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UK Government COVID-19 update, 25 September 2020

01 October 2020
Issue 21, 25 September 2020.  All of the key coronavirus news and guidance in one weekly legal update.

Post-furlough job support scheme unveiled
With a focus on bringing people back to work the Chancellor has announced a new Job Support Scheme starting on 1 November 2020 as part of the winter economy plan, following the conclusion of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) which ends on 31 October 2020.   

Chancellor outlines Winter Economy Plan
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak today outlined additional government support to provide certainty to businesses and workers impacted by coronavirus across the UK.

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson vows to bring in new business support packages
Boris Johnson has vowed to bring in further measures to support businesses affected by the latest coronavirus restrictions as he comes under pressure to extend the furlough scheme.

What has changed: COVID-19 Government Guidance
The government has today announced further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus in England.

MPs move to require vote on future Covid restrictions
More than 40 cross-party MPs support amendment amid brewing revolt over extension of emergency laws.

EU governments and MEPs at loggerheads over €2tn Covid-19 recovery package
Impasse in budget talks means they risk rumbling on to later this year.

NHS COVID-19 app launches across England and Wales
NHS COVID-19 app launches to help control coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

How state aid became a Brexit deal-breaker
DWF's Jonathan Branton and Alexander Rose have assisted in The Economist article 'How State Aid Became a Brexit Deal-Breaker'. The firm is briefly mentioned in the context of whether Dominic Cummings can achieve his objectives within current State aid rules.

UK coronavirus live: government to support wages and help firms employ people on shorter hours
Chancellor announces ‘job support scheme’ to subsidise wages of people in work; VAT cut extended for hospitality and tourism sector until end of March.

PM: ‘Climate action cannot be another victim of coronavirus’
The Prime Minister will call on nations to make ambitious commitments to secure the planet for the next generation today (Thursday 24 September), as he addresses a UN Climate Action Roundtable hosted by the UN Secretary-General.

Brexit: government publishes statement on notwithstanding clauses in UK Internal Market Bill
The government published a statement on the circumstances in which it will ask Parliament to support the use of clauses 42, 43 and 45 of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill 2019-21, which would enable the government to make regulations that breach international or domestic law.

Energy efficiency of housing in England and Wales
Analysis of the energy efficiency, estimated Carbon dioxide emissions and energy costs of dwellings in England and in Wales that had an Energy Performance Certificate. This report aims to provide information that can help track progress towards the decarbonisation agenda.

LGA statement on PAC report progress
“We urge the Government to act on all the Committee’s recommendations without delay. Issues raised in the report around insurance, mortgages and the skills shortage rightly highlight the serious challenges that need to be overcome if all buildings are to be made safe."

Union calls on care workers who make multiple visits to claim payments for travelling time
Trade union Unison has urged care workers and others to enter litigation over payments for time spent travelling between work appointments, following an Employment Tribunal ruling. It also called on the government to require employers to pay care staff for travelling time.


Audit Wales finds healthcare services need improvement
Audit Wales, the body established by the Welsh Parliament to audit public bodies in Wales, has recently issued three reports on operational and financial management in NHS Wales.

Bus services supported with a further £84.6 million to meet challenges of coronavirus
Passengers across Wales will benefit from an additional £84.6 million of Welsh Government funding for the bus industry, which will help companies meet the challenges of coronavirus and run more services.


First Minister calls for urgent four nation coronavirus talks
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has tonight written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for urgent four nation talks to continue to drive coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission to the lowest possible level.

Recycle Week 2020: People encouraged to continue recycling to help the environment
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham is reminding everyone of the importance of recycling to Scotland’s green recovery.

Northern Ireland

Advice given to the Northern Ireland Audit Office on their GovTech Catalyst challenge
Advice given by the Government Digital Service and the Government Finance Function to the Northern Ireland Audit Office on their GovTech Catalyst challenge.

Coronavirus restrictions to come into force across NI
Covid-19 restrictions are to be extended to all of Northern Ireland from 18:00 BST. There will be no mixing of households indoors with some exceptions, and no more than six people from two households can meet in a garden.

Northern Ireland economy won't feel full Covid-19 impact for months: Bank chief warns of risk of rising company failures and personal bankruptcies
The full economic impact of Covid-19 will not be felt until at least the end of the year, the head of Ulster Bank has said. And Mark Crimmins, who leads the bank's operations in Northern Ireland, predicted rising numbers of personal bankruptcies and company failures within the small business sector. 

View the government's latest guidance for local councils >

View more insights on our COVID-19 Hub >

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Further Reading