Lord’s Bill brings increased attention to late payments in construction

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The new private members’ Bill introduced by Lord Mendelsohn, which contains a number of measures aimed at tackling late payments in construction, has been welcomed by trade bodies BESA and ECA

Engineering services trade bodies BESA and ECA welcomed the new private members’ bill that Lord Mendelsohn introduced recently in the House of Lords, which contains a number of measures aimed at tackling late payment.

Transparency around payment performance

BESA director of Legal & Commercial, Debbie Petford and ECA director of Business & Legal, Rob Driscoll, said: “We welcome the increased attention that Lord Mendelsohn’s Bill will bring to the issue of poor payment practices.

“The Bill would specifically deliver on two key policies that BESA and ECA have consistently called for in the lead up to the 2019 general election.

“Specifically, this includes greater transparency around payment performance and expanding the abilities of the Small Business Commissioner to include powers to investigate and fine persistent late payers, and confirmation that the construction industry is included within its remit.”

The Aldous Bill

Both associations also reiterated that their number one policy priority remains securing the re-introduction of the tackling late payment, which lapsed in the previous Parliament despite widespread political and industry support.

A previous Construction Minister committed to legislative reform and the Bill advocated safeguarding cash retentions by holding them in third party bank accounts.

Petford and Driscoll added: “Integrating the various key payment initiatives from Government remains a priority. However, in the case of retentions, where there is no current protection, a retentions deposit scheme remains essential.

“This is the most credible solution to prevent abuse of cash retentions and shield SMEs from the risks of payment abuse and upstream insolvencies.”

 

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