Contractors – to work or not to work?

Trying to follow the Government advice can be difficult, we look at what our customers are doing.

Whilst our domestic sales were booming before we were asked by the couriers early last week to stop, as they couldn’t cope (drivers etc in isolation and prioritising urgent supplies etc), it is a different ball game in the “commercial” landscaping field.

Office workers in landscape companies, along with architects and designers, are mostly working from home. Site works are a different matter. Some contractors have decided to stop completely, and others are trying to carry on, although with severe restrictions on how the work is being carried out whilst observing the “social distance” between workers. As one contractor put it, “You can’t have 2 people carrying and laying a large slab when they’re 2 mtrs apart!”.

Landscape supplies are becoming more of a challenge – EverEdge is a typical example of what other landscape suppliers may be facing. Although we have some stocks of the bigger (2.5mtr long) edgings for existing orders, the shipping is severely restricted by the couriers. Many of our suppliers have had to close their doors limiting what we can keep in stock. You can see the knock on effect…..!

HM Government’s directive is that non-essential work should not be carried out – everyone should stay at home whenever possible. However, the problem with this instruction is “What is and what is not essential?”. BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) are currently putting out a lot of very useful information to its members, amongst which is seeking clarification from Government(s) on what our American friends might describe as “essentiality”!

The Scottish Government have written to BALI and confirmed the general guidelines as previously notified; however, they clarify the position very clearly, “Is what you do essential or material to the effort against the virus and to the wellbeing of society?” If not, stay at home. If so, can you work from home? If you can’t, can you apply social distancing rules during work, rest periods and travel whilst still complying with ALL other health and safety requirements?

Wash those hands! Help the NHS by not compounding their workload through accidents and above all, eat lots of chocolate this Easter! Stay safe everybody and we look forward to working with you once this virus is defeated, and it will be defeated!