Information for businesses and the self-employed
Shropshire Council has been working closely with Telford and Wrekin Council, Public Health England (PHE), NHS England and local health and care partners, to prepare and respond to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
We are using this time to work with local partners to review business continuity and outbreak response plans should things change.
New toolkit for reopening your business
We’ve produced a new toolkit for businesses offering advice about reopening as lockdown measures are eased. It’s designed to provide a quick and simple guide to a lot of the information and resources you need to help support your business during these challenging times.
You can take a look at the toolkit and more on our Business Support section.
Update following the prime minister’s announcement on Sunday 11 May 2020
In order to respond to the questions from businesses and employees seeking clarity regarding the prime minister’s announcement on Sunday 11 May 2020, Shropshire Council’s priority during the coronavirus pandemic is to protect the public and save lives. As the prime minister has stated “…we will not be driven by mere hope or economic necessity. We are going to be driven by the science, the data and public health.”
We need to pause and consider the details that will emerge over the next few days. We will take stock of the government information and continue to support and enable businesses to operate in a safe way that protects both their employees and the public.
Further advice can be sought from firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can view our pages on the latest information for the public for details on social distancing and more.
Guidance for Shropshire Businesses on how to report confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus/COVID-19 in the workplace
If one of your employees or colleagues test positive for COVID-19 or they start to have symptoms there are some actions you need to take. The main symptoms include:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Who should I notify?
Colleagues in Public Health England and Shropshire Council are working very closely to ensure we can support all businesses during this pandemic.
It is important to:
- Report a suspected outbreak of COVID-19 in the workplace (where two or more persons linked to the workplace have symptoms of COVID-19) and confirmed cases (more than one person who has received a positive test result for COVID-19), to Public Health England by telephone to 0344 225 3560 (option 0, then option 2)
- At the same time you can also notify us via:
or by telephone 01743 251234. 9am-5pm 7 days a week
- A single suspected case of COVID-19 in the workplace does not need reporting to Public Health England, but please contact us using the details in the previous point so that we can provide further information and support to your organisation.
- You may need to submit a RIDDOR report:
COVID-19 is a notifiable disease and there is a statutory duty under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) that employers must notify the enforcing authority about cases of, or deaths from, COVID-19 which are associated only with occupational exposure, that is, as a result of a person’s work.
You can report applicable confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the HSE.
The reporting is in addition to notifying us and PHE, as detailed above.
Government guidance for employers
The government has published specific guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely.
The new guidance covers eight workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways.
There are also videos and webinars to help your business deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the Gov.uk website.
Our support for businesses and employees
There is an online form available to apply for Covid-19-related business grants. For more information about eligibility and how to apply follow this link.
We have issued a letter to businesses from the leader of Shropshire Council detailing the steps we are taking to help, and will provide updates as the government issues further details.
Additional information on a wider range of available grants and funding can be found on the Idox Open 4 Business website, which is free to use until 31 October 2020.
The government have relaxed the rules for some benefits to help with the effect of coronavirus. If you need to claim universal credit because of coronavirus there is useful information to help you on the Understanding Universal Credit webpages.
A number of organisations have contacted us with concerns regarding continuity of supplier payments during the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We would like to reassure all suppliers that as long as invoices are submitted to us in the usual way we have business continuity arrangements in place which will allow us to process these as normal. The situation is being monitored closely and if this position changes we will send out a communication to that effect.
Take a look at our Environmental Health and Trading Standards sections for essential advice to all businesses regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. These pages provide essential information giving clarity to businesses on whether they are permitted to stay open. It includes other useful guidance on preventing the spread of the Covid 19 virus, including the keeping of records of staff and visitors/customers.
Advice for food businesses
The latest advice for food businesses on Covid-19 can be found on our Food safety pages. This includes information for takeaways, community groups and a general FAQ section.
Advice for farming and livestock businesses
The latest advice for farmers, dog groomers, livestock owners and other animal businesses on Covid-19 can be found in our animal health coronavirus section.