Coronavirus update for construction: Tuesday 31

Grant Prior 4 years ago

Covid-19 Update – 31 March 2020
This short briefing has been prepared on behalf of the UK construction sector to brief companies and individuals on the ongoing repercussions of the Covid-19 coronavirus for our sector.


The Construction Minister, Nadhim Zahawi,has specifically identified construction as an example of work that should continue during the coronavirus pandemic, stating inThe Telegraph on Sunday: “There will always be some work that cannot be done from home, whether it is construction orpacking boxes in an Amazon warehouse–but we still need houses built and for deliveries to be made”.

Government policy remains that construction sites should stay open if work can be undertaken in compliance with the Site Operating Procedures.Companies across the sector are continuously making and reviewing decisions on whether to keep sites open based on their ability to implement the Site Operating Procedures.

Build UK members have confirmed that projects in London continue to be particularly severely restricted as a result. A number of our key Client members confirmed on a call yesterday that they are working collaboratively with their supply chains to find a way through the current situation on each project,which includes extensions of time and LAD holidays.

Build UK Contractor members have been clear that no-one should be required to travel to,or work on,their sites if the PHE guidance on social distancing cannot be met. Where we receive evidence that this is not the case on particular projects,we are providing feedback to the company concerned.

Trade bodies in Scotland,includingt he Scottish Contractors Group,have set up the Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum to lead the industry response to the pandemic.

The position on construction work in Scotland is not clear,with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon advising that “sites should close unless the building being worked on is essential–such as a hospital” without then specifying what else is considered essential.

The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Economy Fair Work and Culture has written to representatives in the industry,stating: “We are considering whether guidance could be issued to determine if a construction site can be safely operated in line with social distancing”.

New industry survey

As part of our work to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the construction sector, we have been carrying out a series of surveys. Thank you to all firms that have taken part in the surveys. The latest version can be found at the following link here. While the questions are similar to previous versions, please do fill in this version as it allows us to assess changes in the industry over time.


HMRC Webinar

HM Revenue & Customs are to run a webinar on ‘Covid-19 – helping employers to support employees.’ This webinar will cover the Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme; furloughed workers; Statutory Sick Pay; and support available to employers for outstanding payments to HMRC. For more information and to choose a date and time, click here.


Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The business support website provides more information and FAQs.


Infrastructure & Projects Authority – Best Practice

Following Government advice that construction should continue where it can happen in a way that follows Public Health England and industry guidance, the Infrastructure & Projects Authority wish to share examples of good practice. Click here to download a template where you can enter details of positive examples of where sites are continuing to operate safety and the benefits of this. Completed forms should be returned to [email protected]



The latest updates from CITB including details of new Online Site Safety Training, and a checklist for apprentice safety, can be found at the its dedicated Covid-19 website here.



The Welsh Government has outlined a £500 million fund to respond to Coronavirus:

  • a new £100 million Development Bank of Wales fund will be available for companies experiencing cash flow problems as a result of the pandemic and will provide loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 at favourable interest rates
  • businesses will also be able to benefit from a £400 million emergency pot providing:
    • Grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to nine people. This includes sole traders employing staff. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April.
    • Grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium-sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply from next week.
    • Support for larger Welsh companies, which are of critical social or economic importance to Wales. This element will be open to qualifying businesses within the next two weeks.

The £500 million Economic Resilience Fund will support businesses forced to temporarily cease trading – to go into “hibernation” – or which need cash-flow support to adapt to a remote way of working.


Network Rail

To support its supply chain Network Rail, from yesterday (30 March), payment to suppliers will be made immediately, or as close to immediately as possible, following approval. It is expected that any payments will then be flowed down to supply chain straight away.


The Briefing has been prepared in collaboration between the industry’s leading trade and representative bodies: Association for Consultancy & Engineering, Builders Merchant Federation, Build UK, Chartered Institute of Building, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Construction Industry Council, Construction Plant-hire Association, Construction Products Association, Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), Federation of Master Builders, National Federation of Builders, and Institution of Civil Engineers. We are grateful to Building, Construction Enquirer, Construction Manager, Construction News, Highways, Infrastructure Intelligence, and New Civil Engineer for support in distribution to the wider industry.

Latest news

McAlpine pulls out of £55m Carlisle Citadels project

University of Cumbria starts hunt for replacement contractor
13 hours ago

Motorist dies after collision with road paver

Police Scotland investigating fatal crash
9 hours ago

McLaren Living appoints HG Construction for £69m scheme

Build to Rent scheme will transform former vacant car park site in Leeds city centre
12 hours ago

Squibb liquidator probes £2m of “missing” plant

Machinery, cars and scrap metal have disappeared at demolition specialist
18 hours ago

Galliford Try to re-enter affordable homes market

Contractor sets out new five-year plan to build margin to 4%
17 hours ago

Former Sellar chief to lead civils contractor Kilnbridge

Owen Dannatt joins as new CEO as founder Dermot McDermott becomes Chairman
17 hours ago

Hunt starts for nuclear fusion plant construction partner

Fusion energy plant to be built at West Burton coal power station site.
17 hours ago

National Grid raises £7bn for big infrastructure upgrade

Rights issue to fund a major round of capital investment in energy infrastructure
17 hours ago

Grenfell police probe to last at least until end of 2025

19 companies and 58 individuals could eventually face charges
1 day ago

Mace confirmed on £100m London office retrofit

Work underway on Helical's 100 New Bridge Street job near Ludgate Circus
2 days ago

Wylfa chosen for next big nuclear power station build

Government names Anglesey site for a large-scale gigawatt nuclear power plant.
2 days ago

Bowmer & Kirkland trading profit halves

Contractor buys HVAC specialist Adcock despite challenging market
2 days ago

Piling specialist Van Elle plans further job cuts

Piling specialist plans further cost savings in face of lower demand
2 days ago

Civils contractor A Catlow files administration notice

High voltage cable specialist lodges court notice
2 days ago

Green light for ARC Oxford lab campus

Work to start later this year on £40m Ascent building job
2 days ago

Stonehenge tunnel hit by another legal delay

Court upholds latest appeal against £1.7bn scheme by campaigners
2 days ago

Plans go in for huge Olympic Park construction hub

Bow Goods Yard could deliver 3.5m tonnes of materials a year to sites across London
3 days ago

40% affordable homes target for Labour’s new towns

Labour pledges to select new town sites by end of first year
3 days ago

Plan for £100m Liverpool Baltic station

Construction work could begin next year
3 days ago

Surgo Construction went down owing £4.5m

Biggest creditor is Bellway Homes after dispute on housing job
3 days ago

Vistry seals £157m West London housing deal

Around 575 homes to be built at Merrick Place scheme in Ealing
3 days ago

Streamlined Watkin Jones returns to profit in first half

Multi-room specialist sees secured work pipeline hit £1.4bn
3 days ago

Bellway hires ex-brickie as group construction chief

James Griffin to oversee move to the Future Homes Standard and timber frame.
3 days ago

Persimmon under fire for delays to £10m relief road

West Suffolk Council serves Breach of Condition Notices after timetable slips again
3 days ago

BAM wins £33m Kent secondary school job

Replacement Swanley academy to be built at live school site
3 days ago

Aluminium cladding specialist collapses

Melton Mowbray-based firm worked for several main contractors
4 days ago

Brickwork contractor Lee Marley returns to profit

Affordable and rental homes demand lifts brickwork contractor
4 days ago

Housing contractor Durkan suffers second year of losses

More fire safety provisions tip firm into £3.9m loss
4 days ago

Farrans makes breakthrough on tricky tunnel job

Tunnel under Tees latest part of new £155m water pipeline job
4 days ago

Heidelberg buys aggregates and earthworks specialist B&A

Latest deal follows acquisition of Mick George
4 days ago

Contractor services