Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advice for the Sector

CIEEM members are advised first and foremost to do everything they can to keep themselves and others safe. Please do follow the latest advice and restrictions from governments for the countries in which you work.

Members are encouraged to take due diligence in planning work. Members must take responsibility for reducing and mitigating the risks of spreading the virus. Essentially, the higher the risk of spreading the virus, the more scrutiny should be given to planning work.

If you undertake site-based work, we have provided advice on how to do so safely.

We advise all members to operate within the spirit of the broader guidance published by the relevant governments, ideally staying within a short distance of your local community and travelling by foot or cycling wherever possible. Do be respectful that in rural environments local people can be very sensitive to the presence of unfamiliar people and vehicles, and are anxious to ensure that the risks of virus transmission are kept to a minimum. At the same time you may need to be assertive with individuals/groups (or their superiors) who are not following any relevant social distancing or other safety measures.

Ecological Survey and Assessment

On 10 February 2021, CIEEM published Guidance on Ecological Survey and Assessment in the UK During the COVID-19 Outbreak (version 4). This is an update from previous versions.

On 30 May 2020, CIEEM published Guidance on Ecological Survey and Assessment in Ireland During the COVID-19 Outbreak.

These guidance documents have been drafted by experienced ecologists as a tool to help ecologists to continue to undertake ecological survey and assessment during the restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, where they can do so safely. We recognise it does not cover all taxa but concentrates on those for which alternative approaches are most urgently required. We may produce further guidance for additional taxa in due course.

These documents provide guidance on temporary alternative approaches to ecological survey and assessment in scenarios where field surveys cannot be undertaken for a given site or area, or only limited survey effort is achievable, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. It is not intended to replace existing guidance and best practice.

Supporting Members & the Sector

We must ensure that we look after our mental health and well-being during these unconventional times. Members are encouraged to be proactive with their own and their colleagues’ mental health and well-being, including seeking help/advice before it becomes serious. Breaks away from work are important, including taking annual leave. See the COVID-19 and Your Mental Health webpage for information and tips, and also remember that members have free access the the CIEEM Member Assistance Programme (MAP). The MAP offers a wealth of online resources and guidance, as well as a free confidential telephone Adviceline. This enables you to discuss any problem(s) you may have with someone who is trained to listen.

At the start of the pandemic we started a new webinar series called Sector Streams. We ran five episodes focusing on COVID-19 and the sector in 2020. All episodes are available to watch in the Resource Hub under ‘Conference Presentations and Webinars’.

To better understand the impact of the current situation on both yourselves and your work, together with what help you may need, we undertook a survey of members in spring 2020. A report back on the findings was covered in episode 3 of our Sector Streams webinar series.

CIEEM Insurance Services (provided by MFL Ltd) have provided the following useful documents:

Information regarding claiming tax relief for homeworking can be found on the UK Government website and on the MoneySavingExpert blog.