On March 23rd the Government announced further guidance on the COVID-19 situation and how they plan to tackle the virus and stem the spread. Coronavirus what we know so far…
Prime Minister Johnson stated that “the Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades” adding that we need to now be more stringent in our approach to help preserve our vital NHS services. Within the statement, Mr Johnson announced new ‘stay at home’ measures which include limiting time spent away from the home to essential shopping or health requirements and key workers.
So, who are key workers?
Key workers are people whose jobs are vital to public health and safety during the coronavirus lockdown. Due to their work being so critical, the Government is keen to ensure that they can continue to work with as little restriction as possible. This includes being able to put their children in school and use the necessary transport links.
What does that mean for the Construction and Manufacturing sectors?
The current guidance from BEIS is that where it is not possible for people to work from home, for example, manufacturing operations and assuming they do not need to self-isolate, they should go to work.
While at work employees should follow the PHE guidance on social distancing, minimising contact with others and the enhanced cleaning measures, if the company and its employees are unable to meet these measures, they should consider whether operations can continue safely.
During a March 26th briefing, the UK Government asked industry to offer support to those fighting Coronavirus. There is a requirement for support in the following areas, and BMA members are doing their bit:
- equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
- transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
- manufacturing equipment
- warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
- expert advice or consultancy on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement or engineering
Below are the latest resources which we feel are most useful during this epidemic:
- Guidance for employers and businesses on Coronavirus
- HMG Business Support
- Government Support for Businesses
- ACAS’ updated advice to employers and employees
- Knight’s legal factsheet for employers
- Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
- COVID corporate financing facility for large firms
- ABI’s FAQ on the impact of Coronavirus on insurance
- McKinsey’s analysis of implications for business (LONG READ)
- CPA Coronavirus Update
- Tax helpline to support business affected by the Coronavirus
- Covid-19 Construction Briefing
- HMRC coronavirus tax helpline for “time to pay” is 0800 0159 559