Latest government advice on COVID-19 – Issue 10


CIC Coronavirus Digest 09/04/20 – Issue 10

The latest government advice on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and updates from the construction industry. Please share with your own contacts. If you would like to subscribe, please contact

CLC Statement on Payment and Contracts

An Open Letter from the Construction Leadership Council, supported by the Department of Business Enterprise and Industrial Strategy and the Infrastructure Projects Authority has been released this morning, providing a statement on payments and contracts in these challenging times. CLC hopes that it will be cascaded throughout the industry to encourage reasonable management of payments through the supply chain and reasonable behaviour in relation to contractual relationships.

To read the letter in full, please click here.

Social distancing in the workplace

The Government has published new guidance on social distancing in the workplace, including the following construction-specific advice.

“Construction work plays an important role in ensuring public safety and the provision of public services. It can continue if done in accordance with the social distancing guidelines wherever possible. Where it is not possible to follow the social distancing guidelines in full in relation to a particular activity, you should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the site to continue to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission…”

To read the guidance in full, please click here.

Could your design business support business-led innovation in response to COVID19?

Innovate UK has launched a new competition looking for business-led innovation in response to global disruption following the COVID19 pandemic. The competition opened on Friday and closes on the 17th of April. Speed is of the essence.

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £20m to respond to new and urgent needs in UK and global communities, generated as a direct result of social distancing, across a number of priority areas such delivery businesses to food manufacturers, entertainment, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, retail, transport and community support.

If you have ideas for solutions across these priority areas that you could foresee through to commercialisation, or if you have clients who you can support and shape their R&D processes to help get these products to market quickly you can apply for a grant of up to 100% of your project costs up to the maximum of £50k (paid in advance of the project start date) from Innovate UK.

Whilst solutions are likely to feature cross-cutting digital solutions, they should tackle new or emerging societal or industry needs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some emerging needs may be; healthcare, PPE, community support services, education and culture, entertainment, remote working, sport and recreation or wellbeing.

Updated Procurement Policy Note

The Crown Commercial Service has prepared construction-specific guidance on its recently published Procurement Policy Note 2/20 Supplier relief due to COVID-19.

The original note outlined how public sector clients can support their supply chain during the current crisis. The new update focusses on how this support can work with current industry contracts and includes some model deeds of variation. The note recognises that most UK construction suppliers will be ‘at risk’ as a result of the Covid-19 crisis CECA Briefing Note: Covid-19 Updateand therefore clients do not need to undertake detailed financial analysis before providing relief. The note also blocks companies from furloughing staff that are due to work under contracts that are subject to relief.

Last week representatives from across industry wrote to the Prime Minister recommending public sector clients to release retentions to support cashflow in the sector. The note stops short of proposing this, instead saying that clients may consider doing so, but that it may mean that they take on inappropriate risks.

Finally, the note suggests that clients establish Project Bank Accounts for current projects to help with industry cashflow during the Covid-19 crisis.

Support the fight against coronavirus

The Construction Leadership Council is in touch with NHS London Hospitals Trust to help the NHS with urgently needed PPE.  A summary of the equipment required is as follows:

  • FFP3 Respirator Masks
  • Full Face Visors (disposable)
  • Full Face Visors (reusable)
  • Safety Goggles/Glasses
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Full Body (Hazardous Material) Suits
  • Logistics/Transport support

If you are able to provide some of these essential pieces of equipment, please get in touch with Graham Watts (

Supply of products & materials

The Builders Merchant Federation has compiled a list of companies that are still trading and open to builders during this time. The list of open/closed Builder’s Merchants can be found here and a list of open/closed suppliers can be found here.

The Construction Products Association has surveyed their respective members to determine their operational status in response to the Covid-19 virus. A summary for the status of the CPA’s largest company members can be found here.

Local Government Association

The LGA are keen to gather information regarding local government in relation to infrastructure provision during the Covid-19 pandemic. If there are issues relating to local government and infrastructure that the LGA may be able to help with, please e-mail – your information will be anonymised before we pass it on to the LGA unless you request otherwise.


The Welsh Government has published updated advice mandating that all workplaces observe the 2m rule. Detailed guidance will be published when the new regulations come into force today (7 Apri 2020). All businesses will have to take all reasonable measures to ensure the 2m rule is maintained between people on their premises whenever work is being carried out. .

CIC and ACE Coronavirus Webinar Series

There are a number of thought-leadership webinars organised by CIC and ACE in the coming weeks, looking at the biggest issues in construction in the age of coronavirus:

  • Wednesday, 8 April (1pm) – The impact of coronavirus on jobs in construction and the built environment (watch here)
  • Thursday, 9 April (1-30pm) – Communicating in a Crisis (ACE)
  • Wednesday, 15 April (pm) – Self Employed (registration coming soon)
  • Thursday, 23 April (pm) – Turnaround and Recovery
  • Monday, 27 April (pm) – Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • T.B.A – Construction Contracts in the Age of Coronavirus
  • T.B.A – Professional Liability in the Age of Coronavirus
  • T.B.A – Dispute Resolution in the Age of Coronavirus
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