THE CONSTRUCTION Leadership Council (CLC) has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to encourage the manufacture of construction materials for those sites that remain open.
The letter, written by CLC Chairperson, Andy Mitchell on 1 April 2020, points out that “for understandable reasons” construction product manufacturers and builders’ merchants have closed.
However, the organisation warns that this will hamper essential construction works, either preventing them being done entirely or causing their delay because of difficulties in securing products and materials.
The letter asks for “clear and visible encouragement” for the production of building materials to resume if at all possible. It also calls for electrical, plumbing and general builders’ merchants to reopen.
Support for closed construction businesses
In the same letter, the CLC makes six recommendations to government to support the industry further:
- Suspending PAYE and CIS tax due to HMRC in April and May for construction and consultancy firms and workers, with no financial penalty.
- Deferring or cancelling Apprenticeship Levy payments due for the duration of the crisis.
- Public sector clients to expedite cashflow through the supply chain
- Support for directors of micro-businesses who pay themselves through dividends.
- Release the estimated £4.5bn of retentions held by clients and firms in the supply chain
- Extend the £25k SME business continuity grants scheme to the construction sector.
Site Operating Procedures Updated
The CLC’s Site Operating Procedures Version 2 gives further guidance for open construction sites:
- Where it is not possible or safe for workers to distance themselves from each other by 2 metres then work should not be carried out
- Avoiding using the tube network during peak times
- Updates from PHE to reference:
– those living with someone who has shown signs of Covid-19 infection
– those living with someone who is shielding
– 60%+ alcohol based hand sanitiser
– keeping groups of workers together to minimise transfer of infection across the workforce
- The need to monitor implementation of the procedures
Download the updated version here: Site-Operating-Procedures-02-April-2020-v2