Coronavirus to impact construction supply chain

BUILD UK and CECA have warned of the potential impact on the construction supply chain amidst the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic.

The organisations have made a joint statement, which also advised that construction sites ‘may have to close’.

Both bodies have urged their members to continue taking action by doing the following:

  • Increasing welfare and hygiene facilities and protecting the workforce.
  • Liaising with clients on contingency arrangements.
  • Reviewing contractual arrangements to understand options now and in the future.
  • Liaising with funders and banks to secure sufficient credit.
  • Contacting HMRC on 0800 0159 559 to discuss arrangements for delaying payment of taxes.
  • Setting up project specific communication networks with their supply chains.
  • Reviewing safety critical elements of their projects.
  • Reviewing programmes.
  • Ensuring remote access is in place.
  • Offering those with the ability to work from home to do so.
  • Protecting business critical functions such as payroll and accounts departments.
  • Splitting teams to avoid everyone becoming ill at the same time.
  • Reducing contact between leadership teams.
  • Cancelling or moving meetings and overseas travel to conference calls or online meetings.

Build UK and CECA also announced that over the next few days they will be providing information on force majeure and other contractual clauses for the whole sector; talking to private sector clients and urging them to take a similar stance; and asking the UK Government to:

  • Identify safety critical work on the infrastructure network that is essential and must be continued and to confirm arrangements and prompt payment for this work.
  • Confirm support available to employers to retain essential skills.

The associations will also be asking their members to:

  • Set up clear communication channels to all suppliers on their contracts and projects and provide regular updates.
  • Ensure payments to their supply chain are up to date.
  • Clarify the position over suspension of any works.
  • Identify if any activities can continue remotely or be brought forward o Ensure projects are ready to recommence work as soon as possible.