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

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has written to the Prime Minister thanking him for the Government’s support to date and setting out a range of further measures that would help to support the construction sector at this time. These include suspending PAYE and CIS tax due in April and May, deferring or cancelling the Apprenticeship Levy, releasing retention monies held by the public sector, and extending business continuity grants.

In his open letter to the UK construction sector earlier this week, Alok Sharma, the Secretary of State for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy, confirmed that the Site Operating Procedures published by the CLC are aligned with Public Health England (PHE) guidance and required to be implemented in the workplace.

In response to feedback, the Site Operating Procedures – Version 2 has now been published to include:

  • Clarification that, where it is not possible or safe for workers to distance themselves from each other by 2 metres, work should not be carried out.
  • The request from Transport for London (TfL) to avoid using the tube network during peak times. •
  • Updates from PHE to reference:
    • Those living with someone who has shown signs of Covid-19 infection
    • Those living with someone who is shielding • 60%+ alcohol-based hand sanitiser
    • Keeping groups of workers together to minimise transfer of infection across the workforce.
    • The need to monitor implementation of the procedures.

From 30 March 2020, Right to Work checks have been temporarily adjusted so that they can be carried out by video calls, with new workers submitting scanned documents rather than originals.

Build UK and Wedlake Bell have produced comprehensive guidance for all parties in the supply chain on contractual issues caused by coronavirus. We know that performance of current contracts is becoming increasingly difficult, with delays, labour and materials shortages, and increasing costs, and the guidance offers practical advice on what to do in each situation.

The Cabinet Office has confirmed that it is developing guidance and FAQs for public authorities on the implementation of Procurement Policy Notice – Supplier relief due to Covid-19 (PPN 02/20), which will be circulated as soon as it is available.

Build UK members continue to support the response to coronavirus, donating PPE to the NHS and building the new Nightingale field-hospital facilities across the UK.

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.