Despite being masked by COVID-19, Brexit has changed many things about the business world in recent times, with many industries being impacted. Few sectors have been impacted as much as construction, with the new rules and regulations changing many aspects of day-to-day operations and creating new challenges. Keep reading to see how Brexit has impacted construction and what businesses can do to manage.
The impact on construction workers
Perhaps most notable has been the impact that Brexit has had on construction workers who are obviously the lifeblood of this industry. According to Construction News, the number of EU-born workers in the UK construction industry dropped by more than a quarter in 12 months down to 127,000 in the third quarter of 2020.
The restrictions on the freedom of movement of people has created chaos in the construction industry, causing an exodus of many skilled workers who have had to return home and creating mass shortages. These shortages could have a serious impact on construction projects, which are now starting to pick up with the lifting of coronavirus restrictions and the success of the vaccine rollout.
Materials and goods
As if the headache of losing skilled workers is not enough for construction companies to manage, the free movement of goods between the UK and EU has also come to an end. This creates a serious challenge when it comes to importing materials and goods.
Costs of importing materials from the EU have risen sharply while increased customs checks, double product conformity assessments, and restrictions on EU products will greatly slow down construction projects.
What can businesses do?
So, what can construction companies do to mitigate the impact of Brexit on operations? A third of construction companies expect to provide more jobs for British workers as a result of Brexit and COVID-19, along with the shortage of migrant workers.
On top of this, construction companies also need to make sure that they have sufficient construction insurance in place. These construction companies should work with specialists to tailor coverage to meet their needs and to ensure that protection is in place for any Brexit-related issues that could arise, along with things like public liability, business interruption, and engineering breakdown risks.
The impact of Brexit on the construction industry is already being felt heavily, which is creating frustrating challenges for companies that are now desperately trying to take on projects to recover from COVID-19. This means that businesses need to be smart in how they operate.