The world is a different place following an over 3 month lockdown that took place nationwide across the UK. Whilst the construction industry in England has remained open subject to social distancing guidelines, most firms took the decision to delay all but essential projects. This would lead to projects remobilising but will not necessarily mean a return to the way things were.
The first step to seeing how large the effect long term will be on the construction industry is by measuring the immediate consequences that Covid-19 triggered. Surveys were taken of nearly 5,000 construction workforces, including 700,000 staff, to see how Covid-19 impacted on both projects and the workforce.
Over 47% of firms said that they dealt with staff absences as a result of Covid-19 during the initial lockdown period, with over 15% of these either having coronavirus or experiencing a number of key symptoms that meant self-isolation was required.
However, over half of all construction businesses said they took note of the new guidelines and implemented all requirements on essential projects to ensure they would continue to run to schedule. 61% of the staff that worked for these firms said they were aware and were adopting the new restrictions fairly seamlessly.
The key question on those within the construction industry was would a number of firms go under as a result of cash flow issues and delayed payment terms, or have to ask for government grants to help them get through the lockdown period. Interestingly, only 15% of the firms surveyed said they planned to take advantage of the governments intervention loan scheme, suggesting a want to stay away from excessive loan options and try and see through the period. However, over 80% of firms confirmed they would use the Furlough scheme to keep redundancies at a minimum and keep staff on the books - a decision taken not just in the construction industry, but seemingly industry-wide.
How can contractors and partners help construction firms during the pandemic and extended recovery period? There are a number of ways; agree to shorter payment terms to help aid immediate cash flow issues, distribute work across the supply chain, adhere to outstanding invoice payments or finally, relax project deadlines to put less pressure on material and work force constraints.
Following the easing of lockdown, Archivio Recruitment are on hand to help you get back up to speed on any projects that were delayed by providing the very best labour throughout the construction industry, with a speciality database of expert scaffolding labourers. Please get in touch if you require site workers and we will ensure an efficient and reliable service from the get go.
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