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Business advice: COVID-19

Business advice: COVID-19

To keep you up-to-date with the latest government advice, we regularly update this page with a comprehensive assortment of information, links to the relevant government pages and any additional information we receive from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA). 

Read below for the most up-to-date motorcycle and general business guidelines on managing COVID-19:

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 Last updated 31/07/2020

Latest Lockdown Rules

(Updated 09/07/2020)

Non-essential retailers allowed to open
All non-essential retailers are now allowed to open, providing stringent guidelines are met. See our Retail Safety Products here: www.bickers-online.co.uk/covid-19-retail-safety-products-i65 and the government advice here: www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches

Working from Home
Anyone who can work from home should continue to do so.
Anyone who cannot work from home should be actively encouraged to go into work if the business is open. 

Public transport
Public transport should be avoided if possible. 

Going outside
The public are allowed outdoors for unlimited periods of time, with a 2m distance maintained at all times. 

Travelling by motor vehicle
The public are allowed to travel by motor vehicle to visit a variety of outdoor spaces, with a 2m distance maintained at all times.
This means that motorbike workshops are allowed to reopen if they were previously closed. Motorbike shops may reopen if they wish but there are stringent measures to be followed. Read more on this below. 

 

 

Following Social Distancing Guidelines in the Bike Shop

Risk Assessment
All employers must undertake a risk assessment before re-opening their workplace. Employers with less than 5 workers or self-employed individuals do not need to create a written risk assessment. 

Communication of risks to workers
You can read detailed advice on working safely during the coronavirus outbreak and how to communicate with your workers about working safely during this time here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/working-safely-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm

Consulting with a health and safety representative
You must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be. There is more information on health and safety representatives here: https://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Safety_Representatives_and_Consultation_/

 

Taking Steps to Reduce Workplace Risk

The main steps in reducing workplace risk during the coronavirus outbreak are as follows:

  1. Increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning
  2. Enabling working from home wherever possible, and keeping a 2m distance between employees where not possible
  3. Where social distancing cannot be maintained during a specific activity, the business should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate
  4. Using screens or barriers to separate people from each other, using back-to-back or side-to-side working to reduce face-to-face interactions, partnering employees to reduce contact to just a few people
  5. No one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment
  6. Consider whether any of your workers might be especially vulnerable to COVID-19. 

 Further steps apply regarding PPE and inbound/outbound goods. For these details please see here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches

 

 

Giving the Powered-Two-Wheel Industry its Spotlight

The MCIA has been working to push PTWs (powered two-wheelers) as a solution to public transport, especially in major cities, and you can help. 

We all have the ability to grow our industry at this critical moment in time, and all it takes is an e-mail to your MP. 

How can I help my industry grow?

  1. Visit members.parliament.uk and input your postcode to find the e-mail address of your local MP. 
  2. Send an e-mail to your local MP to increase the government’s consideration to encourage more people to use PTWs at this time. The MCIA has drafted some sample copy here:

 

Dear Mr/Ms (INSERT YOUR MP’s SURNAME HERE)

I am writing to you as one of your constituents who is employed in the Powered Two Wheeler (PTW) industry.  The PTW industry collectively generates net annual sales in excess of £7 billion, while employing around 50,000 people across approximately 5,700 businesses in the UK and I am requesting your assistance in getting PTWs recognised as a serious transport mode for our time.

PTWs, in the form of low and zero emission scooters and light motorcycles, are a clean and efficient transport mode that require little road space for travel or parking and which can meet the needs of a variety of commuters, while at the same time fulfilling their social distancing and environmental obligations.

In the current climate they are the perfect alternative for those who would usually use public transport, but for whom walking and cycling are not viable options.  Access to small PTWs is straightforward, with most requiring just the completion of a one-day training course, called CBT.

With so much going for them, it could be assumed that they would be heavily promoted by Government, as the country works towards easing lockdown, but unfortunately that is not the case.

In his briefing on Saturday, 9th May, the Secretary for State for Transport, the Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP, when promoting alternatives for public transport, extolled the road congesting private car and fast-tracked the consultation on un-regulated e-scooters, but ignored PTWs, even though they are already the choice of more than a million road users, legal and regulated.

Consequently, I would very much appreciate your assistance in encouraging Government and others to promote PTWs as a valid alternative to public transport and beyond.

Yours faithfully

(YOUR NAME)

 

Legal Information

Legal Information

To enable riders with expired photocard licences to update their photograph at the end of the 10-year validity period, photocard licences which expire between 1st February and 31st August 2020 will be automatically extended for a 7-month period from the original date of expiry. 

Riders will be sent a renewal reminder before their 7-month extension ends and thus do not need to take any action. Riders who have already applied online to renew their photocard licence will have their renewal processed as normal, but subject to potential delays which will not affect the legality of their existing licence. 

This extension applies to the photocard renewal date only and does not apply where a rider’s entitlement to drive/ride is due to expire. In these circumstances, riders who wish to continue to hold a valid licence must renew as normal. 

 

MOT Requirements

To enable social distancing measures, MoTs due between 30 March and 30 September have been granted an automatic 6-month extension. 

MoT Due 29 March or Earlier
If your customer wants to bring their bike out of the garage for essential travel, but the MoT was due before 29th March, their vehicle still needs a fresh MoT. 

This is because the law changed from 30th March. Any vehicles with an MoT due 29th March or earlier can still be prosecuted for being used without an MoT. 

MoT Due From 30 March to 30 September
If your customer had their MoT due from 30th March – 30th September, they are allowed to use their vehicle without having an MoT test. However, if their vehicle is stopped and found to be unsafe, they can still be prosecuted. 

The rider’s MoT expiry date will be updated around 7 days before it was originally due to expire. Riders must check their MoT three days before their MoT was originally due to expire. If the expiry date has not been extended, they must e-mail covid19mot@dvsa.gov.uk

What happens from 30 September?
Every rider/driver with an MoT due between 30 March and 30 September has been granted a 6-month extension on their original MoT date. This means that a vehicle with an MoT expired in May will be due its MoT in November. Combined with those vehicles originally due an MoT in these post-lockdown months, it is anticipated the demand for MoTs from October 2020 – March 2021 will almost double. 

If you are a certified MoT tester, you will need to prepare for this increased demand. 

 

Government Financial Help For Businesses

(Last updated 31/07/2020)

The government is offering assistance to businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
See below a list of useful links and resources:

 

 

Kick-starting The Job Market

Job Retention Bonus

The government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. Employees must earn more than £520 per month on average once brought back from furlough, and payments will be made from February 2021. More details on this at the end of July 2020. 

Supporting jobs

Kickstart Work Placements
A Kickstart scheme is designed to create 6-month work placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. 

Work Experience
The government will also fund employers who provide trainees with work experience, at a rate of £1,000 per trainee for those with Level 3 qualifications and below. 

Apprenticeships
The government will introduce a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for new apprentices hired over 25 from 1st August 2020 – 31st January 2021. These payments will be in addition to the existing £1,000 payment for certain eligible apprenticeships. 

More information can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/898421/A_Plan_for_Jobs__Web_.pdf

 

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Step by Step Guide to Claiming Your Employees’ Wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide-for-employers

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Full Details can be found here:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme/changes-to-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

From 1st July
Employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) for the hours not worked. Note: The employer must pay the employee at a full rate for the hours worked. 

If the employee is not called to work, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours the employee is on furlough, as well as employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. 

From 1st August
The level of the grant will be reduced each month. To be eligible for the grant, employers must pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are furloughed. The employer will pay National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. 

From 1st September
The government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay National Insurance Contributions, pension contributions and will be required to top-up the employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the time they are furloughed. 

From 1st October to 31st October
The government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay National Insurance Contributions, pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the time they are furloughed. 

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will end on 31st October 2020. 

See the table below for a complete summary:

 JulyAugustSeptemberOctober
Who pays National Insurance Contribution and pension contribution?GovernmentEmployerEmployerEmployer
Government contribution: wages80% up to £2,50080% up to £2,50070% up to £2,187.5060% up to £1,875
Employer contribution: wages--10% up to £312.5020% up to £625
Employee receives80% up to £2,500 per month80% up to £2,500 per month80% up to £2,500 per month80% up to £2,500 per month

Steps to take before calculating your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim

  • Any claims for June CJRS must be made on or before 31st July 2020. 
  • Any claims for July CJRS cannot be made before 1st July 2020. 

Full information on how to claim under the CJRS can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/steps-to-take-before-calculating-your-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Calculating your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim
The guidance paper for calculating your claim can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/calculate-how-much-you-can-claim-using-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Expenses provided to employees during coronavirus
If you supply company vehicles, Employee Car Ownership Schemes, Salary Sacrifice, Free or Subsidised Meals, Travel Expense Reimbursement, or Living Accommodation for any of your employees, we recommend reading up on the latest guidance about this here: www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-treat-certain-expenses-and-benefits-provided-to-employees-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Taxable expenses for employees working from home during coronavirus
If you have employees who are working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, we recommend reading the latest guidance on taxable expenses here: www.gov.uk/guidance/check-which-expenses-are-taxable-if-your-employee-works-from-home-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

 

Other Schemes & Funding

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