For those working in the construction industry, the Government’s latest guidance is that if you cannot work from home you can still travel for work purposes provided you are not showing any Coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. Whilst at work, the Government’s guidelines on social distancing must be observed. We are finding that construction sites which cannot comply with the social distancing rules are being shut down.      

As a result of the above, there are reports in the media that major contractors are threatening sub-contractors with breach of contract and/or delay claims if sub-contractors refuse to work during the Coronavirus pandemic. There are also reports that main contractors are also refusing to pay sub-contractors applications for payment in a bid to hold onto cash given the economic impact the Coronavirus is having. 

If you are a sub-contractor and you feel you are being forced to attend site to carry on working, you should urgently review your contracts to see what your options may be. You should also review your contracts to see what your options are if your applications for payment are not being paid. If you are not sure what your rights are, we would suggest you seek immediate legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in construction disputes.

Myerson’s specialist Construction Team can offer advice on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious construction matters, including what options are available to sub-contractors if they feel they need to stop working on site or if they are not being paid due to the current Coronavirus pandemic.  If you need advice on a construction dispute or need assistance with a construction project, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Construction Team on 0161 941 4000 or via

COVID-19 and Sub-Contractors in the Construction Industry