latest news

The latest COVID-19 updates applicable to the landscape industry.

23/2/2021 - Scotland notified of indicative timeframe for easing lockdown restrictions

Scotland's First Minister has advised lockdown restrictions are likely to be eased in the next few weeks.  Dates have not been provided, but a return to a levels-based system is likely from the last week of April, at the same time as the re-opening of non-essential retail, hospitality and services.  More detail will be released in mid-March. Click here for the update provided.

For now, outdoor workplaces, construction sites and manufacturing facilities can remain open and functional, although guidance states businesses should plan for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively, and operate according to COVID-secure measures.  Guidance is viewable here

22/2/2021 - England to retain existing restrictions 

England's Prime Minister announced existing restrictions will remain until 8th March 2021, when a 4-step plan to ease lockdown will be introduced.  Existing rules (click here) will remain in their entirety until this point, requiring residents to remain at home wherever possible.

Whilst working at home is strongly encouraged by the Government, and employers '...should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home...' site-based operations including construction, landscape construction, landscape maintenance and manufacturing can continue, and employees can continue to travel to their workplace (click here for link to working guidance).

Employers must implement measures to ensure their business operations are COVID-secure; click here to review government guidance and click here for BALI workforce guidance.    

19/2/2021 - Wales to retain existing restrictions 

Wales' First Minister has announced Wales will remain in Alert Level 4 for another 3 weeks.  Alert Level 4 requires people to stay at home except for limited purposes, and many types of businesses to close.  Whilst working from home is encouraged, where this is not practicable site-based occupations including landscaping, construction and horticulture can continue - subject to employers taking reasonable measures to protect employees from coronavirus.  Full details of Alert Level 4 may be reviewed here.  

18/2/2021 - Northern Ireland to retain existing restrictions

Northern Ireland's Health Minister has announced existing restrictions will remain until 1st April 2021.  Social activities are now limited and working from home is encouraged where practicable, whilst site-based operations including construction, landscapers, builders and tradespeople can continue to work - providing COVID-secure measures are implemented. Garden centres and homeware stores must remain closed, however.  Full details of the restrictions may be reviewed here.

Superseded updates

17/2/2021 - Scotland to retain existing restrictions

Scotland's First Minister has advised Scotland's current lockdown will remain until the beginning of March 2021 - and possibly beyond.  Outdoor workplaces, construction sites and manufacturing facilities can remain open and functional during this temporary lockdown, although guidance states businesses should plan for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively, and operate according to COVID-secure measures.  Guidance is viewable here.     

5/1/2021 - England to enter national lockdown 

From Tuesday 5th January 2021, England will enter a national lockdown expected to last until at least March 2021.  Government guidance (click here) requires residents to remain at home wherever possible.

Whilst working at home is strongly encouraged by the Government, and employers '...should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home...' site-based operations including construction, landscape construction, landscape maintenance and manufacturing can continue, and employees can continue to travel to their workplace (click here for link to working guidance).

Employers must implement measures to ensure their business operations are COVID-secure; click here to review government guidance and click here for BALI workforce guidance.    

The following sites are permitted to remain open throughout this lockdown: garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products.  

4/1/2021 - Mainland Scotland to enter temporary lockdown

From Tuesday 5th January 2021, mainland Scotland will move from Protection Level 4 to a temporary lockdown.  New guidance (viewable here) requires residents to stay at home unless for essential purposes. 

Outdoor workplaces, construction sites and manufacturing facilities can remain open and functional during this temporary lockdown, although guidance states businesses should plan for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively, and operate according to COVID-secure measures.     

26/12/2020 - Additional restrictions in Northern Ireland 

Additional restrictions have been introduced throughout Northern Ireland.  Social activities are now limited and working from home is encouraged where practicable, whilst site-based operations including construction, landscapers, builders and tradespeople can continue to work - providing COVID-secure measures are implemented. Garden centres and homeware stores must remain closed, however. 

Full details of the restrictions may be reviewed here whilst a summary of page is available from this link.

21/12/2020 - All of Wales is now in Alert Level 4

Alert Level 4 requires people to stay at home except for limited purposes, and many types of businesses to close.  Whilst working from home is encouraged, where this is not practicable site-based occupations including landscaping, construction and horticulture can continue - subject to employers taking reasonable measures to protect employees from coronavirus.  Full details of Alert Level 4 may be reviewed here.  

31/12/2020 - Government updates local restriction tiers in England

A 4-Tier system exists in England, with most of the country now in Tier 4.  The Tiers are as follows: medium (Tier 1), high (Tier 2), very high (Tier 3) and stay at home (Tier 4). 

Whilst home working is encouraged where possible, site-based operations including landscape, horticulture, construction and manufacturing can continue in all tiers, providing COVID-secure measures are implemented.  More information on local restrictions can be checked using this link

26/12/2020 - Government updates local protection levels in Scotland

A system of 5 'Protection Levels' exist in Scotland, ranging from Protection Level 0 (lowest level) to Protection Level 4 (highest level).  Most of the country is currently in Protection level 4. 

Whilst people are advised to work from home where practicable, outdoor workplaces - including construction, landscape and horticulture operations - can remain open and functional in all Protection Levels providing COVID-secure measures are implemented. 

A break-down of Protection Levels by area can be checked using this link whilst a summary guidance table for all Protection Levels is available from this link.

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.

14/05/2020

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.

07/04/2020

BALI HR and H&S service Quest provides four BALI member-exclusive supporting documents which include; 

    • HR Service information sheet
    • Furlough leave letter template
    • Job Retention Scheme Q&A – in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce
    • VAT Deferral document

25/03/2020

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.