Build UK’s update the industry amid the covid-19 outbreak
The prime minister has announced further changes to lockdown measures in England from Saturday 4 July 2020. This will include allowing people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’ where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, provided that mitigation measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission. The Government published guidance for businesses last night, and the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is already reviewing the Site Operating Procedures which will be updated to reflect the new requirements.
Build UK is working with Constructionline to measure the impact of coronavirus on the industry, which you can see in a new infographic based on data submitted from almost 8,000 suppliers. The biggest challenge is continuity of work and the three main things that would help suppliers are outstanding invoices to be paid (38%), a relaxation of project deadlines (28%), and shorter payment terms (24%). An incredible 99% of companies operating on site are adopting the Site Operating Procedures.
The data from Constructionline also indicates that an increasing number of sites in Scotland are resuming work after the Scottish Government confirmed that the industry could move to Phase 3 of the Construction Re-Start Plan. The Scottish Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum has released an updated version of its Site Operating Procedures clarifying that Health Protection Scotland does not recommend the wearing of face masks or undertaking temperature testing at work. An announcement on any changes to social distancing in Scotland is expected to be made next week.
The Scottish Government has launched a £230 million Return to Work package to help stimulate Scotland’s economy following coronavirus. Construction has been allocated £78m, including £40m for regeneration projects and £20m for roads maintenance.
Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol joined Minister for Business and Industry Nadhim Zahawi, Dame Judith Hackitt and Mark Reynolds of Mace for the LetsBuild ‘Virtual Town Hall’ yesterday to discuss the CLC’s Roadmap to Recovery. The Minister praised the CLC for its ‘incredibly impressive’ work immediately after the lockdown, and in particular for developing the Site Operating Procedures so quickly. He confirmed that the government is looking for a stronger and more sustainable construction industry building on the momentum it has achieved over the last few months.
The minister also hosted the latest industry conference call yesterday, demonstrating his continued support for construction and emphasising the government’s focus on net zero carbon and modern methods of construction in future projects funded by the public sector. He also confirmed the government’s commitment to the Brexit deadline and that no extension to the Transition Period will be sought.
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.