Hello from Jersey Chamber HQ. Here is a brief Saturday review.
The Government has rolled out a Phase 2 of the Payroll Co-funding Scheme at a further £101m in costs for April, May and June. It appears they do listen… although to be clear, the exclusions to the funding were more than we anticipated, and they were announced a couple of hours after the press briefing. Click HERE.
Chamber engagement yesterday and this morning has been centred around discussions with the Government team involved in the phases of Payroll Co-Funding. To understand more we requested a meeting with the policy team, and with Jersey Business, Law at Work and the IoD, we met to ask the first tranche of questions we had. The unclear areas around some of the exclusions will need more work and understanding but we managed to clarify questions from agriculture, land transport and wholesalers. A whole raft of detail surrounding rates of pay and conditions within the policy and on those being seconded to a different employer are also in the grey area for employers and Richard Plaster at Law at Work is awaiting clarification on these points. Update on Monday.
The Govt team of officers are doing everything they can, but with a limit on funds available, the message is of understanding is that Government does not have the funds to help every business. The priority has been to respond to those businesses that have stopped trading or are about to, rather than those who are more robust, have not or are not about to close, cease trading, and/or make major layouts. That is not pleasing every business understandably and our priority is of course to ensure all businesses get the assistance they require.
However, think in terms of an economic version of triage. The definition of Triage is the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.
We understand with the limit on resources available in Phase 1 and Phase 2 for the Payroll Co-Funding, this has been the approach in carrying out what is a political policy for officers to carry out. There is no news of whether a Phase 3 or even four might come in to play, but this is just our understanding. We had asked and hoped a Government Minister would be explaining this policy, in order that we could pass it on to Chamber members and the wider business community, but as yet they have not. We meanwhile are working with the officers to answer your questions over the weekend – if you have any, send them to me. I can’t promise I’ll be online for every hour, but I will be monitoring things.
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré announced further closure measures to ensure strict social distancing to limit the spread of coronavirus yesterday very early in the morning.
The following businesses should close to the public with immediate effect:
- Hair salons and barbers
- Nail bars
- Beauty parlours
- Tattoo and piercing studios
- Laser and cosmetic clinics delivering non-essential cosmetic treatments
In addition, any establishment which serves food on-premises should close to the public, but businesses which offer takeaway services can continue to provide food for delivery by following new guidelines.
The Chief Minister has also said publicly, he believes there will be a time that lockdown will be required. We would recommend all should be prepared for this to happen.
In other news, following our introductions Jersey Gas and Government are in discussions as to how they can work together, and will be holding further talks next week.
Although, we always have been providing links to Jersey Business and Government websites within our updates every day and they were on our website too, we have now managed to change the layout, so these are more prominent. www.jerseychamber.com featuring www.jerseybusiness.com and www.gov.je
We received between 30 and 50 calls per day from worried businesses. Regardless of them being members of Chamber or not we are giving out the same info and advise as we get it. We are welcoming new members to Chamber every day and have had over 25 new organisations join up during this time of need. I’m sure you, as paid up members will understand that we are not charging them or sending them invoices for fees between now and the June renewals. We hope and trust our work, which is only funded by your membership will be seen as justifiable and worthy of your support. If you know businesses needing our help, tell them to call me and join Jersey Chamber. The bigger we are, the stronger the voice we have.
Latest Government news
Updated isolation advice for entire households
Updated public health advice has been given for entire households to isolate if any household member shows symptoms of Coronavirus.
Jersey's Fiscal Policy Panel updated economic forecast
Jersey’s Fiscal Policy Panel (FPP) has published an updated set of economic forecasts, which consider the potential impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and has recommended the Island’s fiscal reserves are used to support the economy.
Coronavirus: Assistance from Island utility companies
Utility companies have agreed that they will be as flexible as possible with payment terms for all customers. Click HERE for details.
Support for business tenants of Govt properties
The Government of Jersey is reaching out to its tenant business owners to offer deferred rent payments if they have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Click HERE for details.
Government forms Construction Industry Response Team
The Government of Jersey has established the Construction Industry Response Team, in partnership with the Jersey Construction Council and sector representatives, to ensure measures are in place to protect the industry’s future and support businesses within the sector.
Appointment of Acting Director General for Growth, Housing and Environment
The Government of Jersey has today announced that Andy Scate has been appointed as Acting Director General for Growth, Housing and Environment (GHE). The appointment is effective from today. Click HERE.
Stay safe, stay at home and stay in touch online,
CEO, Jersey Chamber of Commerce.