Supported Business update (January 2021)

Supported Business update (January 2021)

Firstly, a Happy New Year to all.

As lockdown restrictions hit once again and Supported Businesses look at continuing to protect their employees and commercial activities it is going to continue to be difficult times for at least a few months before we can look forward to brighter times. It is pleasing that at present DWP and Government continue to support the payment of TESG for furloughed staff during this current lockdown. It is however, important that we keep SBs as an active agenda item to ensure this continues to be the case.

The SBSG continues to be in close contact with DWP on this and other issues. 

  • The extension of TESG beyond March 2021. To date the most reassurance, we have been able to get is summarised in the following quote from DWP: - ‘On the TESG extension I can confirm that whilst final budgets are still to be approved, the TESG funding for April 2021 through to March 2022 is included within the Access to Work indicative planning budget which we are not expecting to reduce.’ We continue to seek confirmation that the formal ‘approval’ has been secured. 


  • As we approach the end of the 2020/21 financial year, the lack of expenditure against the TESG 2020/21 DWP budget is causing DWP some concern. The apparent lack of urgency by some SBs in submitting timely TESG claims is likely to cause DWP potential problems in processing backlogs of claims but also more importantly can give the perception that the funding is not critical to SBs. The SBSG would urge all SBs to bring claims up to date and to resolve any outstanding payment issues as a matter of urgency.  Please make DWP (and SBSG if possible) aware of any issues that are preventing you complying with the claiming process.


  • We are expecting the DWP/SBSG Working Group on Proof of Concept of future funding to recommence in the coming weeks. The next formal full SBSG/DWP meeting is scheduled for 8th February 2021.


  • From previous communications you will be aware that DWP and the Minister Justin Tomlinson are eager to support a drive to promote SBs to public procurement departments across the country. The SBSG is attempting to collect up to date information from SBs to include in this exercise. To date the majority of businesses have returned the required information. Many thanks. Should, however, you be one of the few who have not yet done this there remains a small window of opportunity to do so. In the cases where this is not possible please let the SBSG know the reason why you don’t wish to be included in the exercise and we can ensure this rationale is passed on to DWP. It would be helpful to ensure a positive perception is given to DWP and the Minister at a time when the future of the sector remains at risk. 


  • As previously communicated, we have secured a sufficient level of contribution to fund the SBSG activities for this financial year. Many thanks to those SBs who contributed. Could we ask that all SBs consider identifying some budget for 2021/22 to ensure that this continues for what, hopefully, will be the last and most important period. The SBSG will be writing to all SBs in March to seek a contribution for the coming year. It would be good if we could broaden the involvement to those SBs who have not been able to invest to date, but continue to benefit from the work of the group.

As always, please inform the SBSG of any concerns or issues that you are unable to resolve with DWP and we will attempt to assist.  


Martin Davies

Chair Supported Business Steering Group

January 2021