Build UK’s update the industry amid the covid-19 outbreak
As lockdown restrictions continue to be lifted, there will be changes in government guidance. Employers will have the discretion to open offices and workplaces from 1 August 2020 as long as it is safe to do so and, subject to successful pilots, conferences and other business events will be able to recommence from October. New regulations will give the government the ability to close whole sectors and introduce local ‘stay at home orders’, and local authorities will receive new powers to respond quickly to localised outbreaks of coronavirus.
Supporting the increase in off-site construction, Build UK member NHBC is now offering NHBC Accepts, which certifies innovative products and systems used in homes covered by its Buildmark warranty. Giving buyers, investors and lenders confidence in homes built using modern methods of construction (MMC), this supports the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Roadmap to Recovery and the drive towards more off-site construction.
The government’s new Brexit campaign, The UK’s new start: let’s get going, is designed to help businesses and individuals prepare for the end of the transition period and the new rules coming in from 1 January 2021. Actions that can be taken now include:
- Signing up for regular updates from the government
- Obtaining an EORI number if you import or export goods, and deciding whether you want to handle customs declarations or use an agent
- The steps to remain in the UK if you are an EU citizen
- The steps to continue working in the EU if you are a UK citizen
- How to prepare to travel to the EU from 1 January 2021.
The government has also published details of changes in a number of areas which will come into effect after the transition period:
- There will be new border controls for imports and exports in three stages from January, April and July 2021. From January:
- Tariff payments on imports can be deferred until a customs declaration has been made
- Companies will have six months to complete customs declarations forms
- Customs agents or fast parcel operators will need to be based in Great Britain or Northern Ireland.
- There will be new rules for the movement of timber and wood packaging material.
- There will also be a new points-based immigration system which will apply to EU and non-EU citizens and require those that want to work in the UK to meet a specific set of requirements. In addition to passing the relevant UK criminality checks, the job must have a salary of at least £20,480, and 50 points are ‘earned’ by meeting the following mandatory criteria:
- The applicant must have an offer of a job from a licensed sponsor
- The job must be at or above the minimum skill level: RQF3 level or equivalent (A level or equivalent qualification). Workers will not need to hold a formal qualification; it is the skill level of the job they will be doing which is important
- The applicant must speak English to an acceptable standard.
- An additional 20 points will then be required which can be gained through a combination of a higher salary, a job being on the shortage occupation list, and/or the holding of additional qualifications.
CITB has confirmed that Site Safety Plus (SSP) courses and Health, Safety & Environment (HS&E) tests will recommence in Wales from today, Monday 20 July, and in Scotland from Wednesday 22 July.
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.