TEMPORARY OFFICE ARRANGEMENTS
Ken Skates AM
Due to the increasingly serious situation with the Covid19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, my constituency office will be operating differently from Monday 23rd March 2020, for the next several weeks and until further notice.
In line with advice from the UK and Welsh Governments, and for the safety of both constituents and my office staff, my constituency office will be closed from Friday 20th March and I will not be holding any advice surgeries in the coming weeks.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU NEED MY ADVICE
Please note that we continue to support constituents.
Please use the following telephone number until further notice and leave a message if you do you get through. The phone is on a transfer system so it may take a few more rings than normal. However, we will pick up messages and then call you back at the earliest opportunity.
Phone: 0300 200 7114
All my staff have access to email so they will continue to pursue casework.
However, we must all recognise that many of the organisations that we deal with could be under significant pressure in the weeks ahead due to Covid-19. The NHS, care services and our local authorities have an important role in sustaining services as the virus will affect their staff and services.
ADVICE AND HELP
As you may know, a range of websites are offering advice about the current situation and the main ones are listed below:
Given the speed at which advice can change, these websites are worth checking.
I am aware that many local businesses are very concerned about the impact of the virus. Your initial queries should be directed via the
- Business Wales website, which has a page on Coronavirus and support packages: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice
Phone: 03000 603 000
Other business and employment advice
I have been contacted by a number of local businesses and self-employed constituents and I know this is an uncertain time for you all.
Advice is constantly being updated, but I hope the following websites and helplines may be useful for anyone seeking expert advice on the latest situation.
- UK Government Business Advice: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has a dedicated helpline for businesses concerned about being able to pay tax due to COVID-19: 0800 0159 559.
- Acas provides workplace advice for employers and employees. It has a page on Coronavirus that is being updated daily: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
Helpline: 0300 123 1100.
- Wales TUC – the Wales TUC are supporting their members, as are individual unions: https://www.tuc.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-wales
WORK AND BENEFITS ADVICE
- DWP advice can be found here:
- Citizens Advice Cymru provide a wide range of advice about benefit rights and debt management etc
OTHER USEFUL CONTACTS AND WEBSITES
UK Government Universal Credit advice: www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus
Coronavirus financial advice service: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you
Transport for Wales Coronavirus travel advice: https://tfwrail.wales/covid-19
Foreign Office travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Advice for people who have booked tickets to travel abroad: https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
Welsh Government schools and education advice: https://gov.wales/education-coronavirus
Welsh Government advice on social distancing: https://gov.wales/how-reduce-risk-catching-or-spreading-coronavirus
Welsh Government social and community care advice: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings
Gas Leak – 0800 11 999
Power Cut – 0800 678 3105
Dwr Cymru – 0800 085 3968
BBC tips on looking after your mental health: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51873799
Mental health charity Mind’s advice on protecting your mental health: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
Useful mental health helpline contact numbers:
- Mind – 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans Cymru – 116 123
- CALL Helpline Wales – 0800 132 737
- Hafal – 01792 816 600
- Bipolar UK – 0333 3233 880
As you will be aware, this remains a fast-moving situation. Please check the websites regularly. We must all accept that if the impact of the virus gets more severe then serious disruption must be anticipated.
Please follow the public health advice and we can help each other to reduce the impact of this serious virus.