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

We know from our weekly calls with Build UK members that they are looking to reopen their sites and increase capacity in accordance with the Site Operating Procedures – Version 3 published by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) yesterday. These incorporate the latest guidance on Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus from Public Health England (PHE) and reinforce the need for sites to monitor their implementation. Please circulate the updated version within your own organisations as well as to your members and supply chains.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the enforcing authority for PHE guidelines and will consider a range of actions for non-compliance, from providing advice to issuing enforcement and prohibition notices. It has also set up a website for workers to report concerns about health and safety where they cannot be resolved by speaking with their employer or trade union.

The government has updated its guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme including:

  • Extending the eligibility cut-off date so that employers can now claim for furloughed employees that were on their PAYE payroll and notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 (rather than 28 February 2020)
  • If an employee went on unpaid leave on or before 28 February 2020, a company cannot furlough them until the date on which it was agreed they would return from unpaid leave
  • Companies will need to submit the following information for each furloughed employee:
    • Name
    • National Insurance number
    • Claim period and amount
    • Payroll/employee number (optional)
  • Claims should be submitted via the online portal which is expected to be available next Monday 20 April 2020 as follows:
    • Fewer than 100 furloughed employees – enter details of each employee individually
    • 100 or more furloughed employees – upload a file (.xls .xlsx .csv .ods) with the details for all employees
  • Companies should retain all records and calculations in respect of their claims.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has confirmed that the three-week minimum period for furloughing an employee will remain in place. Furloughed employees can not undertake any work for the company which includes providing services or generating revenue.

Build UK partner Citation will be running another free 90-minute webinar for members on Wednesday 22 April at 12:30pm. This will include the latest updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the new Good Work Plan effective from 6 April 2020, as well as up to date health and safety guidance. To register your place, please complete the online form.

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. If you have any construction-specific queries or feedback on what is happening within the industry, please contact Build UK.