The government paid £ 92,000 for builders’ Covid tests

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PICTURED: ROB CURRIE.

Group Legendre has been working with the Jersey Development Company on Horizon development on the Waterfront since 2018.

The cost of testing construction workers since the pandemic began was £ 92,394, according to a government response to a freedom of information request.

The employees were also granted an exemption from isolation “solely for the purpose of carrying out their work”, which was granted on the condition that they were “completely separated from the non-isolating workers at all times” on the construction site. The government said Group Legendre employees remained isolated in their accommodation at all times when they were away from work.

Less than five have tested positive for Covid-19. Information disclosure rules prevent numbers below five from being reported.

In a statement, the government said construction personnel had been tested as part of the program to get rid of critical workers. It added, “The goal of this program was to ensure that critical skills were readily available in Jersey while ensuring the safety of Covid by providing PCR testing. This was an agreed government policy and, as such, the government funded the tests. ‘

When the joint venture was announced in 2018, then-Treasury Secretary Senator Alan Maclean defended the move to partner with a French company, saying that local construction companies were too busy.

St. Helier Deputy Deputy Carina Alves said testing of arriving workers should continue despite the decline in infections. However, she questioned whether overseas staff were needed at all. She said, “The threat has still not gone and we don’t know what winter will bring.

“But I’ve never agreed to companies asking foreign workers to come in when we have enough skilled people on the island.

“Sometimes companies tell us to“ buy locally ”but they don’t always look for employees.

“If we don’t have the expertise on the island, I can understand and the testing costs are justified. But I don’t know how long they’ll be recruiting locally. ‘

Senator Steve Pallett also said he supported the island, which is offering free testing to Legendre workers and beyond.

“I supported free testing and while that was a lot of money and there is an argument that the private sector should have paid for it, construction was one of the first sectors to recover and get back on track and we did.” a very strong need for more housing on the island, ”he said.

Group Legendre had not yet responded to a request for comment at the time this article went to press.


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