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Covid-19 has impacted every aspect of the economy, including the energy industry. Energy is a critical sector in the national response to Covid-19, providing hospitals, homes and supermarkets with the power they need. Please see our statement on continuing essential work in the energy sector during Covid-19 .
RenewableUK is working to support our members manage the impacts of Covid-19 to help the industry continue to maintain, connect and build the energy sources the country needs is vital to keep our economy running and we’re doing this safely in line with public health guidance.
How Can We Help?
RenewableUK is engaging widely with Government to identify and resolve issues within the energy sector and supply chain that are impacting the industry as they arise. We speak regularly with officials and Ministers, working in coodination with other industry bodies. If you are a RenewbleUK member, please contact us to raise any issues or ask for advice from the team.
Below are links to Government and other publications that may help companies navigate the impacts of Covid-19. For the latest information on Coronavirus, including public health guidnace, please see https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Testing for Covid-19 has been expanded to all essential workers in England. Tests can be arranged directly by individuals for themselves and members of their households, or companies can register and refer employees. Scotland has put in its own testing procedures. There are separate arrangements for testing of critical workers in Wales. Northern Ireland is offering testing for keyworkers at three centres across NI.
The Government has put in place a range of business support measures for firms of all sizes to help firms through this period. Some of the headlines schemes that may help firms include:
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - allows businesses to retain staff on furlough with 80% of salary provided by Government grant, up to a limit of £2,500 per month. The Scheme will now run until October, with changes applying from August to allow part time work and requiring employer contribution.
A separate Income Support Scheme makes available grants of up to £2,500 a month to the self-employed
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme SMEs can apply for finance of up to £5m, with Government providing an 80% gaurantee, which can be paid back over 6 years.
VAT Deferral Companies with a VAT payment falling due between March 30 and June 30 2020 can choose to defer payment to a later date up to 31 March 2021
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme Frims may be eligible to reclaim employees' coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay for Covid illnesses.
Health and Safety Guidance
Public health guidance on Covid-19 is regularly updated as the pandemic progresses, please consult the latest guidance here. The UK Government has issued specific advice on working safely during coronavirus that apply to 8 diferent areas of work, including construction and manufacturing.
RenewableUK and SafeyOn have produced Safety Guidance on Site Operations and Acitivties During Covid-19, which you can access here.
The Health and Safety Executive is providing a range of guidance and avdice in response to Covid-19, including on reporting under RIDDOR and a tool for managing risks and risk assessment. For more information about the HSE's regulatory approach in response to the pandemic, please see their website for details.
In Northern Ireland, guidance on workplace safety has been issued alongside a list of priority sectors.
Please note, at present different guidance is applicable in different parts of the UK.
The BEIS Secretary Alok Sharma has written to the construction industry on the status of construction activity and the restrictions in place to respond to the Covid 19 pandemic. The letter acknowledges 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'.
The UK Government has also issued guidance on working safely in construciton and other outdoor work.
The BEIS Sectretary has written to those working in the manufacturing sector to confirm that there is no restriction on manufacturing activity continuing safely under the current rules, and that Public Health England guidlelines advise on how this can be done safely. The UK Government has also issued guidnce on working safely in factories, plants and warehouses.
Please see the Scottish guidance for different advice applicable to the manufacturing sector.
The Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) has issued a guidance note to generators on Covid-19 impacts. The note confirms the LCCC view that 'Covid-19 outbreak is capable of constituting a Force Majeure event'. The LCCC further commits to 'work with projects to assess and process any impacts, both those that are immediate and those that develop over time.'