General advice (updated 10th July)
We have published advice and information on coronavirus for:
- employers and business
- the social, community and residential care sector
- the education sector
This advice can be found at https://gov.wales/coronavirus.
The Wales Farm Support Group has launched new online resource hub. The FarmWell Wales website contains up-to-date information. This will help to keep you and your farm business strong through these changing times.
RPW continually monitor the latest government advice, which could change at short notice. We will make decisions whilst taking into account all official advice at that time.
Please note all our staff continue to work from home, with limited access to offices. We will continue to make sure customer service is maintained, but there may inevitably be some impact on our ability to respond quickly. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Customer contact centre (updated 10th July)
Our RPW Customer Contact Centre is operating with reduced resources. This is due to staff absence and adjustments to home working arrangements.
As a result we will operate the following opening hours until further notice:
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 12:00pm
2:00pm to 4:00pm
Where possible, enquiries should be submitted in writing via RPW Online.
Enquiries can be submitted at any time and we will aim to respond as quickly as possible.
Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2020 Support Scheme (updated 19th August)
The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs has announced the launch of a BPS 2020 Support Scheme. This is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As in previous years farm businesses will need to apply for the BPS 2020 Support Scheme via RPW Online. Further details and an online application will be available from 1 September.
Outstanding 2019 BPS and Glastir claims (updated 10th July)
RPW met all EC payment targets by end of June 2020 and is doing all it can to process any remaining outstanding 2019 claims.
Other claim and application deadlines (updated 10 July)
All application windows and claim deadlines currently remain unchanged.
You should notify the RPW customer contact centre immediately:
- if you are unable to access broadband
- if you are unable to access an appropriate computer
- if you are unable to submit claim supporting documents by the deadline.
Inspections and in-situ administrative checks (updated 25th September)
RPW has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely to asses health risks for inspectors and claimants. Appropriate mitigations have been put in place. On-site inspections recommenced on 6 July. They will continue to take place, ensuring the relevant health and safety procedures are followed. These are in line with latest Government and Public Health Wales guidelines.
RPW introduced an alternative process to the in-situ requirements. Instead of on site visits, claimants were requested to submit:
- geo-tagged photographs of work completed
- documentary evidence demonstrating compliance with scheme rules.
RPW has now recommenced in-situ visits with health and safety procedures in place.
We will be asking customers, wherever possible, to provide electronic copies of their records. Where this is not possible, when checking records, we will follow:
- social distancing guidelines
- sanitisation procedures.
We will continue to monitor the COVID 19 situation closely and assess the health risks and mitigations that need to be put in place at all times.
Glastir Small Grants – Landscape and Pollinators 2019
The deadline to complete and claim for the works within Glastir Small Grants, Landscape and Pollinators Contract(s) has been extended until 30 September 2020.
GAEC 7 of the Cross Compliance regulations does not permit any hedgerow restoration works from 1 April to 31 August. No Glastir Small Grants hedge coppicing and hedge laying works can be carried out during this period.
All main and support capital works items scheduled within your contract(s) must be completed and claimed by 30 September 2020.
Change to accessing RPW Online – Multi-Factor Authentication (updated 10th July)
A further layer of security has been introduced for RPW Online Customers. This known as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
This is part of the UK Government Gateway Transformation Programme.
MFA is an effective way of safeguarding RPW Online accounts from unauthorised access attempts. In addition to a User ID and password, customers will need to enter a six digit, time limited passcode every time they log in to RPW Online. A passcode will be sent to a mobile phone or landline number which is set up and managed through Government Gateway.
Customers who have already set up MFA through
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) digital services
- the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) Online system
- use the same Government Gateway log in details to access RPW Online,
will not need to go through the set up process again.