Construction News

Tue September 21 2021

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Pingdemic hitting home improvement jobs

27 Jul Building works are being needlessly cancelled across the county because either builders or their customers have been pinged by the NHS app on their phones and instructed to isolate for 10 days even if they don’t have Covid-19.

A survey of more than 5,000 kitchen, bedroom and bathroom (KBB) installers found that 47% have had to cancel jobs due to customers or installers being pinged by the NHS Covid app.

The needless cancellations have already cost installers millions of pounds and sown the seeds for months of disruption for consumers and industry, according to the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI).

BIKBBI chief executive Damian Walters said: “Installers are taking a hit on their incomes that’s as unnecessary as it is unfair. They’ve spent the last year working to incredibly safe procedures, meaning that they could continue serving  customers throughout the pandemic. For at least half of them to now have to stop working - and earning - as the rest of the country recovers just seems utterly ridiculous.

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“The disruption for customers is also a real kick in the teeth for people who want to invest in their homes after such a tough time and could create a crisis for the industry. Jobs won't be able to be rescheduled for many months, creating the risk of a wave of cancellations. Having invested to meet the currently high demand, KBB retailers and manufacturers could find themselves at a breaking point in the coming months.

“Public safety and keeping the virus under control of course needs to be the highest priority, which is why KBB installers introduced robust safe working procedures over the last year. Recognising this by adding them to the list of workers exempt from automatic isolation would be an incredibly sensible thing for the government to do.”

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