With more construction sites being encouraged to reopen, Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol, along with Contractors Mark Reynolds (Mace) and Greg Craig (Skanska), met with Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma to discuss how the Government could improve its coronavirus guidance to the construction industry. They raised a number of points, including the need for:
- Sectors to have clear ‘permission to work’, reassuring both workers and members of the public that certain industries were being asked to continue their operations alongside the Government’s ‘stay at home’ policy.
- Clear sector guidance on complying with social distancing requirements and the importance of Government endorsing sector-wide policies such as the Site Operating Procedures for construction.
- Further guidance on the use of PPE in non-clinical working environments.
- Further clarity over the reference to 15 minutes’ face to face contact as set out in the Government’s guidance on Social Distancing in the Workplace for the construction sector.
- Supply chains including manufacturers, distributers and merchants to open up to provide the materials and other supplies required for industry to continue.
- Flexibility from local authorities on extending working hours to support output and productivity where social distancing requirements result in a reduced headcount.
- Sufficient availability of public transport for workers in London.
Meanwhile, the Government has announced a new micro-loan scheme for businesses. The Bounce Back Loans of up to a maximum of £50,000, or 25% of turnover will have a 100% Government-backed guarantee, with the Government paying the interest for the first 12 months.
The Government has also produced a Business Support Finder to help users to discover what support is available for them and their business.
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY SURVEYS
Several construction organisations are looking for information from companies working in the sector on the impact of Coronavirus:
- The Association for Consulting and Engineering, on behalf of the Construction Leadership Council, is conducting a survey on the uptake of the Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The CLC is also seeking a small number of case studies of businesses that are already bringing employees back from furlough
- With a number of supply issues emerging, including material, product and accommodation shortages, Build UK is asking members to complete a short Materials & Accommodation Survey by 5:00pm on Wednesday 29 April at the latest
Meanwhile Construction Manager magazine has released the final results of its Coronavirus survey which found that the majority of construction professionals say their organisations are trying to keep sites operational.
- BESA daily webinars
- The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) is running a number of webinars which can be accessed
- Construction Industry Council Low Value Disputes Model Adjudication Procedure (CIC LVD MAP) launch webinar, 1 May
- The Construction Industry Council have collaborated with Langley Waterproofing systems to produce a guidance video on safe operation for small construction sites
- The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has released a video of the Minister responsible for construction, Nadhim Zahawi’s address to the Large Contractors Forum on 22 April 2020
INDUSTRY RESOURCES AND UPDATES
- British Safety Council
- Build UK Daily Updates
- Builders Merchants Federation suppliers status
- Builders Merchants Federation merchants status
- Builders Merchants Federation/CLC Branch Operating Guidelines
- CLC Site operating procedures Version 3
- CLC guidance on Temporary Suspension of Sites
- CLC Advice on Employment Schemes
- CLC Plan to sustain the construction industry
- CLC Travel to Work letter
- RICS/RIBA/RTPI letter
- CIC Post-Lockdown Survey
- Ireland’s Construction Industry Federation Guidelines
- The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is offering a range of free resources on its Coronavirus Hub
- Make UK, the umbrella trade body representing all UK manufacturing is also providing Coronavirus advice for manufacturers.
- Employers & Businesses
- Decontamination in Non-Healthcare Settings
- Public Sector Procurement in Response to COVID-19: Procurement Policy Notice
- Households on Self-Isolation
- Social Distancing
- Business Minister Letter to the Construction Industry
- Business Minister Letter to the Manufacturing Sector
- PHE Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID‐19) – Construction guidance
- Building Safety Programme guidance on remediation and Covid-19
- The HSE has also released a number of Coronavirus updates including:
- Scottish Government construction sector guidance
- Welsh Government guidance on Taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace
PROCUREMENT AND CONTRACT GUIDANCE
- CLC statement on payments and contracts
- Cabinet Office Policy Procurement Notice (PPN) 02/20
- Cabinet Office construction-specific guidance to PPN 02/20
- CMA guidance outlining temporary measures to relax competition between businesses
- Build UK Guidance on Contractual Issues caused by Coronavirus
GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL SUPPORT
- Consolidated financial support information
- Corona Virus Bill and Statutory Sick Pay Provision
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, step by step guide for employers, and online calculator
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Scottish Government Support for Businesses
- Welsh Government Support for Businesses
ASFP ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCES