2021 contractor salary survey: a year dictated by covid

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Coronavirus continues to dominate industry sentiment, and there’s a feeling among professionals that jumping ship may be the best way to guarantee their futures

The pandemic has hit every aspect of people’s lives – including their pay packets, a trend that has not spared those employed by UK contractors. In 2020 construction productivity slumped dramatically with the lockdown in March, and remained suppressed, though to a lesser extent, as site operating procedures were introduced. In this context it is understandable that pay rises have been marginal to non-existent. A cause for employers’ alarm, however, is that the upheaval of the past year has prompted many staff to consider quitting their jobs and others to leave the construction sector altogether. 

Still, not all roles have been adversely affected, and in particular there has been a significant increase in demand for top-level health and safety staff as the pandemic has forced firms to grapple with the wider building safety agenda. “Even before the covid-19 pandemic, there was a big focus on health and safety regulations across the sector, so it’s not surprising to see this reflected in salary rises,” says Gaelle Blake, director of Hays Construction & Property. “Since then, there’s been even more of a focus due to covid-19, with health and safety procedures being paramount to ensure operations can continue effectively.”

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