Secretary of State publishes open letter to the construction sector

Tuesday 17th November 2020
Originally published by Government 13/11/2020

On 13th November the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, published an open letter to the construction sector and its associated supply chain.

BAFE strongly believes that the fire safety and protection industry is a vital part of this supply chain and should consider themselves as recipients of this open letter. Stephen Adams, Chief Executive – BAFE, commented: “I have on multiple occasions now promoted my respect for the ongoing resilience and tenacity of the fire safety industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to remind all that fire safety is still being enforced by the Fire and Rescue Services across the UK and it is down to the competent fire safety industry that is helping premises management meet their ongoing obligations with due diligence.”

Adams continued “We welcome the letter from the Secretary of State and agree that the construction sectors supply chain of services continue to make ‘a hugely valued and critical contribution to our country’. BAFE continue to praise our Registered Companies for their best working practice respecting COVID safety measures.”


The letter in full can be read below:

To everyone working in the construction sector

On 31 October, the Prime Minister announced further measures in England to curb the spread of Coronavirus. From 5 November, people may only leave home for specific reasons, including for work, if you cannot work from home. The Prime Minister explained that workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home, for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors.

The construction sector, which is a key part of our economy, remains open. Where it is essential to travel to your place of work to do your job, you should continue to do so. Building merchants and hardware stores will be able to stay open to support this as normal or through click-and-collect services.

The Government continues to update our safe working guidance. Updated guidance for England for working from your place of work from 5 November is available on

During this difficult Autumn, I want to pay tribute to you and express my admiration for all the work you are doing. Whether working on large or small construction sites, in peoples’ homes across the country, in builders’ merchants, designing and project managing schemes or producing construction and mineral products, you are making an invaluable contribution in supporting the economy.

Since the outset of the pandemic in March, you have performed a vital role. In the past six months we have seen the industry build the Nightingale Hospitals, accelerate the delivery of infrastructure projects, support vital public services and help the country adapt buildings to become Covid-Secure. Whilst doing this, the industry has itself had to innovate and adapt, changing the way it operates on sites, finding more efficient ways of delivering projects, and collaborating effectively throughout the supply chain.

My Department and I are in regular contact with industry leaders about the risks, issues and challenges you face.

Thank you again to everyone operating in the UK construction sector. You are making a hugely valued and critical contribution to our country.

Yours sincerely,


Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

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