COVID-19 bulletin - 01 April 2020


The following BMF coronavirus bulletin, sent on 1 April 2020, will help your business to understand the following:

- The latest information and insight available
- The support available for your business
 
The following BMF COVID-19 bulletin, contains the following:

- Specific information for BMF members 
- UK Government advice, actions and announcements   

Reminder we have suspended BMF Business News whilst we are sending out our COVID-19 bulletins to members. If you have any suggestions for further topics and information you want included and covered in these bulletins, please email richard.ellithorne@bmf.org.uk.


BMF COVID-19 online hub

In response to the COVID-19 situation, we have created an online hub of information for you to refer to. This sets out the BMF position and what we are doing for our members at this time. The page features video updates, from John Newcomb, BMF CEO that will be posted regularly along with the information many of our members have been wanting. There are also opportunities for you to share experiences and insight, so we can all work together to get the best outcomes we can during this time. 

To view the latest BMF video briefing, visit the COVID-19 page by clicking here. 


BMF members information

The BMF has published a list of BMF merchant members and supplier members who are open or shut during the COVID-19 crisis (as of 1 April and is subject to change during the crisis). These lists can be found here for merchants and here for suppliers. 

For those merchants and suppliers that are open some may be operating a full service, others just a partial delivery service. If any member wishes to update their status to either open, partially open or shut and/or be added to the list please contact Paige Godsell at paige.godsell@bmf.org.uk.
 

The BMF has circulated to members a letter from the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, personally paying tribute to them for working tirelessly during these challenging times and thanking them for their hugely valued and critical contribution to the resilience of our country. Copy of the letter can be found here. (Members only)


The BMF is one of the 12 leading construction trade bodies forming the CLC, the taskforce in daily contact with the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) advising on the developing situation that faces our sector. This taskforce has written to the Prime Minister on their plan to sustain the industry and accelerate recovery of the economy. Copy of the letter can be found here. (Members only)


The BMF also secured from government a template letter for delivery drivers to use while continuing to deliver materials to essential customers during the COVID-19 crisis, should they be challenged. Copy of the letter can be found here. (Members only)
 
Latest information and insight:

1. On Monday 30 March, the Home Office updated guidance on right to work checks during the coronavirus outbreak
- HR teams will be able to carry out right to work checks for new starters at home by video call and scanned copies of documents

2. On Monday 30 March, the government updated its guidance on the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
- This guidance informs local authorities about the operation and delivery of the two funding schemes
- Further information has been provided on State Aid, monitoring and reporting requirements, post payment checks, and charity eligibility

3. On Friday 27 March, the government updated its advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents
- This advice is for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK, and British nationals overseas who are affected by coronavirus-related travel restrictions

4. On Friday 27 March, government announced that regulations around annual leave will be relaxed to allow workers to carry over unused leave into the next two years
- Usually employers must ensure their employees take their required annual leave or a financial penalty is imposed
- These new regulations will allow up to four weeks of unused leave to move into the next two years

5. On Friday 27 March, government released further guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for both employers and employees
- This temporary scheme is open to all UK employers for at least three months from 1 March 2020
- Employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ usual monthly salary, up to £2,500 and both parties must agree to this decision.