COVID 19 Update: Coronavirus Webinar Episode 1 - Employment and Finance (16th April)

Posted 30 Mar, 2020

On 26th March, we hosted our first Tourism Coronavirus Webinar in partnership with Mills Selig, a leading corporate and commercial law firm, focusing on employment law -furloughed workers and zero hours workers - funding options and financial support available.

This was a follow on from our Coronavirus Tourism Summit, on 10th March, as tourism has been at the front line of coronavirus’ business and economic impact.

The Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance has been calling for the government (locally and nationally) to implement immediate measures to support you, who have been dealing with the economic impact since the start of the outbreak.

We have successfully lobbied for key government measures providing support to businesses in light of COVID-19:-

  • Deferral of Payment for Government Taxes
  • Business grants - currently linked to business rates
  • Government backed loans
  • Employee Retention and Statutory Sick Pay
  • Support for self-employed

As of today, 50% of the £10K grants have been distributed and the online portal for the £25K grants will open on Monday 20th April.

We continue to lobby for support for tourism businesses who are not eligible for the current grants and the Minister has announced a further £40m for those not currently supported. There is no detail on criteria and we will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

On the webinar we were joined by Kiera Lee, Director, Mills Selig, with 20 years’ experience in Employment Law, Naomi Gaston, Senior Associate, Mills Selig, a specialist in Banking and Finance Law, Rosemarie McHugh, Director of Produce Development, Tourism NI and Dr. Joanne Stuart, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance.

Thank you for submitting your questions to us. Questions from the Q&A session can be downloaded below (these were updated on 16th April following government guidance on 15th April 2020 - these changes can be seen in red - previous changes following government guidance on 4th April - changes can be found in gold).

Rosemarie McHugh from Tourism NI alongside Dr Joanne Stuart from the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance highlighted that although we currently do not have all the answers at present, it is important to submit these to these bodies so they can see the issues in the industry, signpost to experts who can help or lobby to get answers and put much needed measures in place.

Please remember a key resource for the Tourism Industry is the

  • Tourism NI helpline, 028 9592 5313 lines open 7 days 9am-5pm. Questions can also be submitted to TNI here.

Employment and Financial Support Q&As - Updated 16th April