27.03.2020 – 9.25am

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Update

Click here for the latest guidance for employers on the coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme.

 

27.03.2020 – 9.15am

CITB Suspends Levy Payments

The CITB has suspended the issue of its levy bills, due for payment in 2020, for an initial period of three months. The bills will subsequently be issued for the full year.

The reason for this is to provide immediate financial relief to construction employers during the present crisis, given the pressure they are under.

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.

Sarah Beale, CITB Chief Executive, said: “Everyone in construction is facing extreme pressure at the moment and it’s right that we provide financial relief where we can to protect employers and ensure that the industry is as prepared as possible for the economic recovery that will come when the crisis lifts.

“CITB is reviewing all of its work to respond to the changing skills needs of industry. We are continuing to re-evaluate our services, funding and grants to adapt them to meet industry’s changing priority needs.”

All levy bills, raised before 2020, should have been paid by this point. Employers in arrears should contact CITB to discuss payment options.

 

26.03.2020 – 3.15pm

Keep Safe on Your Commute

Click here for the latest tips and advice on keeping clean on the commute, on site and at home.

 

25.03.2020 – 12.17pm

Hardship fund launched to help most vulnerable households

For more click here.

 

25.03.2020 – 10am

NASC statement on covid-19

The NASC is advising access and scaffolding contractors to carry out detailed risk assessments of every project they are currently undertaking to determine whether to continue working on site.

While construction sites in Scotland have been instructed to close, the Government’s latest covid-19 restrictions, imposed on Monday evening, did not limit construction activities and as such sites in other parts of the UK can and are remaining open at this time.

However, the NASC believes that employee health and safety should be prioritised at all times and is aware of the risk of the spread of the virus between construction workers on site – including scaffolding operatives – their families and the wider community, which could put many lives in danger.

The NASC is therefore calling on scaffolding contractors to make detailed risk-based decisions on the amount of site-based activities they conduct.

This should take into account the staff that they have available, in particular identifying any in the “at risk category” along with the unique arrangements on individual sites, transportation (getting to and from sites) and the Site Operating Procedures – Protecting Your Workforce document issued by the Construction Leadership Council in conjunction with Build UK.

Given the nature of access and scaffolding work, it is entirely possible that safe working conditions cannot be maintained on many sites.

Should a scaffolding contractor subsequently choose to withdraw its operatives from site temporarily the NASC fully recognises this decision.

The NASC calls on main contractors / clients to recognise the right of access and scaffolding contractors to conclude that safe working is not possible and to withdraw their workers from site.

Emergency works required during this period should be considered on a case by case basis and in the light of recommended site operating procedures.

The NASC will continue to provide scaffolding industry-related coronavirus advice to all of its members and the wider scaffolding industry and repeat calls for the Government to provide more detailed advice to the construction sector.

 

24.03.2020 – 9.10am

Government Lock Down in Place… What Now?

The Government has imposed its strictest covid-19 measures to date. How do the latest restrictions on movements affect the construction industry?

There is currently no specific instruction to shut construction sites and so the NASC currently supports Build UK’s position, outlined here.

Companies that choose to close can access a range of support from the government, some of which is outlined here. Companies that choose to continue operating should follow these site operating procedures.

The NASC will continue to engage with government and partner bodies throughout the day and communicate latest guidance on this stream as soon as possible.

 

23.03.2020 – 3.49pm

NASC Covid-19 Resource Round Up

Following government announcements made at the end of last week, the support available to help businesses is becoming clearer. In many cases the details are still being put in place but the main things you should be looking at are as follows:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – this will enable you to keep your workforce together rather than laying people off.  Employees which you have no work for can be designated as “furloughed”.
Furloughed employees must go home and not work. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, for three months. HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement and have said that this will be in place by the end of April.

VAT payment deferral – businesses due to make a VAT payment between the 20th March and the 30th June do not have to make that payment. Returns should be made as usual but direct debit payments can be cancelled immediately. You don’t need to apply to anyone.  The amounts deferred need not be paid over until March 2021.

Grant funding for small businesses – small businesses registered with the local authority for small business rate relief (with a rateable value of less than £15k) will automatically receive a grant of £10k from the local authority.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – 40 accredited lenders are being supported by a government guarantee scheme to give loans to businesses which would not satisfy the normal lending criteria. The scheme includes no interest for 12 months, no fees and capital repayment holidays. To access the loans contact your normal bank. Phone lines are very busy but be persistent.

Further details of these schemes and more can be found here. The NASC will be following events and issuing more detailed guidance and support as it becomes available.

Cash Flow Forecasting
Good cash flow forecasting is vital to the success of any business, particularly in uncertain times. Many NASC members will carry out regular cash flow forecasts as part of their normal business operations, but for those which don’t the NASC has developed two spreadsheet frameworks designed to be easily adapted to suit individual businesses.

One is a higher level forecast (available here) designed to look at types of cash flow and the possible ups and down over several weeks or months. The other (available here) is a more detailed forecasting and operational tool, designed to be used week by week and to allow payments to be prioritised based on income received

Advice from Build UK
The update from Build UK today included the following:

You can help in a number of ways:
1. If your construction site is still operational, keep it going until we are told otherwise – our proposed Standard Operating Procedures on protecting the site workforce will be available this week.
2. Do your best to keep paying your supply chain and your staff, as well as holding on to your apprentices.

Let us know
Please keep the NASC in touch with your issues and concerns by emailing enquiries@nasc.org.uk this will enable us to research and report answers to the problems which NASC members are experiencing.

Other useful links
Government – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
CBI hub – https://www.cbi.org.uk/coronavirus-hub/

 

23.03.2020 – 09.36am

Build UK’s daily bulletin

Click here to read.

 

23.03.2020 – 09.27am

Practical business advice

Issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). Click here to read.

 

23.03.2020 – 09.19am

MOTs for lorries, buses and trailers

Your lorry, bus or trailer will be exempt from needing an MOT for 3 months from 21 March 2020. You might need to apply for this, depending on your vehicle. For more click here.

 

20.03.2020 – 10.44am

Delaying Payments to HMRC

Advice issued by Moore Kingston Smith:

Obviously we are in new territory with everything now shutting down. In the absence of any information on time frames we have been reviewing the measures that the government has put in place, in the form of some type of support.

We believe, at the present time, the ‘time to pay’ is something all clients ought to be considering. We are encouraging our clients including charities to take advantage of this. In effect the government is allowing you to delay paying PAYE/NIC and VAT.

The key is to submit your payroll as you normally would, so the liability appears on their system. Once it does you can ask to defer the payment citing financial difficulties. They should allow you to do this with the view that you set up a monthly payment plan. You will need to ring back the following month to do the same for that month’s payroll and so on.

This should give you some breathing space to deal with the delay in receiving cash, while still having to meet your liabilities. We are already predicting a significant impact on our clients but we believe by working together, the sector should come out of this stronger.

We have had differing results from our clients in applying for the ‘time to pay’ from HMRC. The successful applicants seem to be those who have the payroll liability already recorded and have simply cited financial difficulties to enable HMRC to approve the ‘time’ to pay application. However, we acknowledge that, as always, who you get through to at HMRC will dictate the outcome of your call.

We have already had clients take advantage of this offer with positive results which has helped alleviate the stress of any future uncertainty.

Below, you can find our full update of government support and details of the phone number to ring. Our own Coronavirus Hub will also keep you updated as the government continues to make further announcements.

Tax helpline government support

MKS coronavirus hub

 

20.03.2020 – 9.57am

Complete AIF Survey Responding to Government Call for Feedback

The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is keen to receive feedback and input from the access industry sector regarding the challenges companies are facing and anticipating.

They are also keen to receive input from Access Industry Forum (AIF) members on “any current compliance / regulatory costs or requirements that could be temporarily relaxed to help industry during this current uncertain period?”

To provide a response please click here to complete a short survey that will contribute towards a work at height sector-wide viewpoint.

 

20.03.2020 – 09.49am

Construction Enquirer Daily Bulletin

Provides advice for businesses in Scotland and Wales. Click here to read it.

 

20.03.2020 – 09.47am

Build UK Daily Bulletin

Click here to read it.

 

20.03.2020 – 09.42am

Business support overview

Click here to read.

 

19.03.2020 – 14.25pm

Construction Manager bulletin

Featuring latest government advice and a cross construction industry response. Click here to read it.

 

19.03.2020 – 10.20am

NASC Information member issues Covid-19 toolkit

Click here to download Citation’s business toolkit.

 

19.03.2020 – 10.16am

Build UK’s daily coronavirus bulletin

Click here to read.

 

18.03.2020 – 15.55pm

CITB Issues Update

Click here to read.

 

18.03.2020 – 13.18pm

HR advice from NASC Information members

Click here to read Citation’s HR and Employment Affairs covid-19 Q&A document.

 

18.03.2020 – 12.55pm

NASC site audits postponed

The NASC board of Directors have confirmed that due to COVID-19 all NASC site audits due between 18 March – 30 April 2020 will be postponed with immediate effect.

All NASC full members affected will receive an extension to their membership certificate until end of May 2020.

Please note that members will still be required to complete the online part of their audit within the specified timescale.

New member application site audits will be postponed during this period too.

There is a need to remain fluid during these times and we will review again in early April and hope to be able to reschedule site audits then.

 

18.03.2020 – 12.12pm

News bulletins from Build UK and the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity

Build UK newsletter here and Lighthouse update here.

 

18.03.2020 – 12.07pm

Statement from CISRS re training and CISRS card renewals

Click here.

 

18.03.2020 – 12.05pm

Government package to help small business and the self-employed

NASC London & South East Vice-Chair, Michael Lloyd, is the Group Lead for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and has shared helpful information from the Government to aide small businesses during these uncertain times. For more information click here.

If you have any feedback or suggestions relating to this article please forward them to jamie.mcguire@nasc.org.uk

 

18.03.2020 – 12pm

Useful coronavirus links and scaffolding-specific Q&A

For advice and guidance posted on Tuesday 17 November please click here.