COVID-19 Update

8 May 2020

Working at Alert Level 3

We’ve been able to get back onto sites for nearly 2 weeks now. Our Regional Service Managers have been in touch with a substantial number of members who are by and large following the health and safety protocols. However, there are some members who aren’t following them. As a reminder, the protocols are not optional, they are compulsory. Members who don’t follow them risk having their sites shut down. A “she’ll be right” attitude could cost non-complying members a job or worse, their business and livelihood. 

You can access copies of the protocols for both commercial and residential projects as well as display homes from the CHASNZ website here. CHASNZ also provides a range of tools and resources like the WorkSafe COVID-19 control plans, site checklists posters and health declaration forms. You can access these and more here

Working at Alert Level 2

The Government has announced what working at Level 2 will look like. There's still plenty of decisions being made by our industry and the government about how to safely operate and interact in level 2. Learn more about what's been announced so far here.  It’s pleasing to see more businesses opening to the public. However, we still need to be vigilant with COVID-19. At Alert Level 2, members still need to follow the protocols. 

Next Tuesday, May 12, EBOSS is hosting David Kelly and Johnny Calley, who’ll be discussing what working at Alert Level 2 will look like and the lessons learnt from being able to work onsite at level 3. You can register for the webinar here.

The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme

The Government has announced further support for small businesses as part of their response to COVID-19. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme will offer financial assistance of up to $100,000 to firms employing up to 50 full-time employees. The scheme will provide $10,000 to each firm and $1,800 per equivalent full-time employee. Loans will be interest free if they are paid back within the first year, otherwise interest will be 3%. Repayments are not required for the first two years. 

Applications open on the IRD website from the 12th of May. Once more information becomes available, we will send it to you. Click here to read the Government’s announcement.

Wider Government COVID-19 Support Package

This Cashflow Loan Scheme is a part of the Government’s wider response to support New Zealand businesses affected by COVID-19. There is a suite of initiatives the Government have announced over the last month. We recommend talking to your financial advisor about what works best for your business. For more information on previously announced assistance, including wage subsidies and tax relief, click here.

Cost and time Pressures Due to COVID-19

We have had a few reports of members charging clients for cost increases under COVID-19 without any communication or justification. Now is an opportune moment to review your contracts and assess any potential extensions of time or cost increases required due to COVID-19. 

Communication is key, it is vital that you communicate clearly and proactively with your clients during this time. If you must increase costs or extend timeframes due to COVID-19 you will have to justify these and communicate them clearly to the client.

Price increases in RBC1
Clause 46 of the 2018 New Build Contract and clause 49 of the 2018 Alterations and Additions Contract allows the contractor to recover increases in prices of materials, services and plant/equipment hire. These clauses will apply to price increases from relating to COVID-19.

Click here to read the full RBC1 guidance from Hazelton Law. We have also updated our FAQ section on our COVID-19 webpage to answer some of the common questions we have been asked. Read these here

House and Land Packages

Members will be aware that there has been a recent shift in the residential construction market which has seen an increase in the popularity of House and Land packages, with many customers opting for these over more traditional build models. Hazelton Law have provided a Guidance Note for Members on House and Land Packages and RBC-1. This can be found on Offsite under Resources/MyContracts/What’s New