What does the latest lockdown rules mean for contractors?
On Monday night, Boris Johnson addressed the nation and announced that for the third time, national lockdown measures would be put in place. This has again limited the reasons to leave home, with all restaurants and non-essential shops having to close, as well as schools and colleges moving to online teaching for all, except for vulnerable children and children of critical workers.
You can read a full list of the restrictions here.
But what does this lockdown mean for you as a contractor?
Remote working is back again
In terms of travelling to work, the rules have been updated on the Gov.UK website to the following:
‘You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance’ – essentially, if you can do your job at home, you must do so.
This has seen many offices closing again, with people moving back to remote working. The one positive is that we all know the drill by now. Companies are much better prepared this time around, having already set up their staff to work remotely and adopted COVID secure working practices.
That said, if the thought of working from home full-time again makes you want to groan, we’ve put together some tips on how to manage your day and stay focused (screen breaks are a definite must!)
Financial Support still available
Rishi Sunak has pledged an additional £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs. During the last lockdown, we pulled together a list of different schemes which may help some contractors. It’s worth nothing that some of these, including the SEISS scheme and the furlough scheme have been extended again.
However, as we’ve previously raised, this unfortunately won’t help everyone. In the first instance, speak to your accountant or contact your local authority to see what support may be available to you.
The end of COVID-19 is in sight (hopefully)
The positive news is that both the Oxford vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine are now beginning to be administered, and with Boris Johnson setting a target that the top 4 priority groups will all have been offered the vaccine by mid-February, hopefully the end is in sight.
We are hopeful that this time around, businesses will be able to ride the storm and that for most contractors, they can carry on working. Of course, this won’t be the case for everyone, as unfortunately some industries will inevitably have shut down entirely.
What can Kingsbridge do to help?
One thing we think is essential for contractors is a comprehensive insurance policy. Not only will it protect you from the unexpected and provide retroactive cover for previous work, but it also means you are ready to go straight away for new contracts.
Our package policy includes Professional Indemnity and Public Liability as standard, as well as Occupational Personal Accident cover, Employers’ Liability, and Directors’ and Officers’ liability, giving you comprehensive cover and peace of mind.
At Kingsbridge, we also want to understand how our contractors are doing in the wake of this recent lockdown, and your preparations for the IR35 reforms. This will help us to help you get through this trying time. That’s why we’ve launched a survey so you can share your thoughts.
The survey is completely anonymous and best of all, by completing the survey, you will be entered into a prize draw to win a £300 Voucher Express e-Gift Card! You can complete the survey by clicking here. Please note the survey closes on the 18th January 2021.