27th March 2020
As someone who values our relationships with customers and our position in the industry, I wanted to respond directly to the feedback we have had following a letter sent from Trad Hire & Sales earlier this week.
We are all facing an unprecedented situation: one that is putting a great deal of pressure on businesses of all shapes and sizes across the country. We have complete empathy for those who are affected.
The construction and housebuilding sectors have been uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, as have those businesses who supply those sectors. This is largely because of the lack of clear guidance from the government, which has only recently been clarified.
The fact that this advice has not been as clear as all construction companies would like has resulted in many companies continuing to work – particularly on those projects that are deemed ‘essential’ such as public infrastructure and other crucial programmes. Others had already taken the decision to close sites down on a temporary basis, pending guidance from the CLC, Build UK and Public Health England, which is now available.
For companies like TRAD Hire & Sales, and other hire and sales companies, where we are all supplying a sector that is currently expected to remain open, there are difficult decisions to be made to ensure we can support customers like you and look after our staff, while staying in line with the Government’s instructions to the sector as a whole.
Based on the advice and guidance from the Government, from Public Health England and from construction industry bodies, we plan to remain open. If the advice changes, we will review our position – but we do not expect it will, given various comments from the government this week. Indeed, one statement suggested that construction sites remaining open is part of the Coronavirus modelling programme.
For TRAD Hire & Sales, and other companies in the construction supply chain, this means that many of our customers are still working on site. Our depots remain open for collection and return of equipment as usual, whilst adhering to safe distance guidance set out by Public Health England.
Given this situation, we have no option but to continue charging for equipment hire as our standard default position. This has been a difficult decision to take, but as the construction industry remains ‘open’, we need to keep our business running as normally as we can to support you and the sector in general.
Of course, given that not all sites are open, or accessible, we are and will continue to be as flexible as we can with our customer base. If you are experiencing a site shut-down, partial shut or temporary closure, please contact your regular TRAD H&S representative and we will work with you on an individual case-by-case basis, as we have always done, to do the best we can to support you through this difficult period.
CEO TRAD UK