Build UK’s update for the industry amid the covid-19 outbreak 

With the UK now officially in recession, the Prime Minister’s commitment to ‘Build Build Build’ offers some relief for the construction sector and the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Roadmap to Recovery provides a platform for clear and consistent dialogue with Ministers. The rapid response from the Government, including the Green Homes Grant and proposals to reform the planning system, shows how much the industry can achieve when it works together.

In response to coronavirus, the use of face coverings has become mandatory in more public places, and construction employers have asked the CLC for guidance to help provide a consistent approach across the industry. In The Use of Face Coverings in Construction during Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is proposed that employers make available face coverings as a minimum where workers are not required to wear RPE for their specific task and their workplace meets all of the following criteria:

• an enclosed space;

• where social distancing isn’t always possible; and

• where they come into contact with others they do not normally meet.

In addition to the funding of £1,000 already available for apprentices aged either 16 - 18 or under 25 with an education, health and care plan or who have been in the care of their local authority, employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 can apply for the following funding from 1 September as part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs:

• £2,000 for each new apprentice aged 16 to 24

• £1,500 for each new apprentice aged 25 and over.

Employers must have an apprenticeship service account and payments will be made in two equal instalments from January 2021, with the first 50% paid within 90 days of the apprentice’s start date and the remaining 50% after the apprentice completes 365 days of their apprenticeship. Apprentices that have been made redundant are eligible as long as they are a new employee to the organisation, and they must have at least 356 days of training left to complete in order to claim the second payment.

From Monday 17 August 2020, eligible individuals will be able to claim a second and final grant under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme if their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus since 14 July. This second grant, which is equivalent to 70% of average monthly trading profits for three months and capped at £6,570, can still be claimed if the first grant wasn’t accessed.

The Government’s guidance on calculating how much a company can claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been updated to include information on how to calculate claims for fixed pay employees who have worked enough overtime (in the tax year 2019 to 2020) to have a significant impact on the amount to be claimed.

HMRC is running a series of webinars on the following topics:

Extension to the Job Retention Scheme & Flexible Furloughing 

Friday 14 August – 2:15pm - 3:15pm

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Universal Credit & Child Benefit

Tuesday 18 August – 2:15pm - 3:00pm

Wednesday 19 August – 3:45pm - 4:30pm

Thursday 20 August – 11:15am - 12:00pm

Friday 21 August – 9:45am - 10:30am

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

Thursday 20 August – 12:45pm - 1:30pm


Businesses should continue to follow the most up-to-date Government guidance and for the latest updates please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn.