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How RSSB is applying the government’s advice on Coronavirus

On 16 March, the Prime Minister, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer held a press conference to address the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation. The Prime Minister asked for people to work from home, avoid unnecessary travel and avoid gatherings, especially in the London area.

This was reinforced in his statement on 23 March which introduced stricter restrictions on travel and gatherings, and encouraged everybody to stay at home.

RSSB is following the government’s policy. This means: 

  • No meetings will be held at The Helicon until further notice (including all existing bookings). 
  • Meetings led by RSSB will be converted to conference or video calls instead. This includes all Groups and Working Committees meetings.  

RSSB members and stakeholders should be aware that all RSSB employees will now be working from home until the government changes its advice. Employees will be available directly by email, mobile phone and Skype.  

Below is information which may be of use to RSSB members during this period. I would like to thank the Railway Industry Association (RIA) for compiling the information and making it available. 

The decision to adopt these measures was not taken lightly and I hope members are supportive of what we’re doing to keep operations and services going during this difficult time for everyone.  We know that there will also be pressures on you as our members, and we want to do everything we can to continue to provide the services you require from us. You can still keep in contact with us through the RSSB Enquiry Desk, which can be accessed through the following link.

Kind regards,

Mark Phillips
CEO

Useful Coronavirus information for rail suppliers 

  • For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is gov.uk. However, Government is also scaling up the Business Support Helpline so businesses in England, of all sizes, can pick up the phone and speak directly to an advisor (Devolved Administrations have their own equivalent services in place). The number to call is: 0300 456 3565
  • HMRC have launched a tax helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Find all the information here. The number is 0800 0159 559.
  • Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts. Find all the information here.

Guidance for British people living or travelling overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find the update guidance here.

Online resources for businesses and employers

For the latest information and advice, employers and business owners should visit guidance for employees, employers and businesses. Check the page regularly for updates and subscribe to receive email alerts. 

Information includes: 

  • Guidance on advice to provide to staff including: how to help prevent spread of COVID-19; what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting; advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas; and advice for the certification of absence from work resulting from COVID19
  • Information on the support available to businesses impacted by COVID-19 
  • ACAS has published information for employees and employers, including information on simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff, sick pay and absence from work

Business support announced by the Treasury 

On 17 March, the Prime Minister held a second press conference regarding the COVID-19 situation. During the press conference, the Chancellor announced a package of financial measures to support the UK economy, including:

  • Government-backed loans worth £330 billion will be made available to businesses.
  • A new lending facility has been agreed with the Bank of England to provide low cost commercial paper.
  • Extend the business interruption loan scheme announced in the Spring Budget to provide loans of up to £5 million with no interest for six months.

The Chancellor also announced the Treasury will have enhanced legal powers in the COVID Bill “to offer whatever financial support I [the Chancellor] think is necessary.” All measures announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget are superseded by yesterday’s announcement. 

BEIS: Production and Supply of Ventilators and Ventilator Components

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19. Please click here for more information. 

Request for business intelligence: How is COVID-19 impacting businesses?

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) seeks business intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting individual businesses and business sectors. It would welcome information from SMEs on:   

  • The impacts across supply, demand and labour markets
  • Actions being taken by firms to address these impacts
  • Any gaps in the Government response from an SME perspective

Please send this information to intel@beis.gov.uk and if possible, share with RIA. If individual company information is commercially sensitive, confidentiality will be respected.

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