COVID-19 Daily Advice for Members

COVID-19 UPDATES

We will produce daily updates helping members stay up to date with coronavirus during these challenging times. These round-ups will contain information useful to both businesses and individuals in regard to COVID-19, its impact on the plant, tool and event equipment hire sectors, and include links to useful and important resources.

For advice over the phone you can contact the team at HAE EHA BusinessGuard on 0121 380 4612 or email businessguard@hae.org.uk.

HAE EHA produces daily Spotlights and shares other information in good faith. However, the response to the COVID-19 emergency is rapidly changing and we rely on government and other authoritative sources for information. We can take no responsibility for any out-of-date or inaccurate information and we ask members to check sources and take further advice as required.

Click below to expand each daily update.

MEMBER ALERT

Developing Business Resilience Webinar
In response to HAE EHA members who have asked for support and information relating to financial resilience during and after lockdown we have arranged a webinar focusing on Developing Business Resilience. The event is taking place on Thursday 4th June at 14:30, to register click here.

Managing Employees Remotely and Working Through a Crisis Webinar
This webinar is taking place on Friday 5th June at 11:00 - 11:45 will focus on two main areas to support managers and business owners in these challenging times, delivered by HAE EHA Business Guard in partnership with Stallard Kane. Register here to join.

COVID-19 Social Distancing & Practical Guidance for Hire Centres
HAE EHA has reviewed and updated this document based on current government information and Construction Leadership Council guidance. The latest version can be found here.

CBILS Loans Portal from HAE EHA Commercial Finance
HAE EHA Commercial Finance is now able to offer an online application portal for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (CBILS). The portal is provided for all UK businesses seeking financial support via a CBILS loan and there are no fees payable to HAE EHA for the use of this service, click here for information.

Bounce Back Loans Schemes Provider List
If for some reason you have been unable to secure a Bounce Back Loan Scheme or BBLS for your business please contact HAE EHA Commercial Finance on 01482 635400 or visit the website for a list of BBLS providers and links to application forms.

Economic impact of Covid-19 on the Events Hire & Supply Sector
EHA has written to Rt Hon Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, replying to his recent letter regarding financial support for the event hire and supply sector. EHA's response outlines the fact that funding support schemes are not reaching EHA members. A copy of the letter can be found here.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough)
Several anticipated changes to the scheme were announced by the Chancellor. From 1st July, furloughed employees can work part-time. Also, from August, the amount of government funding will be tapered. While employed will continue to receive 80% of their salary (up to the set limit), employers will be asked to fund a proportion of this. The scheme will cease at the end of October 2020 and the scheme will close to new entrants from 30th June 2020. From this point onward, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3-week period prior to 30th June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10th June 2020, in order for the current three week furlough period to be completed by 30th June. Employers will have until 31st July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30th June. Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12th June 2020. .

Self Employed Income Support Scheme
The Chancellor also extended the Self Employed Income Support Scheme. See here for details and Factsheet.

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund
To make applications to the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund which supports small and micro businesses in England that are not eligible for other grant schemes, click here. This may be of direct interest to EHA members.

Nations Update on Covid-19br /> The UK and the various national governments have set out their plans for relaxing the lockdown within the areas they administer, Relevant details are listed below:

England and here

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

Drivers' Hours Rules
Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the drivers’ hours rules for all sectors carriage of goods by road, details can be found here.

Code of Practice for Rents re High Street Businesses
High street businesses and landlords will be the subject of a new code of practice, to provide them with clarity and reassurance over rent payments. For details click here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

Construction Leadership Council
The Construction Leadership Council has just published a ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ "setting out how the construction sector, working with Government, can ‘restart, reset, and reinvent’ the industry." Of specific interest are the proposals on skills and training. Also; "the Roadmap provides a clear plan not only to get the industry back on its feet but make it more productive, financially viable and sustainable in the long term." See here for details.

AMA Update
The latest AMA Covid19 Construction update can be found here.

MEMBER ALERT

COVID-19 Social Distancing & Practical Guidance for Hire Centres
HAE EHA has reviewed and updated this document based on current government information and Construction Leadership Council guidance. The latest version can be found here.

CBILS Loans Portal from HAE EHA Commercial Finance
HAE EHA Commercial Finance is now able to offer an online application portal for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (CBILS). The portal is provided for all UK businesses seeking financial support via a CBILS loan and there are no fees payable to HAE EHA for the use of this service, click here for information.

Bounce Back Loans Schemes Provider List
If for some reason you have been unable to secure a Bounce Back Loan Scheme or BBLS for your business please contact HAE EHA Commercial Finance on 01482 635400 or visit the website for a list of BBLS providers and links to application forms.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.

COVID-19 Testing
Covid19 Testing is now available to everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who are displaying coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. To find out how to get tested click here.

COVID-19 Working Safely Webinars based on Industry Sectors
New Government Webinars have been set up for Working Safely During Coronavirus (COVID-19). These are government webinars which are for businesses to find out how to make the workplace COVID-secure. Select a webinar which covers your workplace.

  • Shops, Retail Branches, Stores or similar Webinar - Thursday 28th May, 11:00 -12:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work in shops, branches or similar environments during the coronavirus pandemic. Register here.

  • Working in or from Vehicles - Thursday 28th May, 15:00 - 16:00 - Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar. Register here.

  • Construction & Outdoor Working Webinar - Monday 1st June, 11:00 - 12:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work in construction and other outdoor work during the coronavirus pandemic. Register here.

  • Offices, Contact Centres and Indoor Working Environments - Tuesday 2nd June, 11:00 - 12:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work in offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments during the coronavirus pandemic. Register here.

  • Home Visits, Home Deliveries and Home Working - Tuesday 2nd June, 15:00 - 16:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work for people working in, a home environment, visiting or delivering to other people's homes. Register here.

Latest Government Workplace Guidance
Government guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic, click here for details.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily, click here.

Business Support Checker
Is your business is eligible for government or council support, click here? And to find your local council use the local council finder.

Covid-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19: Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
Frequently updated so please review daily, click here.

New Building Safety Fund
New building safety fund to remove unsafe non-ACM cladding on residential buildings that are 18 metres and over and do not comply with building regulations. Details can be found here.

Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) Administration
In a reply to a question about whether “HMRC will tax the employee on their full salary and not the reduced one if an employer and employee have not entered into a written agreement reducing the employee's salary before the first reduced payment is made.” the Minister said in his reply:

"The CJRS is available to support employees paid via PAYE across the UK. When an employee has been furloughed, HMRC will tax the furlough salary in accordance with PAYE. However, in order to be eligible for the grant employers must confirm in writing to their employee that they have been furloughed. If this is done in a way that is consistent with employment law, that consent is valid for the purposes of claiming the CJRS.

Collective agreement reached between an employer and a trade union is also acceptable for the purpose of such a claim. There needs to be a written record, but the employee does not have to provide a written response. A record of this communication must be kept for five years. If the employee has not received written notice confirming they are furloughed, the employee is not considered to be furloughed."

Full details can be found here.

Guidance for Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF)
Guidance for local authorities setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), can be found here.

Businesses who are eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are now eligible to apply for the Local Authority Discretionary Fund.

UK and Southern Ireland Regional Updates
Regional Government Departments have issued updates, please review.

Scotland's Update

Wales Update

Northern Ireland Update

Republic of Ireland and also here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

Construction Products Association Report
The latest update highlights that total GB construction output is expected to fall by 25% during 2020. This anticipated decline in output is one of three scenarios for construction output examined by the CPA. Even under this most optimistic of scenarios, construction activity would suffer its sharpest fall ever recorded. The pause to construction work as a result of Covid-19 social distancing measures is the main cause of the fall.

AMA Update
IAMA Research provides a weekly summary of the developments in the UK economy which includes evidence of changes to activity and conditions in the construction industry. For details click here.

MEMBER ALERT

Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 18th – 24th May and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. This year’s theme is ‘kindness’ which is a key part of mental wellbeing – being kind to yourself, and others. For further information Click here.

COVID-19 Social Distancing & Practical Guidance for Hire Centres
HAE EHA has reviewed and updated this document based on current government information and Construction Leadership Council guidance. The latest version can be found here. If you would like to see a version with the latest amends highlighted, please email HAE EHA Marketing.

Social Distancing Practical Guidance Live Event
With many businesses in the plant, tool and equipment hire sector either remaining open or reopening for the first time; HAE EHA is holding its first live event to provide appropriate measures to minimise the spread of infection, including Social Distancing and hygiene arrangements is essential to protect us all. The event is on Friday 22nd May at 13:00 - 13:45. Click her to register.

CBILS Loans Portal from HAE EHA Commercial Finance
HAE EHA Commercial Finance is now able to offer an online application portal for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (CBILS). The portal is provided for all UK businesses seeking financial support via a CBILS loan and there are no fees payable to HAE EHA for the use of this service, click here for information.

Bounce Back Loans Schemes Provider List
If for some reason you have been unable to secure a Bounce Back Loan Scheme or BBLS for your business please contact HAE EHA Commercial Finance on 01482 635400 or visit the website for a list of BBLS providers and links to application forms.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26th May.

COVID-19 Testing
Covid19 Testing is now available to everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who are displaying coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. To find out how to get tested click here.

COVID-19 Working Safely Webinars based on Industry Sectors
New Government Webinars have been set up for Working Safely During Coronavirus (COVID-19). These are government webinars which are for businesses to find out how to make the workplace COVID-secure. Select a webinar which covers your workplace.

  • Factories, Plants and Warehouse Guidance Webinar - Wednesday 27th May, 11:00 - 12:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work in factories, plants and warehouses during the coronavirus pandemic. Register here.

  • Shops, Retail Branches, Stores or similar Webinar - Thursday 28th May, 11:00 -12:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work in shops, branches or similar environments during the coronavirus pandemic. Register here.

  • Working in or from Vehicles - Thursday 28th May, 15:00 - 16:00 - Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar. Register here.

  • Construction & Outdoor Working Webinar - Monday 1st June, 11:00 - 12:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work in construction and other outdoor work during the coronavirus pandemic. Register here.

  • Labs and Indoor Research Facilities - Monday 1st June, 15:00 - 16:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work in labs, research facilities and similar environments during coronavirus. Register here.

  • Offices, Contact Centres and Indoor Working Environments - Tuesday 2nd June, 11:00 - 12:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work in offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments during the coronavirus pandemic. Register here.

  • Home Visits, Home Deliveries and Home Working - Tuesday 2nd June, 15:00 - 16:00 - Join this online webinar to find out more about safety at work for people working in, a home environment, visiting or delivering to other people's homes. Register here.

Apprenticeship Programme Response
Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of coronavirus can be found here.

Latest Government Workplace Guidance
Government guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic, click here for details.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily, click here.

Business Support Checker
Is your business is eligible for government or council support, click here? And to find your local council use the local council finder.

Covid-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19: Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
Frequently updated so please review daily, click here.

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill
New measures announced by the government will help to relieve the burden on businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please follow this link to access The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill.

Cultural Renewal Taskforce
The Culture Secretary has today announced representatives from the arts, cultural and sporting worlds who will join a new taskforce aimed at helping getting the country’s recreation and leisure sector up and running again. This is relevant to the events sector, click here for further information.

Neil Mendoza is named as the new Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal to support the sector’s recovery from pandemic.

£40m Clean Growth Fund Launched
UK Government launched a new £40 million Clean Growth Fund to support green start-up companies joint-funding a £40 million venture capital fund to support the development of next generation clean, low-carbon technologies. For details, click here.

UK and Southern Ireland Regional Updates
Regional Government Departments have issued updates, please review.

Scotland's Update.

Wales Update.

Northern Ireland Update.

Republic of Ireland and also here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

HSE Update
NHSE has issued the following updates recently, please click on the links to view:

Guidance on Working during Covid19

Managing Risks and Risk Assessment at Work

Regulating Occupational Health and Safety During the Coronavirus Outbreak

CITB Updates
CITB has shared a range of checklists to help employers implement the Site Operating Procedures in practice.

COVID?19 ? Site Operating Procedures Compliance Checklist - an interactive checklist to protect the workforce on site.

Health, Safety and Environmental Risk Assessment Template - a guide and template on control measures for those undertaking risk assessments of the workplace and specific activities on site.

Toolbox Talk for Construction Workers - designed for managers and supervisors to deliver health and safety information and engage the site workforce in the Site Operating Procedures.

Weekly Site Operating Procedures Checklist - an interactive checklist to ensure ongoing compliance with procedures.

CITB is re-establishing the Health, Safety and Environment Testing Operations in England. For those outside of England, CITB have temporary LITE testing products. Click here to view.

National Cyber Security Centre>
The National Cyber Security Centre has issued the latest guidance for online protection, click here to view.

Home England New Research
Homes England has commissioned its own research study into modern methods of construction (MMC) to drive innovation in the construction industry. Full details can be found here.

MEMBER ALERT

Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 18th – 24th May and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation. This year’s theme is ‘kindness’ which is a key part of mental wellbeing – being kind to yourself, and others. For further information Click here.

Mental Health Webinar 13:00 to 13:30 Thursday 21st May
How to look after the Mental Health and wellbeing of staff working from home, staff either on Furlough or returning to the workplace. This 30-minute webinar will provide some guidance on issues employers are facing during Covid-19. Click here to register to attend.

COVID-19 Social Distancing & Practical Guidance for Hire Centres
HAE EHA has reviewed and updated this document based on current government information and Construction Leadership Council guidance. The latest version can be found here. If you would like to see a version with the latest amends highlighted, please email HAE EHA Marketing.

Social Distancing Practical Guidance Live Event
With many businesses in the plant, tool and equipment hire sector either remaining open or reopening for the first time; HAE EHA is holding its first live event to provide appropriate measures to minimise the spread of infection, including Social Distancing and hygiene arrangements is essential to protect us all. The event is on Friday 22nd May at 13:00 - 13:45. Click her to register.

CBILS Loans Portal from HAE EHA Commercial Finance
HAE EHA Commercial Finance is now able to offer an online application portal for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (CBILS). The portal is provided for all UK businesses seeking financial support via a CBILS loan and there are no fees payable to HAE EHA for the use of this service, click here for information.

Bounce Back Loans Schemes Provider List
If for some reason you have been unable to secure a Bounce Back Loan Scheme or BBLS for your business please contact HAE EHA Commercial Finance on 01482 635400 or visit the website for a list of BBLS providers and links to application forms.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
Government extends the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £50 million to £200 million. Visit the website for details.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26th May.

COVID-19 Testing
Covid19 Testing is now available to everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who are displaying coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. To find out how to get tested click here.

Latest Government Workplace Guidance
Government guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic, click here for details.

Businesses Allowed to Trade
The latest list of businesses permitted to be open now again includes the hire sector, following calls from HAE to have our sector mentioned. "Home-ware, building supplies and hardware stores, including where those stores supply equipment for hire". To view the latest guidance on businesses to remain close click here.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily, click here.

Business Support Checker
Is your business is eligible for government or council support, click here? And to find your local council use the local council finder.

Covid-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19: Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
Frequently updated so please review daily, click here.

Freight Capacity
The government has signed agreements with 6 operators to provide up to £35 million to help ensure there is enough freight capacity to prevent disruption to the flow of goods. Visit the website for further details.

The Future Fund
The Future Fund will provide UK Government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. The fund will be open for applications from Wednesday 20 May 2020. These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit. The Future Fund was developed by the UK Government and is being delivered by the British Business Bank.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

Build UK / CLC
New changes to the Site Operating Procedures Version 4 are minimal and include:

  • Removal of the requirement for face?to?face contact to be kept to 15 minutes or less
  • The section on PPE now links to the latest Government guidance on face coverings
  • References to one?way systems and the reconfiguration of seating and tables and an update on portable toilets
  • The requirement to share risk assessments with the workforce
  • Clarification on when to travel to work, as set out in the Government’s COVID?19 Recovery Strategy
  • Updated links and wording on social distancing

HSE Update
Regulating occupational health and safety during the coronavirus outbreak, details found here.

Legionella Risk
There is great risk during the coronavirus outbreak, please review here.

AMA Update

TfL Update

Homes England Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

HS2 Update
Construction Commissioner to now oversee HS2 Phase 2a route from West Midlands to Crewe. Role extended to improve engagement with communities, businesses and individuals in Phase 2a of the project.

MEMBER ALERT

Social Distancing Practical Guidance Live Event
With many businesses in the plant, tool and equipment hire sector either remaining open or reopening for the first time; HAE EHA is holding its first live event to provide appropriate measures to minimise the spread of infection, including Social Distancing and hygiene arrangements is essential to protect us all. The event is on Friday 22nd May at 13:00 - 13:45. Click her to register.

Workplace and Operational Guidance for Hire
HAE EHA, working with members, has published COVID-19 Practical Guidance for Hire Centres, which should be viewed in conjunction with that issued and updated by the UK and national governments, HSE and public health and industry bodies. This document is for guidance and employers are encouraged to work with their employees in the design and operation of "Covid Secure" workplaces. The HAE guidance will be regularly updated to reflect the changing operational environment.

CBILS Loans Portal from HAE EHA Commercial Finance
HAE EHA Commercial Finance is now able to offer an online application portal for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (CBILS). The portal is provided for all UK businesses seeking financial support via a CBILS loan and there are no fees payable to HAE EHA for the use of this service, click here for information.

Bounce Back Loans Schemes Provider List
If for some reason you have been unable to secure a Bounce Back Loan Scheme or BBLS for your business please contact HAE EHA Commercial Finance on 01482 635400 or visit the website for a list of BBLS providers and links to application forms.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Latest Government Workplace Guidance
Government guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic, click here for details.

Staying Alert and Safe (Social Distancing)
As the UK moves to the next phase in our fight against coronavirus, the most important thing we can do is to stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives. This guidance applies in England – people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK. Staying Alert and Safe Social Distancing.

Businesses Allowed to Trade
The latest list of businesses permitted to be open now again includes the hire sector, following calls from HAE to have our sector mentioned. "Home-ware, building supplies and hardware stores, including where those stores supply equipment for hire". To view the latest guidance on businesses to remain close click here.

Guidance for Transport Passengers
Safer travel guidance for passengers for walking, cycling, and travelling in vehicles or on public transport can be found here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

CBI Policy Briefing Webinar 15:30 to 16:15 Monday 18th May
How to ensure business continuity in the face of coronavirus: your weekly update on the latest guidance and intelligence around the employment, tax, and financial implications of operating during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to register for this webinar.

Mental Health Webinar 13:00 to 13:30 Thursday 21st May
How to look after the Mental Health and wellbeing of staff working from home, staff either on Furlough or returning to the workplace. This 30-minute webinar will provide some guidance on issues employers are facing during Covid-19. Click here to register to attend.

MEMBER ALERT

Workplace and Operational Guidance for Hire
HAE EHA, working with members, has published COVID-19 Practical Guidance for Hire Centres, which should be viewed in conjunction with that issued and updated by the UK and national governments, HSE and public health and industry bodies. This document is for guidance and employers are encouraged to work with their employees in the design and operation of "Covid Secure" workplaces. The HAE guidance will be regularly updated to reflect the changing operational environment.

Supporting Event Hirers and Suppliers During the Pandemic
Thanks to the EHA members who have written to their MP about the impact of the lockdown on events hirers. It would be helpful to know if members have had more success in securing financial support through Bounce Back Loans.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Latest Government Workplace Guidance
Government guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic, click here for details.

UK Government Covid-19 Recovery Strategy
The newly published Our Plan To Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding what you can and can't do can be found here.

Staying Alert and Safe (Social Distancing)
As the UK moves to the next phase in our fight against coronavirus, the most important thing we can do is to stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives. This guidance applies in England – people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK. Staying Alert and Safe Social Distancing.

Businesses Allowed to Trade
The latest list of businesses permitted to be open now again includes the hire sector, following calls from HAE to have our sector mentioned. "Home-ware, building supplies and hardware stores, including where those stores supply equipment for hire". To view the latest guidance on businesses to remain close click here.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme
The scheme opens for applications today, to apply click here.

Extension to Job Retention Scheme Announced
The Government Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) has been extended until the end of October, as announced by the Chancellor. For details, click here.

Tax Credit Insurance Guarantee
Businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance and who are experiencing difficulties maintaining cover due to Coronavirus will get support from the government, for details click here.

Housing Market Restarts
New guidance on moving home (England only) has been issued allowing all buyers and renters to complete purchases and view properties in person. While estate agents, conveyancers and removals firms can return to work while following social distancing guidelines. The move also allows builders to agree more flexible construction site working hours with their local council, such as staggering builders’ arrival times, easing pressure on public transport and support for smaller developers by allowing them to defer payments to local councils. Advice on the housing market can be found here.

Government Announces Ministerial-led Taskforces
New ministerial-led taskforces have been set up to plan how closed sectors can reopen safely, details can be found here.

Guidance for Transport Passengers
Safer travel guidance for passengers for walking, cycling, and travelling in vehicles or on public transport can be found here.

Advice for Heavy Goods Operators
The latest advice for heavy goods operators are Listed here.

The above documents apply to England so for specific national guidance please see information relating to local government for:

Scotland and click here

Wales

Northern Ireland

Bounce Back Loans
To find out more click here.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

Business Support Checker
Is your business is eligible for government or council support, click here? And to find your local council use the local council finder.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

Build UK Latest Report
In Build UK's latest daily Covid19 update that "Build UK Contractor members have reopened more sites, reporting this week that 77% of sites in England and Wales are open for business, up from 73% last week. 82% of infrastructure and construction projects are now running and output has remained consistent at 71%".

HSE Update
The Chief Executive, Sarah Albon took part in the government’s daily press briefing yesterday and is reported to have said:

  • employers must be fully aware of Government guidance ahead of preparing risk assessments.
  • SAGE is keeping under review its assessment of vulnerable people and businesses will be expected to adapt as that definition changes.
  • in the event of unsafe workplaces employees should speak to their employers in the first instance.
  • HSE’s assessment is that most employers are willing to adapt to social distancing measures when prompted.
  • HSE inspectors can issue enforcement notices and, in the risk of injury, can prohibit certain activities from taking place, while breaching those notices will be a criminal offence.
HSE is receiving an additional £14 million in government funding to help boost contact centre resources, inspectors and equipment.

MEMBER ALERT

Workplace and Operational Guidance for Hire
HAE EHA, working with members, has today published an interim COVID-19 Practical Guidance for Hire Centres, which should be viewed in conjunction with that issued and updated by the UK and national governments, HSE and public health and industry bodies. This document is for guidance and employers are encouraged to work with their employees in the design and operation of “Covid Secure” workplaces.

Supporting Event Hirers and Suppliers During the Pandemic
Thanks to the EHA members who have written to their MP about the impact of the lockdown on events hirers. It would be helpful to know if members have had more success in securing financial support through Bounce Back Loans.

Hire Playing an Enabling Role
Thank you for the examples sent in. However, we do need more, particularly from regional businesses. Please email Mark Bradshaw with examples of how your business has been able to support the national effort.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

UK Government Covid-19 Recovery Strategy
The newly published Our Plan To Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy can be found here.

For the "foreseeable future", workers should continue to work from home, rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible. This will help minimise the number of social contacts across the country and keep transmissions as low as possible. People who are able to work at home make it possible for people who have to attend workplace in person, to do so while minimising the risk of overcrowding on transport and in public places.

All workers who cannot work from home should travel to work, if their workplace is open. Sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open, should be open, for example this includes: construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution. The only exceptions to this are those workplaces such as hospitality and non-essential retail, which during this first step the Government is required to remain closed.

As soon as practicable, workplaces should follow the new COVID-19 Secure Guidelines, which will be published this week.

The UK Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy is that it remains the case that anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work. Those people should self-isolate, as should those in their households.”

Latest Government Guidance (England Only)
Government has just published the latest Government Guidance (England only) on Staying Alert and Safe (Social Distancing). People and employers should stay safe in public spaces and workplaces by following Covid-19 Secure Guidelines. This should enable more people to go back to work, where they cannot work from home, and encourage more vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to go to school or childcare as already permitted Further workplace guidance is expected in the next few days.

The Prime Minister’s Statement last night also included; "We now need to stress that anyone who can’t work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work". Click here to read the speech exactly as delivered.

Government Guidance (Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland)
It is important to note that the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have adopted a different approach with the emphasis on 'stay at home' rather than ‘stay alert'.

Scotland's Government Guidance and Coronavirus in Scotland. The Scottish First Minister also spoke today about policy in Scotland, click here to view content.

Wales' Government Guidance.

Northern Ireland's Government Guidance.

Alternative Ways to Travel
New £2 billion package to create extra cycling and walking capacity, some of this will be for temporary measures but other works may be permanent. For further details click here.

Bounce Back Loans
To find out more click here.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

Business Support Checker
Is your business is eligible for government or council support, click here? And to find your local council use the local council finder.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

For businesses in the Republic of Ireland, the main source of information about industry support during Covid19 can be found here. For Irish Government Guidance on easing the COVID-19 restrictions, click here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

Financial Times Webinar
The Financial Times (FT) is holding a Global Digital Conference between 12th - 14th May with the theme, Global Economic Crisis - What Now? To join the conference register here.

MEMBER ALERT

Workplace and Operational Guidance for Hire
Prior to the Prime Minister setting out a ‘roadmap’ for the transition phase (to be announced on Sunday 10th May) and perhaps a less stringent lockdown. We expect guidance for businesses and employers to appear later this week, possibly tomorrow. The guidance will include construction and other sectors. Meanwhile, HAE EHA has been working with members on specific guidance for hire businesses, complimentary to that issued by governments, HSE and public health bodies. We anticipate releasing this hire specific advice early next week.

Supporting Event Hirers and Suppliers During the Pandemic
We have prepared a template for EHA members to alert your MP to the problems faced by events hirers and suppliers. EHA has written to the Chancellor and other senior ministers about the inability to receive business rate support or loans. Thank you to members who have copied-in HAE to letters sent.

The Event Industry Template Letter is for you to adapt and send to your MP (please use your company letterhead and the EHA Member logo for maximum effect). For help in finding your local MP please use the link to MP Finder.

Hire Playing an Enabling Role
Thank you for the examples sent in. However, we do need more, particularly from regional businesses. Please email Mark Bradshaw with examples of how your business has been able to support the national effort.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Businesses and Venues Permitted to Remain Open
The emergency legislation in place for Covid19 is reviewed every three weeks and the list of premises to close and permitted to remain open has altered. HAE immediately raised this with the Cabinet Office and BEIS, as the specific mention of ‘equipment, tool and plant hire’ previously agreed with government by HAE has been taken out. However, we have been assured that the hire sector is considered part of the ‘home-ware, building supplies and hardware stores’ category and therefore hire businesses are encouraged to operate. To view click here.

Bounce Back Loans
More than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £2 billion have been approved during the first 24 hours of the scheme. To find out more click here.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

Business Support Checker
Is your business is eligible for government or council support, click here? And to find your local council use the local council finder.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

Fraud and Cyber Crime Update
Latest Government advice on preventing fraud and cyber crime can be found here.

Next Year’s Business Rates Revaluation Postponed
This will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus. Legislation had been introduced to bring the next revaluation forward by one year from 2022 to 2021, but following the recent economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic ministers want to ensure businesses have more certainty during this difficult time. To read more, click here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

UK Events Report
The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has published its latest report titled ‘The UK Events Report’. The sector is worth £70bn, providing jobs for 700,000 people The Report was compiled prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. To view click here today.

Construction Industry Suppor
A reminder of CITB Covid19 related support for the construction industry.

MEMBER ALERT

Event Industry Template Letter to MP's
We have prepared a template letter for EHA members to alert your MP to the problems faced by events hirers and suppliers. EHA has written to the Chancellor and other senior ministers about the inability to receive business rate support or loans. The Event Industry Template Letter is for you to adapt and send to your MP (please use your company letterhead and the EHA Member logo for maximum effect). For help in finding your local MP please use the link to MP Finder.

Hire Playing an Enabling Role
Thank you for the examples sent in. However, we do need more, particularly from regional businesses. Please email Mark Bradshaw with examples of how your business has been able to support the national effort.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

New Bounce Back Loans Launched Today
Small businesses will be able to apply for loans up to £50,000 from today but you cannot apply if you're already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). If you've already received a loan of up to £50,000 under CBILS and would like to transfer it into the Bounce Back Loan scheme, you can arrange this with your lender until 4th November 2020. For further information please click here.

Discretionary Top-Up Fund Available
A discretionary top-up fund has been set up to help certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. How this funding is allocated is up to local councils (they are going to be sent guidance) and the maximum grant will be £25,000. Only businesses with fewer than 50 employees can apply. This may help EHA and other members struggling to obtain government funding. To see if your business is eligible for government or council support, local council. And, to find your local council.

Small Business Financial Support Webinar
There is still time to register to join a free webinar on financial support for small businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19) hosted by BEIS at 11am on Tuesday 5th May, for further details and to register click here.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
From today HMRC will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). For further information please click here.

HMRC Statutory Sick Pay Webinar
HMRC is providing a Statutory Sick Pay Webinar plus other live webinars on a variety of COVID-19 related topics. To book your place click here or alternatively watch recordings on HMRC's YouTube channel.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

Business Support Checker
Is your business is eligible for government or council support, click here? And, local council finder.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

COVID-19 Managing a Pandemic
Join HAE EHA's BusinessGuard service partner, Stallard Kane for Covid-19 Managing a Pandemic Webinar for guidance on the key safety and employment issues we are all currently facing. The webinar takes place on Wednesday 6th May 2020 at 1pm with topics covered include H&S and Employment Law professionals as well as Mental Health First Aiders giving presentations on:

  • Managing Homeworkers
  • Mental health tips for homeworkers
  • PPE, workplace and travel
  • Job retention scheme
The session will contain essential information for every business, and we will be taking questions, the answers to which will later be added to our website.The webinar is free to attend for HAE members. You can register for this webinar here today.

AMA Latest Covid-19 Construction Briefing
The latest AMA Construction Industry weekly update can be found here.

MEMBER ALERT

Event Industry Template Letter to MP's
We have prepared a template letter for EHA members to alert your MP to the problems faced by events hirers and suppliers. EHA has written to the Chancellor and other senior ministers about the inability to receive business rate support or loans. The Event Industry Template Letter is for you to adapt and send to your MP (please use your company letterhead and the EHA Member logo for maximum effect). For help in finding your local MP please use the link to MP Finder.

HAE EHA Covid-19 Podcast
Graham Arundell, CEO, HAE EHA speaks to International Rental News about the effects of Covid-19 for the hire industry. Click to access article.

Safety Guidance Leaflets Available
HAE continues to support the hire industry throughout Covid-19 and we would like to remind members that HAE Direct remains fully operational. Nikki Wyllie is on hand to process: Safety Guidance Leaflets, Labels and Merchandise, or branded Print on Demand items placed via the website or please feel free to call Nikki on 0121 380 4617.

Be Vigilant, Tool, Plant and Equipment Theft
Theft may be at higher levels from construction sites and depots during this time. We advise members to make regular contact with customers to check the location of hired and off-hire items, plus review the adequacy of collection procedures.Don't wait for the crisis to end, ensure you are in a position to protect your assets, report any thefts to the police and make an insurance claim as soon as possible.

We have been made aware of a small number of incidents taking place within an hour or so of branches closing for the day. Members should remain vigilant and consider staggering closing times between branches, where possible and where safe to do so.

Hire Playing an Enabling Role
Various businesses across construction have been showcased by government and construction bodies for their contribution to the UK Covid-19 effort, but no hire businesses! We want to put this right and have agreed with the authors to include hire sector examples. Please email Mark Bradshaw with examples of how your business has been able to support the national effort as we want to draw attention to the vital enabling role played by our sector.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Small Business Financial Support Webinar
Register to join a free webinar on financial support for small businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19) hosted by BEIS at 11am on Tuesday 5th May, for further details and to register click here.

Coronavirus Testing
Guidance on how to book a test either by self or employer referral can be found here.

There are some differences in how this is being rolled out, in terms of eligibility and registration in each of the UK nations so further advice is available for:

Wales.

Scotland.

N. Ireland.

Business Support Checker
Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants. Use the business support finder to see if your business is eligible for government or council support, click here. And, to find your local council.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

Business Support for Scotland
A £100 million package of additional grant support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and newly self-employed people opened for applications yesterday. The three separate funds will be administered by local authorities and Scotland’s enterprise agencies and will begin to pay out grants in early May. They include a £34 million hardship fund for the newly self-employed, a £20 million fund for small and micro enterprises in the creative, tourism and hospitality sectors and £45 million for viable SMEs crucial to the Scottish economy which are vulnerable, click here for details.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

The Scottish Plant Owners Association
Mark Anderson, President of the Scottish Plant Owners Association, has shared the attached letter sent to the Scottish Government from the association regarding the challenges and worries of the Scottish Plant Hire Industry during the current COVID-19 outbreak, click here to view letter.

Build UK Report on Sites Open & Productivity
Build UK has shared the attached report relating to sites open and productivity, as at 27th April 2020.

Event Hire and Event Supplier Sector
Event Hire Association (EHA) continues to lobby for financial support to be made available to the event hire and supplier sector. We are working with the Events Industry Forum (EIF) on this. EHA will provide a template letter for members to use in writing to their MP calling for business rate, grant and loan schemes to apply to our sector. This will be available as a link in Friday's Spotlight.

Various businesses across construction have been showcased by government and construction bodies for their contribution to the UK Covid-19 effort, but no hire businesses! We want to put this right and have agreed with the authors to include hire sector examples. Please email Mark Bradshaw with examples of how your business has been able to support the national effort-we want to draw attention to the vital enabling role played by our sector.

Free Rental Sector Webinar
The implications of Covid-19 on the rental sector will be discussed at a free webinar organised by ERA and International Rental News (IRN) on 4th May at 15.00 (BST). The 30-45 minute discussion will assess the current situation, the particular challenges for rental companies, and prospects for the sector over the coming 12 months. To join the webinar please register in advance using the link provided.
MEMBER ALERT

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available. Click to view or download.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Be Vigilant, Tool, Plant and Equipment Theft
Theft may be at higher levels from construction sites and depots during this time. We advise members to make regular contact with customers to check the location of hired and off-hire items, plus review the adequacy of collection procedures.Don't wait for the crisis to end, ensure you are in a position to protect your assets, report any thefts to the police and make an insurance claim as soon as possible.

We have been made aware of a small number of incidents taking place within an hour or so of branches closing for the day. Members should remain vigilant and consider staggering closing times between branches, where possible and where safe to do so.

Safety Guidance Leaflets Available
HAE continues to support the hire industry throughout Covid-19 and we would like to remind members that HAE Direct remains fully operational. Nikki Wyllie is on hand to process: Safety Guidance Leaflets, Labels and Merchandise, or branded Print on Demand items placed via the website or please feel free to call Nikki on 0121 380 4617.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

New Bounce Back Loans Scheme
Chancellor Rishi Sunak's new Bounce Back Loans scheme will open for applications on Monday 4th May. Businesses will be able to apply for loans of up to a maximum of £50,000, or 25% of turnover and the Government will pay the interest for the first 12 months and will back the loans 100%. Loan applications will be available from 9am on Monday meanwhile, visit the government website for further information.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Open for Applications
Wages for furloughed employees are now being paid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. If you have already made a claim; payment takes six working days from when a claim is submitted. Please do not call HMRC to chase payment as they will not be able to update you before the six working days have ended. It will automatically be sent to the bank account you nominated in your claim. Please retain all records and calculations for your claims in case HMRC need to contact you about them in future.

If you have not yet made a claim; you can still claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month. You will receive the funds six working days after you claim, provided your claim matches records that HMRC hold for your PAYE scheme. Please continue to keep your furloughed employees informed and ask them not to contact HMRC directly. HMRC will not be able to provide them with any information.

HMRC has produced this step-by-step guidance on how to make a claim, click here for details.

Small Business Financial Support Webinar
Register to join a free webinar on financial support for small businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19) hosted by BEIS at 11am on Tuesday 5th May, for further details and to register click here.

Coronavirus Testing
Rules and availability is changing and now includes (for England) “anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers)”. Guidance on how to book a test either by self or employer referral can be found here.

There are some differences in how this is being rolled out, in terms of eligibility and registration in each of the UK nations so further advice is available for:

Wales.

Scotland.

N. Ireland.

Business Support Checker
Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants. Use the business support finder to see if your business is eligible for government or council support, click here. And, to find your local council.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

Government Announces £1.6 Billion Additional Funding for Councils
Individual councils in England have funding allocations confirmed following the Local Government Secretary’s announcement of £1.6 billion in additional funding, further details can be found here.

Free Online Learning Platform to Build Skills
Free courses are available through a new online platform hosted on the gov.uk website, called The Skills Toolkit. The new platform gives people access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help build their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects. To access the SKills Toolkit click here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

Event Hire and Event Supplier Sector
Event Hire Association (EHA) continues to lobby for financial support to be made available to the event hire and supplier sector. We are working with the Events Industry Forum (EIF) on this. EHA will provide a template letter for members to use in writing to their MP calling for business rate, grant and loan schemes to apply to our sector. This will be available as a link in Friday’s Spotlight.

Various businesses across construction have been showcased by government and construction bodies for their contribution to the UK Covid-19 effort, but no hire businesses! We want to put this right and have agreed with the authors to include hire sector examples. Please email Mark Bradshaw with examples of how your business has been able to support the national effort-we want to draw attention to the vital enabling role played by our sector.

Free Rental Sector Webinar
The implications of Covid-19 on the rental sector will be discussed at a free webinar organised by ERA and International Rental News (IRN) on 4th May at 15.00 (BST). The 30-45 minute discussion will assess the current situation, the particular challenges for rental companies, and prospects for the sector over the coming 12 months. To join the webinar please register in advance using the link provided.
MEMBER ALERT

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available. Click to view or download.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Be Vigilant, Tool, Plant and Equipment Theft
Theft may be at higher levels from construction sites and depots during this time. We advise members to make regular contact with customers to check the location of hired and off-hire items, plus review the adequacy of collection procedures.Don't wait for the crisis to end, ensure you are in a position to protect your assets, report any thefts to the police and make an insurance claim as soon as possible.

We have been made aware of a small number of incidents taking place within an hour or so of branches closing for the day. Members should remain vigilant and consider staggering closing times between branches, where possible and where safe to do so.

Safety Guidance Leaflets Available
HAE continues to support the hire industry throughout Covid-19 and we would like to remind members that HAE Direct remains fully operational. Nikki Wyllie is on hand to process: Safety Guidance Leaflets, Labels and Merchandise, or branded Print on Demand items placed via the website or please feel free to call Nikki on 0121 380 4617.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

New Bounce Back Loans Announced
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has just announced new Bounce Back Loans in Parliament. Businesses will be able to apply for loans of up to a maximum of £50,000, or 25% of turnover. The Government will pay the interest for the first 12 months and will back the loans 100%. The loans will be available from 9am next Monday, and there will be no forward-looking eligibility test. For more details, Click here.

Prime Minister Statement on 'the next phase'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement this morning saying there are real signs we are passing through the peak but highlighted that this is also the moment of maximum risk. He said, Government will say more in the coming days about what the next phase will involve. Click here to read today's statement in full.

Important Reminder Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Open for Applications
Employers can claim online for a grant for 80% of their furloughed employees' salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee per month. Click here to make a claim.

HMRC has produced this step-by-step guidance on how to make a claim, click here for details.

Coronavirus Testing
Testing has been extended to all essential workers in England who have symptoms, to find out more details click here.

To view the full list of workers classified as "essential" click here.

Furloughed Workers Paid Parental Leave
The government website has been updated to report furloughed workers who are planning to take paid parental or adoption leave will be entitled to pay based on their usual earnings rather than the furloughed pay rate. For full details, click here.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

Coronavirus Business Support Blog
BEIS has created the Coronavirus Business Support Blog to help businesses get the support they need to help with the impact of coronavirus. Blogs are updated daily so its a good idea to review on a regular basis by clicking here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

Hospitality Industry Survey
A survey by the Hospitality industry identifies gaps in government business support: Around half (48%) of businesses have applied for loans, but the majority of those receiving a response (57%) have had their bids turned down. Only around a quarter of eligible businesses had received hospitality grants.

Insurance Webinar Invite
Marsh, the leading insurers, is hosting a Construction Industry Webinar on Tuesday 28th April at 11:00am (BST), for one hour. The webinar will provide practical steps to help the employers respond and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and includes: Health & Safety, Construction Implications, Site Closures and Insurance Considerations, Crisis Planning & Management. To join the webinar please register here.

Insurance Update
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the indication from its members is that an estimated pay-out of over £1.2bn is likely, due to COVID-19. The Treasury Select Committee is urging insurers to be fair with claimants.Most of the £1.2bn figure is made up of business interruption insurance, but only to those companies which took out specialist policies.

New IR35 Off-Payroll Tax Rules
The Lord’s report on IR35 urges the government to continue postponing the changes until the Government had sought redress of the "inherent flaws and unfairness" that still lay within the changes. To view the report, click here.

Free Rental Sector Webinar
The implications of Covid-19 on the rental sector will be discussed at a free webinar organised by ERA and International Rental News (IRN) on 4th May at 15.00 (BST). The 30-45 minute discussion will assess the current situation, the particular challenges for rental companies, and prospects for the sector over the coming 12 months. To join the webinar please register in advance using the link provided.
MEMBER ALERT

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available. Click to view or download.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Be Vigilant, Tool, Plant and Equipment Theft
Theft may be at higher levels from construction sites and depots during this time. We advise members to make regular contact with customers to check the location of hired and off-hire items, plus review the adequacy of collection procedures. Don't wait for the crisis to end, ensure you are in a position to protect your assets, report any thefts to the police and make an insurance claim as soon as possible.

We have been made aware of a small number of incidents taking place within an hour or so of branches closing for the day. Members should remain vigilant and consider staggering closing times between branches, where possible and where safe to do so.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Important Reminder Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Open for Applications
Employers can claim online for a grant for 80% of their furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee per month. Click here to make a claim.

HMRC has produced this step-by-step guidance on how to make a claim, click here for details.

Coronavirus Testing
Testing has been extended to all essential workers in England who have symptoms, to find out more details click here.

To view the full list of workers classified as "essential" click here.

New Protection Measures for Commercial Tenants
New measures to protect commercial tenants from aggressive rent collection and closure; this may apply to hire businesses facing rent demands. The measures include secondary legislation to provide tenants with more breathing space to pay rent by preventing landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent. For details visit the government website.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

Coronavirus Business Support Blog
BEIS has created the Coronavirus Business Support Blog to help businesses get the support they need to help with the impact of coronavirus. Blogs are updated daily so its a good idea to review on a regular basis by clicking here.

New Future Fund Unveiled
This is a new government-backed scheme to issue convertible loans of between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The Government will initially make up to £250 million available in total for the scheme, which will open from May until the end of September 2020. The scheme will be delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank. Click here for details.

Scotland's Plan to Emerge from Covid-19
Nicola Sturgeon outlines how Scotland may emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown, to view plans click here.

Grant Funding for SME Businesses
Grant funding provided to SME businesses by local authorities in England - shows the amounts allocated by each council in England, click here to view.

The Office for National Statistics Covid-19 Impact Report
The Office for National Statistics has produced a report on the impact of Covid-19 covering business turnover, workforce, prices and trade. To view or download the report visit the website.

INDUSTRY UPDATES & OTHER RESOURCES

There is some coverage in the media about government providing a 100% guarantee on business interruption loans for SME's. This has yet to be confirmed by the Treasury.

CITB Offsite Ready Project
CITB announced the start of the Offsite Ready Project (first proposed in 2019).

CITB Skills & Training Funds
CITB refreshes Skills & Training Fund to support firms hit by COVID-19.

Big Society Capital
Big Society Capital announced new £100 million lending facilities to provide much-needed finance to charities and social enterprises, and small businesses in disadvantaged parts of the UK. For details click here.

Insurance Update
Marsh, the leading insurers, have produced an update to its Covid-19 briefing, please review here.
MEMBER ALERT

Government Support for Events Supplier Sector
HAE EHA has written to senior ministers asking for its event hire members to be included in business rate relief and grant schemes. EHA members are an integral part of the hospitality sector, which in itself would struggle to survive without members' equipment, and we ask that 'hospitality status' is immediately given to these companies. Without support, the majority of events companies will disappear with the consequent loss of jobs and capacity to fuel the rebirth of the events industry post crisis; a sector that is recognised as a major contributor to future recovery.

The EHA Business Rate Relief request letter and Event Industry Forum Report are both available to view or download.

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available. Click to view or download.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Tool, Plant and Equipment Theft
Theft may be at higher levels from construction sites and depots during this time. We advise members to make regular contact with customers to check the location of hired and off hire items, plus review the adequacy of collection procedures. Don’t wait for the crisis to end, ensure you are in a position to protect your assets and make insurance claims as soon as possible.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Open for Application
Employers can claim online for a grant for 80% of their furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee per month. Click here to make a claim. To receive payment by 30th April, you will need to complete an application by the end of Wednesday 22nd April; as it can take 6 working days from making an application to receive the money. Please keep a note or print-out of your claim reference number as you won't receive a confirmation SMS or email.

HMRC has produced this step-by-step guidance on how to make a claim, click here for details.

There is also a calculator to help you work out your claim, click here.

Chancellor expands loan scheme for large businesses (CLBILS): All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45m will be able to apply for UK Government-backed support; and those with turnover of more than £250 million can borrow up to £50 million from lenders. Click here for details.

Statutory Sick Pay
Businesses can now claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees which is due to coronavirus by clicking here.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Self Employed
A reminder of support available for the self employed can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

Coronavirus Business Support Blog
BEIS has created the Coronavirus Business Support Blog to help businesses get the support they need to help with the impact of coronavirus. Blogs are updated daily so its a good idea to review on a regular basis by clicking here.

Coronavirus Update
The Scottish Economy Secretary's statement on the economic impact of COVID-19 and setting up an Economic Recovery Advisory Group. Fiona Hyslop MSP said:

"I engage regularly with businesses, business organisations and the unions; building consensus in recent weeks in support of our four step economic plan:
  • Response
  • Reset
  • Restart
  • and Recover"
DVLA
The DVLA announced the temporary removal of the routine D4 medical will make it easier for lorry drivers to renew their driving licence. As long as they are fit to drive, applicants will be able to apply for a 1-year licence without the need to provide further medical evidence. This temporary change will only apply to those drivers whose licences are due to expire or have expired since 1st January 2020. Further information can be found by visiting the website.

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

HSE Advice for Lone Workers
The latest HSE advice on protecting lone workers can be found here.

HSE Guidance on Social Distancing
The latest HSE guidance on Social Distancing can be found here.

Driver Welfare and Hours of Work
New HSE guidance on driver welfare and hours of work can be found by clicking here.
COVID-19 FURLOUGH SPECIAL THE CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME (CJRS)

Employers making claims should read the guidance issued about eligibility for this payroll support grant. You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020.

It is also essential to register in advance for access to the Government Gateway so that claims can be submitted.

If you wish to receive a payment from the scheme by the end of the month, you will need to submit your claim at least six working days in advance for the money to clear into your bank account. Therefore, for funds to be issued by the end of April, claims must be submitted by 22nd April (tomorrow).

No acknowledgement by SMS or email will be issued so please make a note or print your claim reference number.







HMRC Webinars
HMRC is running a series of webinars for employers, register here. Further advice is also available in pre-recorded webinars on the HMRC YouTube channel.

Please note there is huge demand for this scheme and be mindful that the HMRC claims portal opened for business yesterday morning and already received 140,000 claims submitted by 4pm on Monday.

MEMBER ALERT

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available. Click to view or download.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Tool, Plant and Equipment Theft
Theft may be at higher levels from construction sites and depots during this time. We advise members to make regular contact with customers to check the location of hired and off hire items, plus review the adequacy of collection procedures. Don’t wait for the crisis to end, ensure you are in a position to protect your assets and make insurance claims as soon as possible.

Customer Collections & Deliveries to Site
COVID-19 Social Distancing Customer Collections & Deliveries to Site a revised and updated version (V2.1 20042020) is now available. The document updates use of facemasks and states FFP3 as a best practice option. To view or download click here.

Equipment Preparation ahead of Customer Collections & Deliveries to Site
COVID-19 Social Distancing Equipment Preparation ahead of Customer Collections & Deliveries to Site a revised and updated version (V2.1 200420) is now available. This document has been updated to include hand sanitising as an option to hand washing and allows for self selection of appropriate facemasks whilst confirming best practice. To view or download click here.

Thorough Examination & Testing
HAE has now received a detailed clarification from HSE on their approach to equipment that may be past the end of certification period, either during or beyond the COVID-19 crisis, and the actions required of users and engineers. To view click here.

COVID-19 Member Experience Survey
HAE EHA ran a survey between 6th and 15th April 2020 to gain a sense of member experiences from those who were still operating and those who had decided to support the lockdown by suspending operations. There were some interesting outcomes with 55% of respondents either remaining fully or partially open, but only some 31% fully using the furlough scheme.

Encouragingly 97% of respondents have not issued any redundancy notices, while 36% of replies came from organisations supporting the essential services. The results in general demonstrate an element of frustration with Government schemes where members are experiencing difficulties in relation to Business Rates Relief, CBILs. For a more detailed view of the results click here.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Up and Running
Businesses can now submit claims for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by clicking here. Employers need to submit claims by Wednesday 22nd April for payments to be made by 30th April. You will need to make a note or print out the claim reference number as there will be no acknowledgement issued by HMRC.

Also, salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme. Office holders can be furloughed and receive support through this scheme. The furlough, and any ongoing payment during furlough, will need to be agreed between the office holder and the party who operates PAYE on the income they receive for holding their office.

Statutory Sick Pay
Businesses can now claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees which is due to coronavirus by clicking here.

COVID-19 Financial Support for Businesses
A useful summary of financial support available to businesses can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

HSE RIDDOR Reporting
The latest HSE RIDDOR reporting of Covid-19 cases can be found here.

HSE Guidance Note for Duty Holders & Inspectors
The latest HSE Guidance for duty holders and inspectors in reference to Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations and Pressure Systems Safety Regulations can be found here.

Revised Site Operating Procedures (No. 3)
The latest Site Operating Procedures (No.3) as issued by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) on 15th April, click here for and update.

strong>AMA Research
AMA Research (part of Barbour ABI) produces a weekly report about the impact of Covid-19 on the construction sector. To register click here.
MEMBER ALERT

Tool, Plant and Equipment Theft
Theft may be at higher levels from construction sites and depots during this time. We advise members to make regular contact with customers to check the location of hired and off hire items, plus review the adequacy of collection procedures. Don’t wait for the crisis to end, ensure you are in a position to protect your assets and make insurance claims as soon as possible.

Events Hire Members
Event Hire members continue to struggle to gain business rates support from local councils and EHA is looking to mount a further campaign (in conjunction with partner trade organisations) to achieve recognition for the event supply sector and to be classified as part of the hospitality sector by the Government. This tweak would release valuable funds for hard pressed event suppliers. We need your support and details of your experiences to date to help inform our campaign. Thank you to all who’ve contacted us so far, if you have a story to to tell, please send details to Mark Bradshaw or Ann Harrison.

SafeHire Covid-19 Guidance for Equipment Preparation
SafeHire Certification Services and HAE have issued new Covid-19 Social Distancing Guidance for Equipment Preparation ahead of customer collections and deliveries to site. To view or download click here.

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available. Click to view or download.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Latest and Updated: Job Retention Scheme Online Claim Service
The online claim service for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be launched on GOV.UK on Monday 20‌‌th April 2020. Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities. To prepare to make your claim you will need:

  • a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'HMRC services: sign in or register'
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'PAYE Online for employers'
  • the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for: Name, National Insurance number, Claim period and claim amount, PAYE/employee number (optional).
  • if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee. If you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; HMRC will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods
  • You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims

You can find more information on the scheme and eligibility to claim here.

New Government Backed Loan Scheme for Large Businesses
The Treasury has announced changes for eligibility for Business Interruption Loans which has been expanded to cover all viable firms, click here to view.

Covid-19 Lockdown to Continue
Covid-19 Lockdown to continue for at least another three weeks. This announcement was made at the daily ministerial press conference yesterday. Click here and here for full details.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated, so please review daily.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

The First Minister of Scotland gave a Covid-19 update for Scotland.

Similarly, the First Minister of Wales gave a Covid-19 Wales update.

And the Northern Ireland power sharing Executive provided the Covid-19 update for Northern Ireland.

Essential safety work to replace unsafe cladding on high-rise buildings will continue during the Covid-19 emergency.

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

Revised Site Operating Procedures (No. 3)
The latest Site Operating Procedures (No.3) as issued by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) on 15th April, click here for update.

CSCS Partner Card Schemes
Information about Covid-19 measures adopted by CSCS partner card schemes can be found here.

NHS Every Mind Matters
The NHS has launched a new campaign aimed at supporting mental health during the Covid-19 emergency. Please see link for more details.
MEMBER ALERT

Tool, Plant and Equipment Theft
Theft may be at higher levels from construction sites and depots during this time. We advise members to make regular contact with customers to check the location of hired and off hire items, plus review the adequacy of collection procedures. Don’t wait for the crisis to end, ensure you are in a position to protect your assets and make insurance claims as soon as possible.

Events Hire Members
Event Hire members continue to struggle to gain business rates support from local councils and EHA is looking to mount a further campaign (in conjunction with associated trade organisations) to achieve recognition for the event supply sector and to be classified as part of the hospitality sector by the Government. This tweak would release valuable funds for hard pressed event suppliers. We need your support and details of your experiences to date to help inform our campaign. If you have a story to to tell please send details to Mark Bradshaw or Ann Harrison.

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available. Click to view or download.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

New Date Change to Government Furlough Scheme
The new cut off date is 19th March, originally 28th February. Thousands more employees will be able to receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after the eligibility date was extended. The online claims portal expected to open next week, the following information will be required from employers. For fewer than 100 furloughed employees, employers will need to input the details directly onto the portal but, if more than 100, by using a data file upload:

  • your employer PAYE reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • National Insurance Numbers for the furloughed employees
  • Names of the furloughed employees
  • Payroll/employee number for the furloughed employees (optional)
  • your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference or Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference or Company Registration Number
  • the claim period (start and end date)

MEMBER ALERT

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available. Click to view or download.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Covid-19 Essential Hire Activity
We do want to hear from you if you are facing barriers to undertaking business activities, particularly those supporting NHS and other essential work. Please contact Mark Bradshaw or Ann Harrison on this.

Tool, Plant and Equipment Theft
Theft may be at higher levels from construction sites and depots during this time. We advise members to make regular contact with customers to check the location of hired and off hire items, plus review the adequacy of collection procedures. Don’t wait for the crisis to end, ensure you are in a position to protect your assets and make insurance claims as soon as possible.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated. The Chancellor has again mentioned 20th April or thereabouts as the date when claims for furloughed employees could be made to HMRC, so please review daily.

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

Site Operating Procedures (No. 3)
The latest Site Operating Procedures (No.3) as issued by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), click here for update.

Events Supplier Sector
We are very concerned at the plight of the events supplier sector and are supporting the umbrella group, the Events Industry Forum, in highlighting the impact on the wider event industry. EHA spoke to the BBC about the impact of the Covid-19 emergency and lack of targeted government support for event suppliers, which we hope will be resolved by the government.

HS2 Construction Gets Green Light
Joint venture companies have received approval to begin the detailed design and construction phase. The ‘Notice to proceed’ process marks formal approval for main construction works to begin, following a decision earlier this year to proceed with the project. Construction activity is to begin in line with Public Health England advice during the coronavirus outbreak. This follows the earlier government review into the future of HS2. View update here.


MEMBER ALERT

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Covid-19 Essential Hire Activity
We do want to hear from you about how your business is supporting the Covid-19 effort and other essential activities, and about any barriers to undertaking this essential activity. Please contact Mark Bradshaw or Ann Harrison on this - we also want to hear about any increase in levels of actual and attempted theft and fraud.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated so please review daily.

New PPE Hub Launched
The UK Government has launched a new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) hub to provide clear guidance on appropriate PPE. The guidelines have been written and reviewed by all 4 UK public health bodies and informed by NHS infection prevention control experts, click here to view.

Social Distancing in the Workplace
New sector guidance has been issued to include construction, distribution and transport sectors. The guidance provides a list of tailored advice for different scenarios as an example of how social distancing and other measures might be implemented, found here.

Construction Sites Staying Safe at Work Video
The Construction Leadership Council has shared a link it's Site Operating Procedures which have been updated to include 5 key areas for staying safe at work during the coronavirus outbreak. These cover: travel to and from site, welfare, working on site, logistics, working on site and meetings and briefings, click here to view staying safe at work video.

Benefits & Employment Support
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued guidance on Benefits and Employment Support, including Universal Credit, click here to view.

Self-Employed Workers
What to do if you’re self-employed and getting less work or no work during Covid-19, click here for useful information on guidance and support.

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

UK Event Industry Suppliers On Knife Edge
Events Industry Forum (EIF), Business Visits and Events Partnership have today issued a statement about the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the events supplier sector, to view the statement click here.

Build UK Updates
Build UK issue daily updates on Covid-19: including the latest Site Operating Procedures (No.3) when issued by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), Click here view.

CITB Covid-19 Updates
Updates, including support for delivering skills and practical advice concerning apprenticeships - click here.

Homes England
Acquired 19 sites in the last financial year worth £180 million, with capacity for 5,000 new homes. Several major acquisitions were completed in the lead up to the financial year-end, demonstrating how HE is taking a long-term view of housing demand in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

MEMBER ALERT

Important Covid-19 Member Survey HAE EHA would like to hear from the hire sector to understand how this critical time is affecting your business, this will inform our dialogue with the government. Please help us by completing the Covid-19 HAE EHA Survey no later than this Friday, 10th April.

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

LOLER Thorough Testing
HAE and IPAF have jointly written to the government and HSE to amend current LOLER Thorough Testing arrangements to support equipment mobilisation during the Covid-19 emergency and immediately afterwards. To view the joint letter from HAE and IPAF, click here.

Covid-19 Essential Hire Activity
We do want to hear from you about how your business is supporting the Covid-19 effort and other essential activities, and about any barriers to undertaking this essential activity. Please contact Mark Bradshaw or Ann Harrison on this - we also want to hear about any increase in levels of actual and attempted theft and fraud.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Updated HMRC Guidance for Employers To claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, HMRC expect the online claims portal to go live on 20th April with firms receiving payments within 4-6 working days after an agreed claim is submitted - Click here to see guidance claim for employers.

Job Retention Scheme for Employees
Employees can also check if their employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - click here.

Tax Helpline
Helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus, click here.

Insolvency Service
Getting help if your business is in distress use the latest advice from the Insolvency Service - found here.

BEIS Rules Relaxed
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has issued a list of rules that have been relaxed to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, check if they apply to your business..

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses
These are frequently updated so please review daily.

Government Business Support
Frequently updated so please review daily - click here.

Cyber Security Advice
How to make sure employees who are home working are able to spot Coronavirus (Covid-19) scam emails - click here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

BCC Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker
British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has provided the second Business Impact Tracker revealing most businesses have not yet successfully accessed government loan and grant schemes - click here to view full report.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)
The REC has issued a report on jobs as recruitment activity falls sharply as COVID-19 pandemic hits the UK - view here.

CITB Covid-19 Updates
Updates, including support for delivering skills and practical advice concerning apprenticeships - click here.

Build UK Updates
Updates on Covid-19 will include updates on Site Operating Procedures which are expected from soon. Click here to monitor Build UK updates.

The Payments Systems Regulator
Updates on supporting cash access during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

AMA Research
AMA Research is part of Barbour ABI and produce regular Covid-19 construction updates
Register here to receive a copy
MEMBER ALERT
Important Covid-19 Member Survey HAE EHA would like to hear from the hire sector to understand how this critical time is affecting your business, this will inform our dialogue with the government. Please help us by completing the Covid-19 HAE EHA Survey.

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?
The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

HAE working with IPAF is calling on the government and the HSE to extend current LOLER Thorough Testing arrangements to support equipment mobilisation during the Covid-19 emergency and immediately afterwards.

HAE EHA held a call with a number of senior leaders from the hire sector yesterday for a snapshot of current conditions and discussion of our information and awareness activities.

We want to hear from you about your contribution and if you are experiencing barriers to undertaking this essential activity. Please contact Mark Bradshaw or Ann Harrison with any information.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

NEW Social Distancing in the Workplace During Coronavirus COVID-19 Sector Guidance, Including Construction and Logistics
Now confirms; “Construction work plays an important role in ensuring public safety and the provision of public services. It can continue if done in accordance with the social distancing guidelines wherever possible”. Click here for further information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Leaflet
For use in premises and elsewhere, see guidance information, Click here.

Updated HMRC Guidance for Employers to claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Click here.

Updated HMRC Guidance for Employees to check if their employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Click here. Business Insolvency Service Advice
Getting help if your business is in distress see the latest advice from the Insolvency Service, click here.

COVID-19: Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses; frequently updated so please review daily

Government Business Support - frequently updated so please review daily

Cyber Security Advice particularly for remote working can be found here

DCMS Minister launches £1.3 million fund to support Destination Management Organisations - view here.

Devolved Government Advice for Businesses
Northern Ireland
Scotland and a reminder of the advice issues about essential activities issued earlier this week.
Wales and new guidance on taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace can be found here

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

AMA Research (part of Barbour ABI) is producing a regular Covid-19 construction update.
Register here to receive a copy

Build UK updates on Covid-19 click here
MEMBER ALERT
Important Covid-19 Member Survey HAE EHA would like to hear from the hire sector to understand how this critical time is affecting your business, this will inform our dialogue with the government. Please help us by completing the Covid-19 HAE EHA Survey.

Business Support Packages
We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available.

Can your Business Offer Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support?

The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

LOLER Inspection & Testing
HAE EHA is working with IPAF and Build UK to find a solution for the maintenance of the Thorough Examination & Test Programme (LOLER Inspection and Testing).


Thank you to all hire businesses and employees who are helping in the Covid-19 effort. We want to hear from you about your contribution and if you are experiencing barriers to undertaking this essential activity. Please contact Mark Bradshaw or Ann Harrison with any information.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Scottish Government Orders Non-Essential Construction Work to Cease
Work on construction sites, unless it is for essential projects, should stop immediately, as confirmed in new guidance for the construction industry. The guidance makes clear that work on construction projects should cease unless it is supporting crucial work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Any project deemed essential can only continue operating if it can comply with guidance on social distancing, safety and welfare during the COVID-19 outbreak. Any site unable to meet these requirements should close. This may, in due course, become a model for adoption across the UK. Click here to read further information.

Job Retention Scheme

Employers can claim for employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Employees can check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Procurement Policy Note 02/20

Supplier relief due to COVID-19 sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the COVID-19 outbreak, click here.

Further Information

COVID-19: Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses; frequently updated so please review daily

Government Business Support - frequently updated so please review daily

Cyber Security Advice: particularly for remote working

Extra support for schools and parents to help cope with coronavirus

Annual inspection waiver for tank vehicles

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

AMA Research (part of Barbour ABI) is producing a regular Covid-19 construction update.
Register here to receice a copy

Build UK updates on Covid-19
MEMBER ALERT
Important Covid-19 Member Survey HAE EHA would like to hear from the hire sector to understand how this critical time is affecting your business, this will inform our dialogue with the government. Please help us by completing the Covid-19 HAE EHA Survey.

Can your business offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support?
UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Business Support Packages: We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available.

HAE EHA wrote to the Prime Minister again last week about several practical challenges for the hire sector, to view click here.

Security and crime
Members are reporting theft and fraud incidents despite the Covid-19 emergency so we ask members to be vigilant and to review their security and safety procedures at this time.

Thank you to all hire businesses and employees who are helping in the Covid-19 effort. We want to hear from you about your contribution and if you are experiencing barriers to undertaking this essential activity. Please contact Mark Bradshaw or Ann Harrison with any information.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE
Business Secretary, Alok Sharma wrote this article for the Sun newspaper about the contribution being made by businesses and workers, including in construction, view article.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) updated advice from DWP, click here

COVID-19: Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses; frequently updated so please review daily

Government Business Support - frequently updated so please review daily

Cyber Security Advice: particularly for remote working

COVID Support Force: update on military support and Reserve mobilisation

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

AMA Research (part of Barbour ABI) is producing a regular Covid-19 construction update.
Register here to receice a copy

Please review the updates listed in today's daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating to COVID-19.

MEMBER ALERT
Important Covid-19 Member Survey HAE EHA would like to hear from the hire sector to understand how this critical time is affecting your business, this will inform our dialogue with the government. Please help us by completing the Covid-19 HAE EHA Survey.

Can your business offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support? UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Business Support Packages: We have created a PDF document which outlines the timelines for Business Support Packages currently available.

Security and crime: Members are reporting theft and fraud incidents despite the Covid-19 emergency so we ask members to be vigilant and to review their security and safety procedures at this time.

Thank you to all hire businesses and employees who are helping in the Covid-19 effort. We want to hear from you about your contribution and if you are experiencing barriers to undertaking this essential activity. Please contact Mark Bradshaw or Ann Harrison with any information.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE
Changes announced to Business Interruption Loans: The Chancellor strengthens support on offer for businesses as first government-backed loans reach firms in need, click here to view link.

  • £90 million of business interruption loans approved for nearly 1,000 firms and £1.9 billion corporate finance provided to firms hit by COVID-19
  • current loan scheme extended so more small businesses can benefit and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing
  • lenders banned from requesting personal guarantees on loans under £250,000
  • new scheme announced to bolster support for larger firms not currently eligible for loans
  • It will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million

"To maximise the support available, the Chancellor is extending the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time. The government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals. The government will continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees".

This follows criticism of the previously announced measures by a range of organisations, including HAE EHA. There is still a gap in support for the directors of small businesses.

Further Information
Guidance to Councils Update Issued re Business Rates Relief:
Click here for the latest update.

COVID-19: Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses; frequently updated so please review daily

Government Business Support - frequently updated so please review daily

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

HSE: Covid-19 information 

Stallard Kane: resources for businesses 

Marsh Ltd: Guidance from an insurance industry perspective

Royal Mail: international mail suspension list updated
Please review the updates listed in today’s daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating to COVID-19.

MEMBER ALERT
HAE EHA wants to get a snapshot of the hire sector at this critical time. This will inform our dialogue with the government. We will be sending a link to a short survey in tomorrow's update.

Can your business offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support? UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas and offer support click here.

Members are reporting theft and fraud incidents despite the Covid-19 emergency so we ask members to be vigilant and to review their security and safety procedures at this time.

Thank you to all hire businesses and employees who are helping in the Covid-19 effort. We want to hear from you about your contribution and if you are experiencing barriers to undertaking this essential activity. Please contact Mark Bradshaw with any information.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE
COVID-19: Guidance for employees, employers and businesses is frequently updated so please review daily, click here for the latest update.

Government business support is also frequently updated so please review daily by clicking here.

There are media reports that the Chancellor may announce changes to how the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) are operated by the banks, particularly about access and guarantees. We will provide an update as soon as possible in this Spotlight.

Customs Guidance
BGuidance for moving goods through customs during the coronavirus can be found on the HMRC website. And, customs authorisations during the coronavirus.

Sanitising Technology for Ambulances
Call for rapid sanitising technology for ambulances, read more here.

National Minimum Wage
BEIS have issued guidance on calculating the National Minimum Wage which is updated for various Covid-19 issues, more information can be found here.

Construction Industry Update from the BEIS Secretary
The BEIS Secretary wrote to everyone working in the UK's Construction Industry, full details and a copy of the letter can be found here, view letter.

“Our country and our economy needs all our support. And the construction industry has answered the call to action. Whether by building temporary hospital wards, installing complex and life-saving oxygen systems, constructing the infrastructure that society needs to function or ensuring that people have safe and healthy homes to live in, you are delivering for our Nation through this difficult time. My heartfelt and personal thanks for everything that each and every one of you is doing to support our joint national effort.”

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

Build UK
Build UK Coronavirus information regularly updated, click here

CITB Covid-19 updates, click here

CITB Northern Ireland latest update.

We hope you all stay safe during these uncertain, unprecedented and challenging circumstances.

Kind regards

HAE EHA Team
Please review the updates listed in today’s daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating to COVID-19.

MEMBER ALERT
Can your business offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support?

UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register their interest. The list of areas needed and the link to offer support can be found here.

Members are reporting theft and fraud incidents despite the Covid-19 emergency so we ask members to be vigilant and to review their security and safety procedures at this time.

Thank you to all hire businesses and employees who are helping in the Covid-19 effort.

We want to hear from you about your contribution and if you are experiencing barriers to undertaking this essential activity. Please contact Mark Bradshaw with any information.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE
Guidance for employees, employers and businesses; frequently updated so please review daily, click here.

Government business support - frequently updated so please review daily, latest update.

Business Secretary issues letter to the construction industry, link to view.

Business Rate Relief
Business rate relief, which should now be available for some HAE members, is now in place for England and arrangements have also been announced for Scotland and Wales. Councils have received funding from the government to pay for the reliefs and zero payments. If eligible, businesses that have made payments will be refunded by their local authority. New bills will be issued as soon as possible. In most cases, local authorities will need to collect details from small businesses in order to make payments. Local authorities will be in touch with all eligible businesses shortly.

We understand that there are some discrepancies in how councils are assessing eligibility, for examples, suppliers to the event sector, so please alert HAE EHA if you are facing such issues. EHA is working with the Event Industry Forum on this, click here for further details.

Driver CPC Requirements
DfT announced temporary changes to the Driver CPC requirement, please review here.

Network Rail
Network Rail have provided an update to keep vital supplies and key workers moving on nationally critical routes, including the West Coast and Chiltern main lines, click here for details.

Personal Protective Equipment
Technical Specifications for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) issued by the Cabinet Office for suppliers and manufacturers, but this may also be relevant to hire members operating in higher risk settings, to view information.

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

Institute of Directors
Institute of Directors report on the gaps in government support for businesses can be found here.

Build UK
Build UK Coronavirus information is regularly updated and the latest update includes the Site Operating Procedures.

The health, wellbeing and safety of our staff as well as our members and colleagues is extremely important to us. To minimise risk and ensure business continuity and communications we are now all home working.

All our staff are contactable via mobile phone or email. We remain committed to supporting you and responding to your needs throughout this period. We wish you, your colleagues and your families well during this difficult and uncertain time.
Please review the updates listed in today’s daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating COVID-19.

MEMBER ALERT
For businesses actively supporting the Covid-19 preparations and healthcare services, we suggest that your employees, particularly drivers, retain a simple authorisation document on company letterhead, explaining the purpose of their journey and the customers being supported. This link should reference the list of premises allowed to remain trading.

BUSINESS SUPPORT
COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses is being frequently updated, click here to view.

The Business Secretary had issued letter to the construction industry. Read it here.

A reminder that the government Business Support resource can be found here.

New Policing Powers
New policing powers are now in force across the country to encourage people to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives - this relates to all policing especially the Civil Nuclear Police. Click here for details.

Covid-19 Guidance for Northern Ireland
Covid-19 Guidance: Information for Northern Ireland Businesses & Employers is available here.

Covid-19 Guidance for Scotland
Business advice for companies and the self employed in Scotland is available here.

100% Business rate relief in Scotland includes tool hire. Click here to read the Non-Domestic Rates (Coronavirus Reliefs) (Scotland) Regulations 2020.

Covid-19 Guidance for Wales
Further support announced for businesses in Wales, including: The Welsh Government has already announced £1.4 billion to support businesses, and this has been added to with a new £500 million fund primarily aimed at supporting those firms who would not qualify from previously announced support packages.
  • a new £100m Development Bank of Wales fund will be available for companies who are experiencing cash flow problems as a result of the pandemic and will provide loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 at favourable interest rates
  • businesses will also be able to benefit from a £400m emergency pot providing:
    • grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to nine people
    • grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees
    • support for larger Welsh companies, which are of critical social or economic importance to Wales
  • the £500 million Economic Resilience Fund will support businesses forced to temporarily cease trading – to go into "hibernation" - or which need cash-flow support to adapt to a remote way of working

The Welsh First Minister’s statement can be read here.
For the Development Bank of Wales click here.
And for Welsh Government Support click here.

Right to Work Checks
Home Office announced temporary changes to right to work checks taking effect immediately, During the coronavirus outbreak people are now able to submit scanned documents, rather than originals, to show they have a right to rent or right to work.

For guidance on right to work checks click here.

Small Business, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance
BEIS have issued guidance to local councils on the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Guidance. This will apply to some HAE EHA members. Click here for details.

Annual Leave
Rules on carrying over annual leave to be relaxed to support key industries during COVID-19 so workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years. Read more here.

INDUSTRY UPDATES AND OTHER RESOURCES

Apprenticeships
This useful update on apprenticeships including CITB and government announcements, collated by Build UK (HAE is an associate member). Click here to view.

Contractual Advice
Latest Covid-19 update by Build UK includes new contractual advice for those in the supply chain and a Covid-19 construction forum in Scotland. Click here for details.

Social Distancing
BRC SOCIAL DISTANCING IN WAREHOUSE AND DISTRIBUTION SETTINGS: this may have some crossover into the hire depot environment. Find out more here.

Event Industry Webinars
Via the Event Industry Forum (EHA is a member). Covid-19; Events, Venues, Festivals and Crowded Space; an invitation to WebEx on Friday 3rd April 2020 at 11am UK. Click here to join.

National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) is holding a Legal, HR and Licensing Q&A Twitter Hour between 3-4pm on Thursday 2nd April on @NOEAnews.

Please review the updates listed in today’s daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating COVID-19.

MEMBER ALERT
For businesses actively supporting the Covid-19 preparations and healthcare services, we suggest that your employees, particularly drivers, retain a simple authorisation document on company letterhead, explaining the purpose of their journey and the customers being supported. This should reference the list of premises allowed to remain trading. Click here for guidance.

Police checks are becoming more widespread with drivers being told that their journey is not essential. You should consider the risks to your employees who cannot work remotely. 

On behalf of our sector, HAE made the case for equipment, plant and tool hire to be specified as being able to remain trading because some members are providing key support to NHS, local councils, military, national infrastructure and utilities. Ministers accepted this request. However, if your customers are not in these essential categories, the police challenge may become more compelling, and public criticism may increase.

BUSINESS SUPPORT

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
The guidance regarding personal guarantees for loans has been amended following concerns raised by HAE and others. The Big Four banks have agreed that they will not take personal guarantees as security for lending below £250,000. Click here for more details.

HMRC Helping Employers Support Employees
These will provide an overview of the support available to help employers and your employees deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19. Please use the weblink to select a date and time and to register. Click here to choose a date and time.
  • COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme
  • furloughed workers
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • support available to employers for outstanding payments to HMRC

Job Retention Scheme
Further details of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme announced, click here to find out more.

  • government to cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions of furloughed workers – on top of 80% of salary
  • those furloughed can volunteer for the NHS without risking their pay
  • under the scheme, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month
  • the government will now cover the employer national insurance and minimum auto-enrolment pension scheme contributions employers pay on the wages they must pay their furloughed staff – on top of the wages covered under the scheme
  • the scheme also covers employees who were made redundant since 28 February 2020, if they are rehired by their employer

A guide for employers about making claims under the scheme can be found here.

And a similar guide for employees is available here.

SUPPORT FOR SELF-EMPLOYED
The Chancellor announced a new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to support those whose income has been negatively impacted by coronavirus. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

  • this scheme is being delivered by HMRC
  • eligible people should not to contact HMRC now as HMRC will contact those eligible directly once the scheme is operational. They will then pay the grant directly to bank accounts
  • grants are expected to start to be paid out by the beginning of June 2020
  • the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be treated as earnings in Universal Credit. A customer’s Universal Credit payment will adjust in response to changes in their earnings
  • to be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:
    • be self-employed or a member of partnership
    • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to coronavirus
    • ile a tax return for 2018/19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018/19 will have an additional four weeks from 26 March to do so
    • have traded in 2019/20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for coronavirus) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
    • have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of their total income coming from self-employment

HSE COVID-19 EQUIPMENT INSPECTION

HSE COVID-19 Equipment legally subject to Written Schemes, Statutory Inspections or Thorough Examinations
Following the Government’s recent announcement of measures designed to contain the outbreak of COVID-19, HSE is aware of concerns relating to the examination of equipment that is subject to statutory inspection time limits. The Health and Safety Executive enforces several pieces of legislation that contain requirements for time-bound statutory inspections, including the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

Duty-holders have a legal responsibility to maintain work equipment and carry out thorough examinations, written schemes and Statutory Inspections. These legal duties exist to help manage the significant hazard that the failure of such equipment can pose, not complying with these duties can significantly increase the risk of harm to workers and members of the public. Under certain circumstances with the agreement of a suitable competent person, some legislation does allow thorough examinations/statutory inspections to be postponed to a later date. Even if such options are taken, it remains the duty-holders responsibility to ensure that the equipment is safe to use.

If engineering companies are suffering shortages in their own resources, they should consider focusing this resource/expertise on equipment in premises where the most vulnerable are located such as hospitals, care homes and infrastructure which is essential to the running of the country.

Engineers who are working on sites where there are restrictions arising from the risk of COVID-19 infection should comply with site rules and take into account the wider Public Health England advice regarding good hygiene practices and separation distances. Consideration needs to be given to protecting the engineers but also, where relevant, any vulnerable persons who may be affected by their work.

At the current time, HSE is not considering issuing exemptions or relaxation of these requirements, but we recognise this is a fluid situation and this position is constantly under review.

For HSE Covid-19 guidance click here.

GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS AND RESOURCES

Telecoms Support for the Vulnerable
Government agrees measures with telecoms companies to support vulnerable consumers through COVID-19 - this may also help support remote workers. Click here to find out more.

Mental Health Advice and Support
New advice to support mental health during coronavirus outbreak available here.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick on COVID19 response to shielding the most vulnerable includes announcement of strategic coordination centres being set up across England. Read his speech here.

Critical Rail Services Protected
Critical rail services protected in new deals for GWR and South-eastern: franchise extensions for GWR and Govia. Click here for details

Insolvency Law Amended
Government amends insolvency law to help companies keep trading while they explore options for rescue. Click here to find out more.

A reminder; government support for business during the Covid-19 emergency can be found here.

INDUSTRY UPDATE
Over the weekend, Alok Sharma, the Business Secretary, was questioned on the issue of individuals going to work and not feeling safe to do so. He was very clear that, where work cannot be undertaken from home, people should go to work and employers must follow Public Health England (PHE) guidance. Build UK on behalf of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has developed Site Operating Procedures specifically for construction sites to ensure they are compliant. Details can be found here.

Remote Working Checklist
HAE EHA’s Certification Services best practice guidance for remote workers can be found here.

Please review the updates listed in today’s daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating COVID-19.

MESSAGE TO HIRE BUSINESSES
As you know, there is still a great need to provide equipment for maintenance and support of NHS and critical infrastructure. However, some members working to maintain support of the national Covid-19 effort were getting unwarranted criticism in the media for continuation of operations. Consequently we took this up with government, who recognised the vital part of the Hire sector and the designated premises list was altered to include equipment, plant and tool hire.

Whether to stay open is a choice for each business and cannot be mandated by a trade body, but any business remaining open will naturally ensure the wellbeing of their employees and customers as a priority. As a result they will be following the guidance from Public Health England with regard to social distancing and safeguarding staff.

Graham Arundell
Chief Executive Officer, HAE EHA

MEMBER ALERT
Several members are reporting business vehicles being stopped by police and drivers being asked to justify their journeys. HAE has raised this with the Home Office as the journeys may be in relation to supporting Covid-19 efforts and other essential activities. We have asked whether an authorising note from a manager, together with the relevant section of the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues issued by MHCLG and updated on 26th March (which now includes equipment, plant and tool hire) on company letterhead would suffice.

SELF EMPLOYED ASSISTANCE
The Chancellor has unveiled the financial support package for self-employed people. The government will pay self-employed people, who have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month. HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June. People who missed the January 31st deadline for tax returns now have an extra 4 weeks to submit them.

FAQs for the self-employed scheme can be viewed here.

COVID-19 REGULATIONS
Regulations made under the new Covid-19 legislation have come into effect. This Order covers premises to close, movement of people and enforcement. Click here to view them.

A reminder that the government business support resource can be found here.

Guidance for businesses in Northern Ireland
Guidance for businesses in Scotland
Guidance for businesses in Wales

CITB LEVY BILLS SUSPENDED FOR THREE MONTHS
Sarah Beale, CITB Chief Executive has confirmed CITB's decision to suspend the issue of its levy bills, due for payment in 2020, for an initial period of three months. She said; "The bills will subsequently be issued for the full year. The delay will provide immediate financial relief to construction employers during the coronavirus crisis. In normal times CITB assesses and sends out levy bills each April in accordance with legal requirements. CITB levy bills are usually due for payment in May, but CITB will not seek collection on the suspended bills until August, or later if possible.

"We are talking now to the UK Government to influence support for the construction industry, including seeking a financial grant for our work building critical industry skills." A video explaining the announcement can be found here. HAE has publicly supported this decision in order to help members paying the levy to reduce immediate costs.

CITB's COVID-19 updates page is being refreshed daily and includes information on a range of subjects including Grants, Funding and the NCC. Please click here to view it.

CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME (CBILS)
An earlier Covid-19 Spotlight had information about the CBILS scheme but several members reported concerns about being asked for personal guarantees. This seems to be a national issue and the press have picked this up, for example, this BBC article reports on how banks are criticised by firms and MPs for insisting on personal guarantees.

HAE has made inquiries and representation to the government. The guidance viewable here states that: "Primary residential property cannot be taken as security under the scheme."

THE ARMED FORCES COVENANT
Many hire businesses and HAE EHA have signed this and, in view of the military assistance now being provided to NHS, Councils and other services, we are including the information here.
Please review the updates listed in today’s daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating COVID-19.

HIRE BUSINESSES CAN REMAIN OPEN
On 23rd March Government gave clear guidance on self-isolation, staying at home and away from others by stepping up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in order to save lives. Although online retail remains open and encouraged, with postal / delivery services running as normal; it was unclear which category equipment, plant and tool hire businesses fell into. This has now been addressed, by Mark Bradshaw, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at HAE EHA and after correspondence, social media posts and making the case for hire we can confirm as of 26th March 2020 equipment, plant and tool hire has been added to the ‘exceptions list’ found on the government website.  A reminder of the latest Site Operating Procedure from the CLC can be found here.

Please remember that employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds.

Please click here to see the latest information.

Please click here to view the extract wording taken from the government website.

EMPLOYER GUIDANCE FOR FURLOUGHED WORKERS
Guidance for employees, including furloughed workers has been updated. Click here to view.

CALL FOR PPE, VENTILATORS AND SERVICES
The Cabinet Office have asked for those businesses with offers of PPE, ventilators and services to register themselves at one of two portals. Offers of major bulk (i.e. many thousands of) PPE and other items can be sent to HAE EHA and we will alert Build UK.

However, for smaller quantities, members may want to contact their local NHS facilities directly and make the offer.

One specifically for ventilators here.

And the other for goods and services here.

VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS IN 2020
OFQUAL have made a statement on vocational and technical qualifications in 2020 which can be read by clicking here.

GOVERNMENT LAUNCH NEW INFORMATION SERVICE
The Government has launched the Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. Find out more here.

SELF-EMPLOYED FINANCIAL SUPPORT
We expect the Chancellor to set out a financial support package for self-employed people in the daily press briefing later today. Parliament is now in Recess until 21st April. The emergency Covid-19 legislation received Royal Assent yesterday and provisions will be brought into effect, either immediately or as when required.

SECURITY ADVICE
HAE member CanTrack Global has provided some useful updated security advice relevant to the current circumstances. This is available on their website here.

CITB SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYERS AND APPRENTICES
CITB have issued advice across its services and support for employers and those in training which you can access here.

CITB is making available advanced payment of apprenticeship attendance grants for apprentices in their second and third year of apprenticeship programmes. Click here for details.

MEMBER ALERT
Your health, safety and well-being is at the forefront of everything we do and during these challenging times we continue to be here for you. The HAE EHA team are fully operational whilst working remotely from home and everyone has complete access to our usual telephone network, video conferencing facility and the ability to create virtual meeting rooms online.

If you would like to stay in touch, ask us a question or would like further advice and support regarding COVID-19 please contact the team on 0121 380 4600 or email membership@hae.org.uk.
Please review the updates listed in today's daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating COVID-19.

NHS HOSPITALS
NHS hospitals have made the following request for supplies from the industry to support their fight against COVID-19:

FFP3 masks
Full-face visors (transparent and either disposable or reusable)
Safety goggles and glasses
Hand sanitiser
Hazmat/full body suits

If you have suitable items to donate either contact your local hospital or email Mark Bradshaw who will liaise with those coordinating this work.

SCAM TEXT MESSAGES
While legitimate GOV.UK text messages have been sent to most mobile phones urging people to stay ay home, there are also scam texts mentioning a government payment and a link. This scam has been reported by several councils and the government is aware, as are Action Fraud.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on business support grant funding sets out details of eligibility and delivery of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Click here for details.

DRIVING TESTS AND MOTS
Driving tests and MOTs for heavy vehicles suspended for up to 3 months to help tackle spread of coronavirus. Driving tests are suspended for up to 3-months except for critical workers, and MOTs for lorries, buses and trailers are also suspended for up to 3-months. Further information can be found here.

All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March 2020. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. More details can be found here.

Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.

HELP FOR SELF-EMPLOYED
At the time of compiling this update, there is no government announcement, but draft wording scopes out a possible scheme for parliamentary approval later today.

FILING ACCOUNTS WITH COMPANIES HOUSE
Businesses will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

Click here for more information.

COUNCIL TAX RELIEF FOR VULNERABLE
Government confirms £500 million hardship fund will provide council tax relief for vulnerable households.

Click here for details.

DBS AND IDENTITY CHECKS
Click here to view COVID-19: Changes to DBS ID checking guidelines

ADVICE FOR EMPLOYEES, EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESSES
The advice for employees, employers and businesses is updated and can be found here.

Scotland: First Minister’s speech on 24.3.20 and please note the references to key activities and construction sites. Click here to read in full.

Northern Ireland: Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, outlined steps taken to ensure Government departments pay their suppliers as quickly as possible to maintain cash flow and protect jobs. Click here for the full report.

Government Business Support website - a reminder of this unified resource.

INDUSTRY UPDATES
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has issued updated site operating procedures.

Build UK has published this statement:

"The CLC has confirmed that all construction sites should assess their situation and those sites that cannot implement the Site Operating Procedures published by the CLC should not remain open."

This message was echoed today by the PM during questions in Parliament. You can read the full statement here.
Please review the updates listed in today's daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating COVID-19.

MEMBER ALERT CONTINUITY OF HIRE OPERATIONS
While the hire sector as a whole cannot be defined as an essential service, many of our members provide essential support to key public and other services. These services include NHS, central and local government, agencies, national infrastructure and utilities.

Graham Arundell, CEO, issued the following direct message to members earlier today Continuity of Hire Operations.

There is also uncertainty about financial support for the event sector, particularly suppliers to the hospitality and related sectors. We are working with other organisations to get clarity for EHA members. This was also mentioned in our letters to government.

GOVERNMENT UPDATE
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, ministers have been trying to clarify various aspects, including the status of construction sites, which were not mentioned in the PM’s speech. Robert Jenrick, the Housing Secretary tweeted:

"Advice for the housing, construction and building maintenance industries: If you can work from home, do so. If you are working on-site, you can continue to do so. But follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing. Outside of work, remember to #StayHomeSaveLives".

This was re-tweeted by the construction minister and the Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove, repeated this advice in media interviews this morning.

The government has also produced guidance on those businesses which must close. Click here to view.

A new unified site for government support to business goes live.

There is extra protection for businesses with a ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments.

Reviews and reassessments for disability benefits are being suspended for the next three months. Read more here.

Reviews are also being conducted on the continuation of public services, with a focus on redundancy and other matters. Read more here.

Procurement Policy Note 02/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19: This document sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the current coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.

Employers do not have to report gender pay gaps: enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines is now suspended for this year.

INDUSTRY GUIDANCE
The Construction Leadership Council has published Site Operating Procedures for building and construction sites which has implications for hire businesses and employees.

CORONAVIRUS AND INSURANCE CONSIDERATIONS
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread it is understandable that businesses are concerned throughout the UK and the world. Questions are now being raised about whether insurance coverage might respond to virus-linked losses. Read HAE EHA Insurance Service's Guidance on coronavirus and insurance.

More information can be found in the Coronavirus Resilience Factsheet produced by Marsh, the parent company behind HAE EHA Insurance Services.
Please review the updates listed in today's daily advice update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity.  HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating COVID-19.

HAE EHA MEMBERSHIP ALERT
HAE EHA is suspending all SafeHire Certification Services Audits until the end of May 2020 when we will be reviewing the situation. We must cease unnecessary movement of Auditors across the UK in the interest of public health whilst protecting our members, minimising the risk of exposure and the spread of COVID-19.

SafeHire Certification may be extended in accordance with Members' and interested parties' requirements, and in line with the current circumstances.

If you have any questions about this please contact us.

HIRE BUSINESSES SUPPORTING NHS AND KEY ACTIVITIES
Hire businesses supporting NHS, key emergency and other activities, including food supply.  Thank you to members who have contacted HAE EHA about how they are fulfilling such roles. Please let Mark Bradshaw know if you are helping to enable NHS, Councils or other key functions at this time. We also want to know about administrative or other barriers to your business operating under these challenging times - we will raise these with the government.

GOVERNMENT INFORMATION ON COVID-19 ROUNDUP
Businesses will be able to access government support from today to keep operating in the face of the global economic emergency brought on by coronavirus.

Emergency financial support for business and jobs: Further details have been issued about the package announced by the Chancellor. It is widely expected that more support for self-employed people will follow. There may be some duplication in these government documents but we want to give members as much information as possible given the rapidly changing circumstances.

A useful summary of all government support for business can be found here.

It is understood that Councils will be contacting those businesses eligible for business rate relief. The Business Department also has a helpline number to call which is: 0300 456 3565.

For more guidance on the package of support measures please click here.

For information on how to access government financial support if you or your business has been affected by COVID-19 click here.

The Chancellor’s statement can be read in full here.

Devolved powers, local government and other factors may mean there are differences in detail and for accessing support in The Nations.

Guidance on coronoavirus for businesses in specific areas throughout the UK can be accessed below:
For businesses in Wales
For businesses in Scotland
For businesses in Northern Ireland

THE BRITISH BUSINESS BANK CBILS SCHEME
The British Business Bank has more information on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which is now available through participating lenders. CBILS is a new scheme, announced by The Chancellor at Budget 2020, that can provide facilities of up to £5million for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. This will also be of interest to those principally involved in business to business transactions, such as event supply firms, and out of scope for the business rates measures.

COVID CORPORATE FINANCING FACILITY (CCFF)
Information for those seeking to participate in the scheme can be found here.

WHO IS CLASSED AS A KEY WORKER?
Schools have closed but they, and all childcare providers, are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children: children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the coronavirus response ("key workers") and cannot be safely cared for at home.

The Government has issued guidance for those workers considered to be vital in areas across the UK whose children will be offered priority to continue to attend school. The list covers:

Health and social care
Education and childcare
Key public services
Local and national government
Food and other necessary goods
Public safety and national security
Transport
Utilities
Communication and financial services

If employees' work is critical to the coronavirus response or they work in one of the critical sectors listed, then their children will be prioritised for education provision. If workers think they fall within the critical categories above, they should confirm with you as their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

Further information about the roles identified as key to delivering the coronavirus response can be found on GOV.UK.

What should an employer do if they think their workers are critical but not on the list? If workers think they fall within the critical categories above, they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

HAE EHA has highlighted the hire sector role in letters to senior ministers.

ACAS WEBINAR FOR EMPLOYERS
Employers can join a free ACAS webinar 'Coronavirus – an advisory webinar for employers'. The webinar provides practical advice for employers to help manage the impact of coronavirus in the workplace. Register here.

We hope you all stay safe during these uncertain, unprecedented and challenging circumstances.
HAE EHA has followed up our earlier letter to the Business Secretary with one to the Prime Minister and copied other senior ministers. The letter outlines the role played by the hire sector; our offer to engage with officials and some examples of the activities being undertaken or being supported. Examples of where hire businesses are supporting key services or activities would be helpful, please could you email these to Mark Bradshaw on our Policy and Public Affairs Team.

It is expected that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will today announce an employment and wage subsidy package to protect jobs, we will share details when available. Meanwhile, for coronavirus support for employees, benefit claimants and businesses follow this link for updated advice.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS GRANTS
Eligibility for those businesses in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors. Local authorities will provide the grants and they in turn will be compensated by central government. We understand that the Treasury is issuing guidance to local authorities in the coming days and local authorities will then write to those who qualify for the grants with instructions on how to claim.

GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYEES WORKING FROM HOME
Hire businesses and staff are finding themselves in unchartered territory in terms of the COVID-19 crisis and with guidance from Public Health England (PHE) to encourage homeworking. It is becoming more apparent that instead of the occasional use of a laptop this is now turning into a full working week. If this is the case, HAE EHA has shared the guidance notes issued to our own employees for working safely at home which are available to download here.

HMRC HELPLINE
Launched to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus. If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC's helpline for advice and guidance: 0800 015 9559.

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm. The helpline will not be available on Bank Holidays.

ACAS CORONAVIRUS HELP AND ADVICE
Advice for employers and employees can be found on the ACAS website.

People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus can obtain an isolation note through a new online service.

GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND COUNCILS ON MAINTAINING SCHOOL PROVISION
Guidance has been published by the Cabinet Office and sets out the categories of workers and type of work covered by the provision of continuing school support.

NEW EMERGENCY LEGISLATION
The new coronavirus bill will be debated in Parliament next week and is expected to become effective around the end of March. Yesterday’s update included a link to the explanatory notes for this extensive legislation.

Good Practice Guide (GPG) 45 helps you decide how to check someone's identity.
Please review the updates listed in today’s daily advice and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will hopefully provide further guidance.

SCHOOL CLOSURES
Yesterday, the Education Secretary for England announced all schools will close with effect from Friday 20th March until further notice. This follows announcements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Arrangements will be made for children of ‘key workers’ - this is yet to be defined but likely to be frontline NHS, blue light, retail and delivery workers, and for vulnerable children.

Click here for further details

NEW POWERS FOR EMERGENCY LEGISLATION
COVID-19 emergency legislation has been published. It is lengthy however explanatory notes can be found here.

In the meantime, Transport for London (TfL) has announced restrictions on the London public transport network and military personnel are being allocated to likely tasks ahead.

Read more here.

HOME RENTERS
The PM and Housing secretary have said that people renting their homes in the social and private sectors will have protection from eviction during the crisis - more details will emerge soon.

CALL FOR BUSINESS RATE ASSISTANCE
HAE EHA has written to the Business Secretary, Construction Minister and Tourism & Events Minister spelling out the role of the hire sector and the critical enabling role our members perform.

We have called for further assistance on business rates (although smaller tool hire businesses are included in the relief scheme in the Budget); longer phase-in for the changes to red diesel taxation; and backing for the position of the Construction Leadership Council (detailed here) and Build UK on keeping construction sites open for as long as possible.

We have also highlighted the evident risks in the event hire sector now that major national events are being cancelled or postponed, and thousands of corporate and private ones also.

UNABLE TO WORK DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
If you cannot work due to coronavirus you are now eligible for Statutory Sick Pay from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) intends to legislate this measure so it applies retrospectively from 13th March 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by coronavirus. This will also apply from 13th March 2020.

If you are an independent contractor, temporary worker and/or on a zero-hours contract, you may be entitled to sick pay. Check your eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay.

If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to stay at home due to coronavirus, you will soon be able to get it from NHS 111 Online instead of having to get a Fit Note from your doctor. This is currently under development and will be available soon.

Information about coronavirus and claiming benefits will be updated regularly so please use this link for further updates.

COVID-19 HIRE SUSPENSION
All HAE EHA members may wish to consider issuing the following message to customers

Coronavirus and Potential Business Disruption

We are continuing to monitor the ongoing developments regarding coronavirus closely and plans are in place to mitigate any potential disruption to our service.

The health and safety of our employees, suppliers and our customers is our top priority and although there is currently no impact on our core business operation, we do have the necessary contingency plans in place for critical activities and tasks. We are following all safety advice and precautions as recommended by the UK Government:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

However, if you find you need to suspend the hire of the equipment for a short period of time, as a result of coronavirus, please following guidelines:
  • Notify us in writing that you will not use the equipment
  • You will continue to ensure the safekeeping of the equipment as per our terms and conditions (link to T&Cs on your company website or attach copy)
  • You notify us prior to resuming use of the equipment

We will then be able to suspend all hire charges relating to that equipment until equipment use is resumed.

We hope this helps you to minimise the disruption to your business.

Yours sincerely

Less than a week since the Budget (and £30 billion of extra funding for business) and now the Chancellor has announced a £330 billion rescue package of guarantees to support jobs and the economy being hit by Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19). Some of the fine print has yet to be published but key details are listed below.

Also, the implementation of changes to IR35 have been deferred for a further year.

FUNDING SUPPLY
Support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help bridge Coronavirus disruption to cash flows through loans.

Increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £1.2million to £5million, and ensuring businesses can access the first 6-months of finance, interest free. Government will cover the first 6-months of interest payments.

Including new legal powers in the COVID Bill enabling government to offer whatever further financial support they think necessary to businesses.

BUSINESS COSTS AND CASHFLOW
Providing £20billion of business rates support and grant funding to help the most-affected firms manage their cashflow through this period by giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months.

Increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000.

Providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.

PERSONAL FINANCES UNDER PRESSURE
Mortgage lenders have agreed they will support customers experiencing issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19, including payment holidays of up to 3-months. This will give people the necessary time to recover and ensure they do not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage in the interim.

As yet, there have been no measures aimed at the growing number of people renting their homes from social and private landlords. Nor measures focused on personal income tax, council tax, utility bills and other individual costs (unlike some other countries taking action against the impact of COVID-19).

FURTHER MEASURES TO SUPPORT FOOD, HOSPITALITY AND RETAIL SECTORS
Confirmation that government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres etc. is sufficient for businesses to claim on their insurance where they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place.

To support the food industry and help provide meals for people who need to self-isolate, ministers will relax planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing takeaways without a planning application.

COVID-19 LEGISLATION
The Bill will cover much ground but includes a power to "enable the government to restrict or prohibit events and gatherings during the pandemic in any place, vehicle, train, vessel or aircraft, any movable structure and any offshore installation and, where necessary, to close premises."

Also; "We want to ensure the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provisions support people in complying with this request and that they have retrospective effect from 13th March 2020. By ensuring that people receive SSP from the first day that they are off work, we will ensure that those who are unwell or have been instructed to self-isolate can do so without the fear of losing pay. This will be an important measure in the event of a severe outbreak. By refunding small businesses, we hope to alleviate the significant financial burden on employers through increased SSP costs."

The Senior Traffic Commissioner has issued a Statutory Document setting out the approach that traffic commissioners will adopt in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Great Britain.

New ministerial cabinet committees have been formed to expedite emergency decision making.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab gave a statement advising against all non-essential travel overseas in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The government COVID-19 legislation is due to be published.

Under health and safety law, employers have a duty of care to protect employees from infectious diseases at work. Coronavirus is the most recent outbreak of disease and it is the employer’s responsibility to take precautions to prevent exposure to the disease and ensure the health and safety of employees. Developing a plan or a policy on reducing the risk of infection and what to do in the event of an outbreak is the best way to be prepared for an outbreak in the workplace.

It is important to note that the current position with COVID-19 is constantly developing, therefore it is imperative for employers to keep up to date with Government advice, utilising sources such as the NHS, Public Health England (PHE) and Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC). Government advice and guidance is available for employers on the Gov.uk website.

Public Health England also provide useful further information via their blog "Public Heath Matters" which is updated daily, and we encourage employers to keep up to date with it.

What are the symptoms of someone with coronavirus?
The following symptoms may develop within 14 days of coming into contact with someone who is infected by COVID-19:

  • A cough
  • A fever
  • Difficulty breathing

Important: These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are like many other illnesses that are much more common, such as a flu or a common cold. Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

So, what to do if a member of staff displays symptoms of coronavirus?
111 should be everyone’s first port of call. When there’s a disease outbreak, the public can become very weary and, in some cases, over exaggerate. A simple fever or cough doesn’t necessarily mean you have Coronavirus. This why it is important to seek medical advice before making assumptions. NHS 111 offer an online coronavirus service which is in the form of a questionnaire for people who believe they may be showing symptoms. This is a series of questions which will determine if you need to seek further medical help.

The NHS have asked the public not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. This is simply a control measure to prevent the spread of the disease. Remember to stay calm and seek the advice through 111 first.

What practises can we adopt to help protect employees from infection?
At the time of writing, there is no vaccine for Coronavirus. The most efficient way to prevent the infection is to avoid exposure. Maintaining and encouraging good levels of hygiene is highly important. Methods you could employ are:

  • Ensure hand washing facilities are available to staff, with warm running water and soap. Additionally, sanitizer gels could be made available
  • Encourage frequently cleaning hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • Following the standard procedure of covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. This then needs to be thrown away immediately - Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • Avoiding close contact with anyone who has a cough or a fever
  • Ensuring work surfaces are cleaned
  • Remove waste daily

Other steps to explore to mitigate the risks are:

  • Risk assess your activities to help identify potential sources of exposure and formulate suitable control measures, e.g. can some face to face meetings where there is the potential to increase the risk of contact be just as easily carried out via video conference calls, or conference calls?
  • If circumstances in the UK become more extreme, look at instances where remote working can be carried out to avoid travel
  • Monitor staff who have pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant workers, persons with weak immune systems etc. as further steps may be required to reduce risk
  • Keep information to employees clear, concise and up to date – ensure effective communication

What if I have staff returning to the UK from other countries?
It is down to the employer to assess the risk of the employee returning to work. As of right now, infected countries have been split into two categories. Category 1 consists of Wuhan City and Hubei Province (China), Iran, Daegu or Cheongdo (Republic of Korea) and any Italian town under containment measures. Category 2 consists of Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Italy (North), Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam. It has been advised that people traveling back from Category 1 should self-isolate, even if asymptomatic, and use the 111 online Coronavirus service to find out what to do next. Travellers from Category 2 have been advised not to take any specials measures unless they develop symptoms, in which case they should self-isolate and call 111. Over time, countries in the categories may change, so for updated categories please refer to the list on the Government website.

If asked to self-isolate you will find advice here.

As the spread of Coronavirus is changing by the day, it is most important that you keep up to date with the latest information and advice provided by the government.

As ever, if you have any questions about this or any of our other services, please don't hesitate to contact BusinessGuard on 0121 380 4612.