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Government bill proposes fair pay in construction

A draft bill proposed by the government aims to improve cash flow through construction supply chains and encourage parties to resolve disputes by adjudication rather than by litigation.
The Construction Contracts bill, (likely to become part of a Community Empowerment, Housing and Economic Regeneration bill), sets out to improve the operation of construction contracts.

Following more than five years of consultation, the proposed bill is part of a package of draft legislation published by the government on May 14.

The president of the National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC) president Simon Bottomley said 'I am delighted to see a bill aimed at improving payment within our industry included in the government's 2008-09 programme of work.'

'Specialist contractors continue to provide NSCC with evidence of extended payment terms, unfair contract conditions and blatantly abusive payment practices, and we look forward to the detailed legislation which should achieve the certainty of payment so necessary for the construction industry to move forward and incorporate many of the changes sought by NSCC and the specialist sector.'

The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group also welcomed the government's move to improve payment certainty across construction and reduce adjudication costs.

SEC Group chairman Trevor Hursthouse said “We are grateful to construction minister Baroness Vadera and her officials for their help and support.”

The proposed legislation will be announced in the Queen’s speech on November 5.

Adherance to the UK fair payment charter demands all parties agree how much should be paid and when, payment within 30 days, and removal of cash retentions in favour of more practical alternatives.

Over 50 specialist contractors attended the launch of the NSCC's fair payment campaign in Northern Ireland.
The Belfast-based launch introduced the campaign to managing directors, contracts managers and quantity surveyors from specialist trades in Northern Ireland.
15 May 2008

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