What is coronavirus
Coronavirus is a new illness caused by a virus that affects lungs and airways. The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public to high.
Health services have further information on the symptoms of coronavirus and on how to reduce the spread of infection
Governments are releasing daily information about the spread of coronavirus
- UK Government
- Scottish Government
- Welsh Government
- Northern Ireland Department of Health
- Republic of Ireland Government
Ongoing actions to support members and Registered Organisations during the COVID-19 outbreak
We know that this is an incredibly stressful and uncertain time for our industry and want to offer our support where we can. Please download the document from the link below to read the immediate actions CIfA has taken so far. The include changes to applications for concessionary subscription rates and accredited application fees
- Ongoing actions to support members and Registered Organisations during the COVID-19 outbreak - updated 24 March 2020
- Covid-19: Financial sharp practices - as advice to members and Registered Organisations, Rob Bourn from Orion shares a very recent example of a client trying to take advantage of the current crisis. The Small Business Commissioner has information about dealing with unpaid invoices.
Advice on site working during the COVID-19 outbreak
CIfA's advice is to follow the government advice in whatever region you are working in. Specifically, this means that at this time, some site-based archaeological work can still be undertaken. However, this should only be done so where there is no clear risk to either archaeological workers, other workers or the wider public.
We are advising members and Registered Organisation to include the risks to staff and the public from coronavirus as part of their risk assessments and, where those risks cannot be mitigated (ie where it is not possible to follow government guidance to stay 2m apart, including transport to and from site, welfare conditions on site, and plans for adverse weather conditions) we are advising that work should cease. We recognise that there may be circumstances where work cannot cease immediately, eg where sites need to be closed down safely.
See the link below for our full advice.
Standards and guidance advice
We have been contacted by a few members about the effects that the coronavirus pandemic is already having, or has the potential to have, on working practices across the historic environment sector. As a result, we thought it would be useful to share the following advice related to the potential impacts on working practices and concerns related to adherence to the CIfA Standards and guidance.
CIfA events and meetings
Based on the outcome of the government's COBRA meeting about COVID-19 on Monday, 16 March 2020, we are sorry to say the CIfA conference will be postponed and all UK Group events in the near future are cancelled. We will be contacting any individuals or organisations who have made bookings.
Guidance for employers and businesses
We would encourage employers, as some Registered Organisations have already done, to inform staff of any contingency plans you have in place and to make them aware of your policies in relation to self-isolation and the payment of sick pay/salaries. We understand that any requirements for self-isolation/sick leave could place a significant financial burden on individuals and businesses, but we hope that employers will continue to pay staff during this time.
- The Government has released guidance to assist employers and businesses to provide advice to staff.
- A range of support packages for businesses and self-employed people have been announced by Government. Measures include the Coronoavisu Jobs Retention Scheme, Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, Income tax and VAT payment deferrals, Statutory Sick Pay relief for SMEs, 12-month business rate holiday, and small business grant funding for those receiving rate relief.
- ACAS have guidance for employees and employers and will be running a series of free advisory webinars for employers available here.
- The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development also has some useful guidance including good practice advice on self-isolation and staff wellbeing and safety
- Mental Health Foundation has advice on looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. See our wellbeing page for more advice.
CIfA is welcoming feedback from members on the support measures and other challenges facing businesses due to Coronavirus. Please click here to get in touch with us.
- The Government have set up a dedicated helpline to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
- Self-employed people can apply for Employment and support allowance
- A Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.
The Heritage Alliance have created a live hub of links for advice and support from a wide range of sources.
The CBA have created a Coronavirus archaeology resource hub with varying resources which offer support and guidance.
Built Environment Forum Scotland has collected a list of resources from organisations in Scotland.