This page provides links to sources of information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).
Support and guidance for businesses
There is a government package of measures to support businesses including a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and a restructuring regime for HEIs facing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19). The CJRS guidance includes information for employers on how to claim under the Scheme and a worked example of how to calculate flexible furlough. Also see government guidance on the flexible furlough scheme published on 1 July 2020. The CJRS closed on 30 September 2021 and claims under the Scheme for September must be submitted on or before 14 October 2021 and any amendments made on or before 28 October 2021. The legal framework for the CJRS is set out in the Treasury Direction published on 15 April 2021 which supersedes the previous versions published on 26 January 2021, 12 November 2020, I October 2020, 25 June 2020, 22 May 2020 and 15 April 2020.
The Department for Education (DfE) has published HE sector specific guidance relating to the CJRS and the HMT Business Support Schemes and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has published information regarding the application of the UK Government's CJRS and loan schemes for colleges and universities in Scotland.
Safe working, reopening of campuses and testing - summer term 2021
In February 2021 the government published Covid-19 Response - Spring 2021 which sets out the roadmap for the removal of restrictions in England. The Covid-19 Response - Summer 2021 guidance sets out arrangements for England following the decision to move to step 4 of the roadmap. The DfE has published updated specific HE operational guidance for universities in England to help them minimise risk during the Covid-19 pandemic and provide students with an enjoyable experience. As well as confirming the removal of restrictions in line with wider society including social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, the guidance also includes updated information on outbreak management plans, testing and new and returning students travelling from overseas.
The government has published updated 'Working Safely' guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace and help ensure safe working during the coronavirus pandemic. The six guides cover a range of different types of work including offices, factories and labs. The HSE regularly updates its guidance for employers on risk assessment during the Covid-19 pandemic. The government has also published detailed guidance on testing including a list of essential workers prioritised for testing and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published updated guidance on workplace Covid-19 testing. Organisations which are conducting workplace testing will need to follow the guidance. There is also a government list of critical workers who can access schools or educational settings during coronavirus restrictions.
The Scottish government has updated the Strategic Framework which details the Covid-19 response strategy in light of new conditions and has published guidance for colleges, universities and student accommodation providers. The Welsh Government has published guidance for HE and student support and has updated its guidance for the HE sector on protecting the health and safety of students, staff and the community. The Northern Ireland government has also published Covid-19 advice on schools, colleges and universities.
In September 2020 the government published regulations which set out mandatory periods for self-isolation and a duty to notify the Secretary of State of the names of people in the same household as anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and guidance for employers and workers on work absence dues to Covid-19. The regulations make it an offence for an employer to knowingly permit a worker to attend any place other than where the individual is self-isolating.
Department for Education
The DfE has launched a helpline to answer questions about Covid-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm)
- Guidance for Skilled Worker (Tier 2), Student and Temporary Worker (Tier 5) sponsors.
- Guidance on right to work checks.
- Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents
Coronavirus Immigration helpline
Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Universities UK (UUK) has a dedicated webpage:
Information and resources for universities
ACAS: Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees
CIPD: Coronavirus advice and hub
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC): Guidance to help employers ensure that their decisions in response to coronavirus do not discriminate against employees with protected characteristics.
Eversheds Sutherland: Coronavirus legal hub and planning checklist for 2020/21 academic year.
CBI: Coronavirus hub
Health and mental wellbeing advice:
A number of organisations have published information, guidance and resources specifically to help support both employers and employees with mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These additional resources include:
NHS: Mental wellbeing while staying at home: this resource has tips and advice for people to keep on top of their mental health while staying at home.
MIND: Coronavirus and your mental health: MIND’s hub has information and resources to help people cope during the pandemic including coronavirus and wellbeing, coping with going into work during coronavirus and useful contacts.
ACAS: Coronavirus and mental health and work: ACAS have published guidance and resources to support employers and employees during the coronavirus pandemic.
Student Minds: Coronavirus resources: guidance and resources to support students and people in the university community including looking after mental health, staying at home and mental health and guidance for those with ongoing mental health difficulties.
CIPD: Wellbeing helpline services for CIPD members: CIPD members can access a range of products and resources to support their mental health during these challenging times.
Mental Health UK: Managing mental health during the coronavirus outbreak: this includes information about working from home, looking after others, mental health and money advice and looking after mental health.
Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE):
Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information and advice
All current coronavirus guidance for health professionals and non clinical settings
Emergency volunteering leave:
Eversheds Guidance on emergency volunteering leave
Details of emergency volunteering leave in the Schedule 7 of the Coronavirus Act 2020
Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus (COVID-19) and annual leave carry-over:
The government has published guidance setting out how holiday entitlement and pay operate during coronavirus (COVID-19), where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance.
Changes to the Working Time Regulations to allow workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 to carry it over into the next 2 leave years.