COVID-19 Policy wins

FTA’s policy team has worked tirelessly to support the work of members and achieved a wide range of wins at a national and local level that have ensured that the nation has been able to trade throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 

To find out more about the work that has been done, and the team’s achievements, please see below.

And if you would like to sign up for the COVID enews, which is distributed regularly and which contains the very latest news on areas of concern for members, please email our Customer Services team.

 

FTA’s COVID-19 POLICY WINS

(March-May 2020)

 

Recognition for the logistics profession

  • Ensured logistics workers were recognised as ‘essential workers’ in UK and Europe, and made sure this was reinforced in police and border enforcement policies.
  • Worked with the Department for Health to coordinate priority COVID-19 testing for logistics workers recognised as key workers.
  • Following FTA pressure, the Secretary of State for Transport intervened to have roadside facilities reopened for drivers.
  • Pressed Government for logistics workers in key supply chains to be prioritised for personal protective equipment (PPE) once the NHS’s need is met.
  • Worked with Traffic Commissioners to develop clearer guidance for fleet operators which included when a transport manager can or cannot be furloughed and the implications for continuing operator licence obligations.
  • Secured exemptions for freight workers in border quarantine arrangements, including a letter template that workers can carry when returning to the UK.

 

Mitigating financial impact and providing support

  • Results from FTA’s weekly Coronavirus Logistics Industry Survey were used to help develop and improve financial support schemes for the Industry. They were used by FTA to inform the BEIS working groups on cross-economy finical support measures and also to enable DfT to monitor the financial situation of the industry.
  • FTA’s proposals on part-time working have been built into the new scheme rules for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and then brought forward for implementation in line with our direct request to Government.
  • FTA acquired an extension to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and assisted in increasing the speed of lending under this scheme.
  • FTA successfully launched a member-to-member portal, the Logistics Efficiency Network Solution (LENS) and #LogisticsHelpsLogistics campaign to connect logistics employers with workers – the hashtag had reached more than 7.8 million individuals by 1/6/20.

 

Removing barriers in regulations and legislation

  • Secured a three-month extension for HGV annual tests due in March, followed by a further three-month extension in June.
  • Secured a six-month extension for light van MOTs.
  • After FTA secured the issue as a top priority for Government, drivers unable to get a medical or eye test can now renew their licences without a D4 medical report, while the Department for Infrastructure in NI agreed doctors and opticians will provide tests for drivers.
  • Succeeded in having several local authorities relax their restrictions on delivery hours.
  • Obtained an industry-wide relaxation of drivers’ hours to enable drivers to cope with increased supply chain demands while also covering drivers in self-isolation during the initial COVID-19 crisis response.
  • Secured Government guidance on how drivers needed to record their hours or working time following the relaxation of drivers’ hours and the furloughing of some workers.
  • Defended kerb-side access and road space for freight vehicles by persuading UK and devolved Governments to alter the official guidance about reallocating road space.
  • Following intervention from FTA, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) amended the wording of its RIDDOR guidance to give employers greater flexibility in deciding whether submitting a report is required for COVID-19.
  • With logistics businesses focused on the response to COVID-19, FTA secured postponements until at least 2021 for upcoming future regulations such as Clean Air Zones in England and Low Emission Zones in Scotland, as well as London’s Direct Vision Standard and the tightening of the city’s Low Emission Zone standards.
  • FTA worked with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to find a solution for technical equipment used in critical supply chains to continue to be used in a way that does not jeopardise safety, rather than have these vehicles and equipment removed from service due to lack of available tests.
  • With an estimated 40,000 drivers unable to finish the necessary training to pass their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) to renew their Driver Qualification Cards (DQCs), FTA provided the Department for Transport (DfT) with practical and safe proposed measures to allow drivers with expired DQCs to continue working, and currently drivers whose DQCs will expire between 1/3/20 and 30/9/20 can continue driving.
  • FTA continues to provide feedback to Scottish, Welsh and UK Government, including at the Four Nation roundtable, to assist logistics in economic restart and ensure a consistent approach is taken across all sectors where possible.

 

Supporting all modes in the supply chain

  • Helped secure funding and a wider support package for ferry companies
  • Helped secure financial support for air cargo, through government-funding for air traffic control services and European Commission measures to ensure “reasonable rates” apply for essential goods.
  • Ensured air carriers will be able to keep their airport slots in 2021, despite not having used them this year.
  • FTA helped shape the EU relief measures that: provided flexibility in the implementation of new rail directives; provided flexibility for authorities to reduce or defer port charges; allowed airlines and rail operators a grace period before having their licence suspended if struggling with financial performance; and permitted the prolongation of groundhandling service contracts due to expire.