HAE EHA produces regular Covid-19 updates, helping members stay up-to-date with coronavirus during these challenging times. The updates contain information on COVID-19, its impact on the plant, tool and event equipment hire sectors, and links to useful and important resources; which can be useful to both businesses and individuals employed in the industry.
Please review the latest Covid-19 Advice Update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will provide further guidance.
We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating to Covid-19 here so please review frequently:
The COVID-19 emergency is rapidly changing and HAE EHA relies on government and other authoritative sources for information. We can take no responsibility for any out-of-date or inaccurate information and we ask members to check sources and take further advice as required.
Click below to expand each previous Covid-19 Member Update.
Four Steps to Recovery
The steps are summarised below and each will be subject to an assessment of the data against the four tests listed above. If a step is delayed, subsequent steps will be pushed back in order to maintain the necessary five week period to assess the impact of each step and provide notice.
Step 1 from 8th March
Step 2 from 12th April
Step 3 from 17th May
Step 4 from 21st June
* Subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme
Dates and targets could be subject to change depending on the results of ongoing testing and careful monitoring of infection rates and vaccination milestones. For the full, detailed report on the Government plan for England's recovery click the link below.
COVID-19 Scotland's Strategic Framework Update
The First Minister has today outlined how Scotland is expected to emerge from the current lockdown and the six main tools for achieving this:
The Scottish Government has always made it clear that it will prioritise education and a phased return for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) and schools has already started. It is hoped that more young people will be able to return to school later in March. However, achieving that, together with the opening-up of care home visiting, means that any further easing of restrictions before mid-March is highly unlikely. Indeed, the government envisages that the current requirement to stay at home, unless you have a reasonable excuse for leaving, will be in place until at least early April so that there is sufficient headroom to get more young people back to school. The timing of any changes will be driven by evidence and data, not predetermined dates. It is also important that there is enough time between reviews to see the impact of changes made.
To view the Strategic Framework Update document for Scotland click here.
Unlike for England, geographical (regional and council) restrictions are likely to be announced, details will be issued when available.
Updated Coronavirus Control Plan: Alert Levels in Wales, Coming out of Lockdown
Stay-at-home restrictions will continue in Wales as the youngest pupils began returning to school on Monday 22nd February. First Minister Mark Drakeford announced, "We are now at alert level four where the strictest 'stay at home' restrictions are in place. Once these are lifted, we will move into a period of transition under which we intend to move gradually, step-by-step, to alert level three." Click here for the full report.
Level 4 Frequently Asked Questions
For a list of FAQs click here.
Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission Published
To read the full mission statement click here.
From March 1st the law will be changed to allow licensed wedding venues, such as visitor attractions and hotels, to re-open but only to perform wedding and civil partnership ceremonies. The next three-week review of the regulations will also consider the restrictions around non-essential retail and close contact services. See this statement by the First Minister for more details.
The Welsh government has met a declared milestone by vaccinating its entire care home population.
Funding and Support
Further details on a £200 million fund to support Welsh businesses can be found here. A written statement concerning the extension of the Restrictions Business Fund can be read here. Event hire businesses, with a turnover below £500,000 could qualify for a £2,000 grant from the Local Discretionary Fund outlined in this statement. EHA members are urged to submit an application.
A summary of business support in place throughout the region can be found here. It is specified here that self-employed individuals who have not been able to access support from the UK Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme can apply for a one-off taxable grant of £3,500.
UK TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
The government has announced further action for outbound and inbound passengers to minimise travel across international borders and reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
The full statement can be found here.
SUPPORTING BUSINESSES AND JOBS
CAMPAIGNING FOR THE WEDDINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY
HAE EHA continues to work with the Event Industry Forum (EIF) on behalf of EHA members to highlight the huge pressure on the event supply chain and continue to share information to support an industry-wide campaign. Lack of dedicated funding support remains the key concern. Colleagues are also cooperating with weddings industry organisations on a safe, more comprehensive restart for that important component of the events sector. The association has joined the UK Weddings Task Force to support our members, and this week participated in the Council of Representatives meeting and the 'Opening Up' Working Group.
A major barrier for event organisers is finding appropriate insurance to cover communicable diseases. The government has stalled on this, you can read more in this article.
SKILLS, EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT PROGRAMMES FOR JOBSEEKERS
A new online resource, part of the UK Government's Plan for Jobs, brings together guidance for jobs seekers so they can develop their skills, get advice on job applications, and search for opportunities.
CLOSED BUSINESSES LOCKDOWN PAYMENT (CBLP)
This payment supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions which began on 5th January 2021. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council. To find out if you are eligible, and how to apply, click here.
PROTECTING PRIVACY WITH CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME CLAIMS
If, as an employer, publishing your claim details could leave individuals at risk of violence or intimidation, you can request HMRC not to publish details about your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim. You will need to show evidence that it would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to:
For more information on what you will need to make a request, click here.
COMPANIES HOUSE PAUSE STRIKE-OFF PROCESSES FOR ONE MONTH
Voluntary and compulsory strike-off processes have been temporarily paused for one month from 21st January until 21st February 2021.This will provide companies with more time to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register. It will also protect creditors and other interested parties who might have had difficulties receiving notices or registering an objection, or whose objections have not yet been processed. Find out more here.
SELF EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME (SEISS)
A third grant is available and guidance has been provided in the form of a useful video outlining how to claim SEISS. To watch the video and register for more free webinars to learn more about how to claim the?third grant click here.
LOCAL RESTRICTIONS SUPPORT GRANTS (LRSG) FOR CLOSED BUSINESSES
Guidance has been updated with details of grants available during the national restriction period from 5th January 2021 onwards. To check if your business is eligible for a cash grant from your local council for each period under national restrictions, click here.
HELP TO CALCULATE EMPLOYEE WAGE FOR CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME
Guidance has been updated with new calculation examples to cover the lookback period and examples to clarify eligibility for the annually paid.
CHANGES TO THE KICKSTART SCHEME
The government will make it even simpler for employers of all sizes to benefit from joining the scheme by removing the condition which requires them to create a minimum of 30 vacancies to apply directly.