IoD responds as coronavirus restrictions return in England and furlough extended

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement of further planned coronavirus restrictions, Jonathan Geldart, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

“Controlling the virus is crucial for the economy in the long run. But make no mistake, these measures will put great strain on an already fragile business community.

“The decision to reinstate furlough is absolutely the right one, and the announcement should bring relief to many businesses. Directors will be eager for clarity on the employer contributions, as we are now returning to circumstances much like the start of the summer.

“With the return of restrictions, gaps in government support must be sorted at long last. Small company directors who have gone without support throughout the crisis should be helped through local authority grants.

“It’s also now clear that the Government made a mistake ending its suspension of wrongful trading rules. This gave directors much needed breathing space to protect businesses and jobs during the summer. To help to prevent a flood of insolvencies, it must be reinstated straight away.

“When we emerge from these restrictions, directors will want to see the Test and Trace system firing on all cylinders. This could be a key weapon in the fight against the virus, but it hasn’t hit its target yet. The Prime Minister’s emphasis on this is welcome, but the results on the ground will matter most.”