Coronavirus Recovery Plan for Construction: Restart, Reset and Reinvent
01 June 2020
On 1 June 2020, the CLC released the “Industry Recovery Plan” which is a series of proposals intended to help the construction sector recover from the impact of COVID-19. The clear message is that the whole sector needs to work together as “Supporting the recovery requires a single industry plan to co-ordinate activity to reactivate the [construction and built environment sector]”. Time will tell how the industry will react to this.
So what is the Industry Recovery Plan? It is a roadmap for recovery from the immediate effects of COVID-19 on the construction and built environment sectors and the wider economy but it is also is directed at delivering long held industry priorities including procure for better value, skills, building safety, net zero carbon, innovation and fairer contractual and payment practices.
- There are 3 phases to the plan delivered over a two year period:
- Restart work on all projects and programmes
- Maximise employment in construction and the supply chain
- Minimise disruption due to contractual disputes
- Economic stimulus measures to drive demand and develop a robust pipeline of work
- New approaches required to compensate for the loss of productivity due to site operating procedures and government guidelines and H&S regulations
- Invest in training, collaborative business models, fairer contracts and payment
- Sustain economic growth through adoption of digital and manufacturing technologies
- Adopt procurement models and approaches to deliver better value and whole life performance
- Stronger partnerships and collaboration between the industry and its clients, supply chain firms and investment in upskilling the workforce.
- There are intended by 15 June 2020 to be sectoral recovery plans within the overall Plan relating to infrastructure, social infrastructure and construction, housing and RMI. The core members of those working groups and their remit are already established.
- The Plan outlines specific actions required to deliver each phase. The “Owners” of these actions include Government, Public Sector Clients, Private Sector Clients, local authorities, the CLC Task force and the wider industry.
- Some of the proposed actions include:
- Guidance on the safe operation of construction sites
- Test, track and trace for construction workers
- Extending working hours on site
- Ensure the planning system continues to operate and facilitate development
- Develop a more flexible Job retention Scheme to support a phased return to work from July to December 2020
- Delay implementation of the Reverse Charge VAT to 1 October 2021
- Accelerate the existing ACM cladding remediation programme and new £1bn non-ACM Building Safety Fund. See our previous article here.
- Encourage wider adoption of digital technologies. See our article on ways that technology is affecting construction disputes here.
- The roadmap emphasises that damaging effect of disputes on the industry and why it is essential to minimise these. The following measures are proposed:
- The public sector is to continue to support contractors through relief measures such as those in PPN02/20.
- Prompt payment is encouraged.
- The CLC Task Force are to undertake and share the results of work on cost planning in relation to the impact of COVID-19 to date and the continued impact of social distancing and other restrictions.
- The public and private sector are encouraged to commit to the Government and CLC Guidance on responsible contractual behaviour and consider adopting the RICS Conflict Avoidance Pledge. The list of those companies who have signed up is here.
- The roadmap also encourages new ways of working to embed better and more collaborative business models and contractual terms to respond to COVID-19. In this regard they point to the use of Alliancing and collaboration initiatives such the Infrastructure Group’s Project 13. See our previous articles on alliancing here.
- A review of the Recovery Plan will take place on 1 September 2020 after the initial restart phase.
Clarkslegal, specialist Construction lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
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