An update from HETAS

HETAS Coronavirus Update and Signposting

An important update from HETAS

Firstly, we acknowledge the problems being caused by Coronavirus and send our best wishes to you all and your family and friends. Please consider your own safety and that of your customers in uncertain times.

The HETAS office is closed following the government announcement on Monday 23rd March 2020 and we are taking all the appropriate precautions to protect the wellbeing of our staff. Our teams continue working from home and providing ongoing support to our registrants. Please get in touch using the contact form here or email info@hetas.co.uk and we will respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible.

Below we have outlined some key resources available to support individuals and businesses. Please note this guidance is subject to change over time.


HETAS and ongoing service provision

The Competent Persons Scheme part of HETAS is bound by a set of conditions of authorisation administered by The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). We are also required to continue to meet Certification Body Standards. Whilst we hope for guidance from MHCLG in relation to our scheme operations; we are at this time making our own decisions about how we continue to operate a robust scheme whilst also understanding that we need to apply flexibility to the rules that are usually applied. For any installer, service engineer, chimney sweep or retailer who is having severe issues meeting the scheme requirements, please call us or email and we will do our best to adopt a flexible approach. Of course we are subject to the oversight of MHCLG and UKAS and if guidance comes along at some time we must work with them; so things may develop along the way. 

Whilst inspections remain a necessity to the Competent Person Scheme, a more flexible approach will be adopted to manage risk where possible during this period and inspectors care not currently taking on future bookings. If you do have a forthcoming inspection already booked please liaise directly with your Inspector.

The Government has also issued “Full guidance on staying at home and away from others“. This includes information on tradespeople undertaking repairs and maintenance and states the following:

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.

Please refer to the full guidance as provided by government in relation to this matter.

Approved Training Centres

Staff at HETAS have been in close communication with our network of approved training centres. These are independently owned businesses and will be making their own decisions throughout this unusually challenging period, with centres following guidance provided by government.  We are aware that HETAS registrants and applicants may have training course or five-yearly refresher courses booked – please contact your Training Centre to discuss alternative arrangements.

If your training is due to expire please discuss this with our Shared Service team on info@hetas.co.uk;  Again we will make every effort to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and reasonably an if necessary with flexibility to support our registered businesses.

Insurance

For those of you who have a policy with HETAS Insurance, you will receive communication directly from Marsh, our partners, regarding their own operations and insurance considerations for your business.

Legal Support

HETAS registrants also have access to Lawbite, click here to find out more about their services.


Signposting

Government Guidance

The Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) action plan can be viewed at www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan.

Additionally, guidance for employees, employers and businesses can be found here.

This guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff on:

  • the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of COVID-19
  • what to do if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • eligibility for sick pay

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Check the business support website for answers to frequently asked questions.

Government has also announced support for the self-employed, scroll down to Business and Industry for further details.

For Scotland visit www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19

For Wales visit gov.wales/coronavirus

For Northern Ireland visit www.health-ni.gov.uk

For Ireland visit www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/c36c85-covid-19-coronavirus


Health

Please follow the reliable guidance provided by the NHS at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19.

There is an online platform to check if you have coronavirus symptoms. To protect others, do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital. 111.nhs.uk/covid-19.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is working closely with The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC), Public Health England (PHE) and other government departments to provide support when it’s needed, including technical advice on the protection of workers.

PHE has guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals and other organisations. For non-clinical settings visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance#guidance-for-non-clinical-settings.

The NHS has also launched a website focusing on mental health at this difficult time, Every Mind Matters. Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. The website has expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Guidance can vary by regions, please follow the guidance provided in your region:


Business and Industry

The Budget has announced a plan to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by Covid-19. Information for the self-employed was announced by the Chancellor on 26th March 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19

Those who are self-employed can claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Use this scheme if you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus. This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed. For fill details visit the gov.uk website.

Acas gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice. Advice is being reviewed daily

Via their Facebook page Acas is providing webinars for employers on the topic of coronavirus workplace advice.


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