Living with COVID Hub

Living with COVID for my retail business

Our aim throughout the pandemic has been to protect small retail businesses where possible during such uncertain times. With restrictions now lifting, business support packages ending and the Government Living with COVID plan in place, here we’ve pulled together answers to questions you may now have as well as information and resources related to Living with COVID-19.

What is advised in terms of staff and customer and staff behaviours?

Since 24th February, workers are not legally obliged to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate. Since 1st April, the Government will remove the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments. The intention behind this is to empower you as the business owner to take responsibility for implementing modifications that are appropriate for your circumstances.

The government is continuing to recommend that safer behaviours are adopted to reduce the risk of infection and remains to ask that employers consider the needs of employees at a greater risk from COVID-19.

This might mean you request that customers wear a mask when possible, in your shop but there’s other things you can do too.

  • Ensure air flow in your shop by opening the doors and windows
  • Monitor staff and reminding them to take a lateral flow test before coming into work if they have symptoms
  • Encouraging your staff to wash hands regularly and follow ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ advice at all times


Read the full guidance

Changes at a glance

  1. 21 February:
    • Removed the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice weekly asymptomatic testing.
  2. 24 February:
    • Removed the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days.
    • No longer asking fully vaccinated close contacts and those aged under 18 to test daily for 7 days and removed the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate.
    • Ended self-isolation support payments, national funding for practical support and the medicine delivery service.
    • Ended routine contact tracing. Contacts are no longer required to self-isolate or take daily tests.
    • Ended the legal obligation for individuals to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate.
    • Revoked The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations.
  3. 24 March:
    • Removed the COVID-19 provisions within the Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations.
  4. 1 April:
    • Removed the current guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings and no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass.
    • Updated guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to minimise contact with other people. This will align with the changes to testing.
    • Will no longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.
    • Consolidated guidance to the public and businesses, in line with public health advice.
    • Removed the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments.
    • Replaced the existing set of ‘Working Safely’ guidance with new public health guidance.

What support is still available for business in relation to COVID?

Visit the gov website here for information on the support that is available in the following areas for small businesses:

  1. Paying your employees – Find out about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  2. Paying sick pay – Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to COVID-19
  3. Paying tax – Find out about VAT deferred due to COVID-19 and what to do if you can’t pay your bill on time
  4. Business rates relief – Check if your business is eligible
  5. Support for businesses of any size – Find out about the Recovery Loan Scheme
  6. Support for businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions - Check if you're eligible for the Coronavirus Additional Restrictions Grant


How can Bira help?

All Bira members have unlimited access to phone and email support from Bira Legal. You can contact them whenever you need to ask about anything relating to employment law (as well as any of the topics listed below:

  • Employment Law & HR
  • Health & Safety
  • Commercial and business legal
  • Tax, VAT and HMRC
  • Assistance with your business’ legal compliance

This will cover questions you might have such as:

  • How do I deal with staff wanting to isolate?
  • How do I deal with staff wanting to work with COVID?
  • What do I pay staff when they are off sick due to COVID following the changes to self-isolation rules?

For the contact details, click the button below, login and scroll down.

Click here to contact Bira Legal

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