After taking a proactive approach to the coronavirus pandemic, the Joint Industry Board (JIB) is aiming to build on its longer-term strategic priorities of raising employment standards, achieving significant business growth and creating a safer built environment.
To help its members during lockdown the JIB announced the introduction of a Temporary Furlough Benefits Credit, which gave employers the option to purchase a reduced level of cover for operatives on furlough. It also announced a temporary suspension of National Working Rule 16 to allow furloughed employees (including apprentices) to use their electrical skills to good effect, including performing socially valuable voluntary work.
The JIB is an impartial organisation that sets the standards for employment, welfare, grading and apprentice training in the electrical contracting industry.
As the UK went into lockdown in March, the JIB worked collaboratively and took clear and decisive action by implementing flexible and supportive measures to ensure jobs and businesses are fully protected. The JIB was one of the first organisations to boldly take clear and decisive action to support the industry and its workforce by introducing flexibility to allow access and use the government’s job retention scheme option to purchase reduced benefits for furloughed staff and allowing staff to undertake socially valuable voluntary work. Now, JIB Chief Executive, Jay Parmar, says this year has been an important time in which the industry can take stock and reflect on how it runs itself.
Parmar explains: “The speed and spread of the virus took us all by surprise, not only threatening lives, but livelihoods – impacting on how we work, live and learning the new norms. For me, it brought to light a lot of things about our industry that we DO get right but, like with everything, it also exposed areas that we could be managing a lot better.
“Prior to lockdown, we were busy developing a comprehensive Business Plan for the JIB, which aimed to build on our longer-term strategic priorities. During its development I had no idea just how important it was going to be in helping us prioritise our support and engagement as the country was plunged into lockdown and the activities and plans for the construction sector being drastically curtailed.
“We are all learning how to adapt to new ways of living and working and I remain confident that through resilience and innovation our sector will bounce back stronger and thrive once again. JIB will continue to ensure it remains at the forefront of recovery through increased engagement and support in these turbulent times.”