Build UK’s round up on jobs, contracts and support from the Government

The Government has provided updated guidance on going to work in section 4 of its guidance on Staying at home and away from others (social distancing), and the Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that the modelling of the coronavirus response is based on the fact that a lot of people would still need to go to work.

From conversations with many of our members over the last two days, we know the impact of the pandemic is significant across every sector, with businesses of all sizes concerned about cashflow, looking after their workforce, and the contractual implications of sites closing and stopping work.

Build UK has worked with Wedlake Bell to produce comprehensive guidance for all parties in the supply chain on contractual issues caused by coronavirus. Under the circumstances, performance of current contracts is likely to become increasingly difficult – there may be delays, labour and materials shortages, and increasing costs – and the guidance offers practical advice on what to do in each situation.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is ‘meeting’ daily and is taking the following actions:

  • Evaluating the benefit to the construction sector of the support offered by Government and identifying what else is required.
  • Preparing to issue information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as soon as details are available.
  • Developing guidance on ‘mothballing’ construction sites in the event they close for a prolonged period of time.

In line with the Government’s request for construction to continue where it can do so, a number of Build UK Contractor members have paused their construction projects this week to review how they can implement the Site Operating Procedures published by the CLC.

The Government continues to try to relieve pressure on businesses and individuals with the latest measures including:

  • Finalising support for self-employed workers, with an announcement expected from Chancellor Rishi Sunak later today.
  • Offering companies a three month extension to file accounts.
  • Suspending the requirement to submit gender pay gap data for 2019/2020.
  • Granting vehicle owners a six month exemption from MOT testing from 30 March 2020. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work.

Businesses are also being asked to help in the fight against coronavirus by offering support in a range of different ways.

The situation continues to develop rapidly and businesses should make sure they are following the most up-to-date Government guidance. For the latest information as soon as it becomes available, please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any construction-specific queries, please contact Build UK. We cannot guarantee to respond to every message; however, if we are aware of sector-specific issues we have the opportunity to address them collectively.