Firm to put covid-19 supervisors on all jobs

Redrow is reopening mothballed sites in two weeks’ time as more housebuilders gear up for a return to work.

The firm shut sites more than four weeks ago and has furloughed 80%, around 1,800, of its staff while the covid-19 pandemic has forced executive chairman John Tutte to delay handover plans until later this year.


Source: Shutterstock

Sites will remobilise next month

Announcing a return to work on 11 May with phased construction starting a week later, the firm said: “We have developed rigorous social distancing protocols that will be supported by strict arrangements to ensure they are consistently applied. In particular, we will have an e-learning module for all Redrow employees, induction videos for contractors, appointed covid supervisors for each site and enhanced signage and PPE.”

It said the decision was a first step to getting business back to a more normal setting and added: “Important to a return to more normal trading conditions will be a relaxation of the government’s ongoing advice about moving home, which currently recommends deferring any move unless there is no alternative, and the reopening of sales complexes that remain closed under lockdown restrictions.”

The firm has secured an additional £100m of financial headroom from its existing lenders, taking its commercial credit facility to £350m. It has also been declared eligible for a £300m loan under the Bank of England Covid Corporate Financing Facility, designed to allow firms with investment-grade credit ratings to borrow cheaply to offset business impacts of the crisis.

Other firms to say they are reopening sites include Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Vistry.