Covid-19: CITB chief exec update - 19 August 2020

Good afternoon,


I hope you’re having a good week. Today’s email contains a link to our updated Online Levy Calculator and a reminder for setting up your interest-free direct debit; the announcement of our new Pandemic Standard; news of grant changes and support for apprenticeships; and finally, an update on Site Operating Procedures.

Online CITB Levy Calculator

I am pleased to say that our easy-to-use online Levy Calculator is now live. The Calculator can provide a guide to your 2020/21 Levy Assessment Notice based on the 2019 Levy Return (for the 2018/19 tax year). You can access the Calculator in English and Welsh on our website. Please note, the actual amount payable will be on the 2019 Levy Assessment Notice you’ll receive in the post this month.

Today’s launch follows important changes to the levy, first shared in June alongside the Skills Stability Plan, when we announced the delay of Levy payments from May 2020 until September 2020. We also proposed a reduction on the 2021/22 Levy rate, providing an overall saving of 25% across two years, to help businesses with cash flow.

You can also use the Levy Calculator to see what your Levy may look like in relation to the 2020 Levy Return (for payment in 2021/22), to help you plan. 

Setting up interest-free direct debit for your 2019 CITB Levy Assessment Notice

To benefit from the extended period of interest-free direct debits, you will need to complete and return the direct debit mandate that will accompany the 2019 Levy Assessment Notice. The first direct debit instalment is due by 28 September 2020. Existing direct debits will automatically switch to the new instalment plan. 

More information can be found here. If you have an estimated Levy payment or need guidance on what to do, please click here.

New short duration Pandemic Standard and supporting eCourse

CITB has developed a full Pandemic Standard with a FREE eCourse to follow in October. The nationally recognised certification will provide information on how to keep staff and customers safe, how to control the spread of a virus and an understanding of the requirements placed on businesses during a pandemic.

The ‘Setting up and operating a safe construction site during an epidemic or pandemic’ Standard has been rated as Grant Tier Zero, meaning it is not grant supported. Designed for managers and supervisors, but available to anyone wanting this certification, the free eCourse will be hosted on the CITB eCourses platform when it launches in October. 

You can find more information about the Standard here.

Grant changes and support for apprenticeships

With a significant reduction in CITB Levy income, it is important that we continue to scrutinise the grants that we provide so they deliver the greatest value to the industry.

One year on from the launch of the New Apprentice Support Grant (NASG) pilot, research indicates that the £500 aid was not a key decision maker for those looking to take on an apprentice. With this in mind, and with considerable support now in place from other sources, we will be removing the New Apprentice Support Grant (NASG) from 1 September 2020.

The UK Government recently announced additional support, which will be extremely beneficial for both apprentices and employers in England. Employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 can apply for the following funding from 1 September 2020:

• £2,000 for each new apprentice aged 16 to 24

• £1,500 for each new apprentice aged 25 and over.

We are in discussions with the Welsh and Scottish government about any further support they will be providing for apprentices, and we will continue to provide attendance and achievement grants for apprenticeships in England, Scotland and Wales.

Update to Covid-19 site safety checklist and forms

We continue to share guidance and signpost to the many sources of information available to help returning to work safely.  As part of this, version 5.1 of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) guidance and CITB’s Covid-19 checklist and forms are now available on the Urgent Messages page of our website. This includes updates for mandatory face masks in public places.  


A reminder… 

CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed daily and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.  

I hope you and your colleagues have a productive week ahead.


Kind wishes,  

Sarah Beale  

Chief Executive