Member News & Events

Business support for latest COVID restrictions

The Prime Minister yesterday announced a tightening of restrictions in England to curb the number of daily infections as the country continues to battle COVID-19.

Key points include:

  • Working from home where possible;
  • Restrictions on opening hours for pubs, bars and restaurants;
  • Extension of the use of face coverings for all parties in retail and indoor hospitality when not seated, and taxis;
  • Tightening of the rule of six.

Much of the guidance will become legal obligations, with penalties for both individuals and businesses that breach these rules. 

The restrictions could be in force for up to six months. As such, businesses will need to plan for the impact on a range of matters, including:

  • Safe workspaces for both employees at work and those working from home;
  • Staffing requirements;
  • Future strategy and funding for the business.

If you require guidance on any of these matters, contact our HR team at or call your local partner on 0330 088 7111.

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AFCB: Vitality Stadium is re-opening!

Firstly, we hope that all our guests and clients are staying safe and well.

As the government continue to alter lockdown restrictions, we are now able to provide an update as we prepare to return to conferencing and events at Vitality Stadium.

First and foremost, the safety and wellbeing of our staff and clients is paramount as we look to re-open. We have a number of solutions in place which will allow simplified conferencing and event formats to take place as we welcome you back to the premises.

The solutions that we are working to implement include, but are not restricted to, social distancing compliance, capacity limitations and PPE and enhanced cleaning practices. You can view our rooms in their new format by clicking here to watch our latest informative video or click here to read more.

We are currently able to take bookings of 30 guests or fewer. We will keep you updated on any changes in the restrictions as soon as possible. For more information, please contact a member of the team by emailing

We look forward to hearing from you and can’t wait to welcome you back to Vitality Stadium.

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AFC Business, the club’s free to join business club, have launched a new support initiative for local businesses

After a difficult economic period for many, the Back to Business campaign aims to give local businesses a helping hand by providing them with an opportunity to promote their brand across AFC Business’ social media platforms and the club website.

The initiative means that every current and new AFC Business member will be put into a draw each month for the chance to co-produce a promotional video with the club.

Simple technical specifications and suggested content will be provided by the commercial team before handing over the reins to the business to produce a short video which will be used to promote their work.

AFC Bournemouth partnerships manager Amy Marks said: “It’s great to be able to offer such a valuable opportunity to our members.

“It has been a difficult time for everyone in the local business community over the past few months but hopefully this initiative will create some positivity for all those who are involved.”

To be in with a chance of winning, simply sign up to AFC Business by clicking here and filling in your details.

The first winner will be announced on Friday 11th September.

To keep up to date with all the latest business club and commercial news, follow AFC Business on LinkedIn by clicking here.

More information can be found by clicking here.

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New grants to support businesses required to close due to local COVID-19 restrictions

The Government has announced new grants to support businesses that are required to close due to COVID-19 in high incidence areas.

The grants will be for either £1,500 or £1,000 every three weeks depending on the size of the business.  For businesses that occupy premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000 then the grant is £1,000 and for those occupying premises with a rateable value above £51,000, the grant is £1,500.

The local authorities will be responsible for distributing these grants where businesses are required to close due to the local interventions.

In addition, local authorities will be given additional funds to distribute to businesses that are not on the local rates list to support them with grants of up to £1,500.

These grants do not apply to any businesses that are still required to be closed at a national level, such as night clubs etc.

If you are affected by the local interventions and would like assistance on this then please contact your local TC adviser on 0330 088 7111.

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HMRC Kickstart Scheme Application Assistance

The Government has introduced the Kickstart Scheme to encourage employers to offer 6-month work placements for 16 to 24-year-olds who are on Universal Credit.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to cover 25 hours per week at the relevant National Minimum Wage plus Employers National Insurance and Employers Minimum Automatic Enrolment Contributions.

Not advised in previous HMRC announcements about the scheme is the detail that employers must offer a minimum of 30 work placements or partner with other organisations to reach this level. The Kickstart Scheme can help you find organisations with whom to partner.

Kickstart is being run by the Department for Work and Pensions and is open to all employers in all industries to take part, but there are a number of qualifying criteria:

The work placements must be new opportunities and not:

  • Replace existing or planned vacancies;
  • Cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.

The work placements must be:

  • For a minimum of 25 hours per week;
  • Paid at the relevant National Minimum Wage;
  • Not require extensive training before they can start;
  • Develop the skills of the participants to support them looking for long term work.

Given our experience helping clients with previous HMRC initiatives, we know the process is not straight forward and can be time-consuming. Therefore, if you would like assistance applying for the Kickstart Scheme please contact our HR team at or call us on 0330 088 7111.

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New grants to help fund recovery for SMEs

The Government has announced £20m in funding to help SMEs in England recover from the effects of the COVID crisis.

SMEs can access grants for new technology and other equipment. The grants can also be used for professional, legal, financial and other advice to assist in their recovery.

Typically, the grants will be awarded up to a maximum of £3,000 per business, but, under certain circumstances, £5,000 may be available.

Access to the grants is now open and must be awarded by 28th February 2021. The activity the grant supports must be completed by 31st March 2021.

Growth Hubs run by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) manage the grants, and there is a strict qualifying criterion determined by each LEP. Therefore, businesses should contact their local Growth Hub to understand the requirements for their application.

Given our experience helping clients with grant applications from LEPs, we know that the process is not straight forward and can be time-consuming. Therefore, if you require assistance with your application, please contact your local TC advisor on 0330 088 7111.

For more information contact

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Professional guidance for video witnessing of Wills in England & Wales

The Covid-19 crisis has made the witnessing of Wills challenging, particularly for people who fall into a high-risk category and those who need to ensure social distancing.

The Government have recently announced that it will be introducing temporary legislation to enable people to use a video link to witness the signing of Wills virtually, where witnessing in person is not feasible. Under current rules, the witness must be physically present.

  • The new law is expected to come into force in September this year; 
  • Shall apply for Wills executed up until 31 January 2022; 
  • It is set to be made retrospective. Therefore, it will apply to anyone whose Will has been executed in this way since 31 January 2020.

As the new legislation has not yet been drafted, its scope and operation are currently unclear. We advise anyone planning to arrange the remote witnessing of a Will before September to exercise extreme caution.

Obtaining professional advice is key to ensuring the validity of the Will and reducing the risk of intervention from the courts at the same time.

All of the points above (and many others) are covered in our Private Client Review, which is free for TC clients and their family members during the period of COVID-19 restrictions.

If you haven’t already, please contact our Private Client Team at or call us on 0330 088 7111 to arrange your free consultation.

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Update on the Job Retention Bonus Scheme

Further guidance was issued recently by the Government on the Job Retention Bonus scheme that will enable employers to claim £1,000 per qualifying employee.

Further information is to be published in September but the details provided so far give details of which employees qualify, and state that employers can make the claim from February 2021.

The scheme is aimed at encouraging employers to retain employees who have returned from furlough. 

The qualifying criteria are as follows:

  • the employer has made a qualifying claim for the employee under the Job Retention Scheme;
  • the employee has been continuously employed by the employer since the most recent furlough claim through to at least 31 January 2021;
  • the employee has earned on average £520 per month for the three months ending 31st January 2021, 
  • the employee was paid in each month and their earnings have been reported to HMRC via Real Time Information; 
  • the employee is not serving a contractual or statutory notice period that commenced before 1st February 2021.

The qualifying employees can include full-time and part-time employees, officeholders, company directors and agency workers.

The Job Retention Bonus is an incentive for the employer and does not need to be passed onto the employee, but it is taxable and should be included as income on your tax return.

If you would like to understand whether you might qualify for this bonus then please contact your TC contact or our HR team on 0330 088 7111

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Global Brand Communications’ work recognised and shared by HM Government

Bournemouth based Global Brand Communications have had their work with Hall & Woodhouse recognised by HM Government. The office of the Prime Minister used the Hall & Woodhouse project as an example of communications excellence.

The award-winning Dorset creative agency works closely with brewery Hall & Woodhouse and was tasked with helping the business to showcase the ‘reopening’ of their Public Houses on 7th July.

Global Creative Director Darren Mooney advised, “We are extremely proud to have worked with Hall & Woodhouse on their COVID-19 reopening campaign. Together we produced a considered campaign to communicate that Hall & Woodhouse managed public houses would be reopening in a very safe and controlled way. It underlined the fact that the very highest levels of hospitality would continue to be consistently delivered across all of its managed houses, with the safety of all guests and team members being an absolute priority.

“We produced a variety of digital and printed assets to use across the 53 houses including an engaging video advising would-be guests on what to expect when visiting a Hall & Woodhouse.”

Darren continued, “As you can imagine, being contacted by the office of the Prime Minister was a real commendation of the work. They had become aware of the campaign and wanted to use our design assets, both internally and to share with other organisations across the UK.

We were flattered that the Cabinet Office posted on Linkedin and Twitter, highlighting the work as an example of excellence in COVID-19 communications.

It’s great recognition for my brilliant and talented people, and to the forward-thinking team at Hall & Woodhouse.”

View the H&W Managed House Re-Opening” post on:

To view the original branded video visit:

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