Through the initial lockdown period the Keltbray Group continued delivery of its Infrastructure projects in the essential Rail and Power Sectors as per Government instruction; having developed new controls to comply with Government and PHE guidance. Most other projects in the Built Environment sectors were paused.
The majority of the central London based projects have now restarted operationally (circa 90% by number); having adopted new smart working processes and procedures to comply with the latest guidance reflected in the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs).
A fundamental change, particularly applicable to our Built Environment London projects, is the restrictions on the number of people physically being able to commute to and work on the sites because of the social distancing requirements.
Whilst every project is individually risk assessed, our general position is that on the larger London sites, on average we have been able to return between 50-60% of the Pre-COVID resource levels for the project. Whilst also variable, the productive element of these resources is generally achieving between 80-100% of outputs. However, because of the reduced resource numbers our programmed activities and associated preliminaries are being elongated. On our smaller sites, the impact tends to be smaller.
In contrast, the Group’s above noted Infrastructure work has been minimally affected, principally because of it being linear, therefore more open, and less physically constrained in its nature.
Our working practices and environments in our primary offices and depots have also been re-assessed and modified to ensure we observe the social distancing guidance. We currently continue to have a combination of home and office based working.
Across all of our activities, we now have a tested, reliable and smart set of working procedures developed by the Group to comply with the CLC’s SOPs. Many of these practices will transition into business-as-usual Group operating procedures post-Covid, given the productivity improvements they can achieve over traditional work practices.
As a result of all of the above, and the growing market uncertainty impacting the future opportunity pipeline – particularly in respect of the London-centric Built Environment market – we continue to have circa 25% of our PAYE people on furlough. This remains under continuing review.
In summary, the Group has acted quickly and decisively; we constantly review our actions and smart working procedures in accordance with the issued guidance; and, at all times our actions are in the interest of ensuring Keltbray has the strength and resilience to operate effectively through the crisis and be properly positioned to grow in the future.
Vince Corrigan, Chief Operating Officer