This week the First Minister gave details of the updated Strategic Framework and set out an indicative timeline for easing lockdown restrictions, more details of which will follow mid-March.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Members who have been adhering to the guidance and more recently regulations for working in the construction sector during the pandemic and remind those of you working in people’s homes that this should be strictly limited to the provision of essential work. Safer workplace guidance is released on a sectoral basis and can be found here.
In meetings I attended last week the reports made by the Scottish Government and HSE indicated that while there had been very few cases of COVID linked to construction, they have noticed a marked increase in the number of cases since the new year with raised concerns associated with weaker social distancing compliance, poor cleaning regimes, shared travel, and accommodation arrangements.
I would remind Members that while there may understandably be an element of COVID “fatigue” and at the same time optimism about vaccinations, we must not become complacent. There will we know be some businesses who continue to operate with disregard to the rules and regulations, but they do so at their own risk: risk of claims from their employees or customers, reputational risk, and insurance risk to name a few.
By working together and following the guidance we know that we will have played our part towards the sector remaining open, albeit in a limited form, until we can resume “business as usual”.
Take care, keep safe and let us know if we can assist you in any way.
Fiona Hodgson, Chief Executive
In a statement to Parliament today, the First Minister gave details of the updated Strategic Framework and set out initial priorities and an indicative timeframe for cautiously easing lockdown restrictions. Further details on the plans will be published in mid-March.
The First Minister said, while lockdown measures have had a positive impact, suppression of the virus is still heavily reliant on restrictions due to high transmissibility and case numbers. However, it is hoped that vaccination will become the main tool for suppressing the virus once the vast majority of the adult population has received at least one dose.
The Framework sets out:
A progressive easing of the current level 4 restrictions that apply across most of Scotland at intervals of at least 3 weeks - along with changes nationally on education and care home visiting - with the immediate priority being the continued return of schools. The first easing started yesterday with the partial return of schools.
A move – subject to the data allowing it - fully back to a levels system from the last week in April, when it would be expected to see phased but significant re-opening of the economy, including non-essential retail, hospitality and services like gyms and hairdressers. More detail will be set out in mid-March on the indicators that will guide decisions on levels, as well as on any revision to the content of each level - taking account of experience and sectoral views - and the order in which we expect those parts of the economy that have been restricted to start reopening.
Ongoing financial support, which is set out in the Framework, continuing to be available to businesses. This includes the ongoing commitment to fund the Strategic Framework Business Fund and to provide Level 4 payments for an additional month once businesses are moved down a level. These proposals are contingent on receipt of additional consequential from the UK Government.
Read the updated Strategic Framework
Safer workplace guidance is released on a sectoral basis and can be found here.
Grants are available for businesses that are required by law to close or to significantly change operations as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Find out who is eligible and how to apply here.
The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage is the fastest way for people to get the latest health advice and information.
The Scottish Government’s phased and careful easing of lockdown restrictions has been outlined by the First Minister.
For full information and proposed dates check here
The Scottish Government have set out advice and expectations for employers running private COVID-19 testing among their staff.
See here for more information
Top tips and getting your applications right have been issued by Find Business Support.
To access the information click here
The UK Government have announced that all care home resident will be allowed one indoor visitor from 8 March 2021.
For more details see here
Celebrities and social media platforms have teamed up with the NHS and the UK Government to show support for the vaccine roll-out.
For more information and the links to Facebook and Twitter click here
The UK Government have updated the Kickstart Scheme funding for those who have already been offered funding.
Check here to see updates
The First Minister in a statement from parliament this afternoon announced the latest review of the COVID-19 results and restrictions.
Apart from the phased return to schools planned from 22 February 2021, all other current restrictions will remain in place,
Scottish Government is setting out a revised Strategic Framework to implement a gradual route out of the restrictions. The updated framework will be published within next two weeks following discussions with opposition parties, business organisations and trade unions, third sector bodies and others.
It will set out as far as possible the conditions that need to be met, in terms of the data, exit from lockdown and it will detail the overall order of priority for re-opening, including what a return to a geographic levels approach might look like for the future.
In addition, retail, tourist, hospitality, and aviation businesses will pay no rates during 2021-22 under proposals outlined today by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. It is one of a series of measures proposed following confirmation of a further £1.1 billion of consequential funding arising from UK Government COVID-19 spending.
Two funds to help support people who have been affected by COVOD-19 are now open to applications. These include grants that will be available for mobile and home-based close contact service businesses – such as make-up artists, hairdressers, and registered driving instructors – and the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund, which paid out more than £11 million in vital support last year, will also re-open for a second round.
The UK Government have updated the guidance for those who are legally permitted to travel abroad during the pandemic.
For more information check here
From 04.00 Monday 15 February 2021, you will be required to quarantine in managed isolation for 10 days on arrival in Scotland. The Scottish Government have issued guidelines on how to book and pay for your managed isolation and further information can be found here.
The Scottish Government have issued an updated version of the COVID-19 factsheet, if you or anyone in your household have any symptoms and need to self-isolate.
For more details see here
The Department for Transport and Border Force have published the jobs that are exempt from quarantine, passenger location forms and testing requirements.
For the latest information click here
The UK Government have opened a new walk-through COVID-19 testing centre at Overton Community Centre in Kirkcaldy (KY1 3JP) All tests must be booked in advance at NHS Inform or by calling 0800 028 2816.
Form more information see here
Scottish Local Authorities will be distributing a £120 million fund to help with short-term financial challenges experienced by businesses. This fund is for those who have not been eligible for previous support grants.
See here for more information
The UK Government highlights apprentices and employers throughout the UK, paying tributes to both employers and apprentices.
For more details see here
Invest Northern Ireland and indirect Government Services have set out the guidelines for minimum wage, support and advice for the self-employed, UK visa sponsorship for employers and a newly self-employed support scheme.
For more see here
Hm Revenues and Customs have updated the advice for self-assessment tax payers who deferred their 2020 payment on account.
For full information see here
The Scottish Government have updated the guidance for those working in businesses and organisations not covered by sectorial guidance. This covers tradespeople providing goods and services in or to other peoples homes.
For full guidance check here
HM Treasury have announced more flexibility for replaying bounce back loans, this includes delaying repayments for a further six months and tailored payments according to individual needs.
For more details see here
From 15 February 2021 anyone traveling to the UK will be required to quarantine in a Government-approved facility for 10 days. The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed this will be mandatory and will be in touch will all travellers entering the UK.
For more detail see here
A new UK Government walk-through testing site has opened in Pollock Community Centre in Glasgow (G53 5DP)
See here for more information
Open University has launched training and funding up to £5,000 for small to medium-sized businesses through a new programme launched on 1 February 2021
For more information see here
The Scottish government have announced a series of new measures of supervised quarantine and expansion testing as the schools return.
To see more information click here
The £500 support grant has been extended for people on low incomes, earning the living wage or less as part of the Scottish Government COVID-19 response plan.
To see eligibility click here
The phased return of early learning and childcare and primary 1-3 is due to start from 22 February 2021. The Scottish Government have also said that a limited number of S4-6 will also be able to attend school for practical work only.
See here for more information
The NI Department for the Economy (DfE) launched an Apprenticeship Recovery Package for Northern Ireland last year with the aim of providing financial support to local businesses to help the apprenticeship system respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
One scheme, the Applications for the Apprenticeship Challenge Fund, closed last year but there are two other schemes still available:
Recruitment of New Apprenticeships
This incentive is available to all employers to support the recruitment of new apprentices. Employers will be eligible for up to £3,000 for each new apprenticeship opportunity created from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. This bonus will apply to all new apprenticeship opportunities and includes apprentices who have been made redundant:
Further details on the scheme, full eligibility terms and how to apply can be found here
Apprenticeship Return, Retain and Result Scheme
To help return apprentices from furlough, and retain them until 31st March 2021 and on to successful completion of their apprenticeship, DfE will provide incentive payments to employers to support the return, retention and result for apprentices. The total amount payable under the scheme will be a maximum of £3,700 per apprentice, distribution as follows:
Further details on the scheme can be found here
To receive this via Find Business Support fund, you must apply by 5 February 2021. This is for business that are required to close by law during the COVID-19 restrictions.
HMRC have updated the guidelines and given examples of eligibility on how to claim for the fourth grant to be announced 3 March 2021. Applications for the third grant are now closed.
For more details see here
Due to an increase in prevalence of COVID-19 and an increase in infection rates Na h-Eileanan Siar will move to Level 4 from 00.01 Saturday.
Clinical advice is that the move to lockdown is necessary to avoid the NHS becoming overwhelmed.
Nobody who lives in an area under lockdown should leave or remain outside their home except for an essential purpose like caring responsibilities, outdoor exercise and work that cannot be done from home.
The Scottish government have introduced relief rates to help non-domestic properties during see here to COVID-19.
See here to see if you are eligible
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced a 1.1 billion support for jobs and skills, including a new Green workforce Academy, £100 million Green Jobs Fund, £7 million towards a Digital Business Hub and £125 million for a Young Person’s Guarantee (skills and employability).
A £90 million family budget is also available for Local Councils to freeze the council tax.
This along with an increase of 5.3% increase for Health to over £16 billion and the £869 million to tackle COVID-19 more than triples the increase to health funding by £500 million above inflation.
Further proposals also cover:
The UK Government have updated how to pay back overclaimed grants, or if you want to make a voluntary repayment if you do not want or need the grant for wages, tax or pension contributions.
The Home Office and the Department of Public Health have announced further action of outbound and inbound passengers to minimise travel and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
For full information see here
The CICV Forum has published guidance and a checklist for working from home. It includes information on Health and safety, IT support, emotional needs and contracts.
View it here
HMRC have updated examples on how to calculate your employee’s wages, National Insurance contributions and pensions if you are claiming through the COVID-19 job retention scheme.
In response to the challenging impacts of Covid-19, the Scottish Government has introduced a range of interventions to maximise apprenticeship uptake and create opportunities for young people throughout Scotland.
Apprenticeship Employer Grant
The Scottish Government have introduced a new Apprenticeship Employer Grant to encourage more employers to take on apprentices.
The grant includes £5,000 for employers taking on or upskilling a 16 to 24 year old apprentice, and for those aged up to 29 years old who are disabled, care leavers and Minority Ethnic. Any employers who take on or upskill an apprentice aged 25 or older will receive a financial incentive of £3,500.
Funding will be available for eligible employers where the apprenticeship start date was on or after 1st December 2020 and will be available until 25th March 2021.
Adopt an Apprentice
The Scottish Government allocated £10 million on measures to recruit and retain apprentices helping Modern and Graduate apprentices who are facing redundancy get back into work. This includes the enhanced Adopt an Apprentice programme of a £5,000 incentive for employers who are willing to employ a redundant Modern or Graduate apprentice.
Further information on Adopt an Apprentice can be accessed on Adopting an apprentice (ourskillsforce.co.uk).
Young Person’s Guarantee
Officially launched by the Scottish Government last year, our Young Person’s Guarantee sets out our ambition that within two years every 16-24 year old in Scotland will either be in paid employment, enrolled in education, involved on an apprenticeship or training programme, or engaged on a formal volunteering or supported activity programme.
Further information on the guarantee can be accessed on The Young Person's Guarantee | My World of Work.
Creating Job Opportunities - Employer Recruitment Incentives
As part of the Young Person’s Guarantee, £30 million has been allocated by Scottish Government to Local Authorities for additional investment in local partnerships. A significant part of the funding will be for employer recruitment incentives with these incentives delivered by each of the 32 local authorities.
For more information speak with your local authority employer recruitment team.
As part of the Young Person’s Guarantee, our £10 million Pathway Apprenticeships programme, aimed at 16 and 17 year olds, is already up and running and will help young people gain key skills in sectors like construction, business skills, software and hardware IT, engineering and early years, helping them prepare for the world of work.
Further information on Pathway Apprenticeships can be found on Apprenticeships | Pathway Apprenticeships.
Flexible Workforce Development Fund
In response to the introduction of the UK Government Apprenticeship Levy, the Scottish Government introduced the Flexible Workforce Development Fund which allows levy-paying employers to access up to £15,000 to upskill and reskill their workforce.
The Scottish Government have doubled the Flexible Workforce Development Fund to £20 million, providing upskilling and reskilling opportunities to the existing workforce, and have opened it out for the first time to non-Apprenticeship Levy paying SMEs to help them adapt as required.
Levy-paying employers can access up to £15,000 with wider access through colleges or Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in 2020/21. SMEs will be able to access up to £5,000 through college and Open University training in 2020/21.
Further information on the Flexible Workforce Development Fund can be accessed on Flexible Workforce Development Fund (ourskillsforce.co.uk).
Individual Training Accounts
Individual Training Accounts are available to help people develop the skills they need for work, giving people who are unemployed or in low paid work the opportunity to access £200 towards training. Applications for the Individual Training Accounts scheme are currently open until the 28th February 2021.
Further information on Individual Training Accounts can be accessed on SDS Individual Training Accounts (ITA) | My World of Work.
National Transition Training Fund
The National Transition Training Fund aims to tackle the rise in unemployment caused by Covid-19 by offering short sharp training opportunities for people to learn in-demand skills. Anyone age 25 and over who is facing redundancy or is unemployed is eligible for the fund and will equip people with the skills they need to enter into sectors or occupations where we are most confident of a strong recovery, high demand, or tangible job opportunities.
Further information on the National Transition Training Fund can be found at National Transition Training fund | My World of Work.
The department for Work and Pension are updating the Scheme from 3 February 2021, removing the threshold of 30 job placements.
The Health and Social Care Department have issued a new campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible.
To see the “Roll their Sleeves up” Campaign check here
The Scottish Government Finance Secretary has provided an update on support for business during COVID-19 through a letter directly to businesses in Scotland.
To see the letter in full click here
The CICV Forum have produced updated COVID-19 Construction Operating Guidance.
Read it here
The UK Government has issued guidance on availability of Taxable expenses and benefits and how to report them to the HMRC, depending on the individual benefit and/or expense.
See here for more information.
The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Department of Health & Social Care have opened a new walk-through testing centre at Bridge Street, Car Park in Paisley (PA1 1XN)
This gives Scotland 6 drive through sites, 26 walk-through sites and 21 mobile units.
The CICV Forum has produced a handy infographic giving an at-a-glance guide to essential domestic #construction work and the health & safety measures that should be taken during any projects
Download it here
The Scottish Government has issued updated guidelines for those businesses and tradespeople who provide goods and services in or to other people’s homes. This includes engineers’, domestic installations, cleaners, and furniture deliveries. Strict limits are now in place, with work only being legally allowed that is essential for the upkeep of maintenance and to maintain the functioning of a home.
Work carried out inside homes can continue within COVID-19 protection levels, but strict limits should be adhered to at level 4 or lockdown restrictions.
This includes utility engineers, electricity, gas, water, and solid fuel. Urgent repair can only be conducted as long as they do not threaten the safety of the householder and the engineer.
A minimum of 2 metres should be maintained at all times, with good ventilation and face coverings worn.
Ensure the customer has provided contact details for trace and track.
Physical and hand hygiene and avoidance of contact with household surfaces should be mitigated to avoid transmission.
A range of guidance is available for those undertaking work within households, this includes physical distancing, face coverings, working in domestic properties, close contact, travel and transport and for those who need to isolate.
If your job involves dealing directly with clients and customers remote tools should be used where possible and face to face meeting should only happen where essential.
See here for more details
The Scottish Government have updated the guidelines for those working from home for employers and the employee.
See here for contents
The minister for the Economy has issued details, administered by Invest in Northern Ireland a scheme to support company directors who have been impacted by COVID-19.
To see what is available click here
Invest in Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy have launched a support scheme designed to support newly self-employed individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19.
To see who eligible click is here
Business forced to close in Northern Ireland can apply for A Business Support Scheme issued by the Department for the Economy, which has now reopened.
The Department for Transport have issued new border measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coming into the UK. From Monday 18 January 2021 all travel corridors have been suspended.
HMRC have released recorded webinars and email alerts to help with the Job Retention Scheme, Income Support Grant Extension and Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.
To sign up for updates click here
The Department for Transport have removed the above from the travel corridor list and people returning to the UK from these countries will now need to self-isolate for 10 days.
New travel restrictions from 4am Friday 14 January 2021 will come into place for passengers arriving in the UK from South America, Portugal, Panama, and Cape Verde.
For more details see here
The Department of Transport, UK Visas and Immigration and Border Force have issued a list of jobs that qualify for travel exemption and self-isolation.
For details see here
Today the First Minister made a statement regarding tightening the rules for tradespeople working inside people’s homes.
“We will strengthen the provisions in relation to work inside people’s houses. We have already issued guidance to the effect that in level 4 areas work is only permitted within a private dwelling if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household. We will now put this guidance into law.”
We will update members once the regulations are published.
The Scottish Government has issued new measures to be introduced from 00.01 on Saturday 16 January 2021. These covers working from home, click and collect and restrictions on the consumption of alcohol in public places. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said” “At this critical and dangerous moment, please: Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”
See here for more information
Update guidelines have been issued for working from home has been issued for Employers and employees. The stay at home regulations came into effect on 5 January, with the Scottish Government advice covering Health and Safety, Communications, planning and support and operational guides.
Click here for more information
Please be aware that the Scottish Government has directly raised the importance of ensuring employees adhere to the following safe practices:
It’s so important, more than ever just now, that Members reinforce this across the board. Please cover these important practices in toolbox talks or email employees to reinforce safe practice regarding the virus.
Scottish Enterprise have provided free webinars from sector and market specialists on immigration, tier two licence holders, the energy sector and how to implement digitalisation.
Online events also include a master class in email marketing tools, International Ecommerce, selling with Amazon, digital health care and access to an International Exhibition on offshore technology 2021.
To register to attend and watch the webinars here
The UK Government has updated information for those outside the UK and British Nationals who need to apply for a passport and are affected by travel restrictions associated with COVID-19
See here for updates
The Department of Health and Care have issued new guidelines for residential care for older people, adults of working age, care providers and those planning to enable visits to care homes.
The Department of Health and Social Care have released a list of private providers for testing who meet the governmental standards.
To access the list click here
The NHS have issued guidelines and a free opt-in 4-month supply of daily supplements of vitamin D for all adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Updated information has been made available from the UK Government for those who are departing from Scotland travelling over seas during the pandemic, if they are legally permitted to travel.
For updated advice see here
The UK Government has extended the scheme to 30 April 2021, however, all claims for furlough days in December must be submitted by 14 January 2021. More information on how to claim and what you will need can be found here
The Scottish government have set out guidance for the manufacturing sector, with procedures for implementing a safe environment for all during the pandemic. This includes workforce planning, operational guidelines, assessing the risk and compliance.
To see more check here
The UK Government has drawn up a list of who can get PPE through their local Authority or local resilience forum. Click here to see if you are eligible.
People returning from the United Arab Emirates to Scotland will now need to self-isolate for 10 days.
See here for more information.
The department of Health and Social Care has announced that two million tests will be validated and rolled out by 15 January 2021.
For more information see here
A one-off grant has been announced to help retail, hospitality and leisure businesses through to spring, worth up to £9,000 per property. HM Treasury has also made available discretionary funding to support other impacted businesses.
To find out more click here
The vast majority of University students will be taught online, with returns not due to the end of March. Colleges will be following the set guidelines of their local authorities; the Scottish Government have divided this into a phased return.
For more information see here
Updates and travel advice have been made for the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This takes effect from 4.00 Saturday 9 January 2021
Parentclub.scot in conjunction with gov.scot website has issued guidelines for those with children at Schools, nurseries and other childcare needs. The rules on informal childcare are staying the same as they were at level 4.
Full details can be found here
You should only travel with members of your own, or extended, household.
There may be occasions when there is no alternative but to travel with people from out with your household. This should be limited as much as possible.
On such occasions, you should:
· keep to small groups of people, up to 6 at any one time
· keep your distance and take care entering and exiting the vehicle
· sit as far apart as possible in the vehicle, avoiding face-to-face
· maintain good ventilation by keeping the car windows open
· wear a face-covering, unless you are exempt
· clean your hands before and after your journey
· if the vehicle is your responsibility, clean the door handles and other areas that people touch.
· If you regularly share transport whether it is a car or minibus or other private vehicle, try and share with the same people each time.
If you are travelling in a vehicle as part of your job or business, safe operation of workplaces applies, therefore please refer to your employer. For employers, you may wish to refer to guidance for safer workplaces.
Please follow the health and safety advice regarding masks from the CICV Forum.
6 January 2021
Please follow the travel safety advice from The CICV Forum when going to and from work.
5 January 2021
Following yesterday’s lockdown announcement by the First Minister, Scottish SNIPEF members should note the following key points:
Business representatives from the sector are meeting with the Scottish Government today to discuss whether further restrictions will be required.
Read the Scottish Government guidance here
The Northern Ireland Executive issued the statement below from 26 December for 6 weeks,
“Unless they are specifically required to close under the regulations, workers, builders, tradespeople and other professionals can continue to go into people’s houses to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries.”
The Northern Ireland Executive is meeting today to discuss whether further restrictions will be required.
Read the Northern Ireland Executive guidance here
Please see CICV Forum guidance for relevant Health and Safety information
The Scottish Government have updated the guidelines for businesses regarding physical distancing, so that workplaces can maintain a safe environment while operating in regulation with compliance.
The Scottish Government has issued updated safety guidance for training and compliance, risk assessment, planning and support, deliveries distribution and visitor sites.
This also includes tradespeople providing services in other people’s houses.
Full guidance can be found here
Find Business Support have issued new details for Scottish business that are required to close or are restricted by law due to COVID-19, a grant has been made available. With the earliest date of a claim backdating to 2 November 2020.
Grants will be paid 4 weeks in arears and paid through local authorities
Eligibility and claim details are available here
18 December 2020
The NI Executive has announced that from 26 December there will be a 6 week lockdown.
Media comments and coverage about which businesses will be forcibly closed have been confusing and we are very conscious that many firms are closing today for Christmas. We have been engaging in the past 24 hours with the Executive and its Departments and whilst the detail still does not appear to be published, we have had it confirmed from within the Executive that "Sectors such as manufacturing and construction can continue to operate".
To keep up to date with guidance as it emerges please check the NI Direct website Coronavirus (COVID-19) | nidirect for the latest updates.
The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. Also extended is The Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Travellers arriving in Scotland from Namibia, Uruguay and the US Virgin Islands must quarantine for 10 days at home or another address, from 4 am on Saturday (19 December).
14 December 2020
The CICV Forum have issued guidance on wearing masks during COVID. The campaign ‘Mask for Task’ shows operatives how to wear masks and what type to wear.
2 December 2020
Regulators have authorised the first vaccine for use in the UK. Deliveries of the first coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to Scotland are expected early next week, with injections being given from Tuesday 8 December.
A new Apprenticeship Employer Grant will be available from early January to further support employers when taking on Modern or Graduate Apprentices within their business.
1 December 2020
The Scottish Government have issued a COVID-19 Sector Advice Card for Construction.Designed for managers and employees to guide action to prevent the spread of COVID-19; to support workplace communications and training, and take action in the event of an outbreak.
26 November 2020
People arriving in the UK from Estonia and Latvia from 4am Saturday 28 November will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks.
23 November 2020
The UK Government has published a plan to support people's wellbeing and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic this winter. This includes topics such as difficulty with money, looking after others and community support.
19 November 2020
Companies in the UK are being urged to not leave their annual account filing to the last minute. Companies House are advising businesses to go paperless and to use their online filing service. The deadline for filing these accounts are 31 December 2020.
The Executive has introduced a circuit breaker from November 27 until December 11. Some of the measures include Close of non-essential shops, closure of hospitality, closure of gyms. Schools will remain open and the Executive will be announcing a finical support package.
Tradespeople should only go into a house in a level 4 area to carry out or deliver essential work or services, for example:
Please note, when working in someone’s house tradespeople should stay 2 metres apart from the people who live there, wear a face covering and follow good hand and respiratory hygiene.
Up to, and including ,level 3, non-essential repairs and maintenance to homes can go ahead; provided that the tradesperson and occupants of the house are well and are not showing coronavirus symptoms and there is no one in the household who is self-isolating.
The Scottish Government has released guidance for certain sectors of the economy who rely on shared, self-catering accommodation for work, such as construction. Employers are now advised to complete individual risk assessments for those workers staying away in shared accommodation for work purposes. Workers must be made aware that the risk assessments are dynamic and may be subject to change depending on the conditions found on arrival at the accommodation.
New travel restrictions for Level 3 and 4 areas will become law from 20 November. Some exceptions apply. Please note, travel is still allowed for construction work in tier 4 areas. It is important that safety guidelines must be followed.
The Scottish Government has announced that some areas will move from tier 2 into tier 4 from Friday 20 November. These include:
East Lothian and Midlothian will move down to tier 2 from Tuesday 24 November.
The Flexible Workforce Development Fund helps businesses continue to invest in their workforce and is available for all of Scotland’s employers who pay to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy. For the first time, the fund will now be available for both levy payers and SMEs, across the private, public and third sectors. Applications open on 16 November 2020.
Travellers from Greece (excluding Rhodes, Cos, Corfu, Crete and Zakynthos (Zante) and The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia will be required to self-isolate from 4am on Saturday 14 November.
As part of the CICV Forum, SNIPEF worked with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre to help create a digital learning toolkit that our members can use to help ensure they are covid safe. raining programme aims to raise awareness of COVID-19 safety by:
• Educating those working on site, in homes or in places of learning
• Encouraging the use of safe working and learning, and
• Empowering the construction workforce to call out unsafe behaviour.
The Scottish Government announced that from Friday 13 some local authorities will be changing their protection tiers. This includes Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus moving from Level 2 to Level 3.
Visitors arriving from Denmark to the UK will be denied entry from 4am, Saturday 7 November. British Nationals, visa holders and permanent residents who have travelled to Denmark in the last 14 days will have to self-isolate along with their household.
People arriving in the UK from Germany or Sweden will need to self-isolate from 4am Saturday 7 November.
The UK Government have extended to help people during the pandemic and winter months. The scheme will pay 80% of a person's wage up to £2,500 a month.
The UK Government increases support under the third instalment of the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, with people receiving 80% of average trading profits for November. The grants will also be paid faster than previously planned – with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a further month. The UK Government will cover 80% of wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
Guidance to help employers support their staff while working from home. This includes guidance on communication, expenses, health and safety and workforce planning and support.
The Scottish Government has published a list of covid tiers that will apply to each local authority from 2nd November.
School safety guidance has been updated to coincide with the new tiers being introduced. This includes s4-6 pupils in areas levels 3 and 4and their teachers wearing face coverings in classrooms, as well as when they are moving around the school and in communal areas.
The Scottish Government have published a PPE Action Plan to support those in the health, social care and other essential public services where people need to wear masks, gloves, eye protection and/or gowns to combat the virus.
These are being launched by the Scottish Government to support those who are unable to wear one to feel more confident and safe when accessing public spaces and using public services.
During the coronavirus pandemic, businesses have been able access financial support by applying for government loans. Large businesses can apply for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and smaller businesses can apply for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). These loans allow businesses to borrow up to 25% of their annual turnover.
Applications for these loans are open until 30th November 2020.
Apply for the CLBILS here
Apply for the BBLS here
From 1st November 2020, Cyprus and Lithuania will no longer be on the exempt countries list and anyone arriving from these countries will have to self-isolate for 2 weeks.
The Scottish Government has published their Strategic Framework to supress the coronavirus. Included in the framework is topics such as:
Suppressing the virus
Supporting broader health
Mitigating social harms
Supporting the economy
The Construction Sector will be allowed to continue to operate under all five Levels, although there may be other facets of the framework that still influence your operations.
Scottish Ministers would very much value any immediate feedback on the new framework before the Parliamentary Debate on the subject. While this may be primarily from a construction sector perspective, we would also welcome any more general comments you may have. Please feel free to distribute this email to your wider memberships as appropriate.
Areas you may wish to consider could include:
Are the restrictions in each level clear?
Are there any issues the levels may create that would affect your operations going forward? Examples may include travel implications or the rules for shielding employees at page 43.
Are there improvements which could make the levels and guidance clearer, while still maintaining the conditions to closely control the virus?
Should we adjust the current construction guidance to take into account the different levels?
How can the guidance (both for the Strategic Framework and the Construction sector guidance) help you to support compliance?
On this last point, you may also wish to note the commitment on page 35 of the Framework that we will work with sectors to develop appropriate evaluation tools to assess the ongoing effectiveness of the implementation of their measures. We are already in receipt of feedback from the HSE as the sectoral regulator and would find it very helpful to continue to receive feedback from trade unions and business too. Your continuing support in this is vital.
In order to help collation of responses please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on Tuesday 27 October.
From 2 November, firms that are required by law to close will be eligible for grants every four weeks for as long as the restrictions last.
The UK Government has increased their levels of support to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to covid-19. Now, open businesses which are experiencing considerable difficulty will be given extra help to keep staff on as the government has increased contribution to wage costs under the Job Support Scheme, and business contributions drop to 5%.
The scheme has been extended by another six months and will be split into two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.
Travellers from Canary Islands (not the Balearic Islands or mainland Spain), Denmark, the Maldives and Mykonos will be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate from 4am on Sunday 25 October. However, travellers from Liechtenstein will have to now self-isolate from the same date and time.
The NI Business Info website has published guidance and support to help with financial issues due to the coronavirus. This includes information on:
Localised Restrictions Support Scheme
Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme
Tax relief for employees working from home
Business and financial planning grants
The Scottish Government has asked parliament to delay new regulations on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by one year. This is due to the impact of coronavirus. The legislation is due to come into effect in February 2021.
More information on the new restrictions will be in place for 4 weeks from 16 October.
Travellers arriving in Scotland from Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City State will be required to quarantine at home, or another specified address, for 14 days from 4am Sunday 18 October
The Scottish Government has announced that from Friday 16 October, wearing face coverings is to become mandatory in communal workplace areas, such as corridors, canteens and social spaces.
A range of significant time-bound restrictions will come into effect from Friday 16 October. This includes school closures, closure of the hospitality sector (except deliveries and takeaways), no unnecessary travel, bubbling to be limited to a maximum of 10 people from two households and more.
Watch the Business gateway video tutorial to understand employee wellbeing and mental health and get guidance on social distancing and introducing a positive mental health attitude.
With the increase in working online, the SBRC has launched the UK’s first cyber incident response helpline for the SME community. The free helpline will help organisations confirm they have been the victim of an attack and, if so, provide expert guidance to get them back to secure operations. The helpline is open weekdays 9am-5pm.
Call: 01786 437 472
The Scottish Government has produced guidance for homeworking during the coronavirus pandemic, while Organisations should make every reasonable effort to make working from home the default position. The guidance includes topics such as:
Further measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus are to come in force from Friday 9 October. These include hospitality premises only being open between 6am and 6pm, with no sales of alcohol and premises may open outdoors until 10pm, with sales of alcohol (where licensed).
In the central belt, all licensed premises will be required to close, with the exception of takeaway services.
The Scottish Government have announced Higher and Advanced Higher exams to go ahead in 2021, while National 5 exams will be replaced by a system where grades are awarded based on coursework and teacher judgement.
The Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) has published a plan for the sector’s recovery from the impact of coronavirus. The plan will focus on maximising support for employers and employees and establishing new ways of working to manage infection control, health and safety and shared learning opportunities.
Short and medium term initiatives include work to help apprentices into trades and preparing the industry to deliver a net-zero built environment.
The UK government has announced more information on the Job Retention Bonus. The bonus will work alongside newly announced Job Support Scheme and could be worth more than 60% of average wages of workers who have been furloughed – and are kept on until the start of February 2021. Businesses can claim for the Bonus from 15 February until the end of March.
You should contact HMRC as soon as possible if you have missed any payments. Because of coronavirus you may be able to delay (defer) your Self Assessment payment on account due in July 2020 until 31 January 2021.
HMRC are offering a Time To Pay service, which may eligible if you need more help to pay your VAT.
The new walk-through coronavirus testing centre in west Glasgow is easily accessible for people without a car. Tests must be booked in advance at NHS Inform or by calling 0800 028 2816.
Poland, Turkey and the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba have been added to the quarantine list. This means that travellers from there are required to self-isolate at home, or another specified address, for 14 days from 4am Saturday (3 October).
The Scottish Government has now committed more than £350 million to support communities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The package included over £120 million to tackle food insecurity, with £12.6 million making sure 175,000 children and young people were able to access free school meals over the summer holidays.
Quarantine rules and information on the process for people entering the UK. Updates apply to Curacao, Denmark, Iceland and Slovakia
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, unveils the UK Government’s plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months.
The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020.
Further measures to protect the population from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) were announced by the First Minister on Tuesday 22 September as Scotland faces an upsurge in cases. The new restrictions focus on no household visits and a 10pm closing time for all hospitality settings.
Updated guidance on seeing friends, family and travel. Added information on new restrictions on meeting others indoors and hospitality opening hours
A new package has been announced to support and enforce self-isolation.
List of Kickstart gateways in Scotland who can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on behalf of a group of employers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on coronavirus.
The First Minister announced today that there is to be a ban on visiting another household indoors as of Wednesday 23 September. There are exceptions such as those living alone, couples who are not cohabitating, to tradespeople, and for the provision of informal childcare – such as grandparents.
Updated travel information for Singapore, Thailand, Slovenia and Guatemala.
The Scottish Government have updated their ‘can and can’t do’ guidelines to reflect their latest guidance. The sections on seeing friends and family, travel, eating/drinking out, sport and gatherings have been updated to include the rule of 6.
The Northern Ireland Executive have introduced a series of localised restrictions to stem the increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and keep people safe.
The number of people who can gather together, indoors or outdoors, will be set at maximum of six from two households. These changes will be enforced from Monday (14 September), but people are urged to ‘abide by these stricter new limits immediately.
The Protect Scotland app is now available to download for free via Apple and Google stores. Supported by a dedicated Protect Scotland website, the app is an extra tool complementing existing person-to-person contact tracing which remains the main component of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system.
The UK Government is investing £7.2 million in research projects across the UK, including at the universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde.
Find out which jobs qualify for travel exemptions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Travel advice and guidance relating to local outbreaks or clusters of coronavirus cases (Updated 3 September).
From 1 September the government will pay 70% and employers will pay 10% of employees’ wages for the time they are being furloughed. Employers will also continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions.
In light of the latest scientific and public health advice, guidance for pupils and staff on the use of face coverings in schools and on school transport has been updated. The changes will apply from 31 August.
Scotland will remain in Phase 3 of the route map out of lockdown because Covid-19 remains a significant threat to public health, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on 20 August.
Quarantine measures for further countries have been announced. Those travelling abroad should check in advance for any local requirements to quarantine on arrival at their destination.
Information about easing the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
France, the Netherlands, Aruba, Turks and Caicos, Malta and Monaco will be removed from the list of destinations exempt from quarantine requirements due to an increased number of cases of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Quarantine rules and information on the process for people entering the UK. Andorra, the Bahamas and Belgium were removed from the country exemption list on 8 August.
From 10 October 2020 the process to strike off companies that are no longer carrying on business or in operation will be resumed.
Following an increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Aberdeen, local restrictions on travel, indoor gatherings between households and the closure of indoor and outdoor hospitality will be introduced in the Aberdeen City local authority area.
The Scottish Government have introduced a new tool and guidance to help calculate individual risk assessment in the workplace. It is applicable across all industries and should be used by employers to support staff and line managers to understand and carry out effective risk assessments.
NHS Pharmacy First Scotland offers expert help in the community. People will be able to get healthcare advice and support to treat minor illnesses and common conditions in their local community following the launch of this new service.
The Scottish Government is to actively inform families that they may be eligible for Best Start Foods and the Best Start Grant. A first for social security in Scotland.
Deal announced which will secure early access to a promising new coronavirus vaccine, enhancing the UK’s growing portfolio of vaccine candidates.
Diners who eat-in will benefit from a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on food and non-alcoholic drinks, any Monday to Wednesday in August.
This advice applies to most people who have been asked to shield. This includes people who are pregnant. It also includes any children and young people who have been asked to continue to shield.
Risk assessment guidance and tool for staff across all industries which should be used by employers to support staff and line managers to understand and carry out effective risk assessments.
Find out what you need to do if you've claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The FCO updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel, exempting destinations that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers.
People who have been advised to shield because of Covid-19, will no longer have to do so from 1 August.
As an emergency response to coronavirus (Covid-19), the UK Government has developed a service allowing you to upload a number of completed forms and send them to Companies House digitally. (Updated 23 July).
The UK Government have published and updated the recovery strategy for the UK. The next chapter of the strategy has now been released.
Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Updated 17 July).
Construction Scotland have updated their guidance (15 July) for the construction sector to allow for Phase 4 of the restart plan to begin.
The Scottish Government has updated their guidance on construction sites and associated works. As of 15 July, the sector is able to proceed into Phase 4 of the Restart Plan.
Close working can now take place on construction sites as the sector commences Phase 4 of its restart plan, the Scottish Government has announced. Until today, Phase 3 of the six-step phased model allowed for ‘steady-state operation’ only where physical distancing can be maintained. The move to the next phase means that close working can now take place on-site – with appropriate PPE use – if necessary.
From 10 September 2020, Companies House will restart the process to dissolve companies that have applied for voluntary dissolution.
The Scottish Government is moving into Phase 3 of the route map through and out of the crisis. It mentions that non-essential offices and call centres can re-open following implementation of relevant guidance (including physical distancing) most likely from August.
They have issued detailed guidance on the phase, view it here.
The Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the UK Government, provides small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery.
The Chancellor’s summer statement was released yesterday announcing a furlough bonus scheme, £2 billion Kickstart scheme to subsidise jobs for young people and 5% VAT cut for the hospitality sector.
If your employees work in a situation where there is a risk of Covid-19, then PPE is required and must be provided free of charge. Any PPE you provide must fit properly. The provision of PPE to your employees is non-taxable.
If your employee requires PPE to carry out their role and you are unable to provide this, you must reimburse the actual expenses of employees who purchase PPE themselves. This is non-taxable and employees cannot claim tax relief on these expenses from HMRC.
The Scottish Government and Business Gateway have introduced the newly self-employed hardship fund. If you're newly self-employed on or after 6 April 2019 and facing hardship, you will be eligible for a £2,000 grant. Applications are now open and will be managed by Local Authorities. Applications close on 10 July 2020.
The 'upload a document' service is now live. It will allow users to upload more form types, including Scottish limited and qualifying partnerships, articles and resolutions.
The First Minister today announced final Phase 2 measures. These include:
If you’re a UK VAT-registered business that deferred VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you now need to:
Any VAT payments you have deferred between 20 March and 30 June should be paid in full on or before 31 March 2021.
From 1 July there are changes to the Job Retention Scheme. Furloughed staff can be brought back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked Scheme.
If you’re a critical worker, you can now apply for an emergency driving test and an emergency theory test. Non-emergency tests are currently suspended.
The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has published its plan for a Green Recovery from Covid-19. They are calling Scottish and UK governments to deliver ‘green stimulus’ to kick start the economy, create new jobs and fuel ‘clean growth’.
The Scottish Government has issued guidance which maps out full reopening of Scottish campuses. Topics included are:
The UK government has announced that mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August. The move will help ensure that vehicles are kept safe to drive.
The act will relieve the burden on businesses during Covid-19 and allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate. This includes:
Most companies will also be given more time to file their accounts.
If you’ve overclaimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you can either:
Information about employees who have transferred under the TUPE regulations has been added.
The Open University is encouraging those who are furloughed or those facing redundancy due to Covid-19 to apply for a selection of fully funded modules that offer vital post-pandemic skills.
The Scottish Government has issued guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely. The guidance looks at transport, test and trace and offers advice.
Users can now file their change of constitution forms using the temporary Upload a document to Companies House service.
The Scottish Government has announced specific dates for the reopening of certain businesses and services. This includes:
The First Minister announced that schools in Scotland will return full time in August if Scotland continues to make progress in suppressing coronavirus.
The Scottish Government guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely has been updated and includes details on which sectors are able to restart or can prepare to return to work and how to do this safely.
Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. The Scottish Government has updated their advice and guidance for people in this group.
The guidance on the temporary changes to the VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 has been updated with information regarding the ending of the VAT deferral period.
The Scottish Government has published guidance on construction sites and associated works that can continue under specific conditions (updated 22 June).
Households will be sent information explaining how the Test and Protect system works and setting out what to do if someone develops coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced today that Scotland's construction sector is to move into the next phase of its restart plan from Monday 22 June 2020.
Face coverings will become mandatory on public transport from Monday 22 June, as part of operators’ preparations for progress towards recovery and to reduce the risk of transmission.
Letter to local authorities from the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning Kevin Stewart MSP providing guidance on the role of certification as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Stephen Garvin, Head of the Building Standards Division, has issued a letter to local authorities about the restart of the construction industry and site inspections.
The Scottish Government has published further guidance on construction sites and associated works that can continue under specific conditions.
The Scottish Government has brought forward access of £11.4m of discretionary funds which will be administered by colleges and universities. Colleges now have flexibility to offer funds to help between bursary payments ending in June and Universal Credit payments starting. SAAS have also suspended all debt recovery in respect to grants and bursaries until September for students whose circumstances have changed and may have to return overpayments.
Outdoor exercise can be taken from later this month.
People who are shielding are being advised that though they should continue to do so until at least the end of July, they can if they choose, go outdoors to exercise from 18 June while maintaining strict physical distancing.
Those affected will receive letters from the Chief Medical Officer explaining that the decision on outdoor exercise has been taken after careful consideration by clinical advisors. Prevalence of COVID-19 has decreased and the evidence now shows the risk of outdoor infection is very low if people stay two metres apart. The exercise can be a run, wheel, walk or cycle but those shielding should not meet people from other households.
New public health measures will come into force today (Monday 8 June) to help suppress coronavirus (Covid-19) and prevent new cases being brought into Scotland.
The UK Government is to provide guarantees of up to £10 billion to Trade Credit Insurance schemes for business to business transactions.
The final date you can furlough an employee for the first time will be Wednesday 10 June. Find out if you're eligible and how much you can claim below.
The Revenue and Customs Brief 7 (2020) published by the UK Government explains that the introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services will be delayed from 1 October 2020 until 1 March 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus on the construction sector.