Coronavirus Covid-19

Coronavirus advice (part eleven) from NAJ

05 Jan 2021

coronavirus advice from the NAJ 11

As the Prime Minister announced a third national Lockdown for England, following an earlier announcement the same day from the Scottish First Minister, the UK jewellery industry braces itself for ‘difficult months ahead, but with light at the end of the tunnel’. 

While Click and Collect services for jewellery retailers off the business premises in England, Scotland and Wales are permitted under the current restrictions, many local retailers will be faced with the quandary of whether it is right to market the service or not amid increasingly rising positive tests nationally. Likewise, manufacturers and suppliers will need to consider how their businesses will remain operational at a time when millions are ordered to ‘stay at home’.

Table – Click and Collect eligibility

 Country Click and Collect? Next review date*
England Yes 15 February
Scotland Yes Wb. 1st February
Wales Yes Wb. 1st February
Northern Ireland No 6 February

*expected

 

Entering a lockdown which is presented as much more like the first Spring lockdown, rather than the more recent November edition, NAJ Chair Gary Wroe said,

There’s no doubt we have to brace ourselves for difficult months ahead, but thankfully this time with the vaccine there is genuine light at the end of the tunnel.

Being rolled out in the immediate weeks, during winter, a time when we were always told the virus could spread more violently even before the new variant was discovered, I have no doubt NAJ members will continue to take the necessary action now to safeguard the future of their businesses, but also best protect their employees and maintain healthy relationships with their customers.

 

New Lockdown grants for Retail

The day after the announcement from the Rt Hon Boris Johnson, the government published information on new grants available for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure, worth up to £9,000 per property.

The grants, again available through local authorities, arrive in addition to business rates relief and the extended furlough scheme, now available until April 2021. £594m is also set to be made available for businesses outside these sectors affected by the third lockdown, taking the total package of measures up to an estimated £4.6bn across the UK.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said,

The new strain of the virus presents us all with a huge challenge - and whilst the vaccine is being rolled out, we have needed to tighten restrictions further.

Throughout the pandemic we’ve taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we’re announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until the Spring.

This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.

 

Reducing risk in jewellery manufacturers and suppliers

Advice from the government remains to be ‘stay at home’, but jewellers are permitted to go to work if they cannot reasonably work from home.

If NAJ members choose to continue operating, it is suggested that workforces are split into teams that do not come into contact with each other. This is to ensure any positive COVID tests within workforces do not then require more individuals to self-isolate than necessary.

After a 30% jump in Covid patients entering hospitals in England in just seven days, surpassing the previous peak in April 2020 by 40%, jewellers are also urged to follow the necessary precautions of:

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings).

 

Accrued leave through Furlough

With the extension of the Furlough scheme, many businesses maybe considerate of the increasingly levels of annual leave staff will have accrued.

For furloughed team members, government advice states that:

'Workers on furlough can take holiday without disrupting their furlough. The notice requirements for their employer requiring a worker to take leave or to refuse a request for leave continue to apply. Employers should engage with their workforce and explain reasons for wanting them to take leave before requiring them to do so.

If an employer requires a worker to take holiday while on furlough, the employer should consider whether any restrictions the worker is under, such as the need to socially distance or self-isolate, would prevent the worker from resting, relaxing and enjoying leisure time, which is the fundamental purpose of holiday.

More information 

 

UK streets quiet

Coronavirus Symptoms

Approximately one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.

If individuals demonstrate any of the following symptoms, they must get a test and self-isolate at home. If individuals receive a positive test result whether demonstrating symptoms or not, they must stay at home and self-isolate as soon as you receive the results, along with their entire household.

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.

Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This means that if, for example, your symptoms started at any time on the 15th of the month (or if you did not have symptoms but your first positive COVID-19 test was taken on the 15th), your isolation period ends at 23:59 hrs on the 25th.

If your PCR test result is negative but you still have symptoms, you may have another virus such as a cold or flu. You should stay at home until you feel well. Seek medical attention if you are concerned about your symptoms.

You can stop isolating as long as:

Anyone in your household who is isolating because of your symptoms can also stop isolating.

 

Supporting Mental Health

It's likely that employers and employees are experiencing a high level of stress and anxiety at the moment.

Find out more about supporting mental health in the workplace

It's important for employees to take regular breaks, for example to avoid sitting at a computer for too long. They should also try to do other things to stay mentally and physically active outside of their working hours.

This might include things like cooking, exercise, watching favourite TV programmes or other hobbies. It's a good idea for employers to remind staff about this.

Find out more about mental health from the Mental Health Foundation

 

Seven ways to get the most out of your NAJ membership during a lockdown

Throughout the previous two lockdowns, NAJ has continued to offer support to it’s members and the jewellery industry through resources, education, networking and guidance.

The following activities have proved popular, and available while lockdown continues:

1. Update your NAJ find a Jeweller Profile

The find a Jeweller tool is the NAJ’s membership directory and it’s where we push relevant consumer and trade enquiries to. Updating your gallery, business information, products and services as well as linking to your social media accounts are essential to making your profile stand out and capture commercial interest.

Update my NAJ Profile

2. Join an NAJ Coffee (or Tea!) break

Every Wednesday at 11am, starting from Wednesday 13th January join Industry Ambassador Lindsey Straughton in an informal video call with other members to catch up, and share current activities as well as enjoy the company of others in the trade.

Popular amongst all member types, the coffee break has been a useful means of identifying potential business, and sometimes non-business challenges that are lurking around the corner.

Join the NAJ Coffee (or tea!) break

HiUp JET Certificate

3. Lockdown Jewellery education and training

With online programmes available for less and more experienced staff, as well as specialist roles, NAJ’s JET programmes and short courses offer members an opportunity to provide their teams with structure in the midst of the heightened pandemic.

Did you know?

All new and renewing NAJ members can claim £50 off one of the following JET programmes, within 60 days of the member subscription payment. This discount is only eligible with the correct code entered on to the education application/order form at the time of submission, and is not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

 

Programme Roles Length Format Action
JET Essentials Temporary/
Less experienced
10-15 hours Online View
JET Certificate (JET 1) Less experienced 6 months Online View
JET Diploma (JET 2) Experienced 12 months Online View
JET Management Experienced /
Specialist
12 months Distance View
JET Business Development Specialist 12 months Distance View
JET Foundations of Appraisal Practice Specialist 22 months Online/
Face-to-face
View

 

4. Update your NAJ Member logo

NAJ members are entitled to use the NAJ’s grant of arms displaying the ‘member’ designation. The logo can be applied across traditional and digital formats, including your website, electronic email signatures and company stationery. The logo remains a powerful means of demonstrating your credentials to your customers, and can directly be linked to your NAJ find a jeweller profile for further benefit.

Download latest Member logo (login required)

5. Promote your business

Whether your customer is the general public or trade, we’re always looking to profile and shout about NAJ members. If you have an interesting, useful or beautiful story to tell, we’d love to hear from you.

If your press release is prepared and ready to go, email us at media@naj.co.uk, or if you know what you’d like to say, but not sure how to say it, contact Belinda Morris, editor of The Jeweller to register an interest in being featured.

Email Editor of The Jeweller

Alternatively if you’d like to talk to someone about more creative means of promoting your business, contact Garry Lane, NAJ’s Partnerships Manager via garry.lane@naj.co.uk, or call 07741554011.

6. Register for the NAJ Live series

On the last Thursday of every month, we host a 90-minute webinar, normally with three presentations followed by an informal video conference to continue discussions face-to-face (digitally).

By registering for the event, you get to meet like-minded jewellers looking to learn, support and engage with the Association, to make sure they get the most out of their membership.

Register for NAJ Live

7. Get the most out of your membership

If you’ve not familiarised yourself with all that you’re eligible to with the National Association of Jewellers, now is a good time to take stock.

The member benefits page is a window into what is possible, and with recent additions such as the Member Marketplace,  The NAJ Yearbook, StoreSafe/ SiteSafe and Created in the UK, alongside other benefits such as the JET Business Network and SafeGems it’s time well spent.

View NAJ Member benefits

Source: The National Association of Jewellers