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.
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 We can take no responsibility for any out-of-date or inaccurate information and we ask members to check sources and take further advice as required.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.
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.
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
This useful update on apprenticeships including CITB and government announcements, collated by Build UK (HAE is an associate member). Click here to view.
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.
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.
Job Retention Scheme
Further details of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme announced, click here to find out more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
Other steps to explore to mitigate the risks are:
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.