GGF issues revised guidance on house selling during lockdown in England
The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) has issued revised guidance for Home Improvement companies and sub-contractors operating in England during the current National Lockdown, following confirmation from Government officials of a new interpretation of the 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 may allow for sales people to enter the home, if necessary but it is vital for all individuals who are entering a property to ensure they are following the Safe Guidance and social distancing guidelines.
John Agnew, GGF Managing Director commented on the change, “Government officials have recently confirmed directly to the GGF that if selling and surveying in England cannot be done remotely, then companies and their sub-contractors can conduct pre-booked in-house sales and surveys, if carried out within the Safe Guidance.”
The GGF recommends that consumers are offered a remote appointment in the first instance and that advises companies, who cannot sell or survey remotely to ensure they do so, in a controlled and measured manner.
John Agnew added, “The GGF recommends that any in-house selling activity should start in February to ensure a responsible and gradual industry approach.”
The GGF also advises that all individuals entering a home to carry out work should use the NHS Test and Trace App which can be downloaded from the NHIS website https://covid19.nhs.uk/.
On the subject of door to door canvassing, the Government is clear that this activity should not be undertaken at present and this has been underlined by the GGF. In a statement issued to its Membership, the GGF highlights that local authorities in England can issue a prohibition notice on businesses.
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”. Companies should be mindful of this possible sanction if they ignore the 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.
With the restriction on in-house selling slightly relaxed, and if the pandemic health statistics show the situation is improving, the GGF expects the Government to ease the restrictions gradually over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, the GGF has urged companies who can continue to operate, to do so responsibly and within the spirit of the guidance.
John Agnew summarised, “The published GGF and Government Safe Guidance has not changed, all companies who can continue to operate should ensure they follow the safe guidance to safeguard their employees and customers, and to protect the NHS and save lives.”