The UK Government today offered its support to the construction industry, by outlining its expectations from businesses as they manage and enforce B2B contracts during the COVID-19 emergency.
There is a real concern that the construction industry will become embroiled in costly and long-running disputes over the effects of the pandemic on projects if it does not look to engage in collaborative discussions to resolve these issues.
The Construction Leadership Council COVID-19 Task Force has published practical guidance for all companies involved in the construction supply chain on how to minimise potential disputes.
The document seeks to provide examples on the types of issues that are likely to arise, together with practical advice on how to resolve them in a constructive manner.
It is supported by a statement from Government outlining its behavioural expectations between businesses in these unprecedented times.
Commenting, Andy Mitchell CBE, co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said: “In the light of the pandemic, it is vital that we all work together to minimise potential disputes in order to secure the industry for the long-term.
“As such we have worked across industry to develop practical guidance for businesses, which complements the approach already set out by the public sector.
“We welcome the endorsement of our approach from the UK Government in its Guidance on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enhancement of contracts impacted by the Covid-19 emergency.
“This is a rapidly developing situation and we are continuously seeking feedback from industry on the challenges faced and the measures announced to date.
“We anticipate that all businesses will understand the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in and work collaboratively, thus avoiding the need for future legislation.”
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Notes to editors
1. The Construction Leadership Council’s Covid-19 Contractual Best Practice Guidance can be downloaded here.
2. To read the Cabinet Office’s Guidance Notes for Construction Contracts – Procurement Policy Note 02/20 (published 6 April 2020) click here. This builds on the Cabinet Office’s Procurement Policy Note 02/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19 (published 20 March 2020) which can be read here.
3. To read the UK Government guidance, click here.
4. The Construction Leadership Council is seeking views on this topic from industry – click here to access a survey on contractual clauses.