Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for Employers and Businesses
How your business can help in the efforts against Coronavirus
This page will be updated with the latest information and initiatives for businesses to apply their resources and knowledge to help in the efforts against Coronavirus, including the development of innovative products and technology, and the donation of equipment such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and connectivity devices like tablets, dongles and sims.
Help the government increase coronavirus testing capacity
The government wants help from businesses to increase testing capacity in the UK as part of its strategy to protect the NHS and save lives. It wants to hear specifically from companies who can manufacture and supply:
consumables and equipment for coronavirus testing, in particular test kits (such as nose and throat swabs, transport media and vials) and RNA extraction lab consumables (such as reagents, plates and pipette tips)
new or existing types of coronavirus tests for antigens or antibodies.
public or private sector organisations that can offer laboratory capacity.
The Government has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to compile a UK Shortage Occupation List (SOL). This is a list of occupations in the UK which are in shortage, and where migrant workers may be needed to fill the gap.
Businesses and organisations are encouraged to submit their own consultation responses. The consultation closes on 24 June 2020 at 11.45pm. Click here for more information.
Tell the government which services you can offer
The government has created an online form that allows businesses to confirm how they are able to help with the response to coronavirus, including:
medical testing equipment
medical equipment design
protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement or engineering
Guidance published for Small-Scale Manufacturers of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment
The Office for Product Safety and Standards has published guidance designed to help any small businesses, organisations or other individuals who are responding to the call for a national effort to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) aimed at protecting the health of the wearer during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to view.
Help shine a light on the stories of key workers
The government is asking businesses to tell them about key workers they know who are helping to keep the UK moving during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Please fill in this online form for key workers in the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, consumer goods, scientists and researchers, servicing, postal workers, oil, gas, electricity, water, sewage and chemical workers.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) hub
A new hub containing guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE), and infection prevention and control (IPC) is now available, containing information for both health and social care settings and other workers and sectors. Click here for more information.
The hub also links to the Cross-government UK-wide PPE plan to ensure that critical PPE is delivered to those on the frontline. This includes a new ‘Make’ strategy of encouraging UK manufacturers to produce PPE. We would welcome support from manufacturers who wish to offer their production facilities where they can meet the required specifications for use by the NHS and care sector – click here.
Help the government increase coronavirus (COVID-19) testing capacity
There is a new hub (click here) for businesses seeking to help the government increase testing capacity in the UK as part of its strategy to protect the NHS and save lives. It includes a raft of information, including specification for the required antibody test and guidance about the criteria laboratories need to meet to partner with a local NHS trust. Businesses can provide support in a number of ways:
Help provide new testing methods in 4 key areas – click here
Request for support from the U9
The U9 group of universities across the South East are calling for support from businesses to help in the manufacture of personal protective equipment (PPE). Listed below are calls from the universities as they are received.
University of Brighton
Support/need we are working to meet: PPE manufacture, specifically face shield headbands and visors
Progress made/products available: 100 face shield headbands and 250 visors delivered to SECAMBS; 350 face shields and 650 visors delivered to the Royal Sussex Hospital
Business support required: More materials needed to respond to further demand for PPE, specifically:
8 mm to 1.5mm clear plastic sheets for A4 visors (210 x 300mm)
A4 or A3 clear acetate sheets
5 mm to 1.2mm polypropylene sheet A2 or larger
4mm to 8mm wide Elastic cord
We can adapt to alternative materials if need be so would be interested to hear from parties with alternatives available.
Manufacture and supply of testing equipment and laboratory PPE
The Department of Health and Social Care has produced an online form for organisations that can manufacture and supply testing consumables, equipment and laboratory Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Local Authorities across the South East have made calls for business to donate any unused PPE including masks, disposable gloves, aprons, eye goggles and sanitising gel, so that these can be provided to frontline staff.
Do you have access to a 3D printer to help produce PPE face masks?
BT has had NHS approval to co-ordinate 3D-printed PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) production of facemasks for East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust and is looking for volunteers to help increase production volumes.
Businesses with access to 3D printers with a print bed minimum size of 15 x 18cm that can print in PLA or ABS are encouraged to get in touch. The task involves 3D printing the plastic frames for an NHS-approved face mask design (which BT will supply) which BT will then assemble with clear-plastic acetate and elastic, to deliver to Ipswich hospital on a weekly basis.
If you think your business can help, please email Shane Allum at BT: email@example.com
Help feed the nation
The CLA is calling on the public to help farms feed the nation and save this year’s harvest.
As a result of travel restrictions and illness, the agricultural sector could face a shortage of up to 80,000 seasonal labour workers.
Time is critical as the picking of soft fruit is due to begin in April, vegetable growers are already beginning to crop and lambing season has reached its peak.
The response from the public has been phenomenal with thousands of people wanting to help farms in need and shows the nation’s great community spirit.
£20 million fund to help boost UK resilience to long-term impact
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), alongside Innovate UK, has launched a new £20 million fund to help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of Coronavirus and similar future situations.
Grants of up to £50,000 are available to technology and research-focused businesses to develop new ways of working and help build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport.
Donation of connectivity devices to help households without access to internet
Supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, FutureDotNow is coordinating industry action through a new initiative, DevicesDotNow, targeting the 1.7 million households who don’t have access to the internet and are digitally excluded as we face a socially distanced world gripped by COVID-19.
The DevicesDotNow campaign is asking businesses to donate tablets, smartphones and laptops, as well as connectivity in the form of sims, dongles and mobile hotspots.