The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) has updated its guidance for home improvement companies operating in England during the current national coronavirus lockdown, following confirmation of the Government's interpretation of guidance for in-house selling during the pandemic.
The general Guidance on the subject of sales, published on the Government’s website, as detailed below remains the same and is unlikely to change for the next few weeks:
“Door-to-door sales should not take place, and sales activities should be conducted remotely (such as by phone, online, or mail).”
The slightly more relaxed interpretation of the rules around the restrictions is as follows.
In-house selling and surveys
The Government has recently confirmed that if remote selling and surveying is not possible, companies can conduct pre-booked in-house sales and surveys, if carried out within the GGF, FENSA and Government Safe Guidance. The GGF recommends that consumers are offered a remote appointment in the first instance.
As in-house selling requires advanced pre-booked appointments with the homeowner, which takes time to arrange, the GGF advises those who cannot sell or survey remotely to ensure they do so, in a controlled and measured manner. The GGF recommends that any in-house selling activity starts in February to ensure a responsible and gradual industry approach.
It is also recommended that any employees entering a home to carry out work use the NHS Test and Trace App. This can be downloaded at https://covid19.nhs.uk/
Canvassing and door-to-door sales
This activity should not be undertaken at present.
The GGF’s Primary Authority Partnership confirmed “the (current) level of risk to public health met the requirements for local authorities to be able to issue prohibition notices to businesses as allowed by the regulations”. FENSA Approved Installers should be mindful of this possible sanction if they ignore GGF advice and continue to canvass.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for enforcing COVID secure guidance in terms of how you are working. The HSE has the power to issue an enforcement notice on any business that is not operating in accordance with COVID secure guidance creating a potential risk to public health and safety.
The restriction on in-house selling is slightly relaxed, and if the pandemic health statistics show the situation is improving, the GGF has indicated it expects the Government to ease restrictions gradually over the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, we ask that all FENSA Approved Installers continue to operate responsibly and within the spirit of the guidance. If the situation changes (either deteriorates or improves), we will let you know so you have the most current information to make decisions for your business.
Our already published COVID safe working guidance has not changed (FENSA Approved Installers can access this in the FENSA Installer Portal), so we urge all companies to continue to act responsibly, follow safe guidance, safeguarding your employees and customers, and to protect the NHS and save lives.