Construction News

Tue March 09 2021

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Vast majority of Scottish builders are now on furlough

22 Apr 20 Almost every major building firm in Scotland has furloughed almost all of its workers.

A survey by Scottish Building Federation (SBF) of its members found that 95% have furloughed at least 80% of their staff.

And more than three-quarters have seen all cash flow stop as a result of Covid-19.

But despite this impact, they are not getting the special treatment that has been given to other sectors.

The retail, hospitality and leisure sectors have been designated ‘heavily-impacted’ sectors who benefit from 100% rates relief, and further grant funding, the construction sector, which employs more than 170,000 people in Scotland, has received no specific support. 

The SBF’s survey also indicated that only 36% are eligible for the £10,000 grant funding offered through the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) and Rural Rate Relief (RRR).

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More than 100 SBF members responded to the survey undertaken during the past week.

SBF managing director Vaughan Hart said: “Most of our members are Scottish-based SMEs and have heeded the Scottish government’s advice to stop working to protect both their staff and the wider community. We thank our members for acting in a responsible manner at this time whilst we gain a greater understanding of what we need to do in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those working in our industry.

“We welcome the Scottish government’s second phase of funding which includes a fund of £100m to support businesses in financial distress due to Covid-19.

“Other heavily-impacted sectors which were initially advised to close have rightly received significant support and other industries have now received bespoke support packages from the Scottish government.  Construction seems to have been forgotten despite being one of the most crucial sectors to the Scottish economy.”

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