Covid-19 Update: 31 March 2020

Essential daily briefing for the construction industry on Covid-19.


This short briefing has been prepared on behalf of the UK construction sector to brief companies and individuals on the ongoing repercussions of the Covid-19 coronavirus for our sector. 

New industry survey

As part of our work to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the construction sector, we have been carrying out a series of surveys. Thank you to all firms that have taken part in the surveys. The latest version can be found here

While the questions are similar to previous versions, please do fill in this version as it allows us to assess changes in the industry over time.

HMRC Webinar

HM Revenue & Customs are to run a webinar on ‘Covid-19 - helping employers to support employees.’ This webinar will cover the Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme; furloughed workers; Statutory Sick Pay; and support available to employers for outstanding payments to HMRC. For more information and to choose a date and time, click here.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The business support website provides more information and FAQs.  

Infrastructure & Projects Authority – Best Practice

Following Government advice that construction should continue where it can happen in a way that follows Public Health England and industry guidance, the Infrastructure & Projects Authority wish to share examples of good practice. 

Anyone who would like to submit a case study can email the IPA directly at


The latest updates from CITB including details of new Online Site Safety Training, and a checklist for apprentice safety, can be found at its dedicated Covid-19 website here.


The Welsh Government has outlined a £500m fund to respond to Coronavirus:

A new £100 million Development Bank of Wales fund will be available for companies experiencing cash flow problems as a result of the pandemic and will provide loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 at favourable interest rates.

Businesses will also be able to benefit from a £400m emergency pot providing:

  • Grants of £10,000 for micro-businesses employing up to nine people. This includes sole traders employing staff. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply by mid-April.
  • Grants of up to £100,000 for small and medium-sized firms with between 10 and 249 employees. Qualifying businesses will be able to apply from next week.
  • Support for larger Welsh companies, which are of critical social or economic importance to Wales. This element will be open to qualifying businesses within the next two weeks.

The £500m Economic Resilience Fund will support businesses forced to temporarily cease trading – to go into “hibernation” – or which need cash-flow support to adapt to a remote way of working. 

Covid-19 Webinars

ACE has announced a new online webinar series to help its members and the wider industry through the coronavirus crisis. Hosted by ACE chief executive Hannah Vickers, Navigating COVID-19 covers the major issues currently facing our industry including finance, people, communications and procurement. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask virtual questions to the panel of experts on specific announcements, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The webinars are open to anyone with an interest in the topics covered. Sign-up now to upcoming webinars through the links below:

Support for your SME and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (31.03.20, 1.30pm)

We welcome Brian Berry, FMB to explore what the crisis means for SMEs. Joanna Lewis, Partner at Beale & Co, joins us to explore the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in more detail. Special guest Fergus Harradence, BEIS, is on hand to help answer any questions.

Procurement (02.04.20, 12.00pm)

Sam Ulyatt and John Welch of Crown Commercial Service, part of the Cabinet Office explore the recent procurement policy notices and what they mean for the construction sector. Alasdair Reisner of CECA joins to explore how contractors can support the supply chain during the crisis. 

People in a Pandemic (07.04.20, 12.00pm)

Exploring the HR and people issues raised by the crisis such as remote working, staff morale and more. Panellists TBA soon.

Communicating in a Crisis (09.04.20, 1.30pm)

With special guest Andy Walker, editor of Infrastructure Intelligence, we will explore the steps you need to take to communicate effectively externally, internally and with stakeholders and clients. Stuart Young, BEIS joins us to help answer any questions.

Find out more and replay previous episodes here.

Network Rail

To support its supply chain Network Rail, from yesterday (30 March), payment to suppliers will be made immediately, or as close to immediately as possible, following approval. It is expected that any payments will then be flowed down to supply chain straight away. 

The Briefing has been prepared in collaboration between the industry’s leading trade and representative bodies: Association for Consultancy & Engineering, Builders Merchant Federation, Build UK, Chartered Institute of Building, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Construction Industry Council, Construction Plant-hire Association, Construction Products Association, Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), Federation of Master Builders, National Federation of Builders, and Institution of Civil Engineers. 

We are grateful to Building, Construction Enquirer, Construction Manager, Construction News, Highways, Infrastructure Intelligence, and New Civil Engineer for support in distribution to the wider industry.

If you would like to contact Rob O’Connor about this, or any other story, please email