COVID-19

TV Public Information Film
The Queen addresses the nation

NB: Information below is a blog roll, in date order, with latest news at the top.

FASET CORONAVIRUS STATEMENT: APRIL 7

Our priority and that of our members must remain, as it always is, the safety of our workforce, their families and those we are protecting with our services. 

We advise all members to follow Public Health England, Health Protection Scotland, Public Health Wales, the Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland and Government guidance, undertaking a robust risk assessment on site activities, including specifically in relation to the Coronavirus situation.   

If following that process, you believe that you cannot provide a safe working environment for your workforce, and/or your client is unable to provide suitable assurances of compliance with the guidance, and you decide to withdraw from site, FASET fully supports that decision and would ask that clients and main contractors recognise your right to do so.

FASET CORONAVIRUS SITE CHECKLIST: APRIL 7

HSE SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES: APRIL 6

Social distancing, keeping businesses open and in-work activities during the coronavirus (COVID- 19) outbreak

Social distancing

In these extraordinary times, HSE is constantly reviewing the fast-moving situation with our partners across government to support the national effort to tackle COVID-19.

While social distancing is fundamentally a public health measure introduced to reduce the spread of infection, we recognise the concerns raised on social distancing within the workplace and are in contact with trade unions.

Where HSE identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant PHE guidance to control public health risks, eg employers not taking appropriate action to socially distance or ensure workers in the shielded category can follow the NHS advice to self- isolate for the period specified, we will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. These actions include the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements with the PHE guidance.

Essential and non-essential work

Keep your business open. With the exception of some non-essential shops and public venues, we are not asking any other business to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on.

Employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home. Where it is not be possible to work from home you can still travel for work purposes, provided you are not showing coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able, where possible, to follow Public Health England guidelines on social distancing (including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others), and hygiene (washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds). Follow government guidance on how to keep your employees safe.

In-work activity

All workers are encouraged to keep working and should be working from home if they can.

Only travel to work when you absolutely cannot work from home. Protect yourself, your workers and help save lives by staying at home. Follow government guidance on what you need to do.

If you are travelling to your workplace you will still need to observe the social distancing guidance whilst you are travelling, as far as is practical. Social distancing means staying 2 metres (6ft) apart from other people.

In your workplace you need to observe, where possible, the social distancing guidance.

Links:

  1. Some non-essential shops and public venues here.
  2. Public Health England guidelines.
  3. Government guidance on how to keep your employees safe.
  4. Government guidance on what you need to do.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT GUIDANCE: APRIL 1

Look after your mental health in these testing times with freely available guidance, help & support from Public Health England available here.

BUSINESS SECRETARY ALOK SHARMA'S OPEN LETTER TO CONSTRUCTION SECTOR: 30TH MARCH

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma has written a letter thanking the construction sector for all its help in the current crisis.

This also contains the Government’s current official policy on keeping construction sites open.

Read it in full below.

To everyone working in the UK’s construction sector,

In these challenging times, I want to pay tribute to all those who are working tirelessly within the construction industry. Delivering on large or small construction sites across the country, in builders’ merchants and logistics providers, or producing construction and mineral products.

Our country and our economy needs all our support. And the construction industry has answered the call to action. Whether by building temporary hospital wards, installing complex and life-saving oxygen systems, constructing the infrastructure that society needs to function or ensuring that people have safe and healthy homes to live in, you are delivering for our Nation through this difficult time. My heartfelt and personal thanks for everything that each and every one of you is doing to support our joint national effort.

The Government has advised that wherever possible, people should work at home. However, we know that for many people working in construction their job requires them to travel to their place of work, and they can continue to do so. This is consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice. To help ensure that it is safe for you to operate in your workplace, the industry has worked to develop Site Operating Procedures (SOP), which were published by the Construction Leadership Council. These align with the latest guidance from Public Health England.As this health guidance updates, the SOP will reflect any changes.

I am in regular contact with industry leaders about the developing situation that faces the sector.And I am fully committed to continuing to engage through the coming days, weeks and beyond.

Thank you again to everyone operating in the UK construction sector. You are making a hugely valued and critical contribution to the resilience of our Nation and I salute you for the enormous efforts you are individually undertaking to support the UK economy.

Yours sincerely

THE RT HON ALOK SHARMA MP

Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

GOVERNMENT ADVICE TO SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK: 28 MARCH

People struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be offered additional online support and practical guidance to help them cope.

Department of Health and Social Care and Nadine Dorries MP

Public Health England guidance will give helpful tips on how to look after your wellbeing, alongside advice for parents and carers on children’s mental health Leading mental health charities given £5 million to expand support services

Plans endorsed by Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as part of their commitment to mental health

People struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be offered additional online support and practical guidance to help them cope, Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries has announced today.

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges which the outbreak and extended periods of self-isolation can pose, Public Health England has published new online guidance setting out principles to follow to help people to manage their mental health during this difficult time, such as:

• Maintaining contact with friends and family via telephone, video calls, or social media.
• Keeping a regular routine and sleeping pattern.
• Focusing on a hobby or learning something new.

Parents and carers will also benefit from tailored advice on how to support children and young people with stress during the coronavirus outbreak, which includes providing clear information, being aware of their own reactions and creating a new routine.

Today’s guidance has been developed in partnership with leading mental health charities and clinically assured by the NHS. It also includes steps that those living with serious mental health problems can take, including seeking support from their mental health teams.

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said: "The last few weeks have been anxious and unsettling for everyone. We have to take time to support each other and find ways to look after our mental health. It is great to see the mental health sector working together with the NHS to help people keep on top of their mental well- being. By pulling together and taking simple steps each day, we can all be better prepared for the times ahead."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have long been advocates for mental health, through their respective patronages and The Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign. In 2019, Their Royal Highnesses helped to launch Public Health England’s mental health platform, Every Mind Matters.

Minister for Mental Health Nadine Dorries said: "When I discovered I had coronavirus I felt anxious and scared. For those who already suffer with anxiety or other mental health issues this may present new and difficult challenges.

"It’s imperative that we stay home if we are to beat coronavirus and save lives. I know how important it is that people have support to look after their mental health and this guidance will be of huge value.

"The government has also announced a £5 million grant for leading mental health charities, administered by Mind, to fund additional services for people struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time. This could include telephone and online support services for the most isolated and vulnerable in our communities."

Public Health England has updated its world-leading Every Mind Matters platform with specific advice on maintaining good mental wellbeing during the outbreak. People can also complete a ‘Mind Plan’, a quick and free tool that has already been completed over 1.8 million times.

Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said: "During these challenging times, it is natural for all of us to feel worried or anxious, but there are things we can all do to help ourselves and others, to prevent these feelings from becoming more serious.

"We should continue to check up on friends, family and neighbours by phone or online and pursue the activities we are able to do from home and in line with guidance. By adopting a new routine, setting goals, eating healthily and maintaining physical activity, we can stay in good mental health today and tomorrow.

"The government and NHS England recognise that the mental health impacts of the coronavirus outbreak are significant and are working closely with mental health trusts to ensure those who need them have access to NHS mental health services.

"This includes issuing guidance to trusts on staff training, prioritisation of services and how to maximise use of digital and virtual channels to keep delivering support to patients. NHS Mental Health providers are also establishing 24/7 helplines.

"Mind will use their existing links with other charities, including grassroots, user-led organisations, to reach vulnerable groups who are at particular risk during this period. This is expected to include older adults, people with an underlying health condition and anyone experiencing unstable employment and housing conditions."

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind and co-ordinating a group of mental health charities, said: "We are facing one of the toughest ever times for our mental wellbeing as a nation. It is absolutely vital that people pull together and do all they can to look after themselves and their loved ones, when we are all facing a huge amount of change and uncertainty. Reaching out to friends and family is critical, as well as paying attention to the impact our physical health can have on our mental health - from diet and exercise to getting enough natural light and a little fresh air.

"Charities like Mind have a role to play in helping people cope not only with the initial emergency but coming to terms with how this will affect us well into the future. Whether we have an existing mental health problem or not, we are all going to need extra help to deal with the consequences of this unprecedented set of circumstances."

Claire Murdoch, NHS mental health director, said: "The NHS is stepping up to offer people help when and how they need it, including by phone, facetime, skype or digitally enabled therapy packages and we also have accelerated plans for crisis response service 24/7.

"We are determined to respond to people’s needs during this challenging time and working with our partners across the health sector and in the community, NHS mental health services will be there through what is undoubtedly one of the greatest healthcare challenges the NHS has ever faced."

MENTAL HEALTH USEFUL LINKS

Every Mind Matters provides simple tips and advice to start taking better care of your mental health. If you are still struggling after several weeks and it is affecting your daily life, please contact

NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
You can access free easy ten minute work outs from Public Health England or try other exercise videos at home on the NHS Fitness Studio. Sport England also has tips for keeping active at home here.

The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
Visit the NHS mental health and wellbeing advice website for self-assessment, audio guides and practical tools, if you are experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood.

If you already have a mental health problem, you can access comprehensive guidance provided by Mind here.

Explore the topic

Mental health here.

Topical events

Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response here.

FASET CORONAVIRUS STATEMENT: 26 MARCH 2020

Our priority and that of our members must remain, as it always is, the safety of our workforce, their families and those we are protecting with our services.

We advise all members to undertake a robust risk assessment on site activities, including specifically in relation to the Coronavirus situation.  

If following that process, you believe that you cannot provide a safe working environment for your workforce, and/or your client is unable to provide suitable assurances of compliance with the guidance, and you decide to withdraw from site, FASET fully supports that decision and would ask that clients and main contractors recognise your right to do so.

Our Summary of the Government's Self Employment Support Package is below:

Please refer to official link here for full details, as this list is our interpretation only.

  • 80% taxable Grant of monthly profits, based on last 3 years accounts (or less if you don’t have three years accounts filed), up to maximum £2,500 per month.
  • Available for three months at which point it will be reviewed and extended if necessary.
  • Available to self employed with trading profits up to £50k pa.
  • Access to scheme available from beginning of June, backdated lump sum payable in June for last three months.
  • HMRC to contact those eligible.
  • If accounts not been filed by end of January, now a four weeks extension as these will be used to assess eligibility.
  • Access to business interruption loan immediately.
  • Deferral of Self Assessment payments util January 2021.
  • Access to Universal Credit immediately if required.