The latest ASFP Covid 19 Update includes a round-up of news and support available from Government and industry to assist business and construction with the latest Covid-19 restrictions. This includes:
- New Lockdown for England announced
- Furlough Scheme Extended
- Site Operating Procedures – Version 6
- Updated face covering guidance
- Build UK Covid actions Flowchart
- CLC updates Road to Recovery
- Build UK survey results
England Lockdown announced
The Prime Minister has announced a four‐week lockdown in England from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December. The latest restrictions include requiring people to stay at home except for specific purposes, not mixing with other households, and the closing of certain businesses and venues. The Government has made it clear that construction and manufacturing should stay open. Hotels can also remain open to provide accommodation for workers.
In Scotland there are now has five COVID protection levels in place, ranging from ‘Level 0 ‐ Nearly Normal’ to ‘Level 4 ‐ Lockdown’.
Wales remains under its own ‘firebreak’ lockdown until Monday 9 November 00:01am.
Northern Ireland also has its own restrictions in place until Friday 13 November.
Furlough Scheme Extended
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been until the end of March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, employers will only have to pay National Insurance and pension contributions, with the Government paying the full 80% of wages, and details of how to claim will be available shortly. The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on 1 November, has been postponed until the Job Retention Scheme ends.
The grant available under the Self‐Employed Income Support Scheme from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021 has been increased to 80% of trading profits for all parts of the UK. capped at £7,500.
The UK Government has also increased funding for the devolved administrations. It is guaranteeing at least 16bn in funding on top of their Spring Budget 2020 allocation: Scottish Government – £8.2 billion, Welsh Government – £5.0 billion, Northern Ireland Executive – £2.8 billion.
Further information on the increased support, announced on 5 November, can be found in the Government’s economic support factsheet.
Site Operating Procedures – Version 6
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) have been updated the Site Operating Procedures.
Changes to the Site Operating Procedures – Version 6 include:
- Current requirements such as social distancing are referenced on page 1 making it easier to update in future
- Updated guidance on shielding, self-isolation, testing and what to do if a worker develops COVID-19 symptoms or has to self-isolate
- Confirmation that canteens serving food must display an NHS QR Code
- The wording has been reviewed throughout to reflect the fact that social distancing is no longer exceptional, and that in some key areas Government has published more detailed guidance or updated terminology.
- Inclusion of CLC updated guidance on face coverings in construction
Updated face covering guidance
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) statement on The Use of Face Coverings in Construction recommends that where workers on site are not required to wear Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and their workplace meets Government criteria, their employer should make face coverings available and they should be worn:
- in an enclosed space;
- where social distancing isn’t always possible; and
- where they come into contact with others they do not normally meet.
Face coverings must also be worn in site canteens except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
Build UK Covid tools
Build Uk has developed several tools to help companies and sites respond quickly and consistently to the restrictions. These include
- a flowchart on the actions to take if a worker develops COVID‐19 symptoms, receives a positive test result, or has to self‐isolate.
- an authorisation letter template for employers in the event of workers being stopped on journeys to and from sites anywhere in the UK.
CLC updates Road to Recovery
The Construction Leadership Council has published an update to Roadmap to Recovery, its plan to restart and reinvigorate the UK construction industry in response to COVID-19.
The Roadmap to Recovery, published in July 2020 set out how the industry could restart work, reset activity to get back to normal levels of productivity, and then reinvent the sector to build back better in the long term.
The update shows that there has been good progress to deliver on all these objectives. It highlights the industry’s success in ensuring workers are safe and how organisations are working with their customers and supply chain to support each other and avoid disputes.
Build UK survey results
The results of the second cross-industry ‘People Survey’, carried out by Build UK on behalf of the Construction Leadership Council in September suggests that employers are doing what they can to retain employees.
There is still expected to be a reduction of 4.2% in the workforce by December, but the fall in the number of graduates taken on in September was less than anticipated and overall the number of apprentices employed is expected to increase slightly.
The data highlights the following:
- There are expected to be job losses over the next three months, particularly amongst self-employed and agency workers
- Specialist Contractors and Developers anticipate the largest reductions in their workforces
- Overall the number of apprentices employed is expected to increase slightly over the next three months
- The fall in the number of graduates in September was less severe than predicted in June
- Training will continue to be a blend of online and face-to-face, with the majority of training providers having resumed face-to-face training or planning to do so over the next three months
- Most companies expect to retain some level of working from home in the future
INDUSTRY RESOURCES AND UPDATES
- British Safety Council
- Build UK Daily Updates
- Build UK construction survey results
- Build UK authorisation letter template
- Builders Merchants Federation suppliers status
- Builders Merchants Federation merchants status
- Builders Merchants Federation/CLC Branch Operating Guidelines
- CITB COVID-19 Checklists and Guidance
- CLC Site Operating Procedures – Version 6
- Scottish Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum Site Operating Procedures
- CLC Roadmap to Recovery
- CLC update to Roadmap to Recovery
- CLC Advice on Employment Schemes
- CLC Plan to sustain the construction industry
- CLC People Survey
- CLC Talent Retention Scheme
- Construction Response to Covid-19 Website
- CITB Skills Stability Plan 2020‐21.
- The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is offering a range of free resources on its Coronavirus Hub
- Make UK, the umbrella trade body representing all UK manufacturing is also providing Coronavirus advice for manufacturers.
- TUC guidance on workers’ rights
- Unite Union campaign to keep construction workers safe
- Unite Union health and safety and risk assessment advice
- FIS health and safety advice
- Open Doors accommodation website
- AXA range of guidance documents
- Employers & Businesses
- Decontamination in Non-Healthcare Settings
- Public Sector Procurement in Response to COVID-19: Procurement Policy Notice
- Households in Self-Isolation
- Government England OUR PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy
- Government England Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19) – Construction and other outdoor work, and a review of one metre +.guidance
- Government England guidance for factories plants and warehouses
- Government England guidance for people using transport or working in the transport sector
- How to apply for testing
- NHS Test and Trace service
- Building Safety Programme guidance on remediation and Covid-19
- Northern Ireland Covid-19 restrictions
- Scottish Government construction sector guidance
- Scottish Government Covid-19 protection levels
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis
- Scottish Government Construction Policy Note (CPN) CPN 3/2020
- Welsh Government guidance on Taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace
- Welsh Government Firebreak restrictions
- Welsh Government Keep Wales Safe – at work in construction and other outdoor work
- National Infrastructure and Construction Procurement Pipeline 2020/21
- HSE Coronavirus guidance
PROCUREMENT AND CONTRACT GUIDANCE
- CLC statement on payments and contracts
- CLC Managing Contractual Disputes & Collaboration Summary Guide
- CLC Guidance on Record Keeping
- CICV Contractual and Commercial Considerations for the Return to Site
- Cabinet Office Policy Procurement Notice (PPN) 02/20
- Cabinet Office construction-specific guidance to PPN 02/20
- Cabinet Office responsible contract behaviour
- CMA guidance outlining temporary measures to relax competition between businesses
- Build UK Guidance on Contractual Issues caused by Coronavirus
GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL SUPPORT
- Coronavirus Business Support
- UK Government economic support factsheet.
- Coronavirus Bill and Statutory Sick Pay Provision
- Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, step by step guide for employers, and online calculator
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) extension
- Bounce Back Loans
- Government Trade Credit Insurance support
- Business Support Finder
- Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill factsheets
- Scottish Government Return to Work package
- Scottish Government Support for Businesses
- Welsh Government Support for Businesses
ASFP ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCES