Barratt began closing all of its sales centres, construction sites and offices due to the Covid-19 pandemic as soon as the lockdown began on 23rd March 2020. All locations were closed by 27th March.
Since then, it has developed a detailed set of working practices and protocols that it says enables its construction sites to operate “safely and in line with the latest guidance”. This includes changes to signage, site welfare facilities and compounds, site access and walkways.
The measures have already been implemented on one site as a pilot. A nominated social distancing marshal will be present on all sites to ensure policy compliance.
Barratt announced today that work on its construction sites will start up again from 11th May, initially to implement the changes required under our new working practices and protocols. It will then start a phased return to construction, with 180 sites – around 50% of the total – in the first phase.
However, there are no plans yet to restart any work in Scotland, where the regional government is taking a firmer line than the UK national government.
Barratt announced on 16th April that it was furloughing around 85% of its employees, at their normal pay, until at least the end of May. With the phased reopening of sites, “a significant proportion” of the workforce will be able to return to work during May, the company said.
Chief executive David Thomas said: "Our first priority is the health and safety of our employees, sub-contractors and customers. We have created a detailed set of working practices and protocols for employees and sub-contractors to ensure that we can reopen our construction sites safely, in a phased and measured way, which minimises risk. In line with our commitment to put our customers first, we will be prioritising the completion of those homes that our customers have already exchanged or reserved.”