This has been a week like no other. As information is constantly changing, please ensure that you keep in check with Government websites for up to date information. Those companies/ organisations that you work for and with will also be issuing procedures specific to your work, so please keep in touch direct for their advice.
There has been a great deal of debate this week about the forestry industry and when sites should be open or shut. The Forestry Industry provides essential product in the form of heating material (biomass fuel), pallet wood, packaging and material for face mask manufacture. For this reason, some sites/organisations continue to work. It will be individual companies/organisations that will determine the work and which sites will be active, the companies/organisations will discuss and arrange this with you directly. For those sites with ongoing work the site-specific risk assessment needs to detail the site risks and detail the control measures to be used to manage those risks. Covid-19 risks should be included on the site-specific risk assessment, for example detailing how on the site you will manage the social distancing and the provision of handwashing facilities. Please also consider the travel to site, as social distancing needs to part of how you get to site. You need to remind workers on site of these measures and help those on site to understand who is ok to be on site, and when workers should stay at home if the isolation period needs to be used.
Details of isolation periods/vulnerable workers etc can be found on the www.Gov.uk/coronavirus website.
UK Government release the self-employed financial support - for full details please check the Gov.uk website
If a person has suffered a loss in income, a taxable grant will be paid to the self-employed or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
Initially, this will be available for three months in one lump-sum payment and will start to be paid from the beginning of June.
It will be called the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme and is open to those who were trading in the last financial year, still trading now, and planning to continue doing so this year.
Who is eligible?
In short more than half of a claimant's income needs to come from self-employment.
The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19, or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
• Those who are recently self-employed and do not have a full year of accounts will not receive any help under this scheme.
• The government's new help comes on top of a six-month delay for tax payments through the self-assessment system.
• Those with the lowest incomes are in line to receive more generous benefits payments, announced previously. The chancellor said those applying for universal credit should be paid within a few days.