UK to help stricken businesses by easing regulation

30 Mars, 2020, 20:12 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Britain's NHS England Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis speaks at a digital news conference on the country's coronavirus disease outbreak at 10 Downing Street in London Britain

"Now is not the time to be complacent", NHS England medical director Stephen Powis has warned at the government's latest coronavirus press conference.

When asked if he hoped that the United Kingdom was not on the same trajectory as countries such as Italy, Powis said: "If we can keep deaths below 20,000 we will have done very well in this epidemic".

Alok Sharma, who was briefly a housing minister during 2017/18, said: "Today's measures will also reduce the burden on businesses, giving bosses much-needed breathing space to keep their workers employed and their companies going".

Sharma - now the Business Secretary - says agencies and other categories of firms can be more easily restructured and there would be a temporary suspension of wrongful trading provisions for company directors to remove the threat of personal liability during the pandemic, which will apply retrospectively from March 1.

Mr Sharma announced changes to insolvency rules to allow firms "greater flexibility as they face the current crisis".

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"We also understand that the government plans to introduce a moratorium; a period of breathing space for businesses that would allow protection from enforcement action by creditors, accompanied by measures created to ensure the business is able to rely on continuity of supply and we do believe that, if the legislation introduced is effective, this would allow viable companies more breathing space to consider their options, with the process being monitored by a licensed insolvency practitioner".

The government has revealed significant changes to the UK's insolvency laws that are created to help struggling estate agency businesses stay afloat for longer during the crisis.

In addition, companies required to hold annual general meetings will be be able to do so flexibly in a matter compatible with public health guidance.

"It is right that the rules on wrongful trading are temporarily suspended to ensure that directors are not penalised for doing all they can to save companies and jobs during this turbulent period".

Also announced were measures to cut red tape to allow companies to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitiser more quickly.

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