We fully understand that the current situation with Coronavirus COVID-19 is a very serious concern to everybody, right across our industry and beyond. We want you to know that we are committed to BAPIA members and we are looking into what we can do to support you in any way that we can. Here is a list of the latest information and resources we know of that might be helpful to us all during this time.
Please note that, whilst we are doing our very best to bring you accurate and up-to-date information, we do ask you to appreciate that this is an unprecedented time for us all. We are not experts on this subject nor do we claim to be giving legal and/or medical advice so please do take the time to verify and research anything that we may suggest.
NHS website with information on what Coronavirus is and how to protect yourself and check if you need medical help: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
-The most common symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough, a high temperature and loss or change to your sense of taste or smell.
Latest UK Government Guidance on Coronavirus
The GOV.UK website features the official government response to Coronavirus as well as links to pages on related topics here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
****As of Saturday 4th July the government will ease lockdown restrictions in a bid to help the public to return to as near normal as possible and to safeguard livelihoods.****
Government Guidance on What You Can and Can't Do From 4th July: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do-after-4-july
Use this guide to check if you should go back to work: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-employee-risk-assessment
FINANCIAL SUPPORT GUIDANCE
Financial support guidance for people who are self-employed and getting less work or no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-youre-self-employed-and-getting-less-work-or-no-work
Support and advice for businesses: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support
Money Saving Expert are continually updating this page wIth useful information on rights and relief for the self-employed: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/04/self-employed-help-coronavirus/
ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
Training Classes on bapiaonline.com
Due to the Covid-19 situation all training was suspended but as the lockdown eases some trainers are offering some training opportunities but only under strict social distancing and hygiene rules. Please check with the individual training provider as to what their rules are regarding this: https://bapiaonline.com/training
Government Guidance on Domestic Travel as of 4th July
'You can travel irrespective of distance, but you should take hygiene and safety precautions if using services on the way. You should continue to avoid using public transport and should cycle, walk or drive wherever possible.
If visiting other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – you must adhere to the laws and guidance of the devolved administrations at all times. If you wish to travel internationally, you should follow the laws of other countries and FCO international travel guidance. Upon return to the UK, you must by law self-isolate for 14 days. This is crucial to help to ensure the virus does not spread across borders.
It is not possible to social distance during car journeys and transmission of COVID-19 can definitely occur during car journeys, so avoid travelling with someone from outside your household (or your support bubble), unless you can practise social distancing - for example by cycling.'
Check the BAPIA Members Only Facebook Group
As always, the BAPIA Members Only Facebook Group remains an incredibly active, helpful and insightful wealth of support, particularly in this unnerving time. We’d like to take the time to thank each and every BAPIA member who takes the time to interact in the Group - be it answering a question or sharing a concern.
If you are a BAPIA member and haven’t yet joined the Facebook Group, please do request to join and you will be promptly accepted. We are here to help. We are posting information here as we get it whilst we all try to give one another as much support and information as possible during these unprecedented times.
All members should also be receiving BAPIA email updates regarding Coronavirus as and when we receive any new information. If you haven’t received our emails please check your spam/junk folders and ensure that your BAPIA member login is up to date with your current email address.
BEST PRACTISE GOING FORWARD:
Update New Contracts, Business Policies and Terms & Conditions
Going forward and in light of this situation, we strongly advise all BAPIA members to review and if necessary, update all contract templates, business policies and terms and conditions to include a clause regarding cancellations in the events of an occurrence such Coronavirus. It’s important to make clear at which point a booking is considered final, if you require a deposit and, if so, what the deposit is covering. It’s also important to list your stance on cancellations noting the circumstances in which they will or will not be accepted and if/when refunds and credit notes will be issued i.e. in which cases.
Where possible, on your business website you may wish to link to a page of your standard business policies, terms and conditions so that, should any disputes arise, customers can be directed there as a polite reminder of their contractual obligations.
If in a difficult dispute with a customer regarding a cancellation, other BAPIA members suggest to ask oneself, ‘What would put my mind at rest if I were them?’ and to see if you can find a solution that allows the customer to recoup their investment without jeopardising your business in the long run.
Health and Safety At Work
It’s important to keep yourself and your staff safe during this time. We encourage all BAPIA members to familiarise themselves with NHS and government guidelines on protection during this time:
Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people's homes: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes
Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches
Guidance for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the-visitor-economy
Practical actions for businesses to take to work safely: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/5-steps-to-working-safely
In the interest of preventing the spread of Coronavirus, we encourage you to do what you can to ensure that all staff, suppliers, clients and anyone related to your business is aware of this information as well - for instance, placing posters in store may spread awareness of personal hygiene best practises and symptoms. Other advice includes:
Keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace
Ensure employees are strongly advised and equipped to follow the government guidance on safely running a business at this time
Make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date
Make sure all staff know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace is potentially infected and needs to take the appropriate action
Make sure there are places to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and encourage everyone to do so regularly
Provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff and customers and actively encourage everyone to use them.
Update risk assessments to factor in Coronavirus. Consider how this may affect the element of risk during each work task and what can and will be done to lessen the risk
We encourage employers to familiarise themselves with employees’ rights and to stay up to date with government advice to employees’ to ensure that you can get the necessary measures in place to support yourself and to react to any financial impact this may have on your business.
Please see part 2 of this post for information on insurance and dealing with cancellations.
We’ll be continually updating this BAPIA News post with any and all potentially useful information that we come across so do keep checking back. As always, the active BAPIA community within our BAPIA Members Only Facebook Group provides a generous wealth of advice and support during this difficult time.
Please stay safe, healthy and positive.