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Hub and webinars answer members’ pressing COVID-19 queries.

In order to keep its members and the sector as up-to-date as possible FIS has created a Covid-19 Hub on its website. It is closely monitoring the development of the coronavirus situation and is receiving regular briefings from the Civil Service andcontinues to follow official advice from government and the health authorities.

CEO of FIS, Iain McIlwee, said: “We are very mindful of the additional pressure this is putting on our membership and our sector as a whole and the amount of misinformation that is out there, so we are working to keep this area of our website, live, uncluttered and targeted on how things will impact our community. We are dedicating all of the resources available to us to finding the answers and sharing best practice”.

In uncertain times, identifying risk is critical to effective planning, so FIS also developed a Covid-19 Management Toolkit. The tool is developed in real-time by the FIS team, ensuring that risks are identified and where possible the very best resources supplied to help quantify and mitigate are these. The key areas are:
• Leadership
• Workforce welfare
• Contractual matters
• Project continuity
• Business continuity

FIS Operations Director Jane Knight added: “FIS is also sending out almost daily updates by email and social media to both its members and SpecFinish readers and the FIS team is reaching out to all members by phone to offer their support. If you have not yet received a call but would like to speak to one of our team, please do not hesitate to call.”

Commenting on the information flow, Yvette Jacobs from new FIS member Stosaid: “I just wanted to write and say thanks for the updates you provide in these unprecedented and scary times. The comms you send are truly excellent, exceptionallyuseful, motivational and resourceful. I am very glad to be on your mailing list!”

Webinars address concerns

FIS has held a number of webinars aimed at answering many of the questions and concerns raised by members since the COVID-19 outbreak, all of which are available to listen to.

Advice on funding streams, managing work delays, commercial pitfalls, employment and contractual issues during and after the government-advised lockdown, has been made available following talks and insights from a number of experts in different fields.
The ‘Important government funding for FIS members’ R&D tax credit specialist ForrestBrown explains how to quickly access government funding through R&D Tax Credits in a time where cash flow may be scarce.

Marc Preston looks at the common sense steps needed to navigate potential commercial pitfalls associated with delays to construction projects caused by COVID-19 in our ‘Conflict Resolution and COVID-19’ webinar, with advice focussing on record keeping, how to communicate effectively and structure arguments to elicit collaboration and avoid conflict. A qualified psychotherapist and quantity surveyor, Marc is CEO of Vertice Development Management, a project management and quantity surveying practice.

Delay and quantum expert Damian James looks at the practical steps to ensure contractual entailment to time and money in our ‘COVID-19: How to manage suspensions’ webinar, while our ‘COVID-19: cash flow forecasting’ webinar looks at the fundamentals of cash flow forecasting and what you can do to help your business ride the storm.

Mental health expert Red Umbrella delivers a webinar whose focus is on the impact of fear and uncertainty on mental health and how this in turn affects physical health, concentration, anxiety and worry for oneself and others. It also addresses the impact of isolation and working remotely, suggesting practical steps to reduce isolation and loneliness, and how to deal with disruption and lack of control in dealing with the current crisis. This webinar is delivered by Nathan Shearman, a qualified counsellor.

In other webinars, ClarksLegal representatives discuss employment and contractual matters, Citation looks at a year of unprecedented change, John Bradley of Reynolds Colman Bradley LLP discusses unreasonable contractual clauses, and Stuart Young from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy updates us on the current state of play and answered some probing questions.

To listen to the webinars, visit www.thefis.org/covid-19-hub/webinars

To subscribe to our updates email clairmooney@thefis.org

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