Construction work that is not essential to the Covid-19 pandemic will end until 12 April under new measures. The move follows the introduction by the government of new restrictions to counteract the spread of the virus. In a statement the Director General of the CIF, Tom Parlon, said the Minister for Health Simon Harris has indicated that construction has not been deemed an essential service and as such construction workers should stay at home effective from midnight on Friday night.

The construction sector employs not far off 150,000 people directly and a significant number will now have no work. Some, including many agency workers which make up about half the workforce, are now likely to be laid off , while builders will apply for income support for staff they are keeping on. More than 30,000 jobs are also reliant on the sector as suppliers and product manufacturers and then there are self-employed service providers, such as architects. Much will depend on how long the close down is and on the wider impact of the economic issues created by the crisis.

Denise Maguire        
Editor of Plan Magazine