This is to give a brief update from NIADIA (Northern Ireland ADI Association) regarding the current climate within our industry.
There has been much speculation and confusion over the past week regarding the resumption of driving lessons.
Several posts on social media stated that the 6th of July was the start date for driving instructors. This information was given by various MLAs around NI following a meeting of the NI Executive.
The DVA stated this date was incorrect in an email to instructors, causing additional confusion, however we have clarified this position below
At a recent NIAIC meeting, and reiterated in their recent email, the DVA stated that they do not employ instructors and therefore have no remit to stop instructors working (permitting they are a registered instructor, licence up to date, etc.). As such, it was not the DVA that stopped instructors working, but the social distancing guidelines from the NI Executive. This means that the DVA will not give a start date to instructors either.
In conclusion, in line with recent updates on coronavirus guidelines and NI Executive advice, NIADIA believe that instructors would fall under the following guideline for close contact services:
“travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for you to work, or to provide those services, from your home”
This would mean that instructors would be able to return to work from 6th July 2020.
This does not mean that instructors MUST return to work. It is based on your own risk assessment for your business and what measures you deem appropriate to protect yourself and your clients.
NIADIA will issue further update in the coming days regarding PPE and will provide and any additional information as it is received.
In the background, NIADIA have also requested a meeting with the infrastructure minister, Nichola Mallon, to urgently address these communication issues and campaign for additional financial packages for driver trainers affected by COVID-19.
If you would like to join NIADIA, the only national ADI association in Northern Ireland and have your views and opinions represented with a support network of instructors, our membership fees have been suspended due to COVID-19 and you can join online by clicking here.