Builders merchants trade association the Builders Merchants Federation has welcomed the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer today (May 12) of an extension to the furlough scheme until October.
As a member of the Construction Leadership Council, which is co-ordinating the industry’s response to the Covid-19 crisis the BMF has been actively pressing for a more flexible programme from the Government. It believes this extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will provide the building materials sector and construction in general with a more flexible programme for a structured return to work as site activity ramps up.
John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “A survey of our members last week found almost 90% in favour of the job retention scheme continuing beyond the end of June, with furlough support continuing beyond the end of June, with a large majority (70%) favouring the phased withdrawal the Chancellor now plans.
“However, we would want to see flexibility in the way employees can be brought back into the workforce, with an element of part-time working allowed as part of the scheme and continued shielding permitted for vulnerable employees and those with caring responsibilities.
“As the industry returns it is critical that safety has the highest priority. Our new branch operating guidelines are helping more and more merchants to trade safely and support builders and contractors as they return to site.”