Business Support Service updates

Updated Monday 27 April 2020

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on 26 May. Businesses with fewer than 250 employees can find out how to prepare: UK Government website

The scheme will allow these small and medium-sized sized employers to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying COVID-19-related Statutory Sick Pay.

The repayment will cover up to two weeks of SSP, and is payable if an employee is unable to work because they:

  • have coronavirus; or
  • are self-isolating and unable to work from home; or
  • are shielding because they've been advised that they're at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus

Find further details on  Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Business Gateway West Lothian

Business Gateway West Lothian has moved to a virtual service.  To contact us to discuss the support available to your business, please email us at and a member of the team will get back to you.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing for key workers

Please find information for employers on how to access the national testing programme.


Priority number

Rationale for prioritisation

Relevant keyworker populations

Priority Group 1: Health and social care workers; and staff working in residential institutions and essential roles where service resilience is at risk.


  1. Staff delivering NHS services.
  2. Staff providing social care to protect and care for the most vulnerable.


Currently routed through Health Boards

  • All NHS staff and independent contractors working for the NHS, including community pharmacy and emergency dental care.
  • All social care and social work staff working with vulnerable people and the social care system, including care homes, care at home and children's services (including residential and secure care for children), and social care personal assistants

(note key workers in these groups who are not employed through an organisation will access testing, where this can support a return to work, through the UK Government schemes)


  1. Staff with face-to-face roles in residential institutions with people in the care of the state.
  2. Staff are working essential services with niche roles, where service resilience is at risk.
  • Operational staff in prisons
  • All other carers working with looked after children not already included in 1A
  • Staff working on critical national infrastructure (e.g. energy supply) with niche skills essential to maintain services safely
  • Defence staff living in Scotland who fall within the MOD's very highest priority category for testing.

Priority Group 2:  Essential workers in critical national infrastructure fundamental for safety and security, and life-line services.


  1. Staff directly involved in maintaining public safety and security.
  2. Staff essential to the delivery of critical services to the public including supply chains.
  • Police
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Local authorities staff working public safety, security or law and order
  • Front-lime Home Office Staff, including: a) those running immigration detention centres, b) Maritime Border Force, c) frontline immigration and customs officers
  • Essential defence personnel
  • Essential environmental protection
  • Essential animal health and welfare
  • Funeral industry
  • Staff working for third sector organisations supporting people and children who are vulnerable, including grant aided schools
  • Essential roles within food supply chain and food processing.
  • Essential roles within medicines and pharmaceutical supply.
  • Essential roles in chemicals supply chains
  • Essential roles in energy and water supply

Priority Group 3: Staff directly involved in delivering other essential services.


Staff delivering essential services. 

  • Staff providing child care/education in schools for key workers
  • Public transport workers
  • Postal services
  • Financial services
  • Supermarket workers
  • Construction and maintenance of essential public services
  • Court and Crown Office staff
  • Civil Servants, parliament staff and other critical decision makers in public sector working on the central response to covid-19
  • Journalists

Priority Group 4: Staff involved in volunteering, or in nationally or locally significant industry important to economic sustainability and growth


Staff involved in volunteering to provide support to vulnerable people and communities; and staff involved in national or local industry important to economic sustainability and growth.


Business Gateway Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice Page

Business Gateway has launched a dedicated page with the latest information regarding the Coronavirus.

Government Support Packages for Businesses

The government has launched a series of support packages for businesses including business grant funding, Statutory Sick Pay and advice on Business Rates.

Scottish Government Business Advice Page

The Scottish Government has created a resource for businesses which will be updated in due course with information on sources of finance, business continuity as well as business rates and tax.

Government Guidance for Employers

A fantastic resource with information on what you should be doing as an employer and what to do if an employee is off work.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has opened for applications. It supports term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and more. It can provide facilities of up to £5 million for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

ACAS - Coronavirus Advice Page

ACAS are updating this page daily with advice and best practice on communicating with staff and how to ensure you are communicating with them effectively.