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Covid-19 Advice

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Going to work

Yesterday saw the first day of new rules come into force about the movement of people. You can find the full guidance on staying at home and away from others here. A number of member companies have been in touch to seek some clarification about what it means for manufacturers. The full text of the section of the Guidance that concerns Going to Work has been reproduced below, but the most relevant sentences for manufacturing are “…not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services. If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating…”

You can find the latest on the Coronavirus Business Support packages here

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

Apprenticeship programme response

The Education and Skills Funding Agency is taking steps to ensure that, wherever possible, apprentices can continue and complete their apprenticeship and to support providers during this challenging time. New guidance has been published for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) has also published new guidance on the delivery of assessment available here .     

Because of illness, caring responsibilities and personnel entering social isolation, apprentices may be unable to attend training, and training providers may be unable to deliver training over the coming weeks or months. This will create significant implications for apprentices and employers, as well as for training providers and end-point assessment organisations whose income may be disrupted. Employers and training and assessment providers are encouraged to make use of distance-learning tools wherever possible and practicable to do so.

Apprenticeship funding rules already make provision for disruption in learning:

•           Less than four weeks – in these circumstances neither the employer nor the training provider needs to report the interruption, the end-date for the apprenticeship remains the same and there is no change to the payment of funding.

•           More than four weeks – in these circumstances, employers and/or training providers must report a formal break in learning. Where a break in learning is reported, the payment of funding to the training provider will be suspended for the duration of the break in learning.

Financial assistance for employers unable to pay statutory redundancy payments

This page has been updated with information about the financial assistance scheme for employers unable to pay statutory redundancy payments.

Advice for businesses delivering goods and services abroad that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak

The Department for International Trade can support businesses by providing assistance with customs authorities to ensure smooth clearance of their products; and offering advice on intellectual property and other issues with business continuity. The guidance, which is available here includes what financial support is available for businesses trading internationally.

Going to work

As set out in the section on staying at home, people can travel to and from work, but only where the work they do absolutely cannot be done from home.

With the exception of the organisations covered above in the section on closing non-essential shops and public spaces, the Government has not required any other businesses to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on.

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.

If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. This is consistent with advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms. Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a 2 metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

As set out in the section on closing non-essential shops and public spaces, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. The Government has set out guidance on which organisations this requirement covers. Advice for employees of these organisations on employment and financial support is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.

At all times, workers should follow the guidance on self-isolation if they or anyone in their household shows symptoms.

Visit Croner COVID-19 Partner Portal.

Our HR partner Croner are constantly monitoring the situation to give our members the most up-to-date guidance they can.

They can be reached on 0844 561 8133 for specialist advice just let them know you're an MTA member and they will provide the assistance you need.