Knowsley Working Well has secured additional funding from Knowsley’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) to assist local businesses (SME’s) and employees as they return to the workplace following the latest Covid-19 national lockdown.
A total £300,000 of funding is in place for Covid-19 Workplace Grants that will enable companies to fund infrastructure items to enhance their premises into sustainable Covid-19 secure environments as more employees and customers return to the setting. The grant can also be used to help businesses to provide increased support for their staff whose wider health may have suffered during lockdown or upon returning to the workplace, for example staff Mental Health support.
The grant will enable companies to fund items that will support them in meeting the standards around Health and Safety, Leadership and Mental Health & Wellbeing. Grants can only be used for new initiatives or activity. There are many things the funding can be used for, such as:
- Automatic hand-sanitisers and other ‘non-touch’ systems
- Automated systems to prevent cross-contamination
- Additional PPE
- Signage, high viz jackets etc
- Perspex Screens
- Re-evaluation of office layout
- Health & Safety advisor support
Dr Sarah McNulty, Director of Public Health, Knowsley, said: “As more people start to return to the workplace, we want to ensure that Knowsley businesses are supported to provide safe working environments as well as support staff whose health has been impacted throughout this pandemic. We can’t underestimate the impact COVID-19 has had on staff with many having to adapt to working from home, managing childcare and caring responsibilities, illness and sadly bereavement.
The grant will help to support businesses to ensure they are COVID-secure and reassure staff that steps have been taken to reduce the chances of transmission and workplace outbreaks.”
There are limited funds available, therefore grants will be determined and awarded in the order in which the applications are received. Companies can apply for a grant now (application form below) and during the following grant windows:
Window 3: 14 to 30 June
If funds are exhausted prior to the next grant window opening, the grant scheme will come to an automatic close and applicants will be advised.
Grant payments are based on the rateable value (or rent equivalent) of the commercial property that the business or organisation is operating from:
RV up to £15,000: grant up to £1,000
RV £15,001 – £51,000: grant up to £2,000
RV over £51,000: grant up to £3,000
Companies can apply for a grant to support infrastructure items and also for staff support initiatives. Therefore, depending on the RV of the property a company could receive a maximum of £6,000.
Lorna Marshall, Knowsley Working Well Coordinator, said: “The new grant adds to the existing wellbeing grant programme which supports employee wellbeing initiatives for Knowsley-based businesses.
Good practice of health and safety in the workplace and being Covid-Secure is paramount in controlling the virus, so this new grant will support workplaces in funding this. In addition, the funding allocated for mental health training will pave the way for employees to feel confident and comfortable and know they are supported in their workplace environment. Under the ‘new normal’ working conditions, it is important that employers introduce new working practices that will support their employees.”