COVID-19 and Contracting Companies in the UK

On the 12th November, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy issued a letter of appreciation to everyone in the UK construction industry paying tribute to their dedication for continuing to operate whilst the majority of the country had been in lockdown, and for making an invaluable contribution the economy.

The letter also highlighted the fact that contracting companies needed to innovate and adapt in order to overcome the challenges and effects of COVID-19. We will explore some of these effects, and the sector’s response below.

COVID-19 has sent ripples through global markets leaving a lot of businesses suffering heavy losses from its effects. Construction contracting companies were also affected in the first stages of lockdown by coronavirus-induced disruptions in the form of supply chain issues, shortages of materials, and a significant decline in output. In a bid to curb the spread of the virus and considering the significance of the construction industry to the economy as a whole, the UK government has been clear that construction work should continue and sites should remain operational while following up-to-date Government guidance to ensure the health and safety of the workforce.

We are proud to say that at Jerram Falkus our site management teams responded quickly and although there was some initial impact on supply and availability of workforce, all of our sites implemented Covid-secure measures, adapted welfare provision and management methods in order to continue operating throughout 2020.

Effects of COVID-19 on BUILDING Contracting Companies in the UK

1. Functional changes

In theory, the construction sector was permitted to remain operational during the pandemic. However, the industry was still hugely affected by the Government’s regulations and safety measures to be implemented to reduce contact at work. In response to these regulations, and in a bid to provide clarity for contracting companies, the CLC (Construction Leadership Council) put a set of SOPs (Site Operating Procedures) together to ensure that social distancing and other safety measures are implemented. Construction companies across the country had to incorporate these measures to protect their workers and also avoid sanctions from the Health and Safety Executive.

2. Immediate repercussions

The immediate effect of the aforementioned functional changes was a decline in total construction output. This came as a result of the fact that some construction companies were forced to completely shut their doors while others had to temporarily withdraw their spades from the soil to observe a period of hibernation so as to assess current challenges, review operations and adapt them to the health measures in accordance with the CLC’s SOPs. 

3. Deeper impact and response

The pandemic has had a direct negative impact on supply chains, manpower, and cash flow leading to the temporary delay/closure of numerous sites. In order to find a remedy to these problems and adapt to the new normal, some constructing companies responded by embracing modular construction. While this type of construction was already popular and was adopted by contracting firms like Jerram Falkus before the pandemic, it has experienced a steep rise in its demand, and it is projected to increase steadily in the post-pandemic world. Modular construction has been an ideal response since it requires fewer workers (making it social distancing-friendly), requires less time for completion of projects (this was especially helpful in the prompt construction of health care facilities), and is generally more cost-effective.

Jerram Falkus- The Right Fit for Your Construction Projects

If you are currently looking for the right contracting company to undertake your construction project, then look no further than Jerram Falkus. Our wealth of experience and innovative approach has helped us to be able to implement all the safety measures, adapt to other challenges, and thrive in these trying times.

Get in touch with us for all your construction needs.