NAJ News

Coronavirus Advice (part nine) from NAJ

03 Nov 2020

uk lockdown jewellery advice from NAJ

England now in lockdown has followed Wales and Northern Ireland into tighter restrictions in an attempt to reduce the rate of increasing Coronavirus infections, as Scotland unveils a new tiered system. 

Announcing the second lockdown for England itelevised statement on 31st October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, 

“From Thursday until the start of December, you must stay at home.  

“You may only leave home for specific reasons, including for education; for work, say if you cannot work from home; For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household; For medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm; To shop for food and essentials; And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer. 

“I’m afraid non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed – though click and collect services can continue and essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up.” 

 

Retail Jewellers limited to delivery or click-and-collect 

While many suppliers and manufacturing jewellers are permitted to stay open, the rules mean that retail jewellers can only remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.  

Gary Wroe of the National Association of Jewellers said, 

“While this news of a nationwide lockdown is crushing for jewellers in the lead up to Christmas, being able to offer delivery and click-and-collect services is a welcome change to the rules imposed earlier in the year. 

“We have to be responsible here, so limiting travel and interaction where possible is important.” 

Despite ‘click-and-collect’ being permitted, customers are not allowed to enter a jewellery retail premises. Jewellery retailers may choose to postpone any collections until the lockdown is lifted, offering delivery and online/ telephone consultations only from when the restrictions go live on Thursday 5th November.  

For any changes to usual business practice such as collections outside of the premises, jewellers should consult and update their insurers, their risk assessment and their COVID policy. 

 

An extract from the government's national restrictions is below:  

4. Businesses and venues

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:

  • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services

Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november 

 

Furlough scheme Extended to March and increased support for Self-employed

Workers across the United Kingdom will benefit from increased support with a five-month extension of the furlough scheme into Spring 2021, the Chancellor announced today, 5 November.

  • businesses and people across the UK given certainty over winter months with further support announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak
  • the furlough scheme will now be extended until the end of March – protecting millions of jobs across all nations
  • the next self-employed income support grant will also increase from 55% to 80% of average profits - up to £7,500

Workers across the United Kingdom will benefit from increased support with a five-month extension of the furlough scheme into Spring 2021, the Chancellor announced today, 5 November.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now run until the end of March with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.

Work out how much you can claim 

Check which employees can be put onto furlough 

In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Also, £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly. 

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will also be eligible for the following grants: 

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks; 
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks; 
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks. 

Similarly, support for millions more workers through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.

To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must: 

  • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants) 
  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and either: 
  • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus 
  • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus 

The first grant will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 55% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £5,160 in total. 

The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. This, therefore, increases the total level of the grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2020. 

The Government are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November due to its extension. And then the Job Support scheme in December and January. 

The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course. 

The grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions. 

 

 furlough scheme extended uk NAJ

More Jewellery Education and Training (JET) Support available in lockdown 

The Association is once again supporting members during the lockdown restrictions with Education and Training provision discounts for entry-level and more advanced programmes in the JET pathway 

The Support is provided for temporary and less experienced staff as well as more experienced individuals looking to make progress with their jewellery journey, which includes specialist pathways in business development (including marketing), management and jewellery valuation, as well as the popular JET Certificate and JET Diploma. 

Temporary and less experienced staff 

In order to prepare temporary and less experienced staff for the pent up demand that will likely follow in December, the Association’s online JET Essentials programme is well placed to provide staff with a firm grasp of jewellery knowledge, including design, precious metals and customer care and selling.  

A single module on Customer Care and Selling is available for £35 or alternatively individuals can select four modules from an available 12 for £99. 

Request access to the Customer Care and Selling module

More experienced retail staff 

The Association’s popular JET Certificate and JET Diploma are also available online for more experienced retail staff to start to benefit from during the lockdown, with five written assignments for the Certificate, and seven written assignments followed by an in-depth final research project for the diploma. 

Staff who would like to pursue a more advanced or specialist programme can enrol onto the JET Management or Business Development programme, the latter being available in a modular format too.  

Finally, the recently launched ATHE JET Foundations of Appraisal Practice (FoAP) is also available for individuals to begin during lockdown, which also includes student membership to the Institute of Registered Valuers.

50% funding for FoAP is available for individuals with a (home) postcode in the west midlands through the West Midlands Combined Authority, but people outside of the region should also register interest with the education team, in order to find out if other funding is available elsewhere in the UK. 

For the period of the lockdown, the NAJ Education department is offering Members a £100 discount and non-members a £50 discount to support individuals looking to progress with their Jewellery Journey through the COVID-19 pandemic. The discount is only available on the JET Certificate, Diploma, Management Diploma and Business Development Diploma, and is not to be used in combination with any other offer (other than NAJ member discount). To claim the discount, you need to request a code from the education team, that will then need to be applied to your booking form. 

JET Essentials 

JET Certificate

JET Diploma

 JET Management

JET Business Development

JET Foundations of Appraisal Practice (FoAP)

 

655 naj live general

Get on the digital map 

Last Thursday the Association hosted it’s monthly NAJ Live, with the theme of how to get on the digital map, or in other words, what you can do to raise your profile through some ‘how to’ digital marketing. 

The opening keynote was made by Sarah Jordan from The William Agency, who provided a whistle-stop tour of recommended digital activities, which was later followed by ‘The Social Media Geek’, Becky Boyd with a ‘how to’ of Google my business – to many jewellers, the best and easiest way to be found online. Both of these presentations are even more relevant going into a second lockdown. 

In between the two sessions, Matthew Elson from Babington provided information on how those in the industry can extend their skills, knowledge and understanding in digital marketing through apprenticeships, and funded courses. For example, the West Midlands Combined Authority offer Jewellery businesses with a (home) West Midland postcodes funded Level 3 Diploma’s in Social Media skills and Digital Marketing Skills.  

Enquire about marketing courses 

Members who haven’t yet updated their NAJ ‘Find a Jeweller’ Profile should do so as soon as possible, to not miss out on any interest from both the trade and the buying public. A recent update to the tool is that now, your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts can be linked to your Find a Jeweller Profile. 

Update your profile now

 

Better Business Support Service

With the extended Furlough Scheme, you may be looking for HR advice or guidance from the Better Business Support Service, or with Lockdown looming, start to review your tax situation. You may even use the time to carry out fire safety checks and query any health and safety advice. Finally, you may also make sure your terms and conditions are up to date and presented in the most appropriate format, especially if you’re starting to sell more and more online. 

The team at the Better Business Support Service still have some availability for free one to one sessions, and the vault for templated documents is also freely accessible for NAJ Members. 

Book my one to one 

The Better Business Support Service 

 

Networking 

With the return to lockdown, the NAJ Coffee (or tea!) breaks will be starting back up again from 10 am on Wednesday 11th November. 

The hour-long session is an informal opportunity to catch up with others in the industry, to compare activities, and what various businesses are up to.  

The sessions will be every Wednesday at 10 am until Lockdown is lifted. 

The Coffee breaks will lead up to the final NAJ Live of the year which will take place on Thursday 26th November and be wholly focused on the UK’s Exit from the EU. Speakers will guide you through what checks you need to put in place, updates that have recently appeared, as well as the current unknown questions still outstanding. 

Join the NAJ Coffee Break

Register for the NAJ Live

 

Source: The National Association of Jewellers