Construction fears the worst

Build UK and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), the two leading construction trade bodies, said the UK construction industry was set to become “dramatically and severely affected” from Coronavirus.

They said the impact on construction’s supply chain, consisting of multiple layers of businesses, many of them small businesses with a significant amount of self-employed workers will be “catastrophic and unavoidable”.

As Education Design and Build went to press, the two bodies asked Government to identify safety-critical work on the infrastructure network that was essential and must be continued and confirm arrangements and prompt payment for the work.

They said: “We are writing to the Government to ask for construction sites to remain operational as long as possible, on the basis that the infrastructure being built is essential to the recovery of the UK economy. This may require us to agree to some form of operating procedures to protect the workforce and minimise the spread of the virus.

“We have also asked for public sector clients to continue to pay their contractors in accordance with agreed payment schedules, on the basis that if businesses in the supply chain fail there will be insufficient capacity to meet the country's infrastructure needs going forward.”

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