The National Federation of Builders (NFB) recognises the need for the Government’s daily briefings about the Coronavirus. This will allow the dissemination of critical information which will improve the understanding of the impact of the virus on the construction sector. However, NFB is increasingly concerned about the impact of COVID-19 and calls for ministers to support the sector with a pragmatic stance and financial support where needed.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “The situation is extremely serious, especially for the elderly, people with underlying health conditions, pregnant parents or very young children. Government and the construction sector needs to also recognise the risk of mass absence from construction sites and the potential impact of delayed payment resulting in the need to lay staff off or make redundancies. A pragmatic and dynamic risk based approach, supported by government is needed.
NFB is working hard to ensure its members are supported with the relevant guidance on the coronavirus, for example on statutory sick pay, commercial legal advice on construction contracts and general business advice of mitigating the risk for essential construction work.”
So far, several NFB members have reported issues of absence through self-isolation. However, with government advice and guidance pointing to a substantial increase on the current 1,500 cases, it is clear that things will change rapidly in the coming days and weeks. To help the sector understand how things are changing on the ground and the impact of construction sites being shut down, the NFB has sent out a membership survey to gather evidence of the impact of the continued spread of the virus and will use the results to advise government and its members on the best course of action.