drain TRADER

NADC update S

ince the Covid-19 pandemic took hold NADC has been focused on meeting the

needs of members and indeed the wider industry in these difficult times.

When the lockdown was first announced the first thing that we did was to establish the status of sewer and drainage contractors as essential workers which, apart from the recognition of the importance of our industry, had practical implications such as contractors’ children being able to continue going to school. We then quickly moved on to issuing information on the all the various support schemes that had been made available from Central Government and other sources as well as guidance on operating as safely as possible for those contractors continuing to work during the lockdown.

In the interests of the common good for our industry, these were not limited to members and were widely shared, particularly across social media. The next step was to lobby Government on a variety of issues, and one of those has been in respect of the treatment of small business people that operate through company structures that provide income through a combination of wages and dividends. It seemed unfair that people taking advantage of tax efficient structures, often on the advice of accountants and banks, and in the full knowledge and acceptance of Government, should not be properly supported by the various schemes for businesses.

Joining up with many other lobbying parties we were successful in getting the Government to put in place the 100% Government backed Bounce Back Loan scheme which has provided a vital and quick source of funds for businesses to help manage through these difficult times. This

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was a key feature of an updated bulletin on the support schemes that are available to businesses, that also included other changes and new schemes.

Once again, this update was made available across the industry not just to NADC members. To look at the support bulletins or the safety guidelines please go to the NADC website – In addition we have been able to help some members with locating PPE sources which has at times been very difficult for some contractors.

Our latest lobby to Government (once again alongside other industries) is to change the furlough arrangements such that people can be moved in and out of the scheme one week at a time rather than at a minimum of three weekly intervals.

Throughout all of this we have been able to sustain a full secretariat resource for members to contact us with questions, problems and any other issues - and as ever we do all we can to help and support our membership.

But it doesn’t stop there

We have also spent productive time on moving forward with the NADC training and qualification capability and we report elsewhere in this edition of Drain Trader on the forthcoming launch of a new SHEA Sewer and Drainage qualification which delivers a CSCS card to successful candidates. We are also accelerating the development of other courses and qualifications.

We have set in train the potential creation of a new app that would provide nationwide information on hydrants (including over time those that are not working!) as well as treatment

centres. Obviously, the app would help greatly in identifying the location of the nearest available hydrant or treatment plant for members.

In addition, NADC is creating a safety and incident log (with contributions being held anonymously) that will help over time in working with industry suppliers to improve safety features to vehicles and equipment.

So what about DrainSafe?

Well this is where the pandemic has been a source of great frustration for NADC. As you will read elsewhere in this edition, we have had no choice but to delay the launch for a number of reasons. It does not mean that we have stopped work on the scheme and the positive aspect is that the delay will allow for even more extensive engagement and consultation with member (and non-member) contractors and stakeholders across the board.

Finally, we are delighted that membership of the Association has continued to grow despite the concerns so many must have due to the pandemic. But perhaps the value of industry representation comes to the fore in such circumstances. If you are interested in joining us please e-mail or call 0800 0933507

60 drain TRADER | June 2020 |

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