Build UK’s update the industry amid the covid-19 outbreak 

Secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock announced yesterday that face coverings will become compulsory in shops and supermarkets in England from 24 July 2020. The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is reviewing the position for the construction sector and whether any changes will be required to the site operating procedures.

In addition to registering as a user of the new Construction Talent Retention Scheme, companies that currently have vacancies available are being asked to consider becoming ‘early adopters’ of the scheme ahead of its launch next week. If you are interested in getting ahead of the game in securing the skills your business needs, please contact Build UK about becoming an early adopter by this Friday 17 July to have your details put forward.

The government guidance on Working safely during coronavirus (covid-19): Construction and other outdoor work includes a section on assisting the NHS Test and Trace service, which states that companies should keep a temporary record of staff shift patterns and visitors to sites for 21 days. The following should be recorded:

  • Staff
    • Names of staff working on site
    • Contact phone number for each member of staff
    • Dates and times that staff are at work •
  • Visitors
    • Name of the site visitor. For groups, the name of the ‘lead member’ and the number of people should be recorded
    • Contact phone number for the visitor or the lead member of a group
    • Date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time.

For companies using MSite, Datascope, the Go Smart App or similar systems to read CSCS and partner scheme cards, gathering the data will be a quick and simple process. Unless otherwise agreed by the individual, no other data should be collected for the purposes of Test and Trace and it should be deleted or securely disposed of after 21 days.

Where staff are notified by the Test and Trace service that they must self-isolate, employers with fewer than 250 employees can apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related SSP under the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. Claims should be submitted via the online service and there is currently no indication of when the scheme will close.

The Welsh Government has issued guidance to Keep Wales Safe – at work in construction and other outdoor work, which states that companies “must take all reasonable measures to ensure a two metre physical distance is maintained”. Where reasonable measures cannot be taken and closer working is required, it is important that other measures are considered, including minimising the level of interaction and using physical barriers.

The Department for Education (DfE) has issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) to begin market engagement for its next Construction Framework due to start at the end of 2021. Interested contractors and suppliers must register by Wednesday 22 July at 5:00pm to attend one of the online market engagement events on 28 and 29 July 2020 at 10:00am.

Businesses should continue to follow the most up-to-date government guidance and for the latest updates please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have any construction-specific queries or feedback on what is happening within the industry, please contact Build UK