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  • Lucy Markillie
Coronavirus – What do you need to know?

Coronavirus – What do you need to know?

Support and guidance for our partners, individual and business clients   

This week the Prime Minister announced new measures to help curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), with the entire UK now being advised to stay at home for a minimum of three weeks unless for essential work, food or health reasons to protect the NHS and save lives.

While this is unprecedented and will mean very practical challenges in terms of disruption to our day-to-day lives, it is vital that we stay at home. As a result, we have updated our position and guidance to staff, clients and partners as part of our ongoing business continuity plans. 

Here, we set out our approach and signpost helpful guidance and support that is available to you.  This will be updated as the situation develops. 

Our approach …

We have instituted our contingency action plan and are reviewing this daily as the situation evolves.

Last March we created an agile working environment and are now fully utilising this flexibility. Colleagues are working from home and continue to deliver our services virtually where they are able to.

Delivering services

While face-to-face delivery of our services has been suspended, we continue to deliver a range of activity via telephone, email and video conferencing to support our clients.  Individual one-to-one meetings are now being carried out virtually, and we have accelerated our digital plans. We are proactively exploring alternative methods of delivery from webinars and interactive Q&As to virtual open days.

We are sharing updates with our clients, customers, supply chain partners and stakeholders to keep them informed as and when advice changes.

We would urge individuals and businesses to take a similar common-sense approach, and to closely monitor the latest government advice. We must all stay at home and work together to minimise risks to each other and businesses.

Support for Businesses

We welcome the additional measures announced by Government to support business and individuals who have been, or will be, financially impacted by COVID-19. We have put together a round-up of key information for business which you can access here and with the detail behind some of the business support measures still emerging, we would encourage people to call our advisors to discuss the support that is available to them.


Our resources include the latest guidance from Government and other official bodies and draws on our own resilience planning expertise to provide support to business across a range of challenges including supply chain issues, trade, cash-flow and financial planning, people management and operational planning.

It will be updated regularly to include helpful insights and practical suggestions based on some of the real-time challenges our business clients are facing and that we’ll be helping them to address. It also includes links to a series of live business support webinars with expert speakers from the public and private sector. You can find out more here - www.businessgrowthhub.com/coronavirus.

Support for our learners and individual clients

The way in which we deliver support for our learners and individual clients is has been adapted in-line with the latest government advice.

Face-to-face learning has been suspended until further notice. We will continue to support our learners through the use of online learning kits and maintaining regular contact with them.

In light of the announcement, all learners should stay at home and should not be socialising with their friends for at least the next three weeks.

For apprentices we will be moving all face-to-face appointments to telephone or online from Monday 23 March. We will continue to support apprentices through online learning platforms and our Skills Coaches will be in regular contact with both apprentices and their employers to ensure learning and progress is being made.

Individual benefits and sick pay
Statutory sick pay has been made available from day one when self-isolating. Any clients that are currently claiming ESA or Universal Credit can do so without attending a Job Centre Plus appointment. We would advise to check the following website for the latest information: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/

The health and wellbeing of our clients and learners is our priority, so we are urging them to do the right thing and stay at home – only leaving for the reasons deemed acceptable by the Government.