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Thu January 20 2022

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Scotland sets out route map for return to work

22 May 20 The Scottish government has set out a phased return to normal activities, beginning a process to reopen construction sites from next week.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

The gradual return to work is based on a six-point plan that the Scottish government has developed with industry. Collaboration and cooperation with the trades unions play a big part in the return to work plans.

"The construction industry will be able to carefully implement steps 1 and 2 of its 6 step restart plan which it has developed with us," said first minister Nicola Sturgeon. "However, let me be clear that there must be genuine partnership with trade unions - this can only be done if it is done safely,"

The 46-page document indicates the order in which the country will gradually seek to change current restrictions.

It plans for construction's restart to be in phases. In the first phase, steps 0-2 of the industry restart plan can be implemented. Industry is to consult government before moving to the second. The remaining steps of a phased return for the construction sector will be implemented as the restructions ease further.

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Publication of the route map was welcomed by Scotland’s Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum, which now plans to release more guidance to help business owners, contractors and apprentices through each stage of the phased return, including advice for construction sites, domestic work and colleges.

Alan Wilson, chair of the CICV Forum and managing director of Select, the electrical contractors’ trade body, said: “This is the news we have been waiting for and it has not come a moment too soon. We all understand the reasons why Scotland has been in virtual shutdown since March, and we all need to work together to assist the sector as it faces an uphill struggle to recover.”

Vaughan Hart, managing director of the Scottish Building Federation, which is part of the CICV Forum, said: “The shutdown in Scotland has been one of the biggest challenges the sector has ever faced and, while we wholeheartedly welcome the return to work, it must be carried out in the proper manner.

“This means that the health and safety of operatives is paramount, and the correct guidance and procedures must be adhered to at every phase of the proposed route map. The Forum has been at the forefront of helping the industry by clarifying advice and this effort will now come into its own.”

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