of coronavirus will be made available across the country from this week.
Eligibility of the community testing programme is being expanded to all 314 local authorities across England, who are being encouraged to target people unable to work from home.
The Government is also asking employers to introduce asymptomatic workforce testing to help protect employees who can’t work from home to curb the spread of the virus. Employers can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
1-in-3 with Covid have no symptoms and Lateral flow tests can return results within 30 minutes, without needing to be sent to a lab.
Almost half of British workforce is working from home
The Office for National Statistics’ latest survey looking at the social impacts of coronavirus shows that during the week to 17 January, the proportion of working adults in Britain that worked from home was at its highest since June 2020, at 45%, compared with 43% the previous week.
The proportion of working adults that travelled to work either exclusively or in combination with working from home remained the same as the previous week at 48%.
Latest case rates by local authority
The Government has published its weekly Covid cases by local authority showing that just over half (53%) of all local authorities have reported an increase in the number of case rates per 100,000 population during the past seven days.
Knowsley, Barking & Dagenham, Newham and Slough have seen the highest figures, all with case rates exceeding 1,000. In contrast, three areas in the South West reported the lowest figures with the Isles of Scilly, Torridge and North Devon reporting case rates of 45, 76 and 104 respectively.
More test sites for hauliers
Cullompton, Sandbach northbound and Ferrybridge services have been added to the list of haulier advice sites where drivers and crew of HGVs, LGVs, coaches and vans can get free Covid-19 tests and border readiness checks before transporting goods to the EU.
Haulage drivers and crew are advised to get a negative test before they travel to Kent or other Channel crossing points.
Further restrictions for entering the UK
Two more locations have been added to the list of countries where travel bans into the UK have been applied. People who have been in or transited through those countries in the last 10 days will not be granted access to the UK.
This does not include British and Irish Nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, who will be able to enter the UK but are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household.
15 January 2021
The EU-UK trade deal explained
On 24 December 2020, the UK and EU agreed a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement to govern the future trading and security relationship now that the UK has left the EU.
The Institute for Government explains that is made up of three pillars:
- A free trade agreement covering the economic and social partnership, including transport, energy and mobility.
- A framework for cooperation between law enforcement and judicial authorities across civil and criminal matters.
- An overarching governance arrangement which will allow for cross-retaliation across different economic areas.
Five key considerations for businesses
The Government is asking businesses to consider the following five areas that may require immediate action as there are new rules relating to exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring:
- If you sell goods to the EU you must adjust to the new customs procedures.
- If you travel to the EU for work purposes you will need to check if you need a visa or work permit and apply if necessary.
- If you employ overseas nationals you must be a Home Office licenced sponsor under the UK’s new points-based immigration system.
- If you are a UK business or organisation that receives personal data from the EU for business use, you may need to take action on data protection.
- You may need to have your UK professional qualification officially recognised if you want to work in a regulated profession in the EEA or in Switzerland.
Businesses and individuals are advised to use the Government’s Brexit Checker Tool to get a list of personalised actions that you need to take to ensure the continued flow of people, data, goods and services between the UK and the EU.
New Global Health Insurance Card
The Government has announced that UK residents will now be able to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) enabling UK residents the right to access emergency and medically necessary healthcare when travelling in the EU. This includes medically necessary treatment for a pre-existing or chronic condition.
The new GHIC card, which replaces the EHIC, is free to obtain from the official GHIC website and people should apply at least two weeks before they plan to travel.
Trade agreements with non-EU countries
Guidance has been updated on 14 January to detail the trade agreements the UK has concluded and that are in effect. It also includes progress of discussions with other non-EU countries. The latest change is the full ratification of the UK-Andean agreement with Peru.
Supporting members through EU Exit
The BVRLA is inviting members to share any concerns or questions relating to the impact of EU Exit with the policy team.
Senior Policy Advisor, Thomas McLennan, who can be emailed at email@example.com, would like to collate feedback from businesses across all sectors of membership to identify any common issues for future discussions with policymakers.
The association would also like to encourage all those who receive this EU Exit Bulletin to invite colleagues to sign up to receive it too. They can simply sign up via the BVRLA website and ensure that ‘News & Insight’ is ticked in their communication preference once their account is set up.
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