This short briefing has been prepared on behalf of the UK construction sector to brief companies and individuals on the ongoing repercussions of the Covid-19 crisis for our sector.
Guidance for workers
Langley, supported by the Construction Industry Council, has produced a short video that demonstrates safe and responsible guidance for workers on construction sites operating during the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure the protection of the workforce and minimise the risk of spread of infection.
This guidance advises how consistent measures on sites of all sizes can be responsibly and safely undertaken with adherence to the government’s recommendations on social distancing.
Bounce Back Loans
The new Bounce Back Loans scheme, announced by the chancellor yesterday, will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and from Monday 4 May, businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.
The government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.
The loans will be easy to apply for through a short, standardised online application. Loans should reach businesses within days – providing immediate support to those that need it as easily as possible.
The scheme will launch for applications on Monday 4 May. Firms will be able to access these loans through a network of accredited lenders. The government will work with lenders to ensure loans delivered through this scheme are advanced as quickly as possible and agree a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
The government is also taking additional steps on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to ensure that lenders have the confidence they need to process finance applications quickly, including changing the viability tests that so that all banks will need to assess is whether a business was viable pre COVID-19.
Apprenticeship programme response to Covid-19
The UK government has updated its guidance on how its apprenticeship programme has responded to the Covid-19 crisis. This version focuses on:
- Further information on calculating wages for furloughed apprentices;
- Clarification that a furloughed employee can start an apprenticeship;
- Information on collecting signatures;
- Additional content on flexibilities of end-point assessment;
- Flexibilities for English and Maths functional skills for Intermediate (level 2) apprentices.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Survey
A new survey has been developed by the Construction Coronavirus Task Force to help understand how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being used by industry. Please take five minutes to fill in the survey here.
Furloughed workers: parental leave
Furloughed workers planning to take paid parental or adoption leave will be entitled to pay based on their usual earnings rather than a furloughed pay rate. Find out more here.
The Briefing has been prepared in collaboration between the industry’s leading trade and representative bodies: Association for Consultancy & Engineering, Builders Merchant Federation, Build UK, Chartered Institute of Building, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Construction Industry Council, Construction Plant-hire Association, Construction Products Association, Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), Federation of Master Builders, National Federation of Builders, and Institution of Civil Engineers.
We are grateful to Building, Construction Enquirer, Construction Manager, Construction News, Highways, Infrastructure Intelligence, and New Civil Engineer for support in distribution to the wider industry.