NAJ News

Coronavirus advice (part ten) from NAJ

24 Nov 2020

coronavirus advice from the NAJ lockdown end

After setting out the government's Winter plan for navigating the COVID pandemic, we share what this means for the Jewellery sector, as well as some considerations that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out plans for the end of lockdown in England on Wednesday 2nd December, Northern Ireland will go into a circuit break lockdown from Friday 27th November. In addition, every area of Scotland has been placed into one of five tiers in a new system, while Wales’s lockdown restrictions were eased on the 9th of November.

View BBC round-up of new rules

What are the headlines for jewellers?

In England jewellers will be able to open from the early hours on the morning of Wednesday 2nd December, no matter what tier they are placed in as non-essential retail is given the green light to stay open for the foreseeable as part of the government’s winter plan. However, restrictions provide a clear call for businesses reopening to follow COVID secure guidelines including not travelling in and out of affected areas in tier three.

In Northern Ireland Jewellers will be forced to close from Friday 27th November for two weeks under ‘non-essential retail’ as the circuit breaker begins. In Scotland, Jewellers will be forced to close in level four ‘lockdown’ only alongside other non-essential retail, pubs, restaurants and gyms. Welsh jewellers have been open since 9th November but travel into England is only permitted for essential purposes, such as work.

Rules for your tier

 

Staying COVID Secure; what did we learn?

As presented in previous StoreSafe and SiteSafe guidance, members are encouraged to make sure store personnel are split up into teams in order to avoid the risk of having the business temporarily closed down due to a staff member reporting a positive track and trace result.

By splitting personnel up, and not mixing, the team with the affected person(s) is then able to self-isolate while the store or site remains ‘open’. Some members have turned to temporary staff, or security guards in order to provide enough staff numbers for the store to be open and COVID secure. Mass testing in some areas may well affect this.

StoreSafe guidance and training courses are currently in version SIX and members can put their teams through the updated training to further assure customers of a COVID secure experience.

In addition, some members have identified days of the week they will set aside for repairs and collections in order to manage the flow of customers to the premises with online booking appointments for new sales visible across all communications.

 

The Present Moment NAJ Christmas campaign 1

Promoting jewellery this Christmas

The NAJ’s made-for-members Christmas Consumer campaign is open for retailers, designers and suppliers to benefit from. The Present Moment campaign highlights the unique benefit of jewellery to celebrate personal and emotional relevance, capturing the past, be excited about the future, and to 'live' and cherish the here and now.

Locally you can join 'the present moment' campaign too (for free).

Your member toolkit includes:

  • Editable press releases to send to local and regional media
  • Creative assets for social media and direct marketing, with language that can be deployed directly by you, or edited with jewellery from your collections. You may choose to 'power up' the campaign by taking out social media advertising too, targeting the exact audience locally we've built the campaign for (see the brief)
  • Promotional ideas to enhance personal connections and relevance for the perfect present moment, including your own 'style edit'.

Warning!

If you haven't updated your NAJ Profile yet, do it now.

Update my NAJ Profile

Enrol in the Christmas campaign (free) 

 

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 looking after your mental health from the Mental Health Foundation

 

government extends financial support NAJ

In case you missed it…

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. 

 JET Essentials testimonial

NAJ discounted JET Education ceases on 2nd December

Members are currently eligible to £100 off selected JET programmes while non members can claim a £50 reduction in fees, however this is only available while lockdown (in England) is live.

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.  

or 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)

 Better Business Support Service

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 

coffee break NAJ

Networking 

The last NAJ Coffee (or tea!) break  takes place tomorrow (25th November) at 11am, hosted by Lindsey Straughton, NAJ Industry Ambassador.

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.  

Join the NAJ Coffee Break

Register for the NAJ Live

 

Source: The National Association of Jewellers