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

Build UK Contractor members continue to reopen their sites, reporting this week that 73% of sites are open in England and Wales, up from 69% last week. Over 80% of infrastructure and construction projects are running, with members that include housing in their portfolios reporting that just over half of their housing sites (55%) are now open for business, compared to 46% last week.

Productivity on infrastructure and construction sites is averaging 71%, up from 67% last week. Construction sites in London remain a challenge, although output has improved from 56% to 63% in the last week.

The government has brought forward the start date of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the claims service will now open on 13 May 2020, with HMRC already starting to contact individuals who may be eligible.

Individuals can use the online checker tool to find out whether they are eligible and, if so, when they can submit their claim. The scheme offers a taxable grant worth 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment by 25 May 2020 or within six working days of a claim being completed.

Build UK partner Anderson Strathern has produced an addendum to Build UK’s Guidance on Contractual Issues Caused by Coronavirus, setting out the amendments required for use in Scotland with SBCC contracts. The original guidance produced by Wedlake Bell offers practical advice for all parties in the supply chain on what to do when faced with a wide range of contractual issues, including delays, labour and materials shortages, and increasing costs.

The government and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have confirmed that statutory maintenance works should continue during lockdown. Build UK Trade Association member BESA has produced guidance to help building owners, landlords and tenants with the maintenance, mothballing and reactivation of their buildings to reflect the current lower usage and different operational requirements.

As of 1 May 2020, all PPE purchased by businesses, care homes, charities, and individuals to protect against coronavirus will be free from VAT for a three-month period until 31 July 2020.

A reminder that there are two webinars taking place tomorrow at 11:00am:

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.