Industry Confirms Support for CITB Levy
CITB has published the results of this year’s Consensus process, which confirm that 66% of employers by number and 63% by Levy paid supported the Levy Proposals for 2022‐25. Eleven out of the 14 Prescribed Organisations, including Build UK, voted in favour, and these results were weighted alongside those of employers that are not in membership of a Prescribed Organisation. The overall results reflected Build UK’s position of a lower level of support than in previous years and the industry will be looking for fundamental changes within CITB to deliver the services and support required to meet the industry’s skills needs.
CITB has now sent the Levy Proposals to the Department for Education (DfE), which is expected to work towards having the Levy Order in place by the second quarter of 2022. This will mean that the Levy continues at rates of 0.35% for PAYE and 1.25% for NET CIS Sub‐Contractors.
Reverse VAT Update
Following the introduction of Reverse VAT in April, many businesses in the supply chain found themselves due repayments at the end of each month or quarter and have been reporting slow payment by HMRC which has increased pressure on cash flow. HMRC met with Build UK and other industry representatives last week and confirmed that payments are now being made promptly and that where repayments have taken longer than 31 days companies have been compensated.
Some companies also reported that they have had their VAT repayments offset against outstanding VAT deferred due to COVID‐19. HMRC confirmed that, to assist with cashflow, companies that had deferred their VAT and still had payments to make could contact HMRC either online or via telephone on 0300 200 3700 until the end of the year to stop payments being offset.
COVID‐19 Autumn & Winter Plan
The Government has outlined its Autumn and Winter Plan for dealing with COVID‐19 in England over the next six months. ‘Plan A’ will be the default response, which will see existing measures maintained, including promoting the vaccine and providing a booster jab for priority groups 1‐9, free testing, and using NHS Test and Trace to identify positive cases. ‘Plan B’ will be enacted only if data suggests that further measures are necessary to protect the NHS and these could include mandatory NHS COVID Passes for certain settings, legally mandating face coverings, and asking people to work from home again where possible.
Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol has featured on BBC News, Wake Up to Money and Radio 5 Live highlighting the industry’s response to the pandemic, and sites can continue to reduce the risk of exposure and spread of coronavirus by following the Site Operating Procedures, which remain available as a reference document, implementing the Use of Face Coverings in Construction, and maintaining workplace testing programmes.