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COVID-19 (coronavirus) - advice and resources

17 Mar 2020

people on a street

This page was last updated on 17th March.

The exact scale of the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is, as yet, uncertain. We want to ensure IoD members have what they need to respond to the situation.

In the first instance, we recommend someone in your organisation regularly reviews the UK Government’s guidance for employers. This guidance, which is updated frequently, will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff on:

  • the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • what advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas
  • actions to take if staff come into contact with someone who is self-isolating or is a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Remote working

On Monday 16th March, the Government announced that people should work from home wherever possible. For guidance on remote working, read our factsheets, including:

Government support

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the Government would be taking a number of measures to support businesses and individuals through the Coronavirus outbreak. A summary of these measures can be read here. For an outline of the most important measures for directors regarding Covid-19 and other issues, read this briefing from our Chief Economist.

On 17th March, the Government announced further measures, saying it would do 'whatever it takes' to protect people and businesses. The measures announced include:

  • Increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £1.2 million to £5 million, and ensuring businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.
  • Giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months
  • Increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000
  • Providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000

The Chancellor also announced that support for the employed would be announced shortly.

We are in continuous contact with Ministers, including the Business Secretary, to ensure this support works, and to feed back your view of what should happen next. We welcome any information, or any questions you want asked. Please don’t hesitate to send these to

Business Continuity Planning

The Government has advised all organisations to review their business continuity plans. To assist you in doing so, our Information and Advisory Service has produced guidance that outlines the legal and practical issues involved.

Guidance on continuity planning

For employment law questions, IoD members may also wish to access our Legal Helpline.

Access the IoD's Legal Helpline

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