A letter from our Chief Executive, Pete Redfern to our customers
To all our customers,
I want to thank you, on behalf of Taylor Wimpey, for your patience and understanding during this time, and for the feedback and overwhelming support you have given to our teams. We are very grateful. Supporting and protecting our employees, customers, subcontractors, suppliers and communities during the COVID-19 crisis has been, and continues to be, Taylor Wimpey’s first priority.
We were the first homebuilder to stop construction on sites and close sales centres in the wake of the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions. We took this decision for health and safety reasons, because, whilst construction was deemed a permitted activity by the UK Government, we believed that it was essential to be confident that we could modify our working practices to adhere to strict social distancing and this required time and careful planning. We simply were not, and are not, prepared to compromise on health and safety - ever.
We have worked with partners, and reviewed guidance issued by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and advice from the Health and Safety Executive to assess each and every aspect of our site activities and address the changes that need to be made in order to fully comply with the restrictions imposed by social distancing requirements.
Having done so, we are now confident that we have a robust set of detailed protocols and revised guidelines which we can operate safely and on a sustainable basis for as long as is necessary. These protocols include a fully revised set of working practices and additional precautionary measures, including modified site operational practices, revised Risk Assessments, Method Statements, inductions, and changes to site format, including bespoke PPE for two person tasks which we have designed in house. We will start the process of remobilisation of construction in a controlled and managed way, on sites in England and Wales which meet certain criteria including car parking availability and ease of access, from w/c 4 May 2020. This decision is based on current government guidance and medical advice and, if this was to tighten further, we would conduct a further review. At this stage we do not expect to start work in Scotland, until a return to construction receives the Scottish Government’s support.
In order to ensure that the correct behaviours are embedded, upon which, a significant element of the restrictions rely, we have planned a managed and gradual site start, and as a result we do not expect to deliver meaningful build progress for some weeks. The phased nature of our restart is key in order to make the necessary adjustments to site safely and properly and to train our employees, suppliers and subcontractors in the new requirements and ways of working.
We do not plan to reopen sales centres or show homes at this time. It is likely that the decision to reopen sales centre will be closely linked to a general relaxation of conditions for non-essential retail and will not happen until we feel able to assure the safety of our employees, subcontractors and customers.
We remain open for business online and are here to help our new and existing customers
During this crisis we have continued to sell homes to new customers and progress purchases. Taylor Wimpey remains very much ‘open for business’ through our website and by telephone, both of which are supported by our dedicated sales executives and regional teams, a core of whom remain contactable and who are on hand to support you.
New and existing customers can continue to contact our sales centres and regional businesses by telephone and through our website www.taylorwimpey.co.uk We can offer telephone and video appointments for registering your interest through to reservation and throughout the sales process. Our website is updated daily and includes our latest availability of new homes, their pricing, the ability to download brochures and virtual tours of many of our show homes. You are also able to request a call back and make an appointment with an independent mortgage adviser if this is helpful to you in progressing your purchase.
Customers who have bought a Taylor Wimpey home and not yet moved in
Our teams will continue to be in close contact with you and will be in touch to update you on our plans for your site and what it means for the timing of your home. We want to be very honest and upfront with you that this will be subject to change and heavily dependent on a number of factors including whether we can safely operate on your site, and home.
Our priority must remain health and safety at all times. We very much appreciate your support and understanding on this.
We would encourage customers to continue to use our customer portal, Touchpoint, to keep up to date with build progress, the selection of options and to raise any questions you may have.
Customers living in a Taylor Wimpey home
We have no current plans to reopen sales centres or to restart non-emergency customer visits, because we are not currently able to comply with strict social distancing guidelines within occupied homes and assure safety in the same way. However, we remain committed to you, our customers and fulfilling our responsibility to you as soon as we are able.
What this means to you is that whilst we remain open for business online and are here to help you, our immediate intent is to continue to follow the guidance developed with our Health and Safety team allowing us to safely carry out emergency repairs only to get your household back up and running, even if this means more permanent repairs being carried out at a later date.
The next stage in our plans, using a robust set of detailed protocols and revised guidelines which will mean we can operate safely and comply with strict social distancing requirements, is to begin the planning of specific types of non-emergency customer works, with immediate focus on those works which can be carried out externally. We will be identifying these works on an individual customer basis and will contact you when we are in a position to restart these works in a safe, controlled and graduated way.
Whilst Government restrictions remain in place around social distancing, we will not be responding to non-emergency issues within occupied homes as we cannot assure safety in the same way. However, we are planning for the point when social distancing measures are amended, and we can begin the staged return to resolving issues within occupied homes.
We will continue to communicate with you regularly to ensure you are clear on our procedures at all time.
Supporting the Taylor Wimpey community
During the time our sites and on site sales centres have been closed, we have played our part in supporting our key workers and communities. On closure, our site teams distributed much needed PPE to local NHS and care homes. Many of our employees have stepped forward to volunteer for the NHS and support local communities and charities. This includes our employees and partners coming together fundraising £66k for NHS, Crisis and Childline through the Taylor Wimpey Isolation Challenge. We will also be procuring and supplying basic PPE to approximately 50 care homes across the country with urgent needs, including 75,000 masks, 75,000 aprons and 38,000 pairs of gloves. Additionally, we have supplied 365 visors to GP surgeries and care homes which have been manufactured by Taylor Wimpey employees.
I want to end the same way I started this, by thanking you for your support and understanding. We remain committed to you and our teams are on hand to help where we can.
CEO Taylor Wimpey plc