Supporting people

Financial support

If you have members of your team who are facing hardship in the current situation, they may be entitled to hardship grants from GroceryAid. This applies to colleagues of both retail and foodservice members of FWD. Details here

November 6:

Local Authority grants

Guidance for local authorities on how to distribute the discretionary funding to businesses which are open but severely impacted by Local Covid Alert Level restrictions, as announced by the Chancellor in October, has now been published.

The guidance advises Local Authorities to “develop discretionary grant schemes to help businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions… for example, businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.”

Wholesalers should check their local authority’s website for details of how to apply.

October 31:

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked and further economic support announced. The Job Support Scheme has been delayed.

October 21:

Plan for Jobs

New measures for businesses extend the Government’s winter support schemes to include food and drink wholesalers in some areas. These will come into effect after the lockdown in England ends. They include:

  • open businesses which are experiencing considerable difficulty will be given extra help to keep staff on as government significantly increases contribution to wage costs under the Job Support Scheme, and business contributions drop to 5%
  • business grants are expanded to cover businesses in particularly affected sectors in high-alert level areas, helping them stay afloat and protecting jobs



Furloughing Staff

From October 1 the Government will pay 60% and employers will pay 20% of employees’ wages for the time they are being furloughed. Employers will also continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making claims

May 14:  Holiday entitlement and pay

Guidance has been published outlining how holiday entitlement and pay operate during Covid-19, designed to help employers understand their legal obligations, in terms of workers who continue to work or have been placed on furlough.

May 12:  Expenses and benefits

HMRC has published guidance on taxable expenses and benefits that are paid to employees because of coronavirus.

April 28: Parental leave

Furloughed workers planning to take paid parental or adoption leave will be entitled to pay based on their usual earnings rather than a furloughed pay rate.

Statutory Sick Pay

June 1:  The Government’s Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme is now live. Employers with fewer than 250 employees can claim for Coronavirus-related SSP for up to two weeks of the applicable rate of SSP, for current and former employees entitled to SSP and unable to work for a period beginning on or after March 13.

May 20: The Government has announced that SMEs with less than 250 staff can recover coronavirus related Statutory Sick Pay payments made to their employees. Employers will be able to claim via the online service from May 26, and will be able to recover payments sating back to the March 13, for current and former employees.

NHS Test and Trace

The Government has launched the NHS Test & Trace service, which allows people to check their symptoms, order a test, and help identify people they came into either direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes, who may be most at risk of having caught Covid-19.

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test will be contacted and are asked to stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms. Tests are not compulsory. If those in isolation develop symptoms, they can book a test and if they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed. If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.


GroceryAid funding
Welfare and financial assistance

GroceryAid Financial Support for Employees

GroceryAid provides advice, support and financial assistance to everyone working in the grocery sector, including wholesalers. Due to the challenges currently being faced by the hospitality sector, GroceryAid has very kindly offered to extend its services to foodservice wholesale colleagues within FWD who may need support as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

A fund has been ringfenced to assist foodservice wholesale colleagues and applications can be made here 

Employees of FWD member companies that trade in the retail grocery supply chain are also able to apply for GroceryAid assistance.

To be eligible for consideration, individuals applying should be able to show

  • A minimum of one years’ service in foodservice wholesale – either currently employed or recently unemployed due to Covid-19 impact; doesn’t need to be with one employer
  • Household net income meets GroceryAid financial criteria
  • Can evidence financial hardship eg – reduction in income due to illness, redundancy, relationship breakdown, benefits sanctions
  • All applications are considered on a case by case basis
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