A lack of clarity is “shutting down construction”, say builders

Members of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) have expressed concerns that the lack of clarity from the Government is causing the construction industry to close down. As well as reducing productivity to ensure on site social distancing, reduced access to materials and public opinion has made it extremely difficult for industry to operate.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “Members are reporting that they are unable to get materials and deliveries from builder’s merchants, many of which have closed after struggling to get hold of stock. This a major concern, as it will cause breaches of contract, permanent supply chain loss and ongoing costs, without revenue to pay for them.

Remobilising sites is expensive, as is mothballing them, which is why so many businesses want to continue operating but with lower productivity to ensure social distancing.”

The NFB says that the industry recognises that this is not an easy time for the Government but increased sector clarity is needed, with specific reference to industries in both daily briefings and guidance.

Beresford continued: “Employers are putting staff first, not just on site but in ensuring they have a job to come back to. We desperately need the Government to come out and talk about specific industries like construction, otherwise businesses will be forced to close, perhaps for good.”