More than two-thirds of builders think government not doing enough to support industry during coronavirus outbreak

Only emergency and critical construction work should be allowed to continue during the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Federation of Master Builders.

Research carried out by the FMB found that 60% of builders have already stopped at least three-quarters of their work.

Brian Berry, the federation’s chief executive, said: “It is almost impossible to follow Public Health England’s social distancing advice on many sites, and it would therefore be safer to close them.” 


He also said help should be extended to SME building firms and the self-employed in order to protect the health and livelihoods of the industry’s workforce.

The trade association, which represents small builders,  found that 63% of builders believe that the government is not doing enough to support them.

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The government is currently offering a £25,000 grant to those working in retail, leisure and hospitality firms while their workplaces are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Berry said: “No one should have to choose between feeding their family and protecting their health and yet that is the position many builders currently find themselves in.”

Around 80% of builders said they would apply for this grant if it were made available to them as it would help them survive another two to three months.

The 303 firms who said that they would apply employ a total of just under 2,000 people.

Berry said: “The chancellor [who is expected to make an announcement on self-employed workers later today] must avoid any halfway house measures and ensure that he delivers equal support for the self-employed as those on PAYE. This package needs to cover the breadth of people who are self-employed not just a select few.”