The latest COVID-19 updates applicable to the landscape industry.
24/11/2020 - Details of England's post-lockdown tier system released
An updated tier system will come into effect from 2nd December 2020. As with the system announced in October this year, 3 tiers - medium (tier 1), high (tier 2) and very high (tier 3) - will be introduced to manage outbreaks of COVID at a local level. As before, landscape and horticulture business operations can continue, providing COVID-secure measures are implemented.
Full details of the government's plan for managing COVID-19 throughout the end of 2020 and into 2021 can be reviewed by clicking on this link. Posters outlining the restrictions associated with each of the tiers can be reviewed by clicking on this link whilst this link provides access to a website where members can search by postcode for restrictions in their own area.
09/11/2020 - Firebreak initiative in Wales replaced by national measures
Measures introduced in Wales as part of the Firebreak initiative have now ended, and been replaced with national measures. New measures encourage individuals to work from home where possible, but permit those who cannot work from home (for example, on site-based work) to continue working - providing their workplace remains open (link). Individuals can travel out of Wales for work (link), whilst people who live outside Wales can still travel into, and through Wales, for work. Full details of the new measures can be reviewed by clicking on this link.
02/11/2020 - New restrictions in England
From Thursday 5th November 2020 new national restrictions will replace local restrictions throughout England. The restrictions will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2nd December. At the end of the period the intention is to return to a regional approach.
BALI review of the guidance released so far by the government suggests that, whilst home working is encouraged, where this is not possible workers should continue to travel to work and attend their workplace. Examples cited by the government include national infrastructure, construction and manufacturing, but also public sector employees working in essential services. Government guidance can be reviewed here.
23/10/2020 - 5-level system announced by Scottish Government
A new, 5-level system will be introduced in Scotland from Monday 2nd November 2020, with restrictions being placed either at a local level or national level, depending on the prevalence of the virus across Scotland over the coming weeks. The levels - named 'protection levels' - range from level 0 (lowest level) to level 4 (highest level). An overview of the protection levels can be accessed from this link and full details of the new strategic framework in which the system of protection levels sit can be accessed from this link.
BALI review of the protection levels suggests both construction and outdoor workplaces can remain open and functional regardless of protection level, but that office-based roles should be undertaken at home wherever possible from level 0. Non-essential shops will be required to close (although a click-and-collect system is permitted) at level 4. Employers are reminded of their duty of care to workers, and of the need to operate COVID-secure work practices.
20/10/2020 - Firebreak lockdown to be introduced in Wales
A series of restrictive measures will be introduced in Wales from 6pm on Friday 23rd October 2020 until Monday 9th November 2020. Whilst the measures require certain businesses and venues to close and urge people to stay at home except for very limited purposes, individuals are permitted to leave home "...for work purposes, or voluntary or charitable purposes, but only where it is not reasonably practicable to do this from home...". The advice continues: "...people who are not able to work from home, but are able to work safely in their workplaces, can do so, provided their workplace remains open...".
The Welsh Government are due to publish a full list of businesses that are required to close temporarily, but BALI do not expect the landscape industry to be affected.
13/10/2020 - Local COVID alert levels announced in England
Local COVID alert levels announced by the government in England on 12th October 2020 with rules which apply from 00:01 on Wednesday 14th October 2020 do not affect landscape or horticulture businesses. 3 local COVID alert levels - medium (tier 1), high (tier 2) and very high (tier 3) - have been introduced to manage outbreaks of COVID at a local level. The rules associated with all alert levels permit landscape businesses to continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner. More information on the alert levels can be reviewed here and local restrictions can be checked here
7/10/2020 - Nationwide and local restrictions announced by Scottish Government
Restrictions announced by the First Minister on 7th October and enforced from 9th October do not affect landscape or horticulture businesses. The restrictions announced apply to the hospitality sectors only, as well as social activities. At this stage there is no indication that landscape professionals or landscape businesses must cease works of any nature, including domestic works where operations are carried out in gardens. People living inside or outside of any area subject to local restrictions are permitted to travel freely for work. Details of the announcement can be viewed here
2/10/2020 - Local restrictions announced by English Government
Local restrictions recently implemented by the government do not affect landscape or horticulture businesses. People living inside or outside of any area subject to local restrictions are permitted to travel freely for work. Other local restrictions tend to focus on social contact, and at this stage there is no indication that landscape professionals or landscape businesses must cease works of any nature, including domestic works where operations are carried out in gardens. Full details can be viewed here
19/08/2020 - HSE releases suite of documents to help businesses work safely during pandemic
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced a suite of free, best-practice guidance documents which cover all aspects of site and office-based working. The documents serve as a useful partner to BALI’s own guidance documents and can be accessed by clicking here
5/8/2020 - HSE urges businesses to take steps to ensure they are 'COVID-secure'
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors are now visiting businesses to check they have implemented COVID-secure measures. BALI urges all members to ensure they put in place adjustments to their operations. BALI members can access free template documents and guidance by clicking here
25/06/2020 - BALI's Business Restart Toolkit
The toolkit aims to understand Government guidance on safely bringing your workforce back to work and supporting them going forward available to BALI members-only. Click here to download the latest version or click here to read more about the document itself.
After receiving updated guidance, BALI has now updated it's COVID-19 Landscape Site Operating Procedures – Protecting your Workforce guidance.
Landscaping businesses who send employees to site during the COVID-19 pandemic must ensure they are protecting their workforce, clients and the public by minimising the risk of spreading the infection. BALI has updated its COVID-19 Landscape Site Operating Procedures – Protecting your Workforce guidance in line with the recent changes to lockdown measures and to meet the needs of the landscape industry.
- HR Service information sheet
- Furlough leave letter template
- Job Retention Scheme Q&A – in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce
- VAT Deferral document
For BALI Training Providers, there is currently no direct Government support, however, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is challenging this with the apprenticeships and skills minister. As it stands, these types of business would have to go down the same route as other businesses via Government guidance published here.