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Supplier relief assistance for the Council's contracted suppliers

We are most appreciative of the ongoing commitment and support from our contracted suppliers to maintain services and supplies to the Council during the Covid-19 outbreak.  

We also appreciate that some suppliers may struggle to fully meet their full contractual obligations, and that we may need to alter our requirements, temporarily suspend some services, or change ways of working to do what is necessary for our community. 

During this period, we would like to work together with our contracted suppliers to provide support where it is possible, in order that we can resume normal contract service delivery as soon as possible once the Covid-19 outbreak is over. 
Supplier relief
We have been working with the government and are able to offer some supplier relief (support) on a case by case basis according to the nature of the services, goods or works being provided, the challenges being faced, the contracted terms and the constraints of any statutory requirements.

Every contract will have its own unique characteristics and therefore the relief available will vary case by case, but some examples could be as follows: 

Relief to be offered from the Council
  • Accelerated invoice payment 
  • Increased frequency of invoicing 
  • Payment in advance or on order (not receipt) 
  • Redeployment of any currently unrequired services capacity to other areas of need 
  • Change to contract requirements including an extension to current agreed end date 
  • Change to delivery locations, frequency and timing of delivery 
  • Changes to targets and performance indicators
  • Extension of time for contract performance
  • Revised milestones or delivery dates
  • Payment at usual contractual rates for certain critical services with analysis and reconciliation at a later date
Relief from outside of the Council
The Chancellor has set out a package of other measures to support contracted suppliers and other businesses during this period of time.

Contracted Suppliers should pursue other sources of relief particularly in circumstances where suppliers are unable to provide goods, works or services where staff are or may be furloughed.
It is important that suppliers are not claiming public subsidy in relation to the same cash flow issue twice. e.g. the supplier claims 80% of staff costs through the Job Retention Scheme for furloughed staff as well as receiving payment through the Council’s contracts with other suppliers.

The different sources of external relief for businesses are set out below so are not listed here.
In the first instance supplier relief is currently available up to the end of June 2020. This may be extended further at a later date if we are advised by Government. 

Requesting and maximising relief
If you need some flexibility or support up to the end of June 2020 and would like to request some contractual relief, you should make contact with your normal contract manager or day to day contact to discuss the options that might be available. Or alternatively make contact through the central commercial email address -  In order for us to direct this quickly to the correct team, please put as the subject ‘supplier relief’.

If you are clear about the supplier relief you need, please complete the formal request form entitled Supplier Relief Application Form. This will help us to quickly determine the best solution in the best of interest of both parties and our community.
The form with instructions on how to complete are available here.

The Council will be proactively approaching contracted suppliers where they are unable to deliver goods, works or services due to restrictions imposed as a result of the Covd-19 Pandemic. In such circumstances the Council will require suppliers to work with the Council to mitigate impact and apply for all appropriate relief. There will be a financial reconciliation of the external relief achieved against the contract value at the end of the period in order not to undermine cash flow.

Supplier obligations during the relief period 
We need all suppliers to ensure that business continuity is maintained wherever possible, and that you enact your business continuity plans to do your utmost to support our requirements.
In some cases, we may need to make quick decisions with imperfect information, and any supplier relief offered is conditional on suppliers agreeing to act and work on a total open book basis with appropriate cost transparency in order that we can continue to meet our value for money obligations. 

Other conditions are set out in the Model Interim Payment Terms document: 
We feel sure that everybody will work together to deliver the best outcomes for our community and that any agreed relief up to the end of June 2020 is offered on this basis.
Your best efforts to support the Council and our community are genuinely appreciated.

Relief for Business and Suppliers with no Council Contract
If you do not have a contract with the Council, then the supplier relief set out above will not be available to you. However, the Chancellor has set out a package of other measures to support businesses during this period of time including:
  • A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where all UK employees with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees salary for those people who would have otherwise been laid off
  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax Payments
  • A Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5m for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • The HMRC Time to Pay
Please do check our web pages for comprehensive information on the package of support measures above. It sets our for each eligibility and what you need to access the schemes. A more detailed note will be available shortly on capital projects.


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