Multiplex First to Close UK Sites

Multiplex has voluntarily closed its UK sites in the wake of the mandatory 3 week coronavirus lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week. 

In an email sent Monday evening, COO Callum Tuckett told 900 staff “we have no reasonable option but to close down all construction sites immediately and until further notice.”

Multiplex was able to make the decision confidently, given employees and subcontractors are protected by the UK government, which last week guaranteed to pay 80% of the wages of all who cannot work due to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Multiplex is the first builder to close sites, influenced by mixed messaging from the UK Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers, and leading to confusion around what is deemed essential.

Tuckett said that although Multiplex has followed strict protocol set by the UK government for worksite health and safety, it was no longer enough to ensure employees were not at risk. 

“The latest guidance from the government is clear, the deployment of such safety measures is no longer enough. All unnecessary travel outside the home must be stopped. Whilst the construction industry has undoubtedly a significant role to play as a key driver to the UK economy, we acknowledge that it is not so essential that we can expose our stakeholders and the wider community to the risk of physical harm.”

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Image: 22 Bishopsgate, one of three high-profile London projects halted this week. Source: Multiplex.

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