In case you did not catch this morning’s news, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, has made the government position on construction working during COVID-19 very clear in an open letter to the sector.
In the letter, Sharma states that construction and its supply chain should continue to operate. He goes on to thank all those working in the sector for playing their part in a joint national effort to keep going during these challenging times and for supporting the response to Coronavirus, critical for the UK economy.
Additionally, Sharma makes reference to the CLC Site Operating Procedures (SOP) Guidelines currently aligned with Public Health England guidelines, confirming that these will be updated if and when guidelines change.
The contents of the letter are provided in full below.
To everyone working in the UK’s construction sector,
In these challenging times, I want to pay tribute to all those who are working tirelessly within the construction industry. Delivering on large or small construction sites across the country, in builders’ merchants and logistics providers, or producing construction and mineral products.
Our country and our economy needs all our support. And the construction industry has answered the call to action. Whether by building temporary hospital wards, installing complex and life-saving oxygen systems, constructing the infrastructure that society needs to function or ensuring that people have safe and healthy homes to live in, you are delivering for our Nation through this difficult time. My heartfelt and personal thanks for everything that each and every one of you is doing to support our joint national effort.
The Government has advised that wherever possible, people should work at home. However, we know that for many people working in construction their job requires them to travel to their place of work, and they can continue to do so. This is consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice. To help ensure that it is safe for you to operate in your workplace, the industry has worked to develop Site Operating Procedures (SOP), which were published by the Construction Leadership Council. These align with the latest guidance from Public Health England.As this health guidance updates, the SOP will reflect any changes.
I am in regular contact with industry leaders about the developing situation that faces the sector. And I am fully committed to continuing to engage through the coming days, weeks and beyond.
Thank you again to everyone operating in the UK construction sector. You are making a hugely valued and critical contribution to the resilience of our Nation and I salute you for the enormous efforts you are individually undertaking to support the UK economy.
THE RT HON ALOK SHARMA MP
Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy