The industry’s two big trade bodies, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and Build UK, warn that the Government’s present aim to keep construction projects open will likely change in the weeks ahead.
In a joint industry statement, they said: “Its impact on the industry’s supply chain, consisting of multiple layers of businesses, many of them SMEs with a significant amount of self-employed workers, will be catastrophic and unavoidable.”
Both trade groups are calling on Government to draw up guidelines for a construction shutdown, which some fear could last for three or four months.
These would include identifying safety-critical work that must be continued on the infrastructure network.
They also want urgent clarification on the contractual position for both public and private projects regarding delays and confirmation of what support is available to contractors to retain essential skills.
For their part, main contractors are now being urged to open up clear communication channels to all suppliers on their contracts and projects and provide regular updates
Firms are being told to ensure payments to their supply chain are up to date and set out the position over the suspension of any works.