The Trade Union Federation (TUF) has called on companies to ensure laid off construction workers are paid no less than the minimum rates for the industry for the duration of the suspension of their work. The TUF which comprises SIPTU, BATU and Connect trade unions has also called for strict adherence by employers to the instruction by the government to close all non-essential building sites. BATU Official, Brendan O’Sullivan, said: “We are calling on the Construction Industry Federation to instruct its member companies to pay a top-up payment to workers, in addition to monies they will receive from the Government under the Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. These top-up payments must be to a level that will ensure that workers receive pay equal to the minimum terms set out under the Sectoral Employment Order and Registered Employment Agreements for the construction industry during the period of suspension in work.” Connect Assistant General Secretary, Brian Nolan, said: “The Government announced at the weekend that all construction sites, apart from those building infrastructure to assist with the delivery of essential services, should remain closed until 12th April. We are calling on all contractors to adhere to this clear instruction in order to safeguard the health of workers and the wider public.” He added: “We also need construction companies to engage with the TUF unions to establish which construction sites are among those that are essential to the delivery of services. This would provide an opportunity to put in place agreements covering the continuation of construction work on these sites.” SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Regan, said: “As well as these immediate tasks, discussions concerning a recall agreement must also begin. Such an agreement between unions and companies would provide for the smooth and fair call back of workers, currently laid off, to resume their jobs when the Covid-19 crisis has abated.”