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Construction Industry Council distribute information about job retention and travelling to work

Monday 30th March 2020

Information Published 30/03/2020

Information from the Construction Industry Council (CIC) 30/03/2020


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Construction Sites

The formal government position with regard to construction sites being open is that construction work should continue and this was reiterated once more over the weekend by Alok Sharma MP, the BEIS Secretary of State and in an open letter to the construction industry by Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.


This remains the formal line of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) with the codicil that sites should operate in accordance with Public Health England instructions; without compromising health and safety; and in accordance with the Site Operating procedures issued last week by the CLC.


These are here: https://builduk.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Site-Operating-Procedures-23-March-2020.pdf


They are currently in the process of being revised to say more about PPE but these are the current procedures in operation.


Obviously, this is a very fluid situation and many companies are taking their own decision to close. At this morning’s Industry Task Force meeting (we meet “virtually” every morning at 10am) it was noted that only 10% of builders’ merchants are open nationwide and most housebuilders have now closed sites (the sites that are remaining open are largely those close to completion). The Federation of Master Builders has asked all of its members to close sites. Some CIC members have similar issues with sites generally being kept open.


In London, the Mayor has made his position clear that non-essential construction sites should be closed; and in Scotland, the devolved government has said that construction work is not essential and we are hearing stories that construction workers are being prevented from attending sites by the police, turned back and told to go home. We are also receiving some unconfirmed anecdotal reports of similar situations in the North-East and North-West of England.


The CLC has prepared the attached template of a letter that firms can adopt and adapt to issue to their workforces regarding travel to work. Please issue this to your members if they are travelling.


The CLC is also in the final stages of developing guidance on construction work that is deemed to be essential, which will broadly follow and expand upon the list in my blog, last week - http://cic.org.uk/blog/


This list will be published shortly although I should emphasise that the official government advice is that ALL sites should still remain open providing the above conditions can be met.


The current advice to those carrying out work on site should be that they carry out their own risk assessment on each site and determine whether or not it is safe for them to continue to work in relation to Public Health England instructions and the Site Operating Procedures. If it is not possible to work in accordance with the PHE instructions or with regard to the site operation procedures then they should not work.


If sites are to be temporarily closed, the CLC has today published guidance on how sites should be closed:



This situation is under regular review and I will update members accordingly.


Job Retention Scheme

The ACE has produced some excellent FAQs about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which I have attached. [ACE information can be found here]


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

[CIC] Members have been broadly supportive of this scheme, announced on Friday, details of which are here:



However, we are aware of the problem for SME and micro-business company directors who are not technically self-employed but pay themselves a small salary, topped up by dividend, and that this that has been widely raised since the weekend and representations have been made to government on this point, including at this morning’s meeting. As soon as further information is available, I will let members know the outcome.


Further CLC letter to the Prime Minister

A further letter from the CLC to the Prime Minister seeking further support from the industry is being worked on and will be sent this week. I will let members have a copy as soon as it is available.



We are updating the Coronavirus Digest of information regularly and issuing as soon as there is enough information to communicate. Please pass this on to your members or encourage them to request a copy directly.


If you have news for the Digest please contact Kitty on kpring@cic.org.uk


For more immediate information please ask to connect with me on Linked-In or follow @CICCEO on twitter.



The ACE has set up the following series of webinars, which are open to anyone who would benefit from across the industry, please do circulate to anyone who might need them. ACE will also record them and post online so they can be accessed anytime.


Support for your SME and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (31.03.20: 1.30pm)
Brian Berry, FMB will explore what the crisis means for SMEs. A Partner at Beale & Co will explore the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in more detail. Special guest Fergus Harradence, BEIS, is on hand to help answer any questions.


Procurement(02.04.20: 12.00pm)
Sam Ulyatt and John Welch of Crown Commercial Service, part of the Cabinet Office, will explore the recent procurement policy notices and what they mean for the construction sector. Alasdair Reisner of CECA joins to explore how contractors can support the supply chain during the crisis.


People in a Pandemic(07.04.20: 12.00pm)
Exploring the HR and people issues raised by the crisis such as remote working, staff morale and more. Panellists TBA soon.


Communicating in a Crisis (09.04.20: 1.30pm)
Andy Walker, editor of Infrastructure Intelligence, will explore the steps you need to take to communicate effectively externally, internally and with stakeholders and clients. Stuart Young, BEIS will help answer any questions.


I hope that this information is helpful. Please continue to raise any issues with me that you feel need the attention of BEIS and the CLC and I will raise this at the morning briefing.

- Graham Watts OBE Chief Executive, Construction Industry Council


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