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.
Construction to restart in Scotland
28 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.
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
22 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.
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
19 May: NFRC have updated three of their Guidance Notes in line with revised CLC Site Operating Procedures version 4:
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SELF-EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME (SEISS)
15 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
3 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.
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.
31 March: Updated advice on the new HMRC job retention scheme intended to prevent people being made redundant.
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.
24 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.