CORONAVIRUS COVID 19 – ANNOUNCEMENT - 27 MARCH 2020
I would like to further clarify and update our current position.
As before the priority for all of us is to follow the Government guidelines regarding hand washing, social distancing, unnecessary travel and self-isolation. If anyone has been in contact with someone with symptoms or has and symptoms themselves you must follow the rules on self- isolation. You must not report for work. You will be a danger to your family, your colleagues and the general public. You will jeopardise the ability of this company to continue trading.
In my announcement of 24th March I made reference to 3 distinct groups of employees within Centura group as part of our emergency planning. I would now like to clarify how those groups will function over the next few months.
As I stated the current situation is extremely difficult for all Centura Group companies. I estimate that we have currently lost about 80% of our expected income. The situation is changing daily and that figure may yet increase. This has a huge effect on all of the Group. The objective of my senior team, which we are calling Group A, is now to plan to keep the company afloat so that it is ready for the inevitable upturn that will come.
Everyone in Group A has been selected because their varied skill sets will enable us to manage the business during the next 8-12 weeks and then help restart the business when we are able. The staff in Group A remain actively working and therefore cannot be put on Furlough grant. Any staff on Furlough grant are not allowed to work for us under current government rules.
As we move in to the next 2-3 months we may need to adjust the numbers of people in Group A. Some may need to leave and be placed on Furlough. We may also need to take people away from Furlough and add them to Group A. This is a fast moving situation. The financial resources within the business are expected will decline very soon and our ability to pay anyone becomes more difficult.
We still have a number of active sites across England. In Scotland the local rules have recommended a complete shutdown and we are have already reached that point. In England and Wales we are still able to work on some sites, the majority being civil engineering. Works in the MoD environment are deemed essential therefore allowing Equilux and TLFire to maintain operations. Similarly CRL Surveys have a number of active projects where we are concentrating on completing the site based works. We can expect a further downturn of active projects in the next few weeks.
Our projects for Highways England remain active. They have also been deemed essential and staff involved are designated key workers.
On those sites that remain active we will adopt far more stringent Site Operating Procedures to reflect the government guidelines regarding protection from Coronavirus. Special procedures are being developed by the contracts teams and they must be followed.
The staff and employees involved with these still active projects will be drawn from both Group A and Group B. All remaining staff will be placed on Furlough with confirmation to individuals starting immediately. Those staff will be in Group C.
I know that there are many questions regarding furlough leave and grant. As yet there are some basic facts and some incorrect comments available but a lot of detail needs clarification. As soon as the company has had clear guidelines from government I will issue a further announcement
Please be assured that the managers of all of our companies are trying to be as fair as possible to everyone and are doing whatever they can to prepare for the expected upturn.
A P Rimoldi
Group Chief Executive