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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
March 1, 2018

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Construction sites grind to a halt as snow continues

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned work on many construction sites has ground to a “halt” as heavy snow continues to fall across the country.

The FMB’s director of external affairs, Sarah McMonagle said some construction bosses have told their staff to take the rest of the week off and not return to work until Monday.

The UK has been battered by snow and blizzards, dubbed the “Beast from the East” because the weather front has come in from Russia and Eastern Europe.

“Heavy snow showers have led to many construction sites across the UK grinding to a halt,” said Ms McMonagle.

Too cold for bricklaying

“But it’s not just the snow that’s playing havoc with construction projects,” she added. “Some firms are reporting that the freezing temperatures mean it’s too cold to lay bricks.

“The overall impact of bad weather on construction growth remains to be seen, but this situation is concerning given that the FMB’s latest research shows that growth among construction SMEs slowed in the final three months of 2017.

“We hope that the cold weather we have seen this week is just a blip and that all workers will be able to get back on site in coming days.”

Stay at home

Earlier this week, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) urged bosses to let employees work from home as temperatures plunged.

When the snow causes problems on the roads and trains it is common sense for bosses to let their staff work from home, rather than struggle with a lengthy and potentially-dangerous commute,’ said TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady.

“No one should be made to put their health at risk to get to work or be punished by losing pay or holiday, when they can’t get in because of the weather.”


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