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Covid Support Information Hub

CITB NI COVID-19 Information Hub

CITB NI will support, help and guide construction employers during these unprecedented times. This information hub will be the central source of all our help and guidance for the local construction industry.

In accordance with Government directives, CITB NI staff are on a phased return to the office.  We will attempt as far as possible to continue with the essential work we do to support the industry, however the response times may be longer than normal.

Due to Covid-19 CITB NI staff are being phased back into the office.  Phones will be open from 9am - 4pm Monday - Thursday and 9am to 3pm on Friday.  Phones will be closed daily between 1pm and 2pm.

. Please contact us by email
to your usual contacts or via the following general email addresses:

 

info@citbni.org.uk – General enquiries
grants@citbni.org.uk – Grant enquiries
levy@citbni.org.uk – Levy enquiries
accounts@citbni.org.uk - accounts queries

Please find support information below, for topics with no table please click on the heading to receive further information.

 

(1) CITB NI Direct Support

(2) Helpful Resources

Organisation/Website 

What is Available? 

Website Link 

NI Direct 

Lots of links to government services 

NI Executive 

NI Assembly press releases & COVID daily updates 

A publication outlining measures to ensure Departments pay their suppliers as quickly as possible 

HSENI 

Advice and guidance 

FMB 

Dedicated COVID 19 advice 

Business in the Community 

Specially created COVID 19 hub for businesses, communities, schools, parents etc 

NHBC 

COVID 19 FAQ’s  

FSB 

Advice & free webinar 

RICS 

Support and guidance 

Invest NI 

Support for business 

Labour Relations Agency 

Advice for employers/employees 

NI Business Info 

Advice on support for businesses 

NI Safety Group 

Occupational H&S promotion

Public Health Agency 

COVID 19 health advice 

Dept for Communities 

Telephone & email helplines for employers needing help to advertise jobs etc 

Tel: 028 8237 6692/028 9053 9458 or email: dfc.employers@nissa.gsi.gov.uk  

CEF NI 

Up-to-date COVID19 Advice & Support 

Gov.uk 

Claim for your employees wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

Gov.uk 

Self employment Income Support Scheme 

British Business Bank 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme  

CISRS 

CISRS updates for both scaffolders and companies 

Construction Leadership Council 

Publication explaining Coronavirus Employment Schemes, “furloughed workers” etc 

 

Additional Information
 

 

  • Guidance for on-site construction sites

Langley, supported by CIC, has produced a short video that demonstrates safe and responsible guidance for workers on construction sites operating during the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure the protection of the workforce and minimise the risk of spread of infection.
 
This guidance advises how consistent measures on sites, of all sizes, can be responsibly and safely undertaken with adherence to the Government’s recommendations on social distancing.
 
To help ensure the safe operation on site within the construction industry , it has worked to develop site operating procedures, published by the Construction Leadership Council.

 

  • CEF RETURN TO SITE HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDANCE

CEF have made TV and media statements regarding the release of the HSENI endorsed guidance and example materials prepared by our Cvoid-19 Task Force and now available from our website.
The on-line resources are freely available to all construction contractors, professionals and clients and we urge all those engaged in the industry to take the time to fully understand and utilise these resources when preparing their own revised working practices before commencing a phased soft mobilisation back to sites.
 
Whilst there is now industry specific guidance for healthy and safe working available, the message is unchanged, if you cannot work safely following the guidance, do not work.
 
Where you can work safely within the evolving guidance, you should liaise closely with your staff and clients to ensure their understanding of the new procedures before returning to site. Clients must understand that adapting and complying with the new good practice has implications for productivity and cost. Contractors should engage with clients to flag the expected costs and extended programmes inherent in adhering to the health and safety working guidelines relevant to each project. The CEF calls on clients to be flexible and collaborative in agreeing revised programmes and budgets that incorporate the new ways of working.

  • CEF - RETURN TO SITE GUIDANCE UPDATES

We continue to add resources to our Covid-19 Health & Safety Guidance including new resources from CITB(GB) such as daily site checklist, toolbox talk.
Also added is the UK Government ‘Working safely during Covid 19 in construction and other outdoor work’.
https://www.cefni.co.uk/news/covid-19-safety-guidance
 
  • FURLOUGH GUIDANCE UPDATE

Employers: guidance is now live on changes to the Job Retention Scheme, including more flexibility on bringing employees back to work from July and employer contributions from August. Flexible furloughing enables you to bring the workforce back in a staggered way while continuing to receive financial support under the Scheme. However, you will need to plan carefully. For example, you will need to: 
•             think about the hours and shift patterns that you want employees to work on their return.
•             communicate and consult with previously furloughed employees;
•             agree any contractual changes and confirm them in writing;
•             consider the impact the financial tapering will have; and
•             decide your claim period.
 
The guidance is lengthy but clear and there are supporting examples.  It is important to share this updated guidance with your payroll staff and plan carefully how to implement it across your workforce.

  • MPA - Covid Return to Work Handbooks:

Covid Return to Work Handbook for Managers 
Covid Return to Work Handbook for Employees

 

IPAF COVID-19 Safe Operating Guidance - Using MEWPs, MCWPs and Hoists

This document is intended to provide practical guidance on safety measures to minimise exposure to COVID-19 for anyone using MEWPs (mobile elevating work platforms), MCWPs (mast climbing work platforms) or Construction hoists for work activities. The guidance covers social distancing and safety/hygiene requirements which aim to reduce the risk of infection to all personnel involved.

Download the new guidance document now at www.ipaf.org/en/resources. The document is available in English and will be available in other languages shortly.
NI Safety Group
The Construction Response to COVID-19 website has many illustrations on the methods used in this sector to safeguard their employees.
The ‘safeguard workers’ page shows 25 examples from major contractors on how their workers stay safe.



  • Rehab4Addiction.co.uk

A useful guide about guarding mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
 

 

  • Construction Industry Helpline
The Construction Industry Helpline provides a 24/7 safety net for all construction workers and their families in the UK and Ireland. It is a charitable service funded by the industry. https://www.constructionindustryhelpline.com/

 

  • Construction Roadmap to Recovery Plan Published

Plans for a post-Covid-19 revival of the UK construction sector have now been published.
The Construction Leadership Council’s Covid-19 Task Force has laid out proposals to secure the future of construction businesses nationwide, while setting the industry on a sustainable path towards recovery.
The roadmap to recovery plan can be downloaded here.
The task force is now engaging with Government to test how the plan's proposals might be delivered.

 

The Apprentice Recovery Package for Northern Ireland

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has been developing an Apprenticeship Recovery Package for Northern Ireland that will channel financial support to local businesses to help the apprenticeship system respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 
 
The Apprenticeship Recovery Package includes short term interventions which are targeted to reduce significant longer term economic impacts. These interventions aim to reduce unemployment and ensure that employers continue to have access to people with the skills and qualifications needed to maintain productivity, to grow their businesses and to assist in closing the skills gap, ensuring that more people have a pathway to better paying jobs.
 
More detailed information on the individual measures contained within the recovery package can be found below:
 
1)     News story on the package of support available: www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-apprenticeship-recovery-package
 
2)     Apprenticeship Return, Retain and Result Scheme: www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-apprenticeship-return-retain-result-scheme
 
3)     Recruitment of New Apprenticeships: www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-recruitment-new-apprenticeships
 
4)     Apprenticeship Challenge Fund: www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-apprenticeship-challenge-fund
 


Companies affected by COVID-19 can recruit a funded intern from Ulster University Graduate Leadership Programme - find out more here
 

Covid-19 Process & Organisational Improvement Grant (PIOG)

This scheme has been launched by the NI Executive and Invest NI to help businesses accelerate the benefits of digital technology.  Find out more here.

 

Local Councils - funding/grants available:

Business Start-up Grant – Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Council
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme – various councils
Rural Business Grants - Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council - applications open between 20-29 September 2021
Rural Business Development Grant Scheme - Ards & North Down Borough Council.  Applications open between 17-24 September 2021.



The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published a statement on the use of face coverings on
construction sites in response to coronavirus to help provide a consistent approach across the industry.
It is based on Government guidance in England and other restrictions and advice may apply in Scotland,
Wales and Northern Ireland.
 
Find out more

(3) Online Webinars/Courses

 

Organisation 

What is available? 

Website Link 

NHBC 

Online webinars 

CIOB 

Online courses – some free or a small charge for non CIOB members 

IntertradeIreland 

Online workshops/advisory clinics 

RICS 

Online courses /conferences, some are free  

ICE 

Online events 

Management & Leadership Network 

Inspirational videos/podcasts