TSA Update 9 April 2020
We are lobbying on your behalf every day for more business support, and I think collectively the message is getting through, however the feedback we are receiving from the government is that they don’t know what else to do and are getting very nervous about the financial impact it is going to have for years to come. However, we will keep going and we have covered this in more detail under lobbying activity below.
We had our first virtual TSA Board Meeting yesterday (8 April), and I want to reassure you that the board is totally committed to working together on all fronts as one industry to get us all through this, there is a real comradeship between everyone which was fantastic to see.
We are all in this together and will come out of this crisis together.
The items below are again in no specific order, so please try and make sure you glance all the points.
LATEST GOVERNMENT UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME
The details of the scheme seem to be in place now and it is relatively easy to use:
- Be aware that there is still uncertainty when employers will receive the refund for Furlough pay – for cash flow purposes would recommend you work on early May just in case.
- You must have in writing evidence that you have written to each Furloughed employee and this must be kept for five years.
OTHER DETAILS FROM THE SCHEME YOU MAY NOT BE AWARE OF:
Can Directors be Furloughed?
Yes – Directors can now be furloughed and are allowed to carry on with statutory obligations while furloughed – see more on the link above.
Can I have another paid job?
The government have now stated that pending your contracts allow (you may need to give permission) employees who have been furloughed are permitted to work for another employer.You should ensure they are available to return to work immediately.It is not clear how much they can earn and if they can earn more than they were previously earning, but the general consensus is that they should only take additional work to top up their earnings.
Training a Furloughed Employee
Furloughed employees can engage in training, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation. This could be useful if you have staff sat at home doing nothing. They can be encouraged to do online soft skills training;
We have asked David Kinson our learning advisor to have a look at what is out there and Shyju is going to create a “Bedtime Reading” section on the website for some of the TSA archive material. We will circulate an update next week.
Apprentices and Job Retention Scheme
Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst furloughed, as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for their employer. Guidance is available for changes in apprenticeship learning arrangements because of COVID-19.
One of the main aspects of the English Apprenticeship is the off-the-job training. All off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship, but this can now be delivered more flexibly, including remote working. Employers may set employees training tasks when they’re working from home, but where these are not directly linked to the apprenticeship, it cannot be classed as off-the-job training.
Both the Apprenticeship Levy and Student Loans should continue to be paid as usual. Grants from the Job Retention Scheme do not cover these.
ESSENTIAL WORKER CERTIFICATION
Scheme is working well with very few challenges. Remember to keep it up to date by emailing Emma if you need to add anyone or join it. There are now 1,953 essential workers from 51 companies on the register.
- Keep up the local lobbying, so far TSA members have contacted 31 local MP’s with encouraging responses from 23.
- We are currently trying to target the lobbying in a more focused way, so we are to focus on several individual projects.
- Hospitality Grant – Doing an open letter next Tuesday and will circulate, this is asking why laundries are not eligible in England for the grant, but they are in Scotland. Would be worth over £5m if we are successful.
- Healthcare Uniforms – Should be washed in commercial laundries. Working with DMU to dispute the current guidelines published again this week stating that home washing at 30 degrees is OK.
CLEAN has relaunched its Driver Academy in a bid to encourage more delivery drivers into the industry.
Professional drivers perform an essential role at CLEAN, delivering millions of pieces of linen and workwear annually to customers around the UK and with the business continuing to grow, the company is looking to increase its driver numbers from the current 205 it already employs.
However, with the UK currently facing a shortage of almost 50,000 HGV drivers caused by a 25 per cent drop in new driver license acquisitions, CLEAN has developed a plan to help boost numbers.
The CLEAN Driver Academy includes a full Induction process in van driving (B licence up to 3.5 tonnes MPW and no Driver CPC) and LGV driving (C1, C, CE over 3.5 tonnes MPW with a Driver CPC required).
The one-day Van Driver and LGV Driver training covers a wide number of areas, including speed awareness, vehicle checks, safe loading and load restraint, road craft, tachographs, manual handling, safe operation of tail lifts, and customer care. Assessments on certain areas will be held before participants sit a 50-question paper.
Papers for both courses require a 75 per cent pass rate, with successful candidates then considered for a delivery driver job with CLEAN.
As well as running the induction courses for new drivers, CLEAN runs a dedicated training programme to up-skill its current workforce. This includes Driver CPC training, regular Driver Assessments and driving style measurements from the vehicle telematics system, as well as post incident training.
In addition, CLEAN actively encourages employees in other departments, who express an interest in driving, to join the ‘Warehouse to Wheels’ project. This provides on the job training and assessments, along with access to the required driving test for the appropriate licence category. CLEAN has also taken a proactive approach in recruiting and mentoring newly qualified LGV drivers who may normally struggle to obtain employment.
Tim Bright, head of transport at CLEAN, said: “The impact of the driver shortage is affecting many businesses across the UK in an economy that is reliant on the movement of heavy goods. As CLEAN continues on its growth trajectory, we are more dedicated than ever to providing opportunities to both our existing and future employees that serve CLEAN and the UK transportation industry as a whole.
“Our plan is to not only eliminate many of the challenges and obstacles that have led to this shortage, such as the financial costs of becoming a HGV driver, but also provide high-quality training that will upskill our drivers to the benefit of the economy, as more qualified professionals strengthen the nation’s workforce.”
CLEAN previously ran its Drivers Academy in 2017.