These really are unprecedented times. COVID-19 stops work and play for that matter. No one could have predicted this total change, hopefully temporary, in the way we live. As developers, we not only have a duty to look after ourselves and family but also those involved in our current developments.
Personal well-being is paramount but then comes economic well-being and the ability to survive through these troubled times.
Naturally, all of our contractors are self-employed and if they stop work they get nothing. Ah-ha, I hear some of you say. Boris et al have promised to pay 80% of their declared earnings averaged over the past 3 years up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
The major problem with this is the phrase “declared earnings”. Any good accountant would be keeping this figure to a minimum to keep tax payment down and then only if they are fully aware of their client’s true earnings. I feel that the chances of most of these people claiming anywhere near the proposed figure are zero.
And so here is the crunch. I have 2 trades working at Sackville Street at the moment, a decorator and a kitchen/bathroom/door fitter. Both of them have asked to continue working because they need to earn money. And they came up with their own solution. Rather than shutting the site down, they would only work 50% of the time i.e. only one person in the house on any one day and that includes me as the developer.
Rules would have to be followed. Scrupulous hygiene with regards to hands, at the first sign of symptoms, work stops immediately etc.
Seems reasonable. At least the work continues albeit at half pace. What difference does this make? – it cannot go on the market at the moment as there are no buyers.
So there we go. With a “one person at any one time” rule, I am locked out of my own development for at least the next 3 weeks!
What are your feelings on this matter? Comment below.