Business Taskforce - 5th November - 10:00 am for 60 minutes

Panellists include:
  • Cllr Shantanu Rajawat - Cabinet member for finance and corporate services at Hounslow Council
  • Tony Ryan - Branduin Business Support
  • Dawn Edwards - The Real Business Club
  • Nicholas Woolf - Nicholas Woolf Solicitors
  • Helen Roberts - CPGEXP
  • Alan Rides - Hounslow Chamber and West London Local Chambers
  • Shankar Devarashetty - Oasis Accountants

Bearing in mind that we are approaching a second national lockdown, this webinar could not be better timed. We are here to try to answer your questions.


If you have missed our webinars, you can watch them now: https://hounslowchamber.org.uk/10015
The Prime Minister has announced new national restrictions in England (courtesy of the Cabinet Office)
 
From Thursday 5 November, everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:

  • For education;
  • For work, if you cannot work from home;
  • For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
  • For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
  • To shop for food and essentials;
  • And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Click and collect services can continue and essential shops, including supermarkets, will remain open. Pubs, bars, restaurants must close, except for takeaway and delivery services. 
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as the furlough scheme, will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. 
 
Guidance on the new measures is available at: bit.ly/guidance5nov
 
Details of the extended furlough scheme and other economic support, can be found here: bit.ly/economicsupport
New national lockdown rules
A message from Cllr. Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council

The Prime Minister yesterday announced plans for new lockdown measures for England.

They will be published this Tuesday and MPs will vote on them on Wednesday.

If they are approved, they will come into force on Thursday, 5th November, and be expected to last until Wednesday, 2nd December.

As they stand, the new measures would include:
 
 
  • All pubs and restaurants to close, though takeaways and deliveries will be permitted.
  • All non-essential retail to close.
  • No mixing of people inside homes, except for childcare and other forms of support.
  • Schools, universities and courts will remain open.
  • Manufacturing and construction will be encouraged to keep going.
  • Outbound international travel will be banned, except for work.
  • Travel within the UK will be discouraged, except for work.
  • Overnight stays away from home will be allowed only for work purposes.
  • Outdoor exercise and recreation will be encouraged.
  • Private prayer will continue in places of worship, but not services. 
  • The furlough scheme will be extended until December.

More information on the proposed new restrictions is available on the Government’s website. For now, London remains in Tier 2 restrictions.

I know this is a very difficult and worrying time for many residents and businesses. We must all pull together over the tough month ahead, as we have done throughout this pandemic, and support each other.

London’s councils were not aware of the Government’s proposals until they were announced. However, be assured that we have been preparing for stricter measures and plans are in place. Our number one priority remains protecting our most vulnerable residents and, alongside our partners, we'll be doing all we can to support our local communities and businesses.

As more details of the new measures are provided, we’ll share them with you and make them as clear as we can. Everyone has a personal responsibility to follow these measures to help keep themselves and other safe, so please do read through them.

The coronavirus section of our website - www.hounslow.gov.uk/coronavirus - will be regularly updated with the latest information and advice, as will our social media channels.

Keep following the Tier 2 guidance for now, and stay safe.
Employment Law Bulletin
Covid-19: Extension of furlough 

The Prime Minister has announced that England will be entering into a national lockdown from Thursday 5 November until at least 2 December 2020. During the lockdown pubs, restaurants, gyms, non-essential shops and places of worship will close but schools and universities will stay open. People should work from home where possible, but those industries where working from home is not possible, such as the construction and manufacturing industries, will be allowed to continue.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as furlough), which was due to come to an end on Saturday (31 October 2020), will be extended in order to provide support to businesses and employees during the new national lockdown. It therefore remains available to businesses as of 1 November and will be open for the duration of the lockdown. The level of support available under the extended scheme mirrors that available under the furlough scheme in August, with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Flexible furloughing is allowed under the extended scheme, as well as full-time furloughing. The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come into effect from 1 November, has been postponed until furlough ends.

The formal press release outlines the eligibility rules governing the extended furlough scheme. It states that neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the furlough scheme, and that it is available in respect of any employees who were on the employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020. Employers can claim the grant for the hours that their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. When claiming for furloughed hours, employers need to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days. For hours not worked by the employee, the Government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500, which must be paid to the employee in full. Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions, and should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way. As previously, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.

We know that the extension of furlough will be welcomed by many employers who would otherwise have to make the difficult decision of making redundancies. As before, our advice is to consult with employees whom you wish to put on furlough and obtain written agreement from those affected.  
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Hounslow Council News
Targeted support for residents who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19

More than £12million has been made available through the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) programme to help people to find work and to develop new skills and retrain to improve their chances of securing alternative employment. 

The Job Entry Targeted Support scheme is designed to help people to find work who have been unemployed and in receipt of benefits for at least 13 weeks.

The employment advisors will support individuals for up to six months through one to one meetings and candidates will also have access to online courses, training, video tutorials and information on suitable vacancies.

Suspension of access restrictions at Turnham Green Terrace

Due to extended emergency works on Acton Lane by Thames Water, Hounslow Council is suspending access restrictions at Turnham Green Terrace with immediate effect.

The combination of Turnham Green Terrace’s experimental traffic order, and the emergency work being done by Thames Water is having a serious and detrimental impact on traffic across the area, affecting residents and businesses. As a result the experimental access restrictions will be suspended with immediate effect.

Experimental parking restrictions remain in place and will continue to be enforced.

Council launches trial e-cargo bike delivery service for businesses

Hounslow Council and Sustrans, have launched a trial e-cargo bike delivery service for businesses in the Chiswick area.

The trial aims to help support local businesses by providing an alternative zero-carbon delivery option. The trial will help support our policies of encouraging active travel and reducing the number of short private car journeys made, as well as aiding high street resilience in the COVID-19 crisis. 

The trial service will focus on working with businesses, for free, in and around the Chiswick area, delivering within a 2.5 mile radius. Deliveries will occur twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 4:30pm and 7.30pm.

The bikes were first trialled at the first Chiswick Flower market and will be in use again this weekend at the Chiswick Flower Market on Sunday 1 November 9:30am-3pm.

We have made the sad but inevitable decision to hold the Awards on-line, rather than a live event. They will now take place online on Wednesday, 9th December at 6.00 pm. We are proud to announce Mark Ramprakash, the cricketer and "Strictly" winner, will be our guest speaker.

The costs are £59 plus VAT and booking fee per person for an Executive Ticket, this ticket includes the Ceremony and a Gift Bag with wine, a £25 food gift card and other goodies. Or £29 plus VAT and booking fee per person for a Standard Ticket, this ticket is just for the Ceremony.


I do hope you decide to enter into the spirit of the evening, to mark the end of 2020, with an enjoyable evening, albeit remotely, to boost the morale of our companies in this challenging current climate.
West London Local Chambers & Hounslow Chamber of Commerce are the primary support, networking, and representation organisation in west London for SMEs.

We support the interests, the commercial aspirations and the investment from businesses in Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham - the Chamber is the voice for all businesses located in the borough