Taylor Wimpey has been piloting its ‘Pay It Forward’ scheme over the past week and is now rolling it out with an initial £5m allocated for payments, which is reckoned to be enough to support 2,750 individuals – “but we are prepared to extend it when it is operating successfully,” the company says.
The Taylor Wimpey Pay It Forward Scheme will make advance payments for future work done by subcontractors where there has been a long-term relationship. The payments will be made from Taylor Wimpey via the subcontractor, to self-employed individuals who either do not benefit from the government’s self-employment income support scheme or who will experience significant hardship before that scheme starts to make payments. Individuals must work for approved subcontractor firms; after acceptance of an individual’s eligibility, they will receive a payment of up to £600 a month for three months, to be recovered against future work carried out for Taylor Wimpey. No interest will be charged.
Taylor Wimpey is also extending access to its employee helpline to subcontractors, offering support and guidance on topics ranging from finances to wellbeing.
While the initiative helps to confirm Taylor Wimpey’s reputation as one of the good guys among the UK construction industry, its motives are not entirely altruistic. It points out that during the 2008-10 financial crisis, it lost many subcontractors from its supply chain. It doesn’t want that happening again. And having made an £836m pre-tax profit in 2019, £5m is a small price to pay to ensure that its supply chain is ready to bounce back to work as soon as this is all over.
Taylor Wimpey chief executive Pete Redfern said: “Our community of suppliers, subcontractors and self-employed trades people that we work with is very important to us and to our ability to provide high quality homes for our customers. Taylor Wimpey has managed its business in a conservative and cautious way in recent years which, together with the additional liquidity measures we have put in place during this crisis, means we are resilient and able to support our partners. As well as committing to pay our supply chain on time throughout this crisis, we will also be setting up the ‘Taylor Wimpey Pay It Forward Scheme’ to help self-employed individuals who will experience significant hardship before the government scheme starts to make payments. Supporting those we rely on is not only the right thing to do but will help ensure we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic in the best possible place with our community of trades people ready to help us resume the building of much needed high quality homes for our customers, when we are all in a position to do so.”