Coronavirus Update - Tuesday 7 April 2020

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Task Forcecontinues to meet daily, providing the focal point forthe industry’s response to coronavirus. It is comprised of the major industry trade associations, representing both large and small firms across the whole construction supply chain, as well as the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Facilitating communication between the industry and Government, its objectives include:

  • Identifying issues of concern to construction
  • Determining the support required by the industry
  • Providing information and advice to businesses in the industry
  • Sharing market intelligence
  • Ensuring the industry is able to drive economic growth and prosperity post coronavirus.

As a member of the task force, Build UK has a direct route to Government, and the information received during our conference calls with members each week is invaluable in providing an up to date view of the current issues and impact of coronaviruson the industry.

Unfortunately, the Build UK Twitter account appears to have gone into self-isolationand is not currently available! We are hoping to have it back up and running shortly but in the meantime please follow @SuzannahNichol for the latest updates.

The Scottish Government has published construction sector guidance setting out what it considers to be essential projects that can continue working. It also confirms what are considered to be non-essential services that, subject to limited exceptions, should be halted at this stage. These measures apply until further notice and will be reviewed in three weeks’ time.

The Cabinet Officehas published Guidance Notes for Construction Contracts, providing detailed information for public authorities on how to implement Procurement Policy Note 02/20.

Network Rail has reiterated that it is moving to immediate payments, or as close to immediate as possible, for its suppliers during the coronavirus crisis. Other Build UK Client members have also confirmed that they are collaborating with their supply chains to implement the Site Operating Procedures across their projects and to introduce a range of support measures, including accelerated payments which are expected to flow through the supply chain.

The Builders Merchants Federation has published information on the current status of suppliers and merchants at this time. Where the business is shown as partially open, it is recommended to contact your local branch to confirm which services are being provided.

The Department for Transport has set out temporary changes to allow professional bus and lorry drivers with a CPC card which expires between 1 March –30 September 2020 to continue to drive.  Drivers should carry their expired CPC in during this time.

The IHS Markit CIPS Construction Purchase Manager’s Index (PMI) in the UK fell from 52.6 points in February to 39.3 points in March, which is the lowest reading since April 2009. However, the Builders’ Conference reported that over £8 billion of new orders were placed last month.

Businesses should continue to follow the most up-to-date Government guidance and for the latest updates please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have any construction-specific queries or feedback on what is happening within the industry, please contact Build UK.

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