With many people going above and beyond with regards to their jobs during the Coronavirus, it was a welcome sentiment that Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma wrote a letter of thanks to the construction sector for continuing to work on site at this time.
“Our country and our economy needs our support,” he said, regardless of whether people are building hospitals or homes.
“The Government has advised that wherever possible, people should work at home. However, we know that for many people working in construction their job requires them to travel to their place of work, and they can continue to do so. This is consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice.”
As well as demonstrating government’s appreciation for the sector in these adverse times, the letter referenced the supply chain for building, stressing that, should they be feel safe to, these companies were sanctioned to stay operational, including delivery companies, builders’ merchants, logistics providers and construction/mineral product producers.
Construction slow down
The crisis has already had a significant impact on the construction sector, with the construction PMI data showing that construction activity in March fell at its fastest rate since April 2009, combined with the steepest pace of job shedding since September 2010.
In response, the Federation of Master Builders is calling on government to support small construction firms during the crisis, with many firms simply unable to continue to wider supply chain issues.
The Construction Leadership Council has released its second version of Site Operating Procedure’s (2 April) with guidance for the crisis.