Lorna Carter

+44 (0)1223 785299 lecarter@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

View full profile →

To work or not to work? Key coronavirus developments for the construction sector

Construction / 24 March 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night and the coronavirus outbreak generally, many businesses face inevitable concerns about their position with their employees and commercial contracts. Those working in the construction sector have been left particularly confused after ministerial advice appears to contradict lockdown measures imposed by government.

This morning, Michael Gove and Robert Jenrick confirmed via various media sources that construction sites can remain open despite last night’s advice. Advice for the housing, construction and building maintenance industries currently includes:

– If you can work from home, do so (unlikely for many in the sector);
– If you are working on site, you can continue to do so, but follow Public Health England’s guidance on social distancing; and
– Outside of work, remember to #StayHomeSaveLives

For a sector which relies heavily on travelling together in vans and gang-work, there are significant concerns about the health and safety of those asked to continue working, as well as their families and friends. ISG, Galliard and Multiplex to name a few, have now decided to take matters into their own hands by closing sites in wake of the growing coronavirus crisis. They plan to start shutting down sites throughout the day.

Whilst the reasons for site-workers concerns are fair and clear, construction businesses should be extremely cautious when shutting down sites or restricting access to sites. Our Construction team provided concise comments on the potential implications of such actions last week. 

In view of the pressure from industry chiefs, unions, general public and media, it is highly likely government’s current position on construction sites will change. We will keep you updated. In the meantime, if you need advice in respect of your legal position for shutting down sites and suspending works, our highly experienced Construction team is on hand around the clock to provide urgent advice should you have any concerns.


Sign up call to action button

This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

Get in touch with us

Interested in finding out more? Use this form to let us know how to contact you and what you’d like to know, and we’ll get back to you.

Alternatively, contact anyone listed on our website direct, they will be happy to hear from you.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.