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coronavirus impact on UK roofing industry

Information on this page last updated: Tuesday 2 June at 14:04

Coronavirus is having, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the UK roofing industry. While there is a lot of advice in the public domain, the aim of this ​microsite is to signpost you to the most important information relevant to roofing companies and roofers and also to answer the frequently asked questions we are receiving from our members. This information is in ​these main categories:

  1. general advice and information about the virus
  2. the health of you or your employees, both physical health and mental health
  3. the financial support advice and the Government assistance available for companies and self-employed contractors
  4. advice regarding construction sites
  5. the impact on the supply chain from NFRC Supplier Members
  6. separate information for Scotland and Wales where it differs from the core advice from HM Government in Westminster

We will be continuously updating this page as new information or advice becomes available that is specifically relevant to the roofing industry.

If you need additional specific advice, please call our Member Hotline on 0​​330 123 471​4*​, email coronavirus@nfrc.co.uk; or complete our coronavirus enquiry form.


​Latest...

Construction Leadership Council publish Two Year ‘Roadmap to Recovery’

1 June: The Construction Leadership Council will today publish their ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ for the construction industry. This will is based on three phases:

  • Restart: increasing output, maximising employment and minimising disruption
  • Reset: driving demand, increasing productivity and strengthening capability in the supply chain
  • Reinvent: transforming the industry, delivering better value, collaboration and partnersh.

Updates to Job Retention Scheme and Self Employment Income Support Scheme

29 May: The Chancellor today announced a number of changes to the furlough scheme:

  • From August, employers will have to pay employers National Insurance Contributions and pensions contributions for furloughed workers.
  • From September, employers will have to cover 10% of a furlough worker’s salary and this will increase to 20% from October
  • The Job Retention Scheme will close from the end of October and the deadline to furlough any staff in 30 June
  • from 1 July employers will be able to bring back employees that have been previously been furloughed for any amount of time or shift pattern, while still being able to claim grant funds for the hours not worked.

The Chancellor also announced an extension to the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS):

  • The scheme will be open for a second and final round of applications in August
  • The second grant will be paid in a lump sum, covering ​three months of average profits. This will be 70% of average profits up to £6,570, to align with the changes to the Job Retention Scheme

See "Chancellor extends Self-Employment Support Scheme and confirms furlough next steps" for more information on these announcements.


Safe return and restart

29 May: CICV Forum have issued a new document for construction in Scotland: Safe return and restart, Expanded Guidelines to Underpin Construction Scotland’s Safe Operating Guidance.


CICV Forum Webinar: 3rd June

29 May: CICV Webinar to discuss payment and cashflow issues affecting construction in Scotland, before and after COVID-19​ to take place on 3rd June.


Construction to restart in Scotland

2​8 May: ​The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has announced that from tomorrow, the construction sector will be able to restart site preparation, that’s the first phase of its restart plan. It will be required to consult further with government before moving on to the second stage of that plan”. Alongside this the Scottish Government guidance for construction sites has been updated.


Guidance for Inspecting and Surveying

26 May: ​New NFRC Guidance Note issued: "Guidance for Inspecting and Surveying Roof Work during the Covid-19 Pandemic"


Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme Launched

26 May: The HMRC Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme has been formally launched today. This allows employers with fewer than 250 employees to recover the costs of paying Covid-19 related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to two weeks. Employers can make their claim on the GOV.UK website.


Preparation for construction work to restart in Scotland from 28 May 2020

22 May: The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has confirmed that the advance preparation of non-essential construction sites in Scotland can begin from 28 May 2020. The Scottish government have also published its route map out of the crisis and will be publishing sector-specific guidance, including for construction next week.


NFRC Domestic Site Operating Procedures for COVID-19NFRC Domestic Site Operating Procedures for COVID-19NFRC Domestic Site Operating Procedures

2​2 May: NFRC have issued new Domestic Site Operating Procedures for members to follow when working in people's homes.

A similar version has also been produced for the CompetentRoofer competent persons scheme; and this has been covered in the National press  (The Sun and The Mirror) gaining awareness amongst the general public.


NFRC Toolbox Talk goes multi-lingual

20 May: The NFRC Toolbox Talk "Working During the Coronavirus Outbreak" is now available in Lithuanian ("Darbų vykdymas koronaviruso protrūkio metu"), Russian ("Работа во время пандемии коронавирусной инфекции") and Romanian ("Activitatea desfășurată în timpul epidemiei de Coronavirus"). This is in addition to the Polish version ("Praca Podczas Pandemii Koronawirusa") already released.


SSP Rebate Scheme online service to be launched 26 May 2020

20 May: Claim process for Covid-19 related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to be available from 26 May.


Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

20 May: Government have increased loans for up to £200m for large businesses under CLBILS scheme.


Updated NFRC Guidance Notes

1​​9 May: NFRC have updated three of their Guidance Notes in line with revised CLC Site Operating Procedures version 4:


Version 4 of CLC Site Operating Procedures

1​​9 May: CLC have updated their Site Operating Procedures to version 4 which includes changes to face coverings/PPE, site access and welfare facilities and risk assessments.


NFRC Guidance Note on Risk Assessments

1​5 May: NFRC have issued a new Guidance Note on Risk Assessment Guidance & Checklist for Covid-19.


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME (SEISS)

1​5 May: Updated information on the Government's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).


More flexibility in construction working hours

14 May: The government now expect local planning authorities to approve requests to extend construction working hours up to 9pm, Monday to Saturday​.


New Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

13 May: The government have announced that they will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions that are currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance.


Government Job Retention Scheme extended to end of October

12 May: The Chancellor has announced that the Job Retention Scheme will be extended until October 2020. There will be no changes to the scheme until the end of July, but from August to October the scheme will allow for greater flexibility to support a transition back to work, such as being able bring furloughed workers back on part-time.

Employers will also be expected to stat sharing the cost of paying people’s salaries but workers will continue to receive the same level of support as they do now (80% of their salary up to £2,500).

More details are expected at the end of May


Key Worker Posters/Stickers for working in Scotland

12 May: CICV have issued NFRC-branded posters and stickers to assist key workers in Scotland to identify that they are carrying out essential work.


Government Guidelines to re-open society and the economy

12 May: Following the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Sunday 10th May, the Government have published its COVID-19 Recovery Strategy. NFRC will be reviewing all this revised infornation and publishing new guidance for the roofing industry shortly.


Scottish Amendments to the Guidance on Contractual Issues

9 May: An addendum to Build UK’s Guidance on Contractual Issues Caused by Coronavirus has been issued setting out the amendments required for use in Scotland with SBCC contracts.


CICV Forum provides guidance for Scotland

9 May: The CICV Forum (Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum) have issued a new infographic that aims to provide greater clarity over essential work; and an animation offers clear and practical advice to contractors and customers during emergency domestic work.


New NFRC Guidance Notes for working during Coronavirus

7 May: As sites start to open again, NFRC have issued two new Guidance Notes providing specific best practice guidance for working. GN13 covers the use of RPE whilst face masks are in short supply and GN16 covers guidance to employers regarding their employees working during the Coronavirus outbreak.


VAT-free PPE

6 May: To benefit organisations that are not VAT registered, HM Government have announced that the purchase of PPE will be zero-rated for VAT for three months until 31 July 2020.


SEISS start date brought forward

6 May: HM Government have announced that the start date for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been brought forward to 13 May.


Supplier Trading Status

2 May: For many suppliers and merchants, it is increasingly "business as usual". We have therefore introduced a 'traffic light' system on the Supply Chain page to indicate their current trading status. This will be regularly update us as suppliers advise us of their status.


Working during the coronavirus outbreak Toolbox Talk: Now also in Polish

1 May: The NFRC's Toolbox Talk on 'Working During the Coronavirus Outbreak' as now also available to download in Polish: Praca Podczas Pandemii Koronawirusa.


Updated UK Government FAQs

1 May: UK Government have issued updated FAQs regarding working during the outbreak. This includes advice on "My boss is forcing me to go to work. What should I do?" If you have concerns that you are being asked to work on a site that you do not feel is safely following the latest Site Operating Procedures, please use our confidential reporting facility for assistance.


Coronavirus testing for Construction Workers

29 April: UK Government announces that construction workers who want to be tested for covid-19 symptoms will be able to do so.


BUSINESS SUPPORT FINDER TOOL

28 April: UK Government have launched a Business Support Finder Tool to make it easier to identify which of the various coronavirus support packages you may be eligible for. NFRC have also summarised this in a new Financial Support infographic.


BOUNCE BACK LOAN SCHEME

28 April: UK Government announce new Bounce Back Loan Scheme which is 100% underwritten.


GUIDANCE ON CONTRACTS

26 April: JCT and NEC have both released further guidance on contract terms and conditions with regards to COVID-19.


BUILDING CONTROL INSPECTIONS 

23 April: Building control bodies are being urged to undertake normal, regular site inspections where they can be done safely, under new government coronavirus guidelines.


Working during the coronavirus outbreak

21 April: The NFRC Safety, Health ​and Environmental Committee have developed a Guidance Note (GN) and Toolbox Talk (TBT) to support contractors returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Job Retention Scheme Application

20 April: The UK Government have published a step-by-step guide for employers on how to apply for employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).


Job Retention Scheme Update

16 April: Updated latest information on the Job Retention Scheme including more details on the information you will need to make a claim when the new portal becomes available.


REPORTING UNSAFE SITE PRACTICE

15 April: NFRC introduce a confidential reporting mechanism for contractors to report clients that are asking them to work on sites that they do not consider to be safe according to coronavirus Site Operating Procedures.


Updated Site Operating Procedures

15 April: Construction Leadership Council (CLC) have issued updated (version 3) of their Site Operating Procedures for protecting your workforce during Coronavirus.


Education and Skills Funding Agency Revised Guidance

14 April: ESFA is implementing new measures to make it easier for apprenticeships to continue, complete in a different way or to suspend and resume later.


Payments and Contracts 

9 April: The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) have issues a statement of payments and contracts, urging clients to continue to pay suppliers at risk due to Covid19 until at least the end of June 2020.


​Clarification on Manufacturing

8 April: Alok Sharma the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has written to the UK manufacturing sector thanking them for their support in keeping the economy going and confirming there is currently no restriction on manufacturing continuing.


​Safe Working

8 April: More guidance on how to keep working safely if a construction site remains open.


​Public Contracts

​7 April: Updated Procurement Policy Note (PPN) which sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the current COVID-19, outbreak.


Job Retention Scheme

7 April:  The Government have made more details of the organisations and employees that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme applies to, and the information you will need when the online portal becomes available to make applications.

Wales and Scotland Specific Information

7 April: New regulations come into force in Wales regarding social distancing, which applies to construction sites; plus guidance on working in people's homes.

Updated guidance from Scottish government on construction sites and associated works that can continue under specific conditions.


Health and Safety Executive: Safe Working

6 April: A joint statement regarding working during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, has been released by the HSE, the TUC and the CBI and is intended to clarify their position regarding safe working practices.


Construction Industry Task Force

CLC Press Release 03 April 20203 ​April: The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) issued a press release on the 3rd April announcing the formation of a Task Force ‘to provide a focal point for co-ordinating the industry response to Covid19, and to facilitate communication between the industry and Government.’

It states that its objective is ‘to sustain the industry through the current period when restrictions are in place, and to ensure that the industry is able to drive economic growth and prosperity in the UK once the virus has been beaten.

NFRC has representation through its memberships of Build UK and the Construction Products Association (CPA) onto this Task Force. In addition it has strong relationships with several other bodies represented.


Advice in Scotland

3 April: New information to clarify instances where the advice for Scotland differs from the advice being issued by Westminster. Includes site closure recommendations and whose children can still attend school.


Updated Site Operating Procedures

2 April: CLC have issued an updated version of their Site Operating Procedures to be observed during the coronovirus outbreak. Following concerns raised by NFRC and other bodies, this revised guidance has been withdrawn and until further notice the industry should continue to comply with version 1 of the Site Operating Procedures.


Plan to sustain the industry

1 April: Andy Mitchell from Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has sent a letter to the PM Co-signed by all the Taskforce members putting forward a plan to sustain the industry and accelerate recovery of the economy.


Temporary Closure of Sites

1 April: NFRC issues new Guidance Note on considerations when temporarily closing sites.


CITB Updates

1 April: CITB have made announcements regarding suspending the issue of its levy bills and advanced payment of apprenticeship attendance grants.


Roofing Apprentices

31 March: ​The latest guidance from the Department of Education and the Education & Skills Funding Agency ​regarding the changes that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is making to the apprenticeship programme during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Flexibility Around CSCS Cards

31 March: ​Information from Construction Skills Certification Scheme regarding impact of COVID-19 on CSCS cards and recommended temporary measures for sites.


Furloughed Employees

31 March: Updated advice on the new HMRC job retention scheme intended to prevent people being made redundant. 


Construction Sites

31 March: Latest advice on ensuring construction sites that are open provide a safe working environment. Includes letter from The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy acknowledging construction sites can stay open where safe to do so.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

27 March: the Government announced a scheme that provides a grant to the self-employed or those in a partnership worth 80% of an individual’s trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next three months. See our Financial Advice page for details.


Work carried out in people's homes

​26 March: HM Government advised:

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.

Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health guidelines, including maintaining a two-metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.


Keeping Sites Operational

25 March: As members of Build UK the NFRC supports its position on Keeping Sites Operational.


2​4 March: On BBC Breakfast time Michael Gove said construction should continue on site so long as social-distancing measures were followed. On Good Morning Britain, Mr Gove provided further detail, saying that when a site is empty, construction workers could carry on, providing they adhere to social distancing. However, he said that if the repairs and maintenance of existing buildings where there are already families living in, they should not be having works done and workers should not be entering the site.

​Some developers have taken the decision to close their sites. For the sites that are continuing to operate, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published Site Operating Procedures during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic,developed by Build UK, to implement the Government’s social distancing requirements and minimise the risk of spread of infection. The NFRC recommends any contractor continuing to operate to implement these procedures to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


23 March: ​The Prime Minister stressed the urgency that everyone must now stay at home except in exceptional circumstances, to protect the NHS and save lives. All non-essential premises must now close. The advice was clear—stay at home, avoid all social interaction, and only travel to work if absolutely necessary. There is no specific mention of construction.


Stay Home Protect The NHS Save Lives

Build UK

BUILD UK—IMPACT ON CONSTRUCTION

Through our membership of Build UK, members can view their daily updates on behalf of the construction industry here:

Members are also encouraged to advise us of matters which might involve other Build UK members.



Please contact our dedicated helpline 0330 123 4714* or email coronavirus@nfrc.co.uk if you have any question not covered by these FAQs (for personal health issues please refer to the NHS). We are regularly monitoring updates from the NHS, Government and our industry partners to ensure we keep our information current and relevant.

The hotline is available to NFRC members only. An 0330 number is the cost of a local call, wherever you are calling from within the UK. In most cases it is also within your 'inclusive minutes' for your mobile phone contract; so most callers will not be charged for calling the helpline from a mobile phone.