COVID-19 message from the Chief Executive of Barratt Developments plc

COVID-19 message from the Chief Executive of Barratt Developments plc

As a responsible business and a Founding Signatory of the Building Safety Charter, we were among the first UK construction companies to take decisive action and temporarily close our sites at the end of March. While we were not required to close, we wanted to take the time to develop a set of new and enhanced working practices so that our sites could operate as safely as possible.

With these guidelines having been tested and now in place, which are in line with, or exceed, advice from government, the Construction Leadership Council and public health authorities, we will begin a controlled and phased return to our construction sites from Monday 11 May.

Working differently, keeping everyone safe

To restart development, we have had to rethink how we work and how our sites will look and operate. Our guiding principle remains to keep everyone safe and to do the right thing for our employees, contractors and suppliers.

We are taking a five-step approach to reopening sites:

  1. Safety first: Everyone must remain 2m apart at all times. Where this is not possible, contact must be kept to an absolute minimum and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used where appropriate.
  2. New site layouts: Sites will have wider walkways and passing points, new floor signage to support social distancing in offices and communal areas, as well as more hand washing facilities.
  3. New ways of working: A Social Distancing Marshal will be on site to ensure compliance with the new procedures. We will also stagger start times to minimise peak time travel to sites and we will limit the number of people on site generally and in site offices and canteens.
  4. Working as a team: Our contractors must update risk assessments for managing social distancing and infection control, which must be approved by Site Management before work starts.
  5. Rapid reaction: We will respond quickly should someone fall ill, alerting anyone likely to have been in contact with the individual, immediately isolating any affected areas and carrying out specialist deep cleans.

This is an unprecedented situation. Therefore, we will regularly review and update our guidance to reflect evolving government policy and feedback from our employees and partners.

Backing our people and places

For more than six decades, we’ve put our customers at the heart of everything we do.

When new homes are ready, and it’s safe to do so, we will help customers move in safely while following the government’s guidelines. And, while our sales offices remain closed to the public for now, our dedicated teams will bring our new homes to life for customers through more online content, video and virtual walkthroughs.

We are all in this together and we want to play our part in supporting our frontline NHS.

We have contributed around £125,000 to NHS charities and initiatives across the country, donated more than 5,000 of our medical standard facemasks to the NHS and we have given around 400 of our defibrillators to the St John Ambulance in England and Wales as well as St Andrew’s First Aid in Scotland.

And we’ve donated a further £50,000 to The Sun’s Who Cares Wins appeal, providing help for NHS frontline staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.