Support for Hertfordshire businesses - trading safely
Prior to re-opening, you must conduct a risk assessment specific to your business and complete the ‘COVID secure’ checklist. If you have 5+ employees you must also ensure it is written down.
Hertfordshire’s Better Business for All partnership has produced guides, checklists and FAQs as part of a toolkit to help businesses complete their risk assessment and put new processes and procedures in place to allow them to re-open and trade safely.
These documents will be regularly updated in line with Government's latest COVID-19 guidelines, so please ensure you are following the latest version. You should use the toolkit as a general guide that provides direction, but please remember that your COVID-19 risk assessment must be reflective of your business to enable you to operate safely. Some of the guidance may not apply to you directly, but can be adapted to suit your business.
The toolkit below will be added to over time, in line with Government’s recovery road map and feedback from businesses on the additional support they need. The FAQs for re-opening and trading safely contains links to specific Government guidance that all businesses should read.
In addition to the toolkit, there are many other short guides to support businesses at this time (see list below), including: distance selling/trading online; producing hand sanitiser; delivery, refunds and cancellations; terms and conditions and product/service descriptions. These guides are especially useful if you have diversified your business in any way during the pandemic. Trading Standards can also advise further on these topics.
For further guidance and advice on any of the above, contact your local Environmental Health Service (contact details are available via your district/borough council website) or the Hertfordshire Trading Standards Business Advice Line: 01707 281401 - open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 17 March, Amazon notified its US and EU sellers that it would no longer accept non-essential shipments of Fulfilled-by-Amazon inventory. This is to allow Amazon to focus on fulfilling the essential health, safety, and household products consumers are demanding.
Government has introduced temporary changes to the use and supply of denatured alcohol and duty-free spirits to help businesses who produce hand sanitiser and gel.
The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2015 are concerned with environmental impacts from packaging and packaging waste. There are certain requirements placed on businesses that make or use packaging or its raw materials (including manufacturers, packers, fillers and retailers).
For sales made at a distance, there are rules that apply to the cost of outward and return delivery when the consumer cancels the contract, as well as rules about loss or damage in transit.
Businesses that hike their prices up and exploit customers amid the Coronavirus outbreak will be clamped down on by the competition watchdog.
In the UK, contract terms must be fair, in line with the principles of good faith, fulfil certain standards and cannot cause a big difference in the rights and obligations between the parties.
If you want to change your business model and provide a delivery service, you must ensure that the proper controls are in place and food is produced and delivered hygienically and safely.
All businesses must store goods and materials safely, especially warehouses, factories, shops and food, agricultural and construction businesses. As well as ensuring you fulfil your legal duty to protect the health and safety of those affected by your business, the right approach to storage can also help you reduce pollution, unnecessary wastage and other costs.