Six months on from my last blog ‘3 ways Covid-19 will impact on construction’, let’s look at what has happened, what is happening and what’s still to come?
COVID-19 did, in a very a short period of time, disrupt everyone’s work patterns, lives and the way we all work. Initially all of our projects on site stopped, reflecting what was happening throughout the industry. The government locked down what was possible versus what was required (only essential works were deemed acceptable at first).
To begin with, our biggest issue was the contracts already in place – initially we thought force majeure would come into play, but this was not the case. As the government was very loose with their wording, any stoppages on site were not allowed for under the current contracts; we had clients paying interest on project loans and expecting jobs finished, and contractors whose staff did not want to work and had material issues. There was no clear mechanism to deal with the situation, not withstanding the human element and tragedy that was unfolding around us. Subsequent contract guidance was not forthcoming but JCT did release their views: https://corporate.jctltd.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Coronavirus-Covid-19-and-JCT-Contracts-v3.pdf
So looking back at my predictions, what did happen?