Final mile fighting the pandemic – Last mile, final mile, express courier delivery to the door during Covid-19.

Coronavirus Final Mile – Express courier sector key status workforce are supporting stay-at-home isolation - from food delivery to prescriptions and home-worker tech.

IOC are asking the public for help - mark your door to complete food delivery without contact, ‘I am in, please knock and leave goods outside.


Carl Lomas IOC Chairman.

We are entering a period of finest hour for final mile delivery to support stay-at-home self-isolation. Our sector is being tested beyond any peak we have seen and that peak may be longest period on record. Driver safety at door is key. We are asking the public to mark their doors and help our sector complete the food delivery without contact.


Tracey Worth, IOC CEO,

Express courier supporting the client chain has proven resilience to deliver; from national networks to regional and local owner-operator couriers - all have an exceptional record to succeed. All need to communicate. Express courier will deliver for the UK.


Key workers in final mile last mile express are resilient and are delivering to the nation. Express & courier delivery links direct to supplier distribution centres which brings strength in sustained client chains for final mile. ‘Cough and you're off’ How will this impact the self-employed van driver? Final mile worker status focused on self-employment sees the owner-driver at the front line, both economically and for client. IOC Fellow Allan Blakely, Tuffnells says ‘it is our duty to deliver’.


Goods in final mile home delivery

The move from the office to home has seen a huge upturn of content on the express delivery chains. It’s not just food; pharmacy and medical, computers, chargers and comms; equipment is key to home working.

Resilience of the client chain is strong, as large express distribution centres have long been geographically matched to wide supply chain locations. Goods arrive into express chains efficiently, but express client chains depend on good access from distribution centres to local hubs.

Responsible online purchasing is a rising challenge and will create delivery pinch points if gone unchecked.

The key strategic questions

Pinch points in final mile last mile express courier


Doorstep Safety, a message to mark your door - proof of delivery - PPE

IOC Key worker identity certificate

Connecting final mile delivery resource to need


Sharing 'best practice' during virus - Code of Practice v3.1

Compliance DfT MOT – driver licence testing

Employment advice on the express courier market



IOC chair of owner-operators group, Richard England FIoC, talks practical reality

Tips and advice at the front line of final mile.


I would recommend supplying drivers with the following items

1) Hand sanitising gel (Must contain at least 60% Alcohol)

2) Anti-bacterial handwipes

3) Tissues (Use it and Bin It)

4) Face masks, if possible

5) Key information about how to spot symptoms and what to do if you think you may have become infected


We have made the decision to not have our signature app used by customers, rather, the driver asks if the customer is satisfied with the delivery and would they mind if the driver signs it off. If others are using paper PODs, I would apply the same principle; get the driver to ask the receiver's name and fill it in themselves.


Keep drivers in the same vehicles as much as possible and keep them out of the office (parked up on their own).

Prepare to run your operation remotely, if office staff need to be isolated, can key people operate from home? Go through a test run with regards to group communication, software access and key information.

Here at The Courier Company Cambridge, we have invested in a laser thermometer to check our staff's temperature regularly.

We are also keeping vehicles topped-up with fuel as much as possible, just in case fuel does become short.


April 4th - Alan Lewis expert employment lawyer for express courier sector updates the IOC on variations


(Note: On 4 April 2020 the Government issued updated guidance about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme update April 4th

Here Alan Lewis, partner at Constantine Law brings the IOC a next-day update on the April 4th job retention scheme. Last week Alan briefed IOC fellows in detail on the COVID19 employment law - you can find that material in the story here.

Alan’s summary; 9 points of clarification or new information.  This is not a summary of the full Scheme.

  • WHAT IS IT DESIGNED TO DO? The Guidance used to say that the scheme was designed to help employers keep in employment those who would otherwise be laid off or made redundant.  That has now changed. The latest Guidance says the Scheme is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to retain their employees and protect the UK economy.
  • WHAT ABOUT INDIVIDUALS? Individuals can furlough employees such as nannies, provided they pay them through PAYE and they were on their payroll on, or before, 28 February 2020.
  • CAN AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS LEFT BE RE-EMPLOYED AND PUT ON FURLOUGH?I It  has now been made clear that if an employer made an employee redundant, or they stopped working for an employer on or after 28 February 2020, the employer can (but is not obliged to) employ them again and put them on furlough and claim for their wages through the scheme. This applies even if the employee left of their own accord.
  • WHAT ABOUT EMPLOYEES WITH CARING RESPONSIBILITIES? Employees unable to work due to having to care for people as a result of Covid-19 can be furloughed. An example would be employees that need to look after children -they can be furloughed.
  • WHAT ABOUT FIXED TERM CONTRACTS? Employees on fixed term contracts can be furloughed. Their contacts can be renewed or extended during furlough. Where a fixed term contract ends because it is not extended or renewed, the employer can no longer claim under the Scheme for that employee.
  • WHAT ABOUT INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE NOT EMPLOYEES? The Scheme covers office holders, salaried members of LLPs, agency workers and workers (where they are contracted to provide the services personally).  This means that directors can be furloughed and the furlough arrangements should be adopted by board resolution of the company, noted in the company records and communicated in writing to the director. Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.  This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company.
  • WHAT IF AN EMPLOYEE DOES VOLUNTEER WORK? This is permitted so long as it does not provide services to generate revenue for the employer’s business.
  • WHAT ABOUT OVERTIME, COMMISSION AND BONUSES? The employer can claim for these if they are obliged to pay them regularly to employees.
  • WHAT ABOUT WORKING FOR A DIFFERENT EMPLOYER? Provided their employment contract does not prohibit it, employees on furlough can work for another employer.  This means, for example, that an employee could be receiving 80% of their salary whilst furloughed and at the same time a salary from the new employer. This will lead to situations where some employees are better off on furlough than they would otherwise have been, a surprising result.



‘Today, the Chancellor announced a package of support for people who are self-employed. Further details can be found at’

I would like to remind you that:

  • To comply with the needs for social distancing, it is essential that people do not visit their local jobcentre but apply for Universal Credit and other benefits on line via


March 25th - DfT - Vehicle owners will be granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.

All vans, cars and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March 2020. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

We must ensure those on the frontline of helping the nation combat COVID-19 are able to do so. Allowing this temporary exemption from vehicle testing will enable vital services such as deliveries to continue.


Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair work. Legislation will be introduced on March 30 and will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation with key organisations. Drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested until the new regulations come into place, if they need to use it.

If you cannot get an MOT that’s due because you’re in self-isolation, the Department for Transport is working with insurers and the police to ensure people are not unfairly penalised for things out of their control.

Practical driving tests and annual testing for lorries, buses and coaches have been suspended for up to 3 months.


March 20th - DfE - express sector siblings get priority access to school while parents deliver final mile - DfE link


March 19th Employment advice on the express courier market for the IOC

Alan Lewis, Constantine Law partner, employment law expert and IOC keynote speaker produced a fifteen-point update of employment law for COVID-19

click here to download the full pdf file.

Need for fuel for final mile will be at heart of delivery success

Owner van drivers using their own fuel: if supply chain is stretched on fuel at public stations, this will be a pinch point for final mile.

IOC are asking DfT to recognize fuel need for final mile. Fuel need will be key to sustaining delivery supporting final mile and this need will be in the public petrol stations.


March 19th Emergency driving tests for new drivers

Mark Winn at DVSA , you can ask us for an emergency test if you’re classed as an ‘essential worker’. Email us to confirm why you need an emergency test - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You’ll be required to give proof that you are an essential worker.



For members' convenience we are collecting information sent to us from Government departments on the COVID-19 situation and reproducing it here. This is a fast-moving situation and the latest advice is always available at GOV.UK Please bear this in mind, as some advice - especially on 'social distancing' and isolation - is changing day by day.


Immediately below is a capture of the GOV.UK advice to employers and businesses on Thursday 19th March 2020.

Followed by the BEIS Business Readiness Bulletin No. 2 on COVID-19 from 13 March 2020


What you need to know

  • businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible
  • if someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow the advice to stay at home
  • employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
  • frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products
  • employees will need your support to adhere to the recommendation to stay at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to others
  • those who follow advice to stay at home will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) from the first day of their absence from work
  • employers should use their discretion concerning the need for medical evidence for certification for employees who are unwell. This will allow GPs to focus on their patients
  • employees from defined vulnerable groups should be strongly advised and supported to stay at home and work from there if possible


This guidance will assist employers, businesses and their staff in addressing coronavirus (COVID-19).

This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation.

It’s good practice for employers to:

  • keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace
  • ensure employees who are in a vulnerable group are strongly advised to follow social distancing guidance
  • make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date
  • make sure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace is potentially infected and needs to take the appropriate action
  • make sure there are places to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and encourage everyone to do so regularly
  • provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them


The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough or a high temperature.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.

What to do if someone develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) on site

If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

It is not necessary to close the business or workplace or send any staff home, unless government policy changes. Keep monitoring the government response page for the latest details.

Travel arrangements

Anyone who has a new, continuous cough or a high temperature should be advised to quickly and directly return home and to remain there and initiate household isolation. If they have to use public transport, they should try to keep away from other people and catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue.

Sick pay

Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.

Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate in making decisions about sick pay.

Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week, some of those working in the gig economy, or self-employed people, is able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

For those on a low income and already claiming Universal Credit, it is designed to automatically adjust depending on people’s earnings or other income. However, if someone needs money urgently they can apply for an advance through the journal.

Certifying absence from work

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home.

We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.

What to do if an employee needs time off work to look after someone

Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a ‘dependant’) in an unexpected event or emergency. This would apply to situations related to coronavirus (COVID-19). For example:

  • if they have children they need to look after or arrange childcare for because their school has closed
  • to help their child or another dependant if they’re sick, or need to go into isolation or hospital

There’s no statutory right to pay for this time off, but some employers might offer pay depending on the contract or workplace policy.

ACAS has more information on coronavirus and can help with specific queries by phone.

Limiting spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in business and workplaces

Businesses and employers can help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reminding everyone of the public health advice. Posters, leaflets and other materials are available.

Employees and customers should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal.

Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products.

Cleaning and waste

See the guidance on cleaning and waste.

Handling post or packages

Staff should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of working; there are no additional precautions needed for handling post or packages.


BEIS also have advice in their latest Business Readiness Bulletin dated 13 Mar 2020.



Issue 2 – 13 March 2020:

This business readiness bulletin for trade associations, business representative bodies and business intermediaries provides important information for you and your business members and networks on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Business Representative Organisations have a key role in keeping their members up to date on the latest Government guidance. It is recommended that Business Representative Organisations continue to ensure that the latest GOV.UK guidance regarding COVID-19 is available on their websites to support accessibility for both members and employees.

NEW: Yesterday, the Prime Minister made a statement on coronavirus which you can find here.

NEW: Stay at home guidance. The guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus infection has been updated. If a person has symptoms of coronavirus infection however mild, the person should not leave home for 7 days from when the symptoms started. After 7 days, if the person feels better and no longer has a high temperature, the person can return to their normal routine. If the person has not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, the person should contact NHS 111 online at or call NHS 111. Cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean the person must continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days. Find the updated guidance here.

NEW: For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is However, we are also scaling up our Business Support Helpline so businesses in England, of all sizes, can pick up the phone and speak directly to an advisor (Devolved Administrations have their own equivalent services in place). The number to call is: 0300 456 3565

NEW: HMRC have launched a tax helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Find all the information here. The number is 0800 0159 559.

NEW: Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts. Find all the information here.

NEW: Guidance for British people living or travelling overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find the update guidance here.

Online resources for businesses and employers

For the latest information and advice, employers and business owners should visit guidance for employees, employers and businesses. Check the page regularly for updates and subscribe to receive email alerts.

Information includes:

 Business Support announced in the Budget

The Chancellor announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by Covid-19.

A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan of up to £1.2m, with the Government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses.

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.

There will be a £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2bn.

Finally, the Government is temporarily increasing the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value.

 Public Health Advice – Business Continuity 

The Government currently advises businesses to continue to operate as usual. There is presently no reason businesses or individuals should stop carrying out their daily activities as they normally would.

  • There is currently no need to close your workplace, cancel meetings or large-scale events or initiate working from home.
  • There is no need to close your workplace or send other staff home if a suspected case has recently been in your workplace, unless you have been directed to do so by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team.
  • Businesses are not being advised to cancel travel, except to at risk regions. FCO travel advice remains under constant review and the latest guidance can be found here.
  • Employees should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of work. There is no perceived increase in risk for handling post or freight from specified areas.
  • Sector specific guidance for care professionals, workers in education and other affected sectors is available on GOV.UK and updated regularly.

 Businesses should check for daily updates at GOV.UK and subscribe to receive email alerts to ensure they are acting on the most up to date information. 

Request for business intelligence: How is COVID-19 impacting businesses?

The Government is closely monitoring developments in relation to potential economic impacts on the UK economy and individual businesses and supply chain and we are keen that businesses feed back any specific concerns.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy seeks business intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting individual businesses and business sectors.  We welcome information from you and your members on:

  • The impacts across supply, demand and labour markets
  • Actions being taken by firms to address these impacts
  • Any gaps in the Government response from your perspective

Please send your business intelligence to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We understand that individual company information may be commercially sensitive, and it will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice. For business advice queries, please visit the latest GOV.UK guidance.