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Coronavirus: Engineering services recovery

Our Business Recovery page provides all the latest industry-relevant information and guidance on the following topics:

Commercial and Legal, Health and Safety, Employment, Technical, Industry, Government Support and other support for business.


Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, ECA has produced extensive industry-relevant information, guidance and practical tools to help engineering services businesses deal with the crisis. As our sector looks to business recovery – while managing the risk of COVID-19 – this dedicated ‘Business Recovery’ webpage continues to provide important information and guidance to help businesses to safely maintain and build capacity across our sector. 
While some information on the Business Recovery page is available to all, other content on this increasingly important page is for the benefit of ECA Members only.

Please note that information on this page should also be read with reference to the latest national, devolved, regional or local rules and guidance regarding protection from COVID-19. 

05 Nov Industry Self-employed grant (SEISS)
20 Oct Industry CLC Site Operating Procedures (SOP) - Version 6
14 July Industry Summary Guide on Disputes & Collaboration
14 July Industry Guidance on Future Proofing
14 July Industry Guidance on Record Keeping
06 July Industry Obtaining Bonds/Surety during COVID-19
06 July Member Only Professional Indemnity Insurance Guidance
04 July Industry Site Operating Procedures - Version 5
02 July Member Only Commercial Insolvency Changes
26 May Member Only Coronavirus - Contractual Issues
This is summary guidance on what contractual issues will
need to be
considered in light of COVID-19. Please click here
for a related webinar.
26 May  Member Only Contracts Force Majeure 18.05.20
26 May  Member Only Coronavirus Government Loan Schemes 18.05.20
19 May  Industry  Site Operating Procedures v4
07 May  Industry CLC Guidance on contractual disputes 
How industry can protect and collaborate to avoid disputes and 
accommodate the impact of COVID-19
07 May  Industry Government guidance to businesses on responsible contractual behaviour
06 May Member Only Coronavirus - Commercial Self Employment 
A guide to the Government support system for the self-employed
23 Apr Industry Open for business: list of electrotechnical sector wholesalers
16 Apr Industry Site Operating Procedures v3
16 Apr Member Only Template - Commercial letter SOP compliance
Precedent letter for sending to principal contractors to
confirm safe site conditions
16 Apr Industry Coronavirus - Travel to work letter template
This template is for those who need to provide employees/sub-contractors
with a letter of authorisation to confirm why they are travelling to
work (which cannot be
 performed remotely), should they be
requested by the authorities
09 Apr  Member Only Coronavirus - Procurement Policy Note - Government Procurement
As a direct or indirect public sector supplier, you could use this as the
basis for
 negotiating critical payment and other contractual relief measures.
08 Apr   Member Only Coronavirus - Procurement Policy Note - Supplier Relief
As a direct or indirect public sector supplier, you can use this as the basis
for negotiating critical payment and other contractual  relief measures
02 Apr Industry Site Operating Procedure v2
This CLC version was live for a matter of hours, and any businesses who
took decisions based on this should seek legal advice. This has been
superseded by v4 (please see H&S section below for details)
23 Mar  Industry Site Operating Procedures v1
Initial guidance from the Construction Leadership Council on working on site.
This has been superseded by v4 (please see H&S section  below for details)
23 Mar  Member Only Coronavirus - Retention of Title Guidance
This guidance covers legal and commercial issues to be considered when
assessing who has title (ownership) of goods, materials, plant and tools
23 Mar Industry Coronavirus - Debtor Insolvency Guidance
19 Mar Industry Coronavirus - Business Continuity Planning
This document outlines key strategic areas for a business to consider in
assimilating their business continuity planning.
1 Apr 2022 Industry

The government produced Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19 .

This provides advice which builds on the living with Covid plan and advises people with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and a high temperature or who feel unwell, to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature.

There is further advice available for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19 which advises anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious.

15 Mar 2022 Industry

The mandate for frontline health and social care staff in England to be fully vaccinated was revoked. This means that the Regulations requiring COVID-19 vaccination to work in Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered care homes are removed. 

It also removed the legal requirement for health and social care staff to be double jabbed from 1 April. 

The emphasis from the Health and Social Care Secretary is to remind the unvaccinated health and care workers of their professional responsibility to be vaccinated.

24 Feb 2022 Industry

The government removed the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. They also no longer ask fully vaccinated close contacts and those under the age of 18 to test daily for 7 days, and removed the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate.

23 Feb 2022 Industry

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme closing 17 March 2022

The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme will close on 17 March 2022.  Employers will no longer be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for their employees’ coronavirus-related absences or self-isolation that occur after 17 March 2022.

Employers have until 24 March 2022 to submit any new claims for absence periods up to 17 March 2022, or to amend claims they have already submitted.

After then, there is a return to the normal SSP rules, which means employers should revert to paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day their employee is off work regardless of the reason for their absence.

22 Dec 2021 Industry

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) Temporarily Reintroduced

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) has been temporarily reintroduced to help small and medium-sized employers – those with fewer than 250 employees – by reimbursing them for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences, for up to 2 weeks per employee. Firms will be eligible for the scheme from 21 December 2021 and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January 2022. More information can be accessed here: Factsheet SSPRS

21 Dec 2021 Industry

Government Extends Time Period Employees Can Self-Certify Sick From Seven Days to 28 days.

This measure has been introduced to relieve pressure on GPs delivering the Covid-19 booster rollout.  It means that for any sickness absences which began on or after 10 December 2021, up to and including 26 January 2022, GPs will not need to provide employees with medical evidence of sickness, such as a fit note, for the first 28 days of absence.

Employees only need to attend a GP for a fit note if they have been ill for more than 28 days (including  non-working days over weekends and bank holidays) and have taken sick leave.

The regulations apply in England, Scotland and Wales.

6 Oct 2021 Member Only

Managing Redundancy Guidance

Comprehensive ECA Member-only guidance and resources for conducting a redundancy exercise, whether large or small. Includes step-by-step procedural guidance and sample selection criteria, assessment form and letters. Also, click here to view ECA’s October 2020 webinar on managing redundancy.

6 Oct 2021 Member Only

Annual Leave Guidance

Practical guidance for ECA members on dealing with questions relating to the taking and carrying over of excess leave which has accumulated as a result of the COVID lockdown and its aftermath.

29 Jul 21 Member Only

Alternatives to Furlough and Redundancy

This updated ECA guidance note explores the various options and procedural considerations for employers returning employees to the workplace post lockdowns. Issues explored include alternative duties, reduced hours, reduced pay, short-time working, seconding employees, annual and unpaid leave.

28 Jul 21 Member Only

Returning Employees to Work

This ECA guidance note sets out various options available to an employer in returning employees to the workplace post lockdowns. Issues explored include risk assessment, bringing employees off furlough, managing vulnerable employees, responding to a refusal to return to work and workplace testing.

22 Jul 21 Member Only

Vaccination and Self Isolation – Frequently Asked Questions

Practical FAQs for employers navigating many difficult issues, including whether an employer can make vaccination compulsory for its employees, alternatives to a mandatory requirement, time off for vaccine appointments and data privacy concerns.

30 Nov 20 Member Only

Managing Redundancy Guidance

Comprehensive ECA guidance and resources for conducting a redundancy exercise, whether large or small. Includes step-by-step procedural guidance and sample selection criteria, assessment form and letters. Also covers COVID-19 related considerations. Companion to ECA Collective Redundancy Consultation Guidance.


5 Apr 2022 Industry

Managing the risk to the workforce from respiratory infections such as COVID-19

The new guidance sets out actions that businesses should follow to help reduce the spread of infection, including ensuring adequate ventilation and encouraging vaccination.

Whilst there is no longer an expectation that every employer will consider COVID-19 explicitly in their risk assessment, employers “should continue to comply with their legal obligations to their staff”.

Although free COVID-19 tests are no longer available for the general public, the Department for Health and Social Care has confirmed that tests will continue to be available to help protect specific groups, including eligible patients and NHS and care staff.

Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result is advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days (which is generally when they are most infectious).

Headings in the new guidance (link below, with selected extracts from the guidance) include:

Know which symptoms to look out for

The symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections are (now) very similar so it is not possible to tell if you have COVID-19, flu or another infection based on symptoms alone. The list of symptoms of COVID-19 (along with flu and common respiratory infections) have been extended to include:

  • continuous cough
  • high temperature, fever or chills
  • loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
  • shortness of breath
  • unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
  • muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
  • not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
  • sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
  • diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick.

Actions to reduce the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19

Encourage and enable vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination guide for employers contains information on actions employers can take to enable (rather than mandate) staff vaccination.

Fresh air/ventilation

The HSE provides guidance on how to assess and improve ventilation in line with requirements under Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Maintain a clean workplace

Staff can be supported to maintain a clean working environment by providing cleaning products, soap and hot water, and/or sanitiser.

Management of members of staff who are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19

There is specific guidance for people whose immune system means that they are at higher risk because they have a reduced ability to fight infections such as COVID-19. Employers may wish to consider the needs of employees at greater risk from COVID-19, including (but not necessarily restricted to) those whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

Risk assessment

Employers may choose to continue to cover COVID-19 in their risk assessments (and should) continue to comply with the requirements for cleaning, ventilation and welfare facilities in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and/or the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 to control occupational health and safety risks.


31 Jan 2022 Industry

Minor updates to SOP, face covering and BMF industry guidance

On January 27, with the lifting (in England) of COVID-19 ‘Plan B’ restrictions the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) issued minor revisions to the Site Operating Procedures (SOP) – v9.1. Version.9.1(the current version) is here.

Please note: other restrictions and guidance may apply in Scotland (notably from CICV), Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Use of Face Coverings in Construction during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Version 6 moves from face coverings being a legal requirement (stated in version 5) in some settings to the following statement:

‘The Government suggests that face coverings should be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces where people may come into contact with others they don’t normally meet. Employers can choose to ask workers to wear a face covering, even though they are not legally required to, but need to consider reasonable adjustments for workers with disabilities, as well as other obligations to workers arising from legislation. Workers may also choose to wear a face covering where it is not legally required.’


24 Jan 2022 Industry

End to 'Plan B' restrictions in England

The Government has confirmed that the COVID‐19 ‘Plan B’ restrictions in England will end next Wednesday 26 January, with the guidance to work from home withdrawn with immediate effect.

The COVID Pass will no longer be required to enter certain venues and face coverings will not be mandatory in any setting although people will still be advised to wear them in crowded and enclosed spaces where they come into contact with others they do not normally meet.

The legal requirement to self‐isolate after testing positive for COVID‐19 will remain in place. However, an individual may now stop self‐isolating if they take a lateral flow test from day 5 onwards and another one at least 24 hours later, and both results are negative and they do not have a high temperature. The Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart continues to be updated in line with the latest rules.
17 Jan 2022 Industry

Self-Isolation cut to 5 full days

Self-isolation for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) changes from 17th January 2022. It is now possible to end self-isolation for those who tested positive for Coronavirus after 5 full days, following 2 negative Lateral Flow tests taken 24 hours apart.

The first test should not be taken before the fifth day. The new guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. People who are not double-jabbed and come in close contact with a positive case must still isolate for a full 10 days. More information can be found here.

13 Jan 2022 Industry

Vaccination employer toolkit

Current figures from ONS on vaccine rates by sector show that many construction workers have yet to get their booster vaccination, and that this in turn is affecting worker absence/self-isolation.

An employer toolkit is available for those who wish to inform employees about vaccination or encourage employees to get vaccinated.

13 Jan 2022 Industry

CLC Site Operating Procedures (SOP) - Version 9

The Construction Leadership Council has issued an updated version of the Site Operating Procedures (SOP). Version 9 of the SOP is available here, and it incorporates the following changes: 

  • A revised introduction to recognise that ‘working with COVID-19’ is now essentially ‘business as usual’ for the industry
  • More relevant language to reflect the current situation onsite, for example ‘managing’ rather than ‘restricting’ numbers of workers
  • Removing out of date references regarding when to go to work, shielding etc. 
22 Dec 2021 Industry

Self-Isolation Advice Updated

The self-isolation advice for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed effective from 22 December 2021. It is now possible to end self-isolation for those who tested positive for Coronavirus after 7 days, following 2 negative Lateral Flow tests taken 24 hours apart. The first test should not be taken before the sixth day. The new guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. People who are not double-jabbed and come in close contact with a positive case must still isolate for a full 10 days. More information can be found here stay-at-home-guidanc

14 Dec 21 Industry

LFT replacing self-isolation where pinged

From 14 December 2021 daily LFT testing is being introduced for close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID‐19 ‐ including those of any Omicron cases ‐ in place of a requirement to self‐isolate.

This means that anyone who is identified as having had a close contact with a Covid-positive person and who is fully vaccinated (or aged under 18 years 6 months) does not need to self‐isolate but should take daily lateral flow tests for seven days. 

Anyone whose rapid test comes back positive or who develops COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and while self-isolating, take a confirmatory PCR test to verify the test result. 

Note: The CLC has updated its guidance, which can be viewed here.

09 Dec 21 Industry

New measures and restrictions

The government has announced that England will move to ‘Plan B’, which includes:

• From 10 December, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor settings.

• From 13 December, office workers who can work from home should do so.

Full information can be found here.

Please note the following extract from the latest government guidance, which is not yet introduced but may be significant in the near future.

“The Government has announced its intention to replace self-isolation with daily testing for some contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Further details will be set out shortly. Until then, current rules continue to apply and you must self-isolate if instructed to do so by NHS Test and Trace. This remains the law.”

24 Aug 21 Industry

Health Security Agency launches free, limited antibody surveillance

DHSC has announced free access (for up to 8000 people only) to coronavirus antibody tests through a national surveillance programme via the UK Health Security Agency. Those aged over 18 will be able to opt in to take part when booking a PCR test through NHS Test and Trace.

Selected recipients who have a positive PCR result will be sent two ‘finger antibody tests’ to carry out at home and send back for analysis. The programme aims to help improve the understanding of immunity against COVID-19 from vaccination and/or infection.

14 Jul 21 Industry

The Government has announced the removal of various mandatory COVID-protection measures from July 19.

This will affect the status of the Site Operating Procedures, which cease to apply from this date, but which can be used as an ongoing reference.

Click here for more information.

20 May 21 Industry

Site working
In view of the May government announcement that the potential spread of the coronavirus ‘Indian variant’ might delay further relaxation of social distancing measures beyond 21 June, the latest version (version 7) of the Site Operating Procedures (SOP) remain vitally important for our sector and the wider industry.

Where employees and other workers need to attend or work on site, Members should continue to implement the current Site Operating Procedures until further notice.

The SOP will be reviewed by the industry following any further government announcement into social distancing or other protective measures.

FE Training 
Following the easing of coronavirus restrictions on 17 May, schools, colleges and other further education settings are now open for face‐to‐face teaching.

However, there has been no further guidance on resuming face‐to‐face training in the workplace, and Members should continue to determine if any necessary training can be undertaken remotely or is essential, as they may need to explain how they are complying with the current restrictions, which include working from home where possible.

ECA has produced guidance on how to carry out site training for apprentices, with suitable precautions, accessible below.

08 Apr 21 Industry

Rapid Flow Testing at work/home

The Government has set up several routes to free rapid COVID-19 testing. The main routes are:

05 Mar 21 Industry

Protective screens in vehicles

Government guidance on the fitting of protective screens (in taxis) but which may also be of use to those considering or fitting such screens in work vans etc. 

21 Jan 21 Industry Details of the free national Community Testing Programme,
and basic information on lateral flow testing 
07 Jan 21 Industry

CLC Site Operating Procedures (SOP) - Version 7

SOP v7 has been updated to reflect Government guidance in England.
The changes in v7 are minor, including updates on self-isolation and
shielding and the removal of the requirement to display a QR code in
site canteens

02 Nov Industry Contact tracing and how to pause contact tracing
22 Oct Industry

Summary of Tier 3 (very high alert) restrictions and continued domestic
and other activity (England & Wales)

For work purposes the existing ECA
summary is still relevant: updated guidance for England is here. And for Wales
is here.

20 Oct Industry CLC Site Operating Procedures (SOP) - Version 6
29 Sept Member Only Use of face coverings in construction during COVID-19 - updated 29 Sept
The CLC has issued updated guidance regarding the use of face coverings at work
25 Sept Member Only Car Sharing
11 Sept Industry COVID-19: Dealing with outbreaks at work
14 Aug Industry COVID-19 and Engineering Services: guidance (GN 2)  version 2.3.1
Updated ECA/BESA GN2: notably to reflect CLC guidance on face coverings
02 Aug Industry Reporting outbreaks of coronavirus
PHE Construction 'Action Card' how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus
27 July Member Only Face covering guidance
15 July Industry Government guidance on disposing of used/contaminated materials
13 July Industry Enabling apprentice workplace travel and site supervision - Site Tasks
Enabling apprentice workplace travel and site supervision - Workplace Travel
06 July Industry Work Safe - Safe Work Guide
ECA-supported information from Trustmark on working in domestic premises.
29 June  Industry Working safely in construction and other outdoor work (updated 24 June)
25 June Industry Enabling apprentice travel and onsite activity
Guidance on how to enable apprentices to travel to and between worksites, and
undertake site training activity at closer proximity
19 June Member only Summary of HSE information on RPE and face coverings
16 June Industry

Using eRAMS to manage COVID risk?
COVID risk assessment example using ECA's eRAMS (risk assessment
method statement service) - free to ECA Members.

Find out more about eRAMS here.

12 June Industry Government guidance on travel, including on public transport
04 June Member only Site safety return to work checklist
01 June Member only Coronavirus: health and safety-related law and guidance
This guidance describes the legal framework and considerations
for health & safety risk for employers
27 May  Industry COVID-19 and Engineering Services: guidance (GN 3) ​
Work-related travel
This guidance has been drawn up by ECA and the BESA.
27 May  Industry COVID-19 and Engineering Services: guidance (GN 1) revised
​​COVID-19: use of PPE/RPE in higher risk environments.
This guidance has been drawn up by  ECA and the BESA.
18 May Industry Mental Health Week - Team tips
05 May Industry Short Video animation: Safely undertaking domestic electrical work
27 Apr Industry Coronavirus: Reducing risk between work and home
22 Apr Industry Coronavirus: Useful safety signs for your use
16 Apr Industry Template - Letter to commercial clients
​Letter for issue when undertaking work for commercial clients
16 Apr Industry Coronavirus - Template letter to domestic customers
​Letter for issue when undertaking work for domestic clients
03 Apr Industry ECA Coronavirus Tool Box Talk v2
​This general coronavirus health and safety Toolbox Talk may be adapted
as necessary to suit individual Member company needs.
14 Jan Industry CLC letter to industry to SCG
25 Sept Member Only Government Announcements
08 July Industry ECA CLC Recovery Roadmap
03 July Industry Travel advice toolkit for the construction industry
16 June Industry National Infrastructure and Construction Procurement Pipeline 2020/21
11 June Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for individuals
and businesses in Wales

Updated information on the Job Retention Scheme and details about
business closures in Wales.
01 June Industry CLC Roadmap to Recovery
18 May  Industry Welsh Government Traffic Light Roadmap
20-page Traffic Light Roadmap to explain the next
steps towards easing the lockdown
14 May  Industry Coronavirus: 14th May Updates
12 May  Member Only Concise summary of the Government's 'Recovery Roadmap'
12 May Industry Government's Recovery Roadmap
06 May Industry Government support and announcements
​Comprehensive regularly updated document on industry-relevant
UK Government support and announcements


This section allows you to share your views and experiences on important issues linked to Business Recovery. We value your input, which can help to shape government policy, legislation and other developments that affect our industry, and we encourage you to engage with any of the following...

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