Coronavirus support for suppliers

The Council recognises that this is a challenging time for our suppliers, and we want to ensure you are appraised of the latest information in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We want to provide the latest information on the Council’s response, what we can do to support you and what you can do to help us.

The Councils’ top priorities during this time are to look after the vulnerable, maintain critical services and ensure the health and wellbeing of our staff. We have acted swiftly to activate our business continuity plans and are working hard to maintain services, while adjusting our working practices in line with the latest Government and Public Health guidance.

1. General guidance

The Council is working closely with Government bodies within the City and beyond, and we are closely following the government's coronavirus advice. Advice is regularly updated and you can set up email alerts.

Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea have a co-ordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic because of our shared service arrangements (covering adult services, children’s services, public health and IT) even where the providers commissioned by these services are unique to either council.

2. Ensuring business continuity

We want to work with our suppliers to ensure both business continuity during the current crisis and the resumption of normal services when safe to do so. As part of this, the Council is reviewing Business Continuity Plans with our suppliers, focusing on delivery of essential services. It is therefore important that your organisation reviews and updates your Business Continuity Plan and shares this with the Council. If you have not already had a discussion with your Council contact, they will be in touch soon to discuss contingency planning.

Over the coming weeks and months, we want to ensure we have enough capacity to deliver essential services. Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea have already begun to prioritise work and redeploy our staff to support critical services.

We would also like to discuss how you could support our local response to this emergency. If you are delivering non-essential services and have capacity to support our critical services during this crisis, please discuss this with your Council contract manager or usual contact. If, for any reason, you are unable to reach your usual contact, please contact us at provider.covid-response@westminster.gov.uk which is being used to co-ordinate the response of both Councils.

3. Supplier relief

To ensure service continuity during and after the current outbreak, the Council is implementing the Government guidance on relief for suppliers under its latest Procurement Policy Note. The nature of relief available will depend on the nature of goods, works or services you are providing, the importance of the contract to delivering essential services and the particular challenges you are facing. We want to support our suppliers as best as we possibly can during this period and will consider all requests for supplier relief. Types of relief available may include:

  • Accelerated invoice payment
  • Increased frequency of invoicing
  • Redeployment of unused capacity to other areas of need
  • Change to contract requirements (e.g. 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

 In order to help us support those suppliers who are in genuine need, we will ask you to self-assess whether you are ‘at risk’ as a result of COVID-19.  Being at risk will usually mean that:

  • you will struggle to meet contractual obligations
  • or your ongoing viability is at risk due to issues with cashflow or liquidity

If you consider your organisation to be at risk, you should as a matter of urgency contact us at provider.covid-response@westminster.gov.uk and inform your Council contract manager or usual contact that you have done so.

There is also a range of support available for businesses and employers from Government, including the Jobs Retention Scheme and deferred tax payments.

Last updated: 3 June 2020