Our Lobbying Activity
CONSTRUCT has regularly lobbied government and other bodies on behalf of it’s members throughout the pandemic. This including regular calls with the Construction Minister; Build UK and the wider supply chain; CITB; and CSCS and affiliated card schemes, to ensure companies can continue to work and do so safely.
At the start of the pandemic CONSTRUCT wrote to the Card Schemes, Awarding Organisations and CITB to ensure members’ workforce can continue to access site where cards have expired, and complete training and qualifications. We have subsuquently approached them during lockdown 3 for further flexibility.
Government has been inundated with letters from industry bodies both from construction and the wider economy. They are therefore only working with and responding to wider industry bodies which include the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) in which Build UK is a leading member. As CONSTRUCT is a member of Build UK, we are feeding in our industry’s issues and demands to them, as well as taking part in the industry wide calls with the Construction Minister. Build UK and CLC have thus far taken on-board all of our feedback which has fed into the wider industry response to Government.
The Construction leadership Council (CLC) published the Roadmap to Recovery, which sets out the plan for construction to restart, reset and reinvent. Thanks to the members that fed into this process; CONSTRUCT has been involved through our links with Build UK.
This is an important document that we would encourage all members to read. However, for those who would prefer, Build UK has also created an Executive Summary, which gives a brief outline of the key points. There will also be further sub-sector plans for Infrastructure; Housing; Local, Social & Commercial; and Domestic RMI, to follow.
Training, Skills and Education Lobbying
CONSTRUCT requested flexible measures to be enforced during the tougher lockdowns, including grace periods of 6-12 months for expiring cards to be accepted on site and deadlines for renewal. In the early outbreak of the pandemic, CONSTRUCT also requested the HS&E Test to be administered remotely. IN the third lockdown, we are monitoring whether CITB needs to re-introduce an app for employers to run their own in-house testing, but at present Person Vue test centres are still open in England and Scotland.
You can also read the letters issued by CONSTRUCT below:
Thanks to CONSTRUCT’s lobbying efforts, CSCS and affiliated card schemes have put in a range of measures to help industry through the pandemic. More flexibility has been introduced for the main card schemes CONSTRUCT’s members use such as CSCS, CCDO, CPCS and NPORS.
You can view an overview of all the changes CSCS and the 27 affiliated schemes have put in place, with links to each scheme’s detailed guidance.
CONSTRUCT has written to CITB for the second time, requesting additional measures to increase access to funding, speed up grant claims, and ensure crucial standard development work continues ready for the ramping up of training in the months to come. You can read the full letter here.
Asks of Government & the Supply Chain
Through Build UK & the CLC, we have lobbied government and the supply chain on the following issues:
- Pressuring Clients and Primary Contractors to pay their invoices promptly, on time, and release retentions, to keep our members’ cash flow as healthy as possible. This should be backed by Government.
- Direct all Government bodies to release all retention monies.
- Pressuring Primary Contractors to strictly adhere to the Site Operating Procedures to ensure that our members’ workers are as safe as possible during this period.
- Asking Government to publicly knowledge that construction is being asked to continue to operate. Many workers are experiencing harassment on public transport or being stopped by police. Government is now recognising construction publicly as an essential (if not ‘key’). The Secretary of State has now issues new letters to support the industry’s ability to still attend work. The latest letter can be downloaded here.
- Suspend PAYE and CIS tax due to HMRC for construction and consultancy firms and workers with no financial penalty.
- Defer/cancel Apprenticeship Levy payments for the duration of the crisis and extend expiry of Apprenticeship Levy Credits.
- Support the directors of micro-businesses, who currently fall between the support provided by the Job Retention Scheme and assistance for the self-employed.
- Seek the issuing of government guidance to local authorities that would allow for welfare facilities to be expanded outside of a site’s footprint, particularly in cities thereby allowing more people to work on a site.
- A coordinated test, trace and isolate strategy with construction sites getting access to tests that can be administered on CONSTRUCT members’ sites
- Clearer communications from Primary Contractors to their sub-contractors (i.e. CONSTRUCT members and other trade on their sites) about the measures they have brought in to meet the Site Operating Procedures, and methods to ensure compliance. These actions are aimed at giving the workforce and our members the peace of mind that sites are safe to work on. You can read our email on this matter here.
If you’re facing other issues, please contact us.