2023

Last Updated: 31/08/2023

Building Safety Regime ‐ Transitional Arrangements

The next phase of the building safety regime will come into effect from 1 October 2023, and the HSE has published a useful overview of the new building control system. From this date, the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will be the Building Control Body for new Higher‐Risk Buildings (HRBs), with transitional arrangements allowing projects already underway to continue to completion under the current regulatory framework. For transitional arrangements to apply, an initial notice or full plans must have been given to a local authority (and not be rejected) before 1 October 2023 and the work must be ‘sufficiently progressed’ by 6 April 2024. Sufficiently progressed work is defined as:

  • For the construction of a new HRB ‐ When the pouring of concrete for the permanent placement of the trench, pad or raft foundations, or the permanent placement of piling, for that building has started.
  • For work to an existing HRB ‐ When the work has started, or where the work consists of a material change of use of a building, when work to effect that change of use has started.

Projects that do not meet the criteria will pass to the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) and have to go through Gateways Two and Three.

It is important to note that for projects that meet the criteria, their Building Control Body and Building Inspector must register by 6 April 2024 otherwise the initial notice will be cancelled and the BSR will become their Building Control Body and the new regulatory regime including Gateways Two and Three will apply. Members may wish to confirm as soon as possible that their current building control service intends to register in accordance with the new regime.

Public Sector Payment Performance

The latest payment results for central Government show clear improvement over the last six months, with departments now paying on average 87% of undisputed invoices within 5 days and 97% within 30 days. However, 3 out of 16 departments are still falling short of the target to pay 80% of undisputed invoices within 5 days, and Build UK is liaising with the Cabinet Office to ensure departments are reporting on time every quarter and meeting the requirements of the Public Contracts Regulations.
 
In the private sector, Build UK Contractor members continue to lead the way and reached another key payment milestone at the end of July, paying on average 95% of invoices within 60 days, which is the target for Government contracts. Build UK has been benchmarking payment performance since 2018, which has been recognised by the CLC, and Galliford Try’s Shared Service Centre Director Peter Rose summed up how it has transformed the industry culture around payment: “We want to be the partner of choice for all our supply chain and Galliford Try has put significant effort into ensuring our processes enable prompt payment, which has resulted in us almost halving our average payment time from 49 to 26 days over the last five years”.

Flexible Working Act

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act received Royal Assent in July and will come into effect in 2024 once the secondary legislation is published. The Act will grant employees the right to request flexible working twice in a 12‐month period and require employers to respond to a request within two months, rather than three. The right to request flexible working from day one of employment, rather than after 26 weeks, is not included within the Act but the Government has confirmed it will be introduced via the secondary legislation. ACAS is consulting on a new code of practice to accompany the legislation, which will encourage employers to take a positive approach to flexible working, but employers will still be entitled to refuse requests if they have reasonable grounds for doing so.
 
Build UK is working with Timewise to increase flexible working in construction, and members across the supply chain can use our 10‐point action plan to introduce flexible working practices on site.

Cyber Security Skills

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published a report on cyber security skills gaps in the UK workforce. It reveals that half of businesses lack staff with the skills needed to manage their cyber security, with skills gaps being more prevalent in the construction sector. To help businesses in the industry protect themselves against cyber‐attacks, NCSC has developed a range of resources including Cyber Security for Construction Businesses and specific information for Joint Ventures in the Construction Sector. Members can also sign up to the NCSC Early Warning system which provides notifications in the event of malicious activity being detected in information feeds.

CSCS & IOSH Certificates

CSCS has confirmed that it has temporarily stopped accepting the IOSH Safety, Health and Environment for Construction Workers course for CSCS card applications. Whilst it plans to start accepting the course again once security improvements have been made, alternative courses should be undertaken in the meantime to apply for a CSCS Labourer card.

HSE Site Inspections

The HSE will be carrying out site inspections in September and October focussed on the risks associated with the moving and handling of materials. The latest inspection initiative aims to ensure employers and workers are planning their work and using the right control measures to prevent injury, and there is comprehensive guidance for employers.

ICYMI in August

  1. Build UK marked five years since the launch of its payment performance table with members and stakeholders showing the impact it has had.
  2. We updated our timeline showing when the key changes are taking effect under the new building safety regime following publication of more secondary legislation.
  3. Following conversations with HSE, Build UK confirmed key industry health and safety legislation will continue to apply beyond December 2023, as it is not listed in the revocation schedule for the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act.
  4. Build UK attended a roundtable with Immigration Enforcement to discuss the importance of ensuring construction workers are employed legally and employers are carrying out right to work checks.  
  5. Members received their invitation to welcome Julie White as the new Build UK Chair at the Buffini Chao Deck at the National Theatre on Wednesday 1 November from 6:00pm.

Last Updated: 24/08/2023

Countdown to the New Building Safety Regime

Build UK has been calling for the detail on the next phase of the building safety regime which will come into effect from 1 October, and with just six weeks to go the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has now released the key secondary legislation. There is a lot of information to take in and the HSE has published an overview of the new building control system which provides a useful summary of Gateways Two and Three, the transitional arrangements for buildings partway through the process, and the requirements for the Golden Thread of information.
 
Whilst we recommend starting with the HSE overview, the regulations are as follows for those of you keen to read them:

Build UK has updated its timeline showing when the key changes are taking effect under the new regime, and our guide, which is endorsed by the CLC, will be updated in due course.

Build UK Welcomes New Member

Build UK is delighted that the Supply Chain Sustainability School has joined as our latest Professional Services member, further increasing our representation of the sector. The School provides resources, e‐learning courses and training workshops to help businesses across the industry upskill their workforces. Its content is focussed on a wide range of topics relating to sustainability, as well as procurement, management, and Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR).

As part of its work on FIR, the School also offers an easy way for organisations to calculate and demonstrate the diversity of their workforce. By registering for its annual employee diversity survey, which is being undertaken in partnership with the Sustainability Tool, you will be able to anonymously report your data and help establish an industry‐wide benchmark, as well as create a record for your business which can be used to inform your clients. The deadline is 1 September and the results will be published later this year.

Retained EU Law Act

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act, which received Royal Assent on 29 June 2023, allows the Government to amend, repeal and replace retained EU law, ensuring that UK law takes precedence. However, the Government has committed to maintaining existing high regulatory standards where appropriate, and any legislation not listed in the Act’s revocation schedule will be retained as UK law at the end of December 2023.

Following conversations with HSE, Build UK can confirm that key industry health and safety legislation, such as the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM), and Work at Height Regulations, which fall within the scope of the Act, are not listed in the revocation schedule and will therefore continue to apply beyond December 2023. When any legislation covered by the Act is identified for review, the relevant sector will be consulted in accordance with the Government’s consultation principles.

CITB Board Vacancies

CITB is inviting applications for three vacancies on its Board of trustees responsible for the governance and strategic direction of CITB. Board members, which currently include Build UK members Holly Price (Keltbray), Louisa Finlay (Kier), and Sophie Seddon (Novus Property Solutions), serve a term of four years. Detailed information can be found on the CITB website and the deadline for applications is Thursday 7 September.

ULEZ Expansion

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded across all London boroughs from next Tuesday 29 August, and any vehicle that does not meet the emissions standards will face a daily charge of £12.50. Members can check online whether their vehicles comply with the ULEZ requirements, and Transport for London has launched a scrappage scheme to support the replacement or retro‐fitting of non‐compliant vehicles.

Welcome the New Build UK Chair ‐ 1 November

Build UK will be hosting a networking event with a difference on Wednesday 1 November from 6:00pm to welcome Julie White as the new Build UK Chair, alongside the Board for 2023/24. Members should have now received their invitation to join ‘Team Construction’ at the Buffini Chao Deck at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank, with stunning views across the River Thames.

With the support of our sponsors, People’s Partnership, Eurofins Workplace Drug Testing and Miller Insurance, it promises to be a great night and you should RSVP to [email protected].

Last Updated: 17/08/2023

Building Safety Guide Updated

There is a lot of information coming out ahead of the next phase of the building safety regime being implemented from 1 October, and this week’s edition of the Build UK update summarises the most recent developments. We have updated our guide to the regime, which is endorsed by the CLC, and the changes in the August 2023 version include:

  • The Government’s intention to mandate two staircases in new residential buildings above 18 metres, with transitional arrangements and design details currently being discussed with the industry following the urgent call from the Housing Forum.
  • Details of the Responsible Actors Scheme which eligible developers can now join, with a members list that will be regularly updated.
  • The new Cladding Safety Scheme for the remediation of unsafe cladding on residential buildings over 11 metres in England (11 ‐ 18 metres in London).

We understand that the secondary legislation relating to the new building control process, including Gateways Two and Three, will be published imminently, and the guide will be updated again accordingly.

Our next Building Safety call will be held on Tuesday 19 September where we will discuss the key issues facing the industry ahead of 1 October, and your nominated Building Safety representative should have received an invite.

High‐Rise Residential Buildings

The deadline for registering existing High‐Rise Residential Buildings in England ‐ defined as 18 metres and over or at least seven storeys which have at least two residential units ‐ is fast approaching. Applications received on or before 5 September must submit their Key Building Information (KBI) by 30 September. For any applications received after 5 September, the KBI must be submitted within 28 days of the date of the application. The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has produced a short video explaining the process which includes:

  • The Principal Accountable Person, or someone authorised to act on their behalf, is required to register the building. The fee is £251 and it is a multiple‐choice tick box format.
  • The KBI and completion certificate are required to complete the application process.
  • Once the application has been submitted, the BSR will review the details to satisfy itself that the building should appear in the register.

All new High‐Rise Residential Buildings must be registered with the BSR before they are occupied from 1 October 2023.

Certification for Kingspan Products

Following the withdrawal of Kingspan products from BRE’s ‘RedBookLive’, BRE has published Frequently Asked Questions explaining the impact on existing installations and purchases of affected products. Where a product was installed prior to the withdrawal date of 26 June 2023, the LPCB certificate remains valid. Where purchase of the product can be proven prior to the withdrawal date, the LPCB certificate will also still be valid if the product is subsequently installed on site.

Kingspan also recently hosted a useful webinar on the fire performance and third‐party testing of its insulated panel solutions which is available to listen back to.

Building Control Process

From 1 October, the BSR will become the Building Control Body for Higher‐Risk Buildings, with transitional arrangements for projects commencing works before this date. For all other buildings, the Building Control Body can be either a Local Authority Building Control department or a Building Control Approver (a private company providing Building Inspectors). Building Inspectors will need to be assessed and certified in order to register with the BSR between October 2023 and April 2024, and the Building Safety Competence Foundation and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) have been announced as the first organisations to become independent competence assessors.

The BSR’s recent webinar provides an overview of the new building control process, as well as the new duty holder roles and three Gateways, and members can register to watch it back on demand.

ICC Appointed

The HSE has announced the membership of the new Industry Competence Committee (ICC), which will be chaired by Jon Vanstone. The ICC, which is a requirement under the Building Safety Act, will provide advice to the BSR and industry on matters of competence, and its first meeting will take place in September.

Remediation Guidance

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has published a Code of Practice for the remediation of residential buildings. It outlines how projects should be managed to minimise inconvenience for residents, including clearly defined roles and responsibilities and regular engagement.

PI Insurance

Build UK continues to update its guide to Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance with the support of Professional Services member Miller Insurance. With extended liability periods for claims under the Defective Premises Act coming into effect last year, the guide covers what PI insurance is, why it is needed, and how to secure the best possible terms in the current market.

Promoting Accountability

At a recent seminar hosted by Build UK members Buildots and CIOB, Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol reiterated the call for the industry to take responsibility under the new building safety regime by looking at “where we’ve got control, where we can make decisions and where we can actually do things”. The full seminar is available to view online.

Building the Future Commission ‐ Book Now!

As part of our partnership with Building Magazine, Build UK is supporting the Building the Future Commission, a year‐round editorial initiative exploring the key issues facing the industry which will result in a series of recommendations that can be taken to Government. The campaign’s flagship event is a conference on Wednesday 27 September in central London, which will focus on three areas ‐ Building Safety, Net Zero and Digital innovation ‐ and Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol will take part in the panel discussion on Building Safety.

It promises to be a lively and informative event, and Build UK members will receive a 15% discount when booking places using the code “BUILD15”, meaning tickets are available for just £63.75 per person.

Last Updated: 10/08/2023

Bank of England Inflation Update

Build UK attended the Bank of England National Agency Briefing last week after the Monetary Policy Committee voted to increase interest rates to 5.25%, the highest level for 15 years. Whilst the Bank believes that inflation will continue to fall this year, it is now not expected to reach the target of 2% until 2025 Q2. With persistent inflationary pressures across the economy, Build UK’s guide on Managing Price Inflation offers practical advice on negotiating contracts to take inflation into account, including the use of fluctuations provisions to manage the risks associated with price volatility.

Following the success of our roundtable earlier this year, we are delighted to welcome back our guest speaker from the Bank of England to the online Build UK AGM on Tuesday 26 September at 8:30am where he will give a fascinating insight into the state of the economy and the issues affecting the construction sector for all members.

CITB Review ‐ Please Respond!

As part of the independent review of CITB and ECITB being led by Mark Farmer, the Department for Education (DfE) has launched a call for evidence, and thanks to all those Build UK members who have already provided us with feedback on the performance of CITB. Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol is a member of the ‘Challenge Panel’, which will meet in September to consider the initial findings of the review.

The nominated Training representative for all members in scope to CITB should have received a short survey designed to inform the Build UK response, and we would be grateful if you could ensure your organisation responds by tomorrow (11 August). Alternatively, if you have already submitted a response to the call for evidence, we would ask that you simply send a copy of that to Build UK.

Illegal Workers in Construction

Following a recent roundtable hosted by Immigration Enforcement where the discussion focussed on ensuring construction workers are employed legally, Build UK members are reminded that they have the following options for ensuring an individual has the right to work in the UK:

  • Using a certified digital Identity Service Provider (IDSP) to conduct digital checks on any individual who has either a valid British or Irish Passport (or Irish Passport Card). The employer is still required to prove that they have seen the prospective employee face to face, which can be done via video call.
  • Conducting an online check via the Home Office online service where an individual is providing certain documentation, such as a Biometric Residence Card, Biometric Residence Permit or Frontier Worker Permit. An employer can also use the Employer Checking Service in specific circumstances, for example where an individual has an outstanding application or appeal with the Home Office.
  • Conducting in‐person manual document‐based checks, where the employer has to physically obtain, check and copy one ‘acceptable document’ from the prospective employee.

Employers conducting any of the above right to work checks in accordance with the Home Office guidance will be provided with a ‘statutory excuse’, which means that, in the event they are found to be employing someone illegally, they will not have to pay a civil penalty which can be up to £20,000 per illegal worker.

Net Zero Progress

The CLC has published its latest CO2nstruct Zero report which for the first time shows progress against all nine priorities set out in the industry‐wide programme to drive carbon out of the sector. It highlights an increase in both the number of houses connected to low carbon heat sources and registrations of electric vans, an overall reduction in actual energy usage in buildings, and publication of a carbon intensity benchmark on concrete to enable the industry to measure its impact.

There are also now over 220 CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions and Partners who are leading the response to the net zero challenge. Build UK is encouraging all members to sign up and support the CLC to collate the actions being taken across the whole construction supply chain to deliver the nine priorities.

T Levels Review

Ofsted has published an independent review on the implementation of T Levels since their launch in September 2020. It highlights that there is ‘considerable work to do’ to ensure their quality and effectiveness, and that it was “difficult to recruit and retain staff to teach on construction qualifications”.

Infrastructure Revolution

Build UK continues to update its series of factsheets featuring a range of national and local infrastructure projects ‐ from HS2 and Hinkley Point C to the A9 Dualling Scheme and the South Wales Metro ‐ to help everyone in the industry explain what each project is and why it is being built.

Last Updated: 03/08/2023

Transforming Payment Performance

The latest results published under the Duty to Report Regulations show Build UK Contractor members have reached another key payment milestone, paying on average 95% of invoices within 60 days, which is the target for Government contracts. In the five years since Build UK first began benchmarking payment performance in 2018, Contractor members have shown significant improvement, reducing the average time taken to pay invoices from 45 to 30 days. The Build UK table has been widely commended, with the Small Business Commissioner saying: “This is a great example of a trade organisation positively influencing payment practices in its sector. This kind of thought leadership drives payment improvements that are so crucial to the survival of small businesses in construction and their ability to grow and thrive”.

Earlier this year, the Government carried out a consultation on the Duty to Report Regulations to determine whether they should be extended beyond April 2024 and if any amendments are required to further increase transparency of payment performance. A response to the consultation is expected after the summer, and Build UK understands there is widespread support for retaining the Regulations and we are liaising with the Department for Business and Trade regarding any proposed amendments.

All the latest business news can be found in our Improving Business Performance update.

CE Marking Update

The Government has announced that it will extend recognition of CE marking for placing most goods on the market in Great Britain indefinitely. This will allow CE marked products to continue to be sold in England, Wales and Scotland after December 2024 without the need for the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark. However, construction products are covered by the Construction Products Regulations and not included in this announcement, and Build UK is liaising with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) to confirm whether a similar extension on CE marking will apply to construction products, which currently require a UKCA mark from 1 July 2025.

Building Safety Latest News

The Responsible Actors Scheme is now live, and the Government will be maintaining a ‘members list’ of those companies that join the scheme. Eligible developers that do not join the scheme or have their membership revoked, will be named on a ‘prohibitions list’ and stopped from carrying out major development and securing building control approval.

The Building Safety Competence Foundation and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) have been announced as the first organisations to become independent competence assessors for building control professionals in England. Building control professionals will need to be assessed and certified in order to become Registered Building Inspectors from April 2024, and the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) is hosting a free ‘Lunch and Learn’ webinar next Wednesday 9 August from 12:00pm to 1:00pm to provide an overview of the new building control regime.

The BSR has confirmed that applications to register existing High‐Rise Residential Buildings received on or before 5 September must submit their Key Building Information (KBI) by 30 September. For any applications submitted after 5 September, the KBI must be submitted within 28 days of the date of the application.

Guidance and Support for Members

Build UK publishes easy to follow guidance on a wide range of issues affecting the construction supply chain. Since 1 January, the top 5 most popular guidance notes on the Build UK website are:

  1. Building Safety Regime
  2. Routes of Entry into Construction
  3. Contract Terms Guidance
  4. Safety Helmet Colours Standard
  5. Managing Price Inflation.

Build UK members also have exclusive access to our helplines and services providing free advice on issues ranging from contracts and disputes to employment law and health and safety.

Plant Standards & Grants

CITB has launched new plant training standards and grants for eight of the most commonly used plant categories. A single plant grant is now available for all CITB‐registered employers, with ‘experienced’ and ‘novice’ rates, and training and assessment must be delivered against the new standards by an Approved Training Organisation (ATO).

Planning Reforms

DLUHC has launched a consultation on reforms to the consenting process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). These include introducing a new fast track route to consent and a ‘Planning Skills Delivery Fund’ to support the recruitment and up‐skilling of the workforce. The deadline for responses to the consultation is Tuesday 19 September.

ICYMI in July

  1. Build UK shared its guide to the Building Safety Regime through Building Magazine, and Philip White, Director of Building Safety at the HSE, joined our latest Building Safety call for members.
  2. We published an updated version of the Common Assessment Standard, and BAM Construction joined the growing list of organisations specifying it for their pre‐qualification requirements.
  3. Build UK along with members identified as Strategic Suppliers to Government met with Gareth Davies, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury to highlight the need for a national infrastructure plan.
  4. Our new Countdown to Open Doors 2024 highlights the key dates in the run up to the event taking place from Monday 18 ‐ Saturday 23 March 2024.

Voting opened for the Build UK Chair and other members of the Board, which will be appointed at the AGM on 26 September, and Contractor and Trade Association members are reminded to submit their vote by Tuesday 5 September.

Last Updated: 01/08/2023

Transforming Payment Performance

The latest results published under the Duty to Report Regulations show Build UK Contractor members have reached another key payment milestone, paying on average 95% of invoices within 60 days, which is the target for Government contracts. In the five years since Build UK first began benchmarking payment performance in 2018, Contractor members have shown significant improvement, reducing the average time taken to pay invoices from 45 to 30 days. The Build UK table has been widely commended, with the Small Business Commissioner saying: “This is a great example of a trade organisation positively influencing payment practices in its sector. This kind of thought leadership drives payment improvements that are so crucial to the survival of small businesses in construction and their ability to grow and thrive”.

Earlier this year, the Government carried out a consultation on the Duty to Report Regulations to determine whether they should be extended beyond April 2024 and if any amendments are required to further increase transparency of payment performance. A response to the consultation is expected after the summer, and Build UK understands there is widespread support for retaining the Regulations and we are liaising with the Department for Business and Trade regarding any proposed amendments.

Construction Pipeline

Build UK along with members identified as Strategic Suppliers to Government recently met with Gareth Davies, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, to highlight the need for a national infrastructure plan. We discussed how a clear pipeline of work was critical to improving delivery, increasing productivity, and supporting the Government’s objectives including levelling up and net zero.

Since then, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has published its Annual Report on Major Projects 2022‐23, which features 244 major infrastructure projects worth a total of £805 billion. Projects are ‘RAG’ rated based on the likelihood of achieving their aims and objectives on time and on budget and only 11% are currently rated green, with 75% rated amber.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published reports on two programmes of work which receive capital funding and represent major spending commitments in terms of construction. Its report on the New Hospital Programme (NHP), which confirms that 32 new hospitals are now expected to be delivered by 2030, recommends the NHP finalises its commercial approach and starts construction on the next ‘cohort’ of hospitals by the end of 2024. The report on school buildings highlights that 700,000 pupils are currently learning in a school that needs major rebuilding or refurbishment, and the NAO recommends a plan is put in place to deal with safety issues and ensure sufficient funding is made available to maintain the rest of the school estate.

Contract Terms Guidance

The business environment remains challenging and ensuring a fair allocation of risk through the supply chain is more important than ever. Build UK’s contract terms recommendation identifies six contract terms, including fitness for purpose and uncapped liabilities, which should be avoided in order to promote collaboration and realise better project outcomes. We have published comprehensive guidance to help implement the recommendation, explaining why each term should not be used and setting out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively, with specific guidance for JCT and NEC contracts. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms.

Cash Retentions

Build UK’s Minimum Standards on Retentions are designed to reduce the challenges associated with the use of cash retentions whilst the industry works towards the ambition for zero retentions. We have published detailed drafting guidance for incorporating the minimum standards into both JCT and NEC forms of contract.

PI Insurance

With the support of Build UK member Miller Insurance, we have updated our comprehensive guide to Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance with the latest information on the state of the market. It provides an overview of what PI insurance is, why it is needed, and how to secure the best possible terms in the current market.

JCT 2024 Announced

JCT has confirmed that the next edition of its suite of contracts will be published in 2024. JCT 2024 will feature a number of updates, including the adoption of gender‐neutral language, and reflect key legislative changes in relation to the Building Safety Act and the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act. A summary of the changes can be found in the latest edition of JCT News.

JCT 2024, which will be available via the JCT Construct subscription service in On‐Demand digital form and in hardcopy, will also include a new Target Cost Contract with both main and sub‐contract forms.

Last Updated: 27/07/2023

Building Safety Latest News

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove has confirmed the Government’s intention to mandate second staircases in new residential buildings above 18 metres as part of its long‐term plan for housing. He stated that the new requirement “cannot jeopardise the supply of homes by disrupting schemes that have been planned for years”, and DLUHC will work with industry to design transitional arrangements for projects that are already underway.

The Cladding Safety Scheme, previously known as the ‘Medium‐Rise Scheme’, is now open to all eligible buildings. The scheme will support applications to address life safety fire risks associated with cladding on residential buildings over 11 metres in England (11 ‐ 18 metres in London), where the applicant is unable to afford to carry out the work themselves or feels that it is not their responsibility to do so.

Following the withdrawal of Kingspan products from BRE’s ‘RedBookLive’, BRE has confirmed that where a product has been installed prior to the withdrawal date of 26 June 2023, the LPCB certificate remains valid. Where purchase of the product can be proven prior to the withdrawal date, the LPCB certificate will also still be valid if the product is subsequently installed on site. Kingspan is also hosting a webinar on the fire performance and third‐party testing of its insulated panel solutions, and members can register by clicking on their preferred date: Friday 28 July at 10:30am, Friday 4 August at 10:30am or Friday 11 August at 10:30am.

Building Magazine featured our guide to the Building Safety Regime, which is endorsed by the CLC, alongside its recent interview with Paul Morrell where he discussed his review of the construction products testing regime.

Long‐Term Plan for Housing

The Government’s new long‐term plan for housing prioritises building in inner‐city areas where demand is highest in order to drive growth. It includes investing £800 million from the Brownfield, Infrastructure and Land fund to unlock up to 56,000 new homes across England, as well as a ‘Docklands 2.0’ vision for up to 65,000 homes across multiple sites in East London. There will also be changes to the planning system to speed up development, including:

  • A new £24 million Planning Skills Delivery Fund to employ new planning officials to clear current backlogs, together with an additional £13.5 million for a ‘super‐squad’ of experts to support large scale development projects.
  • New flexibilities to convert shops into homes and enable barn conversions and the repurposing of agricultural buildings and disused warehouses.
  • A review into the extension of permitted development rights to make it easier to extend homes, convert lofts and renovate new buildings.

In order to support the revised system, developers will be asked to contribute more through fees to ensure planning departments are better resourced.

CITB Review ‐ Have Your Say

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched an independent review of CITB and ECITB to assess whether they are effectively meeting the needs of the industry. The review is being led by Mark Farmer, author of ‘Modernise or Die’ which focused on the role of CITB in delivering a more productive sector, and Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol has been invited to join the ‘Challenge Panel’. There is a call for evidence underway and Build UK members in scope of CITB or ECITB have the opportunity to share their views via this online survey by Friday 25 August. It may be helpful to review the questions before starting the survey, and we would ask that you also send a copy of your response to Build UK to inform our collective response to the review.

All the latest skills and training news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

IPA Report 2022/23

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has published its Annual Report on Major Projects 2022‐23, which features 244 major infrastructure projects worth a total of £805 billion. Projects are ‘RAG’ rated based on the likelihood of achieving their aims and objectives on time and on budget and only 11% are currently rated green, with 75% rated amber.

Inflation Guidance

Whilst inflation decreased in June, it remains high at 7.9% and there have been reports that the prices of products such as structural steel are rising again. Build UK’s guide on Managing Price Inflation offers practical advice on negotiating contracts to take inflation into account, including the use of fluctuations provisions to manage the risks associated with price volatility

Lower Thames Crossing

National Highways has launched one of the largest ever purchases of hydrogen to reduce the carbon footprint of the Lower Thames Crossing. It will be the first major project to use hydrogen to power heavy construction plant, and you can find out more about the UK’s longest road tunnel which will connect Kent and Essex in our factsheet.

HS2 Supplier Guide

Client member HS2 has published an updated version of its supplier guide which contains information on how suppliers of all sizes can be part of the HS2 supply chain. The guide confirms that all HS2 Main Works Civils Contractors accept the Common Assessment Standard from any one of the Recognised Assessment Bodies.

Build UK Networking Event ‐ Save the Date!

Build UK will be hosting a networking event on Wednesday 1 November from 6:00pm to welcome the new Build UK Chair who will be appointed at the online AGM on 26 September. The event will take place at the Buffini Chao Deck at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank, with stunning views across the River Thames. Please save the date in your diary and an invitation with further information will follow.

Contractor and Trade Association should have received details for submitting their vote for the Chair and other members of the Board in advance of the AGM.

Last Updated: 24/07/2023

CITB Review ‐ Have Your Say

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched an independent review of CITB and ECITB to assess whether they are effectively meeting the needs of the industry. The review is being led by Mark Farmer, author of ‘Modernise or Die’ which focused on the role of CITB in delivering a more productive sector, and Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol has been invited to join the ‘Challenge Panel’. There is a call for evidence underway and Build UK members in scope of CITB or ECITB have the opportunity to share their views via this online survey by Friday 25 August. It may be helpful to view the questions before starting the survey, and we would ask that you send a copy of your response to Build UK to inform our collective response to the review.

Build UK began the countdown to the next CITB Consensus by inviting CITB Chief Executive Tim Balcon to give an overview of the CITB Business Plan 2023/24 at our Forum meeting earlier this month. In line with Build UK’s ‘Levy In ‐ Skills Out’ response to the last Consensus in 2021, CITB has streamlined its activities and set out how it will support the industry to have a skilled, competent and inclusive workforce now and in the future. As a Prescribed Organisation, Build UK is required to consult members as part of the Consensus process, and we will share further information once the timeline has been confirmed.

End of Industry Accreditation

There is now less than a year until 30 June 2024 when cards carrying the CSCS logo obtained via Industry Accreditation will no longer be renewed and all such cards will expire on 31 December 2024. With the latest Build UK People Survey revealing that only half of members have a plan in place to transition their workforce onto an appropriate card before the deadline, there are a number of things you should be doing now:

  • Identify which of your workers hold Industry Accreditation cards
  • Confirm the appropriate route for each worker to replace their card and set out a plan to move them onto the right card by the deadline
  • Where required, find an S/NVQ provider and register workers for the appropriate qualification.

CSCS has issued guidance on the different ways that individuals holding Blue, Gold or Black Industry Accreditation cards issued by the core scheme can move onto an appropriate card. It is also hosting a free webinar on Monday 7 August from 11:00am to 11:45am to highlight the support available and employers will need to sign up to attend.

Plant Standards and Grants

From 31 July, CITB is launching new plant training standards and grants for eight of the most commonly used plant categories. There will be a single plant grant available for all CITB‐registered employers, with ‘experienced’ and ‘novice’ rates. In order to be eligible for grant, training and assessment must be delivered against the new standards by an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) and lead to a card carrying the CSCS logo, including CPCS and NPORS. Members can find their nearest ATO via the CITB Training Directory, which will automatically trigger the grant payment to the employer upon completion.

We Are Hiring!

Build UK is recruiting for a Project Manager to lead on our skills and training work. This role, which requires excellent communication skills and a passion for resolving issues, includes undertaking research and developing guidance, running roundtable and task group meetings, and liaising with CITB and other key industry stakeholders.

Pay Rates 2023

New CIJC pay rates, effective from 10 July, include a 6% increase in pay (8% for general operatives), as well as increases in travel and subsistence allowances and sick pay. There will be further increases from 1 January 2024 and the rates should be read in conjunction with the Working Rule Agreement and Holiday Entitlement 2023.

Shortage Occupations List

As announced in the Spring Budget, five trades will be added to the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) from Monday 7 August ‐ bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, roofers, and construction and building trades NEC ‐ in line with the recommendation from the CLC, supported by Build UK.

HS&E Test Changes

The Health, Safety & Environment Test for Managers and Professionals has been updated to reflect changes in legislation, working practices, technology and industry needs. The accompanying revision materials are available to purchase, with hard copies priced at £12

Get Ready to Showcase Construction

The next Open Doors will take place from Monday 18 ‐ Saturday 23 March 2024 and Build UK is encouraging all members to start thinking now about how they can get involved! With construction needing to recruit almost 45,000 new entrants each year to maintain output, #OpenDoors24 is a fantastic way to showcase what the industry has to offer by taking young people and those looking for a change of career behind the scenes of sites, manufacturing and training facilities, and workplaces across the country.

87% of visitors this year were more likely to consider a career in construction after their visit, demonstrating the impact of Open Doors on recruiting the next generation. We have published a Countdown to Open Doors 2024 detailing the key dates for your diaries, starting with a meeting for Open Doors Coordinators on Tuesday 12 September.

Last Updated: 21/07/2023

Leading Construction Through 2023

As we head into the summer break, Build UK can reflect on another busy year so far, which has seen building safety take centre stage. With new regulations and guidance being published every month, we have been regularly updating our guide since it was launched at the end of January, alongside our timeline showing at a glance when the key changes are taking effect. The HSE’s Building Safety Director, Philip White, confirmed at our latest Building Safety call for members earlier this week that the Building Safety Regulator is working towards implementing the next phase of the new regime as planned from 1 October, and we will continue to update you as further information is published.

This year has also seen our Contractor members reach a key milestone on payment terms, reducing their average time taken to pay invoices to 30 days, as well as a major step forward for the Common Assessment Standard following publication of PPN 03/23, which has enabled public sector bodies to start using it for their pre‐qualification requirements. We are also delighted that #TeamBuildUK has continued to grow, with East West Rail, HS2, JSP, McCarthy Stone, Morrisroe Group, New Hospital Programme and Yondr all adding their weight to our collective voice since January.

As ever, a huge thank you to each and every one of our members for your continued support. We hope you find time to take a well‐earned break over the next six weeks, and we will keep you up to date with all the latest industry news via this update over the summer!

Get Ready to Showcase Construction

The next Open Doors will take place from Monday 18 ‐ Saturday 23 March 2024 and Build UK is encouraging all members to start thinking now about how they can get involved! With construction needing to recruit almost 45,000 new entrants each year to maintain output, #OpenDoors24 is a fantastic way to showcase what the industry has to offer by taking young people and those looking for a change of career behind the scenes of sites, manufacturing and training facilities, and workplaces across the country.

87% of this year’s visitors were more likely to consider a career in construction after their visit, demonstrating the impact of Open Doors on recruiting the next generation. We have published a Countdown to Open Doors 2024 detailing the key dates for your diaries, starting with a meeting for Open Doors Coordinators on Tuesday 12 September.

Supply Chain Directors Meeting

Our latest meeting with Supply Chain Directors last week reinforced the benefits of Build UK members across the supply chain working together to resolve long‐standing issues such as pre‐qualification, with the Common Assessment Standard now being used by the majority of our ‘tier one’ Contractor members. Chair Sir James Wates highlighted that it is only by working collectively that we will also be able to ‘shift the dial’ on wider issues like a national infrastructure plan, which would enable the industry to invest in improving delivery, increasing productivity, and reaching net zero.

Members also discussed supply chain resilience and the value of initiatives such as Build UK’s contract terms recommendation, which identifies six terms that should be avoided in order to ensure a fairer allocation of risk.

BRE Certification

Build UK is receiving a number of queries about the withdrawal of Kingspan products from BRE’s ‘RedBookLive’, an online database of products certified to LPCB’s Loss Prevention Standards. We are currently working to understand the implications for current and future projects using these products and will provide further information in due course.

New Hospital Programme

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a progress report on the New Hospital Programme (NHP), which confirms that the NHP is now expected to deliver 32 new hospitals by 2030, rather than 40. The report recommends that the NHP finalises its commercial approach and starts construction on the next ‘cohort’ of hospitals by the end of 2024.

Shortage Occupations List

As announced in the Spring Budget 2023, five trades will be added to the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) from Monday 7 August ‐ bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, roofers, and construction and building trades not elsewhere classified (NEC) ‐ in line with the recommendation from the CLC, supported by Build UK.

CN Awards

Congratulations to the Build UK members who were winners at the CN Awards 2023 last week ‐ including ISG, Kier, Tilbury Douglas and VolkerWessels UK ‐ with special congratulations to Mace who was named Contractor of the Year (turnover over £500 million) and also took home Project of the Year (over £50 million)!

Introducing the Next Build UK Chair

Paul Cossell will complete his term as Build UK Chair at the AGM, and the Board has supported the nomination of current Vice Chair Julie White to succeed him. As Managing Director of D‐Drill and the first woman to chair the Drilling and Sawing Association (DSA), Julie has been on the Build UK Board since its inception in 2015.

She is a regular visitor to Downing Street, having served alongside well‐known business leaders on the Prime Minister’s Business Council, and is a passionate champion for the industry with frequent appearances in the media, including BBC’s Question Time, The One Show, and Sophy Ridge on Sunday. Alongside Paul Brown, Chief Executive of John Sisk & Son, who has been nominated for Vice Chair, Julie is committed to attracting more young people into the industry. She has served on the CITB Nation Council for England and chaired Build UK’s Education to Employment group, working to ensure there are clear routes of entry into construction.

All members should have received notice of the AGM, which is taking place as part of an online All Member Forum on Tuesday 26 September at 8:30am, and Contractor and Trade Association members have been sent details for submitting their vote for the Chair and other members of the Board in advance of the meeting.

Last Updated: 20/07/2023

Leading Construction Through 2023

As we head into the summer break, Build UK can reflect on another busy year so far, which has seen building safety take centre stage. With new regulations and guidance being published every month, we have been regularly updating our guide since it was launched at the end of January, alongside our timeline showing at a glance when the key changes are taking effect. The HSE’s Building Safety Director, Philip White, confirmed at our latest Building Safety call for members earlier this week that the Building Safety Regulator is working towards implementing the next phase of the new regime as planned from 1 October, and we will continue to update you as further information is published.

This year has also seen our Contractor members reach a key milestone on payment terms, reducing their average time taken to pay invoices to 30 days, as well as a major step forward for the Common Assessment Standard following publication of PPN 03/23, which has enabled public sector bodies to start using it for their pre‐qualification requirements. We are also delighted that #TeamBuildUK has continued to grow, with East West Rail, HS2, JSP, McCarthy Stone, Morrisroe Group, New Hospital Programme and Yondr all adding their weight to our collective voice since January.

As ever, a huge thank you to each and every one of our members for your continued support. We hope you find time to take a well‐earned break over the next six weeks, and we will keep you up to date with all the latest industry news via this update over the summer!

Get Ready to Showcase Construction

The next Open Doors will take place from Monday 18 ‐ Saturday 23 March 2024 and Build UK is encouraging all members to start thinking now about how they can get involved! With construction needing to recruit almost 45,000 new entrants each year to maintain output, #OpenDoors24 is a fantastic way to showcase what the industry has to offer by taking young people and those looking for a change of career behind the scenes of sites, manufacturing and training facilities, and workplaces across the country.

87% of this year’s visitors were more likely to consider a career in construction after their visit, demonstrating the impact of Open Doors on recruiting the next generation. We have published a Countdown to Open Doors 2024 detailing the key dates for your diaries, starting with a meeting for Open Doors Coordinators on Tuesday 12 September.

Supply Chain Directors Meeting

Our latest meeting with Supply Chain Directors last week reinforced the benefits of Build UK members across the supply chain working together to resolve long‐standing issues such as pre‐qualification, with the Common Assessment Standard now being used by the majority of our ‘tier one’ Contractor members. Chair Sir James Wates highlighted that it is only by working collectively that we will also be able to ‘shift the dial’ on wider issues like a national infrastructure plan, which would enable the industry to invest in improving delivery, increasing productivity, and reaching net zero.

Members also discussed supply chain resilience and the value of initiatives such as Build UK’s contract terms recommendation, which identifies six terms that should be avoided in order to ensure a fairer allocation of risk.

BRE Certification

Build UK is receiving a number of queries about the withdrawal of Kingspan products from BRE’s ‘RedBookLive’, an online database of products certified to LPCB’s Loss Prevention Standards. We are currently working to understand the implications for current and future projects using these products and will provide further information in due course.

New Hospital Programme

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a progress report on the New Hospital Programme (NHP), which confirms that the NHP is now expected to deliver 32 new hospitals by 2030, rather than 40. The report recommends that the NHP finalises its commercial approach and starts construction on the next ‘cohort’ of hospitals by the end of 2024.

Shortage Occupations List

As announced in the Spring Budget 2023, five trades will be added to the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) from Monday 7 August ‐ bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, roofers, and construction and building trades not elsewhere classified (NEC) ‐ in line with the recommendation from the CLC, supported by Build UK.

CN Awards

Congratulations to the Build UK members who were winners at the CN Awards 2023 last week ‐ including ISG, Kier, Tilbury Douglas and VolkerWessels UK ‐ with special congratulations to Mace who was named Contractor of the Year (turnover over £500 million) and also took home Project of the Year (over £50 million)!

Introducing the Next Build UK Chair

Paul Cossell will complete his term as Build UK Chair at the AGM, and the Board has supported the nomination of current Vice Chair Julie White to succeed him. As Managing Director of D‐Drill and the first woman to chair the Drilling and Sawing Association (DSA), Julie has been on the Build UK Board since its inception in 2015.

She is a regular visitor to Downing Street, having served alongside well‐known business leaders on the Prime Minister’s Business Council, and is a passionate champion for the industry with frequent appearances in the media, including BBC’s Question Time, The One Show, and Sophy Ridge on Sunday. Alongside Paul Brown, Chief Executive of John Sisk & Son, who has been nominated for Vice Chair, Julie is committed to attracting more young people into the industry. She has served on the CITB Nation Council for England and chaired Build UK’s Education to Employment group, working to ensure there are clear routes of entry into construction.

All members should have received notice of the AGM, which is taking place as part of an online All Member Forum on Tuesday 26 September at 8:30am, and Contractor and Trade Association members have been sent details for submitting their vote for the Chair and other members of the Board in advance of the meeting.

Last Updated: 13/07/2023

Building Safety Guide Updated

Ahead of the next phase of the building safety regime coming into effect from 1 October, Build UK has updated its guide and timeline to reflect the regulations and supporting guidance that have recently been published. Changes in the July 2023 version of the guide, which is supported by the CLC, include:

  • Clarifying the definition of a Higher‐Risk Building
  • A link to the guidance on Key Building Information (KBI), which must be submitted as part of the registration process for High‐Rise Residential Buildings
  • Updated information on the new building control framework
  • New guidance on Planning Gateway One and confirmation that hospitals and care homes are excluded from the requirements
  • An updated link to guidance on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

To ensure businesses across the supply chain are aware of their responsibilities under the new regime, Build UK is sharing its guide through Building Magazine. In an article published earlier this week, Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol explained: “We believe that helping the whole supply chain to see the bigger picture will make it easier for everyone to understand where they fit in and what their responsibilities are…No one company or organisation can do this alone. We talk a lot about collaboration and this really does need a combined effort from Team Construction.”

All the latest information can be found in our Building Safety update, and your nominated Building Safety representative should have received an invite to our Building Safety call next Tuesday 18 July.

Common Assessment Standard Latest

BAM Construction has become the latest Build UK member to specify the Common Assessment Standard for its pre‐qualification requirements, with Head of Procurement Dan Billinge confirming: “At BAM, we are always exploring ways to create efficiencies for our valued supply chain partners…By introducing the Common Assessment Standard as our pre‐qualification process, we are now accepting all Recognised Assessment Bodies, resulting in reduced cost and time for our partners.”

BAM Construction joins a growing list of organisations using the Common Assessment Standard, and members of the supply chain can now obtain just one certification from any of the Recognised Assessment Bodies in order to tender for work with them. The Common Assessment Standard, which is endorsed by the CLC, has two levels of certification ‐ desktop and site‐based ‐ and companies should apply for the appropriate level depending on their trade, size and the requirements of their clients.

CITB Gives Update on Business Plan

Thanks to all those members who joined our Forum meeting last week, where Tim Balcon, Chief Executive of CITB, provided an overview of the CITB Business Plan 2023/24 and what has been delivered since the last Consensus in 2021. In line with Build UK’s ‘Levy In ‐ Skills Out’ response, CITB has streamlined activity and its latest business plan sets out three key priorities ‐ improving construction’s people pipeline, creating defined training pathways, and delivering an efficient training supply ‐ to support the industry to have a skilled, competent and inclusive workforce now and in the future.

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched an independent review of CITB and ECITB to assess whether they are performing effectively and delivering services that meet the needs of the industry. The review is being led by Mark Farmer, and Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol has been invited to join the ‘Challenge Panel’, which is expected to meet at least twice during the review to discuss emerging evidence, interim findings and final conclusions

Report on Schools

A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed that 700,000 pupils are currently learning in a school that needs major rebuilding or refurbishment. The NAO recommends a plan is put in place to deal with safety issues and ensure sufficient funding is made available to maintain the rest of the school estate.

Drive Out Diesel

According to the latest report from the Climate Change Committee, the Government is missing its net zero target. With construction accounting for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, Build UK’s ‘Drive Out Diesel’ guide contains a range of tips to use less diesel, go alternative and use more electric plant and equipment.

Fatal Accident Figures

The latest figures published by the HSE show that 45 construction workers died in work‐related incidents between April 2022 and March 2023, the highest of any sector. It represents a 55% increase on the previous 12‐month period (29) and is 22% higher than the five‐year average (37).

Procurement Bill

The Cabinet Office is consulting on the secondary legislation required to implement the new public procurement regime set out in the Procurement Bill, including the financial thresholds that will mean contracts need to comply with the regime. The deadline for responses is Friday 28 July.

Improving Payment Performance

Build UK will be updating its payment performance table at the end of this month in line with the latest results published under the Duty to Report Regulations, which will mark five years since we first began compiling this information in 2018. In that time, Build UK Contractor members have shown significant improvement, reducing the average time taken to pay invoices from 45 to 30 days. Willmott Dixon’s Chief Financial Officer, Graham Dundas, explains: “By benchmarking companies on its website, Build UK has raised awareness of payment performance and ensured it is a feature of discussions around the board table, and at Willmott Dixon paying our supply chain on time is a key statistic that we measure ourselves against”.

The Build UK table features more than 100 of the largest construction companies, including contractors, clients and housebuilders, to provide a comprehensive picture of payment practices across the industry.

Last Updated: 13/07/2023

Build UK’s Latest Building Safety Regime.

Last Updated: 11/07/2023

Building Safety Guide Updated

Ahead of the next phase of the building safety regime coming into effect from 1 October, Build UK has updated its guide and timeline to reflect the regulations and supporting guidance that have recently been published. Changes in the July 2023 version of the guide, which is supported by the CLC, include:

  • Clarifying the definition of a Higher‐Risk Building
  • A link to the guidance on Key Building Information (KBI), which can now be submitted as part of the registration process for High‐Rise Residential Buildings
  • Updated information on the new building control framework
  • New guidance on Planning Gateway One and confirmation that hospitals and care homes are excluded from the requirements
  • An updated link to guidance on the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

To ensure businesses across the supply chain are aware of their responsibilities under the new regime, Build UK is sharing its guide through Building Magazine. In an article published yesterday, Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol explained: “We believe that helping the whole supply chain to see the bigger picture will make it easier for everyone to understand where they fit in and what their responsibilities are…No one company or organisation can do this alone. We talk a lot about collaboration and this really does need a combined effort from Team Construction.”

Building Safety Regulator Latest

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) is increasing engagement with industry to help ensure the successful implementation of the new regime. Director of Building Safety Philip White will join our next Building Safety call on Tuesday 18 July to give an update on the work that the BSR is doing, and your nominated Building Safety representative should have received an invitation directly. Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol also recently attended an event hosted by the HSE Board to discuss a more collaborative approach to competence and joined an additional Building Advisory Committee meeting to support the BSR, which is keen to see culture change focussed on ensuring buildings are safe to occupy.

New guidance on determining whether a building is considered a Higher‐Risk Building during the occupation phase of the regime confirms that it must meet certain use criteria in addition to being at least 18 metres in height or at least 7 storeys and containing at least two residential units. High‐rise residential, educational, and supported and sheltered accommodation are included, but hospitals, care homes, secure residential institutions, hotels and miliary accommodation are excluded. The House of Commons has published a useful briefing which summarises how the requirements of the Building Safety Act apply to various buildings.

Building Control Framework

At our last Building Safety call in June, Steve Evans from the NHBC gave an overview of the new building control process. Although not all the legislation has been published yet, he confirmed a number of key points, including:

  • Building control will become a regulated profession from April 2024 and the BSR has published a framework setting out roles and responsibilities.
  • The BSR will become the Building Control Body for Higher‐Risk Buildings from 1 October 2023, with transitional arrangements for projects commencing works before this date. For all other buildings, the Building Control Body can be either a Local Authority Building Control department or a Building Control Approver (a private company providing Building Inspectors) and there will be Operational Standards Rules for Building Control Bodies.
  • Building Inspectors will need to demonstrate their competence in accordance with the Building Inspector Competence Framework (BICoF) and register with the BSR between October 2023 and April 2024.

Professional Conduct Rules for Registered Building Control Approvers (RBCAs) and a Code of Conduct for Registered Building Inspectors (RBIs) have now been published and will come into force in April 2024

Cladding Remediation Update

The Government has published draft regulations for the first phase of the ‘Responsible Actors Scheme’, which are expected to come into force this summer. Developers that do not join the Scheme and comply with its conditions, which include signing the developer remediation contract, will face planning and building control prohibitions. Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove recently confirmed that only two developers have yet to sign the contract.

Eight developers have now signed the Scottish Safer Buildings Accord: developer commitment letter pledging to work with the Scottish Government to support the remediation of external wall cladding systems on buildings in Scotland. The next step will be to agree and sign a legally binding contract.

The latest figures published by Government show that, of the 490 High‐Rise Residential Buildings in England identified to have unsafe ACM cladding, remediation work has been fully completed on 360 (73%), with a further 52 (11%) awaiting Building Control sign‐off.

PI Insurance Guide

Build UK continues to update its comprehensive guide to Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance with the support of Miller Insurance. With extended liability periods for claims under the Defective Premises Act coming into effect last year, the guide provides an overview of what PI insurance is, why it is needed, and how to secure the best possible terms.

Building Safety Role

Build UK is recruiting for a Project Manager to lead on our building safety work. This part‐time role, which requires the ability to absorb new information quickly and resolve issues, includes analysing and communicating regulatory changes, updating our Building Safety Guide, running our Building Safety calls, and liaising with the BSR and other key stakeholders.

Coming Up…

Two Staircases ‐ Build UK is continuing to push for a decision on whether Approved Document B (Fire Safety) will be amended to require two staircases in all new residential buildings above a certain height. A recent report has confirmed feedback from members that this requirement from the Greater London Authority in buildings over 30 metres in London is delaying delivery, with developments currently in procurement likely to be postponed by six to nine months for redesign and some at risk of even further delays due to viability challenges.

Competence ‐ In September, Working Group Two (WG2) is expected to publish the path to competence for each of the occupations identified as priorities for ensuring fire safety in buildings ‐ Dry Lining, Domestic Plumbing and Heating, Fire Detection and Alarms, Fire Stopping, Roofing, and Rainscreen Cladding ‐ along with a ‘how‐to guide’ to help other sectors develop paths to competence for their occupations.

Fire Safety Training ‐ Build UK is working with CITB to develop a free e‐learning training course on Fire Safety in Buildings. It will be launched later this year with the aim of ensuring all those involved in the construction and maintenance of buildings understand the need for effective compartmentation and the implications of breaching or interfering with fire protection measures.

Lat Updated: 06/07/2023

Building Safety Latest

The next phase of the building safety regime will be implemented from 1 October, when the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will become the Building Control Body for Higher‐Risk Buildings and new dutyholder responsibilities, Gateways Two and Three, and other requirements under the Building Safety Act will come into effect. We are expecting a raft of regulations and supporting guidance to be published over the summer, and Build UK will be updating its comprehensive guide to the new regime next week, which will include the following:

  • New guidance published by Government on determining whether a building is considered a Higher‐Risk Building during the occupation phase of the new regime. As well as being at least 18 metres in height or at least 7 storeys and containing at least two residential units, a building must also meet certain use criteria. High‐rise residential, educational, and supported and sheltered accommodation are included but hospitals, care homes, secure residential institutions, hotels and miliary accommodation are excluded. There is a useful summary of how the requirements of the Building Safety Act apply to various buildings in this briefing published by the House of Commons.
  • As part of the new Building Control process, the Code of Conduct for Registered Building Inspectors (RBIs) and the Professional Conduct Rules for Registered Building Control Approvers (RBCAs) have been published and must be complied with from April 2024.

The HSE is increasing engagement with industry to help ensure the successful implementation of the new requirements from 1 October, and Director of Building Safety Philip White will join our next Building Safety call on Tuesday 18 July to give an update on the work that the BSR is doing. Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol also recently attended an event hosted by the HSE Board to discuss a more collaborative approach to competence and joined an additional Building Advisory Committee meeting to support the BSR, which is keen to see culture change focussed on ensuring buildings are safe to occupy.

Common Assessment Standard V3.2

Following the issue of PPN 03/23 earlier this year, which allows public sector bodies to use the Common Assessment Standard in place of PAS 91, Build UK has published an updated version of the Common Assessment Standard. Version 3.2 includes minor updates to the question set and associated guidance to reflect further legislative changes post‐Brexit and to provide additional clarity for companies being certified. Suppliers will now be required to answer the updated question set when they go through the certification process for the Common Assessment Standard.

We have also collated a series of communication tools to help promote the Common Assessment Standard across the supply chain. These include new Frequently Asked Questions for public sector bodies looking to use the Common Assessment Standard for their pre‐qualification requirements.

Migration and Construction Report

CITB has published its latest Migration and Construction report focussing on how the industry has responded to the introduction of the Points‐Based Immigration System (PBIS). Under this system, businesses recruiting workers from outside the UK need to obtain a sponsor licence and all such workers require a visa to work in the UK, with the exception of Irish citizens and EEA/Swiss nationals with EU Settled Status. The report highlights a lack of awareness of the system, with just half of employers surveyed being aware of it and only 7% having signed up as a licensed sponsor.

Under the PBIS, most workers from outside the UK in construction are ‘skilled workers’ and require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation. Build UK’s flowchart provides an overview of the process of employing a worker from outside the UK, with detailed guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence and How to Get a Skilled Worker Visa.

Meeting with Treasury

Build UK along with members identified as Strategic Suppliers to Government met with Gareth Davies, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, last month to highlight the need for a national infrastructure plan. We discussed how a clear pipeline of work was critical to improving delivery, increasing productivity, and supporting the Government’s objectives including levelling up and net zero.

Social Value Report

Client member SCAPE has published its latest Social Value in Construction report, which reveals that the industry delivered £1.08 billion of social value from contracts worth £4.57 billion in 2022, representing a 23.6% return on investment. Whilst local spend and employment measures make up the majority of social value, other community benefits are increasingly being delivered.

Open Doors 2024

Following the huge success of this year’s event, Open Doors will return from Monday 18 ‐ Saturday 23 March 2024. Recruiting the next generation is vital if we are to maintain the pipeline of talent coming into the industry, and we will be encouraging all members to get involved in #OpenDoors24 to show what construction has to offer!

Energy Bills Support

The Energy Bills Discount Scheme is providing discounts on gas and electricity unit prices for all non‐domestic consumers between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2024. Greater discounts are available for businesses in ‘Energy and Trade Intensive Industries’ but they must apply for this higher level of support by Tuesday 25 July.

ICYMI in June

  1. Our latest Building Safety call included an update on the new building control process and reinforced the need for clarity on the Building Safety Regime from 1 October.
  2. Build UK produced its latest report on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) of Contractor members, showing that the GPG is still heavily impacted by the low number of women employed at all levels in the industry.
  3. The CLC endorsed our template Drugs and Alcohol Policy in response to calls for a consistent framework for drug and alcohol testing across the industry.
  4. We updated our comprehensive guide to Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance with the latest information on the state of the market.

HS2 became our latest Client member and we published updated information on membership showing how Build UK is promoting the value of construction and transforming the industry.

Last Updated: 29/06/2023

Building Safety Partnership

With just three months until 1 October when a raft of new regulations under the Building Safety Act are due to come into effect, Build UK is delighted to announce that it will be working with Building Magazine to ensure businesses across the supply chain are aware of their responsibilities and support the delivery of buildings that are safe. This will include sharing our guide to the Building Safety Regime, which to date has been available to Build UK members only, with elements featured in upcoming issues of Building Magazine. We will continue to hold our regular Building Safety Calls for members for the rest of the year, enabling us to identify and respond to issues.

Build UK is also supporting the Building the Future Commission, Building Magazine’s year‐round editorial initiative exploring the key issues facing the industry in order to produce a series of recommendations that can be taken to Government. The campaign’s flagship event will be a conference on Wednesday 27 September where Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol will take part in a panel discussion on building safety. Build UK members will receive a 15% discount when booking places using the code “BUILD15”, meaning tickets are available for just £63.75 per person.

Construction’s Gender Pay Gap

As part of our work on Recruiting, Training and Retaining Talent, Build UK collates information each year on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) of its Contractor members. Our latest report for 2022/23, which has been shared directly with our Contractor members that are required to report their GPG, shows that women were paid on average 76p for every £1 men were paid, when comparing median hourly pay. Whilst this is a slight improvement on the average between 2017 and 2022, when women were paid 74p for every £1 men were paid, the GPG continues to be heavily impacted by the low number of women employed at all levels in the industry. This includes just 11.2% in the highest pay quartile in 2022/23 and it will take time and concentrated effort to improve.

We know that a diverse workforce offers significant benefits, including better innovation, improved productivity and higher staff retention, and Build UK will continue to support initiatives that help to drive the required changes. Details of all the latest work that we are doing can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

JCT 2024 Announced

JCT has confirmed that the next edition of its suite of contracts will be published in 2024. JCT 2024 will feature a number of updates, including the adoption of gender‐neutral language, and reflect key legislative changes in relation to the Building Safety Act and the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act. The new edition, which will be available via the JCT Construct subscription service, On‐Demand digital version and in hardcopy, will also include a new Target Cost Contract with both main and sub‐contract forms.

Pay Rates 2023

The CIJC has agreed new pay rates effective from Monday 10 July. There is a 6% increase in pay (8% for general operatives), as well as increases in travel and subsistence allowances and sick pay. There will be further increases from 1 January 2024 and the rates should be read in conjunction with the Working Rule Agreement and Holiday Entitlement 2023

Inflation Update

Inflation has remained high at 8.7% despite expectations it would fall this month, and Build UK’s guide on Managing Price Inflation, produced with the support of Wedlake Bell LLP, offers practical advice on negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account, including the use of fluctuations provisions to manage the risks associated with price volatility.

CITB Levy Return

The deadline for employers registered with CITB to submit their completed 2023 Levy Return is tomorrow (Friday 30 June). Failure to submit it on time will result in grant claims being withheld until it is received, and employers who do not submit a completed Levy Return by 30 November 2023 will lose eligibility for all grant claims.

Net Zero Strategy

The Public Accounts Committee has published a report warning that the Government’s ambition to decarbonise the power sector by 2035 is at risk due to the lack of an integrated, coherent delivery plan and the private sector not having enough clarity to attract investment in nuclear, solar and wind power schemes.

Build UK Welcomes New Member

Build UK is delighted to welcome HS2 as our latest Client member, further increasing our representation of the industry. HS2 will deliver 230 miles of new high‐speed track across England supporting the UK’s economic growth and tackling climate change, and you can find out more about Europe’s largest infrastructure project in our factsheet. HS2 has already adopted the Common Assessment Standard and is keen to work more closely with members across the supply chain, with Chief Commercial Officer Ruth Todd saying: “We need thousands of businesses, big and small, to help us build HS2 and we are looking forward to reaching even more suppliers by becoming a member of Build UK. The Common Assessment Standard has made it easier to get on board whilst ensuring all suppliers meet a high‐quality standard for the safe delivery of HS2.”

If you know any other organisations that would benefit from all the work we are doing by being in membership, then please encourage them to join us.

Last Updated: 22/06/2023

Drugs and Alcohol Policy Endorsed by CLC

The CLC has shared Build UK’s template Drugs and Alcohol Policy, produced with the support of Eurofins Workplace Drug Testing, in response to calls for a consistent framework for drug and alcohol testing across the industry. Recognising that there are different legal limits across the nations and workplace environments, along with various ways of testing, the policy can be adopted by the whole construction supply chain to provide a consistent approach to the issue of drugs and alcohol, which will help the industry to eliminate unnecessary duplication and waste.

The template policy has been drafted so that companies can adopt it in its entirety or incorporate elements of it into their own policy to suit their business, and the June 2023 version has been updated with additional information on the consumption of alcohol as part of corporate hospitality for those companies that permit it.

Building Safety Latest

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has confirmed that Key Building Information (KBI) can now be submitted as part of the registration process for High‐Rise Residential Buildings. All applications to register existing High‐Rise Residential Buildings, including the KBI, must be completed by 30 September 2023.

The Government has announced a further £18.6 million to fund the installation of common alarm systems in buildings replacing ‘waking watch’ measures. The Waking Watch Replacement Fund 2023 is available to residential buildings of any height in England that currently have waking watch measures in place, and there is detailed application guidance available.

A recent report has confirmed feedback from members that the Greater London Authority’s requirement for all new residential buildings over 30 metres in height in London to have two staircases is delaying delivery, with developments currently in procurement likely to be postponed by six to nine months for redesign and some at risk of even further delays due to viability challenges.

Calls to Scrap Infrastructure Levy

Build UK has joined over 30 organisations, including housebuilders, local authorities and planners, in writing to Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove to urge him not to proceed with the introduction of the Infrastructure Levy. The joint letter raises concerns that the proposed new levy could reduce the amount of money available for affordable homes and vital infrastructure, whilst prolonging uncertainty, perpetuating regional inequalities, and deepening the housing crisis.

Instead, signatories are calling for the current developer contributions system, which includes S106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy, to be reformed. Whilst the current system has a number of issues, the Infrastructure Levy would not overcome them, and existing communities would still find it difficult to realise the benefits of new development in their area.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming that there continues to be good availability of most products, including electrical components and timber which had previously been problematic. With construction activity increasing, inflation remains an issue, particularly for energy‐intensive products where manufacturers have ‘begun hedging their energy contracts in 2024’.

Administrations in the industry are currently at a very high level and KPMG has previously summarised the warning signs to look out for and the steps to take in the event of an insolvency occurring in the supply chain.

Changes to CIS

HMRC is consulting on proposed changes to the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), which include adding VAT to the ‘gross payment status’ compliance test, through which a sub‐contractor must prove they comply with all their tax obligations, in order to tackle VAT abuse. The deadline for responses is Thursday 20 July.

Hot Weather Guidance

In the current hot weather, the HSE is reminding employers that, although there is no legal maximum working temperature, they must ensure workers are protected from the heat. There is a range of guidance on working safely in hot weather, including the HSE’s Temperature in the Workplace and the Government’s Beat the Heat.

Build UK AGM to Welcome Bank of England

Members should have now received notice of the 2023 Build UK AGM, which will take place on Tuesday 26 September at 8:30am as part of an online All Member Forum. Following the success of our Bank of England roundtable in April, we are delighted to welcome back our guest speaker, who will give a fascinating insight into the state of the UK economy and issues affecting the construction sector for all members.

The Board for 2023/24 will be appointed at the AGM and any Contractor or Trade Association members interested in submitting a nomination should contact us by Monday 3 July.

Last Updated: 15/06/2023

Building Safety Latest

Thank you to all those members who attended our Building Safety meeting last week, where Steve Evans from the NHBC gave an overview of the new building control process. Although the legislation is not expected to be published until July, he confirmed a number of key points in relation to the new process, including:

  • Building control will become a regulated profession from April 2024 and the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has published a framework setting out roles and responsibilities.
  • Building Inspectors will need to demonstrate their competence in accordance with the Building Inspector Competence Framework (BICoF) and register with the BSR between October 2023 and April 2024.
  • The BSR will become the Building Control Body for Higher‐Risk Buildings (HRBs) from October 2023, with transitional arrangements for projects commencing works before this date.
  • Operational Standard Rules for Building Control Bodies have been published, with codes of conduct for both Building Control Bodies and Building Inspectors to follow.

Regulatory clarity remains the key issue for members and Build UK’s timeline shows when key changes are taking effect. It is anticipated that secondary legislation will be published three months ahead of implementation and the timeline will be regularly updated alongside our comprehensive guide.

Common Assessment Standard

Following the issue of PPN 03/23 earlier this year, which allows public sector bodies to use the Common Assessment Standard in place of PAS 91, Build UK will be publishing an updated version of the Common Assessment Standard on 1 July 2023. Version 3.2 will include minor updates to the question set and associated guidance to reflect further legislative changes post‐Brexit and to provide additional clarity for companies being certified.

The Common Assessment Standard is reviewed every year to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the industry. It is anticipated that further changes may be required following the introduction of the Building Safety Act, which will be confirmed once the secondary legislation has been published later this year, and members can suggest other changes for inclusion in Version 4 by completing this online form.

Advice for Members

Based on feedback from members, Build UK Partner Citation has made some changes to its helpline to make it easier for members to access free support on HR and employment law issues, as well as health and safety matters. Members can now contact Citation in two different ways between Monday and Friday 9:00am ‐ 5:00pm and will simply need to state they are a member of Build UK:

Advice is available on a wide range of issues, including recruitment and induction processes, sickness and absence, and disciplinaries and grievances, as well as risk assessments and accidents. Details of all the helplines and services offered to members can be found on the Build UK website.

PI Insurance

With the support of Build UK member Miller Insurance, we have updated our comprehensive guide to Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance with the latest information on the state of the market. The guide provides an overview of what PI insurance is, why it is needed, as well as how to secure the best possible terms.

ITB Review

The Department for Education (DfE) will shortly announce an independent review of CITB and ECITB to assess whether they are performing effectively and delivering services that meet the needs of industry. The review will be led by Mark Farmer and include a call for evidence which Build UK will be responding to.

Site Inspections

The HSE is carrying out site inspections until Friday 14 July focussed on the respiratory risks to construction workers from exposure to silica and wood dust. The inspection initiative aims to raise awareness of the health issues, and there is guidance for employers on effective prevention and control measures.

Equipment Theft Bill

The Home Office is consulting on extending the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill, designed to prevent the theft of agriculture machinery and equipment, to include a new requirement for power tools used by tradespeople to be forensically marked. The deadline for responses to the consultation is Thursday 13 July.

Join Us for the Build UK Forum

The next Build UK Forum is for all members and will take place on Tuesday 4 July from 8:30am ‐ 9:30am. We will be joined by Tim Balcon, Chief Executive of CITB, who will look ahead to the next CITB Consensus process and provide an overview of the CITB Business Plan 2023/24 and what CITB has delivered over the last two years since Build UK responded to the last Consensus. CITB has a fundamental impact on the whole industry skills system and the meeting will be of interest to all members even if they do not pay the CITB Levy.

Members should have received a calendar invite and please accept it to confirm your attendance or email [email protected]. Details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Last Updated: 08/06/2023

Bank of England Update

Build UK held its annual roundtable with the Bank of England in May to discuss the current state of the UK economy and the impact on construction. Specific challenges facing the industry include:

  • Cost and shortages of skilled labour ‐ A reliance on a flexible workforce to respond at short notice is resulting in wage inflation, along with the ‘poaching’ of staff and a significant lack of expertise in both managerial and trade occupations.
  • Price volatility ‐ Whilst costs, including energy, are stabilising, inflation remains high at 8.7% and this is reflected in the pricing of construction products and projects. Demand continues to be affected by a lack of confidence in the market, rising interest rates and a reluctance to commit to fixed prices.
  • Changing policy decisions ‐ The lack of a critical infrastructure plan and the ‘stop/go’ approach to major projects is extremely disruptive, impacting the industry’s ability to invest in the long term.

Our next roundtable is being hosted by Professional Services member Buildots on Wednesday 28 June at 8:30am where we will be exploring how the effective sharing of information can help to mitigate volatility and uncertainty in the supply chain. Details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

New Hospital Programme Confirmed

The Government has confirmed that it remains committed to building 40 new hospitals by 2030 and will invest over £20 billion into the New Hospital Programme (NHP). The list now includes five existing hospitals that will be rebuilt as they contain a significant amount of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) which has a limited lifespan and is at risk of failure, plus three new mental health facilities that are not part of the NHP. As a result, eight projects that were included in the original list of 40 have been pushed back until after 2030.

Build UK recently facilitated the first collaborative roundtable with the NHP, one of our Client members, which brought together Contractor members to look at how the industry could work with the NHP to deliver one of the largest programmes in the UK.

Shortage Occupations List Review

Build UK has worked closely with the CLC to respond to the recent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) review of the Shortage Occupations List (SOL), which lists the job roles where a worker can be paid 80% of the usual going rate whilst still qualifying for a Skilled Worker visa. We have called for 13 occupations to either be added to, or remain on, the SOL, including a number represented by Build UK Trade Association members. The MAC will publish its recommendations later in the year, which will be considered by the Government when updating the SOL.

The CLC has also taken the opportunity to propose changes to the wider Points‐Based Immigration System to make it easier for construction employers to recruit workers from outside the UK. Most will require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation, and Build UK’s flowchart provides an overview of the process, with detailed guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence and How to Get a Skilled Worker Visa.

Contract Terms: ‘Specified Perils’

The JCT suite of contracts identifies a number of events known as ‘Specified Perils’ that might cause damage, for example fire, lightning, explosions and floods, which are outside the coverage of indemnities provided by the supply chain. In the event a Specified Peril occurs, the standard position under JCT is that the supply chain has no liability for delay but cannot recover their costs from the client, and the client has no liability to the supply chain but cannot recover delay damages. However, it has become increasingly common to include provisions that remove the supply chain’s immunity from liability for delays where the Specified Peril was caused by them, shifting the balance of risk unevenly in favour of clients. Build UK recommends that the standard JCT position is followed and parties do not include provisions which state that Specified Perils will not give rise to an extension of time where caused by the contractor/sub‐contractor.

Specified Perils is one of six terms covered in Build UK’s recommendation on contract terms designed to encourage a fairer allocation of risk between clients and the supply chain. We have published guidance explaining why each term should be avoided and setting out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms.

Growing Membership

Build UK has published updated information showing how we work with our members across the supply chain to promote the value of construction and transform the industry. If you know any other organisations that would benefit from everything we are doing, please encourage them to join us.

Diesel Route Map

Nusrat Ghani, who remained in the role of Construction Minister when the Department for Business and Trade was established earlier this year, has helped to launch the CLC’s Zero Diesel Sites Route Map, which sets out a plan to eliminate the use of diesel from most UK construction sites by 2035.

Competition Law

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has secured the disqualification of another director following its investigation into cartel behaviour in the demolition industry. Build UK’s guidance on cartels and cover pricing explains how directors have personal liability for ensuring their businesses comply with competition law.

CITB Progress

CITB has published its latest quarterly Performance Report detailing progress against the targets set out in its Business Plan 2023/24. It highlights 35,420 apprenticeship starts in the year to date, above the target of 30,450, and a 61% increase in the number of visitors to Go Construct, an Open Doors Industry Partner.

ICYMI in May

  1. SCAPE became the first public sector body following publication of PPN 03/23 to adopt the Common Assessment Standard, whilst the Steel Construction Certification Scheme (SCCS) was confirmed as a Recognised Assessment Body.
  2. Build UK updated its guide to the building safety regime, which now includes a timeline showing when key changes are taking effect.
  3. We published ‘Securing Skills in Construction’ outlining current trends in employment and training amongst Build UK members.
  4. Our review of Open Doors 2023 showed the positive impact it has on recruiting the next generation into construction.

Professional Services member JSP published a simple guide to the different safety helmet standards to support our Safety Helmet Colours Standard.

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Last Updated: 25/05/2023

Building Safety Guide Updated

Build UK has updated its comprehensive guide to the building safety regime to reflect the latest secondary legislation and guidance that has been published. Changes in the May 2023 version include:

  • Updated guidance on the Safety Case which must be prepared by the Principal Accountable Person
  • The latest information on the new building control system, including the Operational Standards Rules for Building Control Bodies and competence framework for Building Inspectors
  • A link to the Independent Review of the Construction Products Testing Regime led by Paul Morrell OBE, Testing for a Safer Future
  • A link to the guide on safety‐critical elements published by the CIOB in partnership with RIBA.

Build UK has also published a timeline showing when key changes are taking effect to support the implementation of the Building Safety Act. There will be further changes over the next 12 months, including the introduction of new regulations, and the timeline will be regularly updated alongside the guide to help provide clarity for members.

BSR Latest News

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has confirmed that around 750 applications have been logged since the registration process for High‐Rise Residential Buildings opened last month. Guidance has been published on the Key Building Information (KBI) that must be provided by the Principal Accountable Person when registering a High‐Rise Residential Building, although this part of the registration process is now not expected to go live until ‘later this summer’. All existing High‐Rise Residential Buildings must be registered with the BSR by 30 September 2023.

Companies that will be interacting with the BSR, particularly Principal Contractors, are being invited to provide feedback on the digital services it is developing, such as applying for building control approval. The user research will be undertaken in one‐to‐one sessions lasting about an hour, and any members interested in participating should email the HSE.

Recruiting the Next Generation

Construction needs to recruit almost 45,000 new entrants each year to maintain output and Open Doors goes behind the site hoardings to show young people and those looking for a change of career what the industry has to offer. This year’s event enabled nearly 5,000 potential recruits to take the first step on their Journey from Education to Employment in the industry and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. With 87% of visitors stating that they are now more likely to consider a career in construction, we are delighted to publish a review of Open Doors 2023 demonstrating the impact on recruiting the next generation.

Build UK Contractor member and Open Doors Partner Willmott Dixon has also published an article in Building, reflecting on the success of Open Doors for their business and the wider industry, and further information can be found in our Open Doors update.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement confirming that there is “good availability of the vast majority of building materials across the UK, with increasing reports that availability is back to preCOVID levels”. Whilst there is less pressure on prices due to a reduction in demand compared to this time last year, the CLC warns that ‘volatility persists’, and Build UK’s guide on Managing Price Inflation contains practical advice on negotiating new and existing contracts to manage the risks associated with price volatility, including the use of fluctuations provisions

Builders Not Blockers

In a recent speech, leader of the Labour Party, Sir Kier Starmer, set out his vision to grow the economy, with a focus on reforming the planning system. He committed to bringing back local housing targets and streamlining the process for national infrastructure projects as part of ‘choos[ing] the builders, not the blockers’.

Safety Helmet Standards

To support the industry‐recognised Safety Helmet Colours Standard developed by Build UK, Professional Services member JSP has published a simple guide to the different safety helmet standards ‐ BS EN 397, BS EN 12492 and BS EN 14052 ‐ which shows at a glance the various specifications including use and lifespan.

Infrastructure Revolution

Build UK’s series of factsheets features a range of national and local infrastructure projects ‐ from HS2 and Hinkley Point C to Manchester’s Victoria North and Scotland’s A9 Dualling Scheme ‐ to help everyone in the industry explain what each project is and why it is being built.

NonCompete Clauses

The Government has announced that it will introduce a statutory limit of three months on the length of non‐compete clauses in contracts of employment and limb(b) worker contracts in order to make it easier for businesses to fill vacancies and for individuals to move between companies.

Build UK AGM Save the Date!

The 2023 Build UK AGM will be held on Tuesday 26 September at 8:30am as part of an online All Member Forum. The Board for 2023/24 will be appointed at the AGM and any Contractor or Trade Association members interested in submitting a nomination should contact us by Monday 3 July. We will be hosting a networking event later in the year to welcome the new Build UK Chair who will be appointed at the AGM.

The Build UK update is taking a break for half term next week and we will be back in your inboxes on Thursday 8 June. We hope you have a great bank holiday weekend!

Last Updated: 22/05/2023

Securing Skills in Construction

Build UK has published the results of its latest survey of members to understand current trends in employment and training and the level of awareness of the expiry of CSCS cards achieved via Industry Accreditation. ‘Securing Skills in Construction’ reveals that 56% of Build UK members expect to increase direct employment levels in the next 12 months, compared to 50% in September 2022. On average, 82% of apprentices employed by Build UK members complete their apprenticeship, which is significantly higher than the average completion rate of 65% for construction apprentices as a whole.

87% of Build UK members are aware of the upcoming changes to Industry Accreditation cards, but only 53% have a plan in place to transition their workforce by the deadline of 31 December 2024. CSCS has published guidance on the different ways that individuals holding Blue, Gold or Black Industry Accreditation cards issued by the core scheme can move onto an appropriate card, and members should identify which of their workers need to complete a qualification ahead of the deadline and put a plan in place now to help them achieve it.

All the latest training and skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Testing for a Safer Future

Dame Judith Hackitt highlighted in her report, Building a Safer Future, that the system for construction product testing, labelling and marketing “makes it difficult to know whether the right products are being used” and she has since called for “improvements in construction product performance assessment [to] form a critical element of the new, stricter regulatory framework”. The Independent Review of the Construction Products Testing Regime led by Paul Morrell OBE, Testing for a Safer Future, sets out more than 60 recommendations to improve the system for testing and certifying products to provide confidence that they are fit for purpose. The recommendations include:

  • Bringing all construction products in scope of the new National Regulator for Construction Products
  • Strengthening the conformity assessment process, which is required to assess products subject to the Construction Product Regulations (UKCA marking), and producing guidance for industry
  • Understanding the existing capacity to meet demand for conformity assessment and exploring the potential for alternatives to the physical testing of products
  • Encouraging manufacturers to sign up to the Code for Construction Product Information.

The Government has confirmed that it will respond to the report as soon as possible.

Retained EU Law Bill

The Government has now published the list of EU laws that will be revoked at the end of this year, following amendments to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. The majority of the regulations to be repealed are now defunct following the UK’s departure from the EU. Key industry health and safety legislation, such as the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM), and Work at Height Regulations are not on the list to be revoked by 31 December 2023, although further EU regulations may be repealed or amended after this date in accordance with the provisions in the Bill.

Contract Terms: Breach of Contract

Indemnity provisions are widely used in construction to provide protection in the event that losses are incurred on a project. Where indemnities are reserved for limited and specific categories of losses, such as breach of confidentiality or third‐party intellectual property rights, this is not an unreasonable requirement; however, a ‘blanket indemnity’ for breach of contract creates much wider obligations, exposing parties to losses that may be outside of their control and unforeseeable. Build UK therefore recommends that blanket indemnities and/or general indemnities in respect of losses ‘arising out of or in the course of’ the performance of the works or services are avoided.

A blanket indemnity for breach of contract is one of six contract terms that Build UK recommends should not be used to ensure a fairer allocation of risk between clients and the supply chain. We have published guidance explaining why each term should be avoided and setting out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms.

PQ Latest

HSE Site Inspections

The HSE will be carrying out site inspections until Friday 14 July focussed on the respiratory risks to construction workers from exposure to silica and wood dust. The new inspection initiative aims to raise awareness of the health issues, and there is guidance for employers on effective control measures.

Competition Law Guidance

Following the decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) earlier this year to fine 10 demolition and asbestos removal firms almost £60 million for colluding to rig bids for contracts, Build UK has updated its guidance on preventing anti‐competitive behaviour in construction. The guidance, written by Wedlake Bell LLP, explains common violations of competition law, such as cartel activities and cover pricing, with the latest CMA decision now included as a case study. It is designed to help businesses and directors comply with their legal obligations by explaining the risks and the steps they should take.

Last Updated: 18/05/2023

Securing Skills in Construction

Build UK has published the results of its latest survey of members to understand current trends in employment and training and the level of awareness of the expiry of CSCS cards achieved via Industry Accreditation. ‘Securing Skills in Construction’ reveals that 56% of Build UK members expect to increase direct employment levels in the next 12 months, compared to 50% in September 2022. On average, 82% of apprentices employed by Build UK members complete their apprenticeship, which is significantly higher than the average completion rate of 65% for construction apprentices as a whole.

87% of Build UK members are aware of the upcoming changes to Industry Accreditation cards, but only 53% have a plan in place to transition their workforce by the deadline of 31 December 2024. CSCS has published guidance on the different ways that individuals holding Blue, Gold or Black Industry Accreditation cards issued by the core scheme can move onto an appropriate card, and members should identify which of their workers need to complete a qualification ahead of the deadline and put a plan in place now to help them achieve it.

All the latest training and skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Testing for a Safer Future

Dame Judith Hackitt highlighted in her report, Building a Safer Future, that the system for construction product testing, labelling and marketing “makes it difficult to know whether the right products are being used” and she has since called for “improvements in construction product performance assessment [to] form a critical element of the new, stricter regulatory framework”. The Independent Review of the Construction Products Testing Regime led by Paul Morrell OBE, Testing for a Safer Future, sets out more than 60 recommendations to improve the system for testing and certifying products to provide confidence that they are fit for purpose. The recommendations include:

  • Bringing all construction products in scope of the new National Regulator for Construction Products
  • Strengthening the conformity assessment process, which is required to assess products subject to the Construction Product Regulations (UKCA marking), and producing guidance for industry
  • Understanding the existing capacity to meet demand for conformity assessment and exploring the potential for alternatives to the physical testing of products
  • Encouraging manufacturers to sign up to the Code for Construction Product Information.

The Government has confirmed that it will respond to the report as soon as possible.

Retained EU Law Bill

The Government has now published the list of EU laws that will be revoked at the end of this year, following amendments to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. The majority of the regulations to be repealed are now defunct following the UK’s departure from the EU. Key industry health and safety legislation, such as the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM), and Work at Height Regulations are not on the list to be revoked by 31 December 2023, although further EU regulations may be repealed or amended after this date in accordance with the provisions in the Bill.

Contract Terms: Breach of Contract

Indemnity provisions are widely used in construction to provide protection in the event that losses are incurred on a project. Where indemnities are reserved for limited and specific categories of losses, such as breach of confidentiality or third‐party intellectual property rights, this is not an unreasonable requirement; however, a ‘blanket indemnity’ for breach of contract creates much wider obligations, exposing parties to losses that may be outside of their control and unforeseeable. Build UK therefore recommends that blanket indemnities and/or general indemnities in respect of losses ‘arising out of or in the course of’ the performance of the works or services are avoided.

A blanket indemnity for breach of contract is one of six contract terms that Build UK recommends should not be used to ensure a fairer allocation of risk between clients and the supply chain. We have published guidance explaining why each term should be avoided and setting out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms.

PQ Latest

Finishes & Interiors Sector (FIS) has become the latest Build UK Trade Association member to accept the Common Assessment Standard, meaning FIS members certified to the standard are now exempt from completing sections of the membership vetting process, further reducing duplication across the industry.

HSE Site Inspections

The HSE will be carrying out site inspections until Friday 14 July focussed on the respiratory risks to construction workers from exposure to silica and wood dust. The new inspection initiative aims to raise awareness of the health issues, and there is guidance for employers on effective control measures.

Competition Law Guidance

Following the decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) earlier this year to fine 10 demolition and asbestos removal firms almost £60 million for colluding to rig bids for contracts, Build UK has updated its guidance on preventing anti‐competitive behaviour in construction. The guidance, written by Wedlake Bell LLP, explains common violations of competition law, such as cartel activities and cover pricing, with the latest CMA decision now included as a case study. It is designed to help businesses and directors comply with their legal obligations by explaining the risks and the steps they should take.

Last Updated: 16/05/2023

Securing Skills in Construction

Build UK has published the results of its latest survey of members to understand current trends in employment and training and the level of awareness of the expiry of CSCS cards achieved via Industry Accreditation. ‘Securing Skills in Construction’ reveals that 56% of Build UK members expect to increase direct employment levels in the next 12 months, compared to 50% in September 2022. On average, 82% of apprentices employed by Build UK members complete their apprenticeship, which is significantly higher than the average completion rate of 65% for construction apprentices as a whole.

87% of Build UK members are aware of the upcoming changes to Industry Accreditation cards, but only 53% have a plan in place to transition their workforce by the deadline of 31 December 2024. CSCS has published guidance on the different ways that individuals holding Blue, Gold or Black Industry Accreditation cards issued by the core scheme can move onto an appropriate card, and members should identify which of their workers need to complete a qualification ahead of the deadline and put a plan in place now to help them achieve it.

CITB Employer Networks

Build UK’s ‘Levy In Skills Out’ response to the last CITB Consensus called for a nationwide qualification and training delivery system, which has resulted in the introduction of CITB Employer Networks, a 12‐month initiative to simplify the way that construction employers get support and funding for training. Each Employer Network comprises a local or sector‐specific group of employers that are directly funded by CITB to organise their own training, meaning they do not need to navigate the CITB Grants Scheme. Employers within the network work together to secure training that meets their needs in anything that supports construction, such as trade skills, health and safety, net zero, digital or mentoring.

There are currently seven pilot Employer Networks, including the sector‐specific one for Plant and Tool Hire supported by Build UK member Hire Association Europe. 81% of employers involved have said that the process of accessing training is easier, with 74% likely to do more training in future as a result. Depending on the success of the 12‐month pilot, additional networks may be rolled out in the future, and more information is available on the CITB website.

Industry Skills Plans Published

CITB has launched its Business Plan 2023/24 which sets out three key priorities:

  • Improving construction’s people pipeline by raising the profile of construction careers; supporting work experience, tasters and apprenticeships; and focussing on retaining existing industry talent.
  • Creating defined training pathways by updating industry standards and producing nine qualification and training pathways covering priority occupations.
  • Delivering an efficient training supply by expanding the network of recognised training providers, increasing the number of people trained through the National Construction Colleges, and tackling the shortages of trainers and assessors.

The CLC has also published its Industry Skills Plan Update for 2023/24, which highlights the industry’s successes over the last year and provides updates on the four priority areas of Culture, Routes into Industry, Competence, and Future Skills.

Immigration Update

The Government has increased the minimum salaries that can be paid to workers from outside the UK who are employed on a Skilled Worker visa, with the general salary threshold rising from £25,600 to £26,200 and new entrants and those with tradeable points such as a relevant PhD now required to be paid a minimum salary of £20,960. The Government has also changed the going rate salaries for certain occupations, which need to be paid if higher than the general threshold salary.

Most workers from outside the UK in construction are ‘skilled workers’ and require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation. Build UK has updated its flowchart, which provides an overview of the process of employing a worker from outside the UK, to reflect the new rates, along with its guidance on How to Get a Skilled Worker Visa and How to Get a Sponsor Licence, which includes the new requirement for sponsors to notify UKVI of any changes to a sponsored employee’s regular working pattern or location.

HS&E Test Changes

The Health, Safety & Environment Test for Managers and Professionals has been updated to reflect changes in legislation, working practices, technology and industry needs. The revision materials are already available and the new test will be introduced from Tuesday 27 June.

Apprenticeship Support

Feedback from this year’s Open Doors showed significant interest in construction apprenticeships and CITB’s New Entrant Team can support employers of all sizes taking on an apprentice for the first time, including completing the required paperwork and accessing grants and funding.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the focus this year is on anxiety, which is one of the most common mental health problems people can face. The Mental Health Foundation has published some suggestions on coping with anxiety to prevent it from getting out of control and becoming a problem.

The construction industry continues to recognise the challenges of mental health amongst its workforce and there are a range of resources available to promote good mental health and provide support to individuals, such as the Lighthouse Club’s ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat’ campaign and HSE’s Talking Toolkit.

Last Updated: 11/05/2023

Common Assessment Standard Gathers Pace

SCAPE has become the first public sector body to confirm it will adopt the Common Assessment Standard following publication of Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 03/23, which enables central Government departments and wider public sector bodies to use the industry standard to pre‐qualify their supply chains. SCAPE Group Procurement Director John Simons explained how the Common Assessment Standard will streamline public sector procurement, saying: “Its use will not only derisk elements of the selection process, but also enable public sector organisations to focus on project specific requirements for those firms who have already met the standard”.

The Steel Construction Certification Scheme (SCCS), a certification body specifically for companies in structural steelwork, has become a Recognised Assessment Body for the Common Assessment Standard alongside AchillesCHASConstructionline and CQMS. The Common Assessment Standard products offered by SCCS are known as SCCS Build Assured CAS Lite (desktop) and SCCS Build Assured CAS Elite (sitebased).

All the latest news on the Common Assessment Standard can be found in our PQ update.

Retaining Key Industry Legislation

Following calls from Build UK and its members, the Government has announced that the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill will be amended to make it clear which EU regulations will be revoked at the end of this year. Instead of including a ‘sunset’ date of 31 December 2023, by which all remaining retained EU law will either be repealed or assimilated into domestic law, the Bill will now be updated with a specific list of regulations which will be removed by this date. Further EU regulations may be repealed or amended after this date following proper assessment and consultation.

Build UK will continue to work with the CLC and leading trade bodies in other sectors to highlight to Government the importance of retaining key industry health and safety legislation, such as the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM), and Work at Height Regulations.

Members Discuss Key Issues

Thanks to all those members who joined our Forum meetings earlier this week. Contractor members heard from Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt, who gave an overview of the latest Infrastructure Progress Review, which calls on the Government to focus on ‘fewer, bigger, better targeted initiatives’ to deliver the infrastructure needed to drive economic growth. Acknowledging that ‘there is no infrastructure without politics’, Sir John encouraged Build UK members to highlight the importance of long‐term policy decisions in helping the industry to plan, prepare the workforce and deliver more cost‐effectively, which will be particularly relevant in the run up to a General Election.

Trade Association members discussed the issue of competence, with Iain McIlwee, Chief Executive of the Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS), sharing his experience of setting out the path to competence for dry lining, which was one of the installer sectors identified as a priority by Working Group Two (WG2) following the Hackitt Review.

The next Build UK Forum meeting will be for all members and take place on Tuesday 4 July from 8:30am 9:30am where we will be joined by CITB Chief Executive Tim Balcon. Details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness Week begins next Monday 15 May and the focus this year is on anxiety, which is one of the most common mental health problems people can face. The Mental Health Foundation has published some suggestions on coping with anxiety to prevent it from getting out of control.

CIOB Report

Build UK member CIOB has published an updated edition of The Real Face of Construction analysing the performance of the construction sector across the UK and Ireland. The report includes data on the industry and underlines its value in driving economic growth, levelling up and reaching net zero.

Plant Skills Webinar.

Build UK is a member of the Plant Sector Representative Organisation (PSRO) which is hosting a webinar next Wednesday 17 May at 10:30am to discuss the work it is doing, particularly around competence in support of the CLC’s Industry Skills Plan. To book a free place, email the PSRO.

Skilled Worker Visas

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has updated its guidance for sponsors, requiring them to notify UKVI of any changes to a sponsored employee’s regular working pattern or location. Build UK’s guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence has been updated to reflect these new requirements.

Net Zero Progress

The CLC has published its latest report showing progress against the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero, the industry‐wide programme to drive carbon out of the sector. It highlights increases in the numbers of electric vans and trained heat pump installers and a reduction in waste to landfill, as well as significant improvements in productivity, identified as the ‘cornerstone’ of carbon reduction.

The report also provides an update on the target for 78% of diesel plant to be eliminated from sites by 2035, and Build UK’s ‘Drive Out Diesel’ guide identifies some simple things that all businesses can do to use less dieselgo alternative and use more electric plant and equipment. The CLC, working with the Construction Industry Advisory Council (CONIAC), has also published a series of draft guides on the safety of alternatives to diesel on site, covering hydrotreated vegetable oil, lithium‐ion batteries and solar PV.

Last Updated: 10/05/2023

Public Sector Using Common Assessment Standard

The Government has published Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 03/23 in response to calls from Build UK and its members which enables central Government departments and wider public sector bodies to use the Common Assessment Standard to pre‐qualify their supply chains. As suppliers that hold the Common Assessment Standard from a Recognised Assessment Body have already been assessed for stage 1 pre‐qualification, contracting authorities can now focus on project specific requirements, streamlining public sector procurement and significantly reducing duplication for the supply chain.

SCAPE has become the first public sector body following publication of the PPN to confirm it will now adopt the Common Assessment Standard, with Group Procurement Director John Simons highlighting it as “a significant step forward in the simplification of the selection process for the public sector” which will “not only derisk elements of the process, but also enable public sector organisations to focus on project specific requirements for those firms who have already met the standard”. Further information can be found in the Build UK press release.

Growing Support

Lipton Rogers and Novus Property Solutions have also joined the growing list of organisations specifying the Common Assessment Standard for their pre‐qualification requirements. Members of the supply chain can now obtain just one certification from any of the Recognised Assessment Bodies in order to tender for work with them.

In addition, Build UK Trade Association members British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) and Hire Association Europe (HAE) are now accepting the Common Assessment Standard as part of their membership audit schemes, joining ASUC, BESA and IPAF in further reducing duplication for the supply chain.

New Recognised Assessment Body

Build UK is delighted to welcome the Steel Construction Certification Scheme (SCCS) as a new Recognised Assessment Body for the Common Assessment Standard. SCCS is a certification body specifically for companies engaged in structural steelwork and its Director of Certification Stephen Blackman is looking forward to offering the Common Assessment Standard, saying: “SCCS is delighted to become a Recognised Assessment Body able to audit companies against the Common Assessment Standard, which is helping to streamline the prequalification process for companies across the industry”.

With the data sharing solution enabling Contractors and Clients to obtain verified PQ data from any Recognised Assessment Body, companies can apply to a Recognised Assessment Body of their choice for certification: AchillesCHASConstructionlineCQMS and now SCCS. The Common Assessment Standard products offered by SCCS are known as SCCS Build Assured CAS Lite (desktop) and SCCS Build Assured CAS Elite (sitebased).

Common Assessment Standard Review

The Common Assessment Standard is reviewed every year to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the industry, and the dedicated Common Assessment Standard Review Group has identified some minor updates which we are planning to publish as Version 3.2 on 1 July. We are anticipating that changes may also be required following the introduction of the Building Safety Act and these will be confirmed once the secondary legislation has been published later this year.

We will be setting up a dedicated sub‐group to consider the questions on building safety, and if you or a colleague with detailed knowledge of the building safety regime would like to be involved, please email Build UK.

PAS91 Withdrawn

The BSI has confirmed that PAS91 has been withdrawn following a review last year. Whilst it is still available as a reference document, it will no longer be maintained or subject to further review in the future.

Communications Support

To help promote the Common Assessment Standard throughout the supply chain, we have produced a range of resources, including a Communications Toolkitinfographic, and print and digital adverts.

5 Things You Should Know

  1. A number of Recognised Assessment Bodies have aligned existing products to the Common Assessment Standard, meaning many suppliers will already have it
  2. Companies only need to get the Common Assessment Standard once from any of the Recognised Assessment Bodies in order to meet the PQ requirements of these Contractors and Clients
  3. There are two levels of certification ‐ desktop and site‐based ‐ and companies should apply for the level that is most appropriate for their business
  4. Companies that have the Common Assessment Standard can share their key PQ data with other Recognised Assessment Bodies to increase their visibility amongst Contractors and Clients

There is a logo which can be used by companies to show they have the Common Assessment Standard

Last Updated: 04/05/2023

Build UK Welcomes New Members

As the country counts down to another bank holiday weekend and the King’s Coronation, Build UK is delighted to increase its representation of the industry by welcoming two new members! McCarthy Stone, a leading developer and manager of retirement communities across the UK, becomes our latest Client member, whilst JSP joins as a Professional Services member.

McCarthy Stone has already adopted the Common Assessment Standard and Group Commercial Director Anne Smales highlighted how they are keen to work more closely with members across the supply chain: “We are delighted to take the next step of becoming a Build UK member and play our part in driving the changes we want to see across the industry. As part of our commitment to improve and keep things simple, we have been accepting the Common Assessment Standard since last August, meaning our subcontractors can benefit from reducing the number of PQ certifications that they hold”.

The Common Assessment Standard has two levels of certification ‐ desktop and site‐based ‐ and companies can apply to any of the Recognised Assessment Bodies for the appropriate level.

Safety Helmet Standards

Build UK’s newest Professional Services member JSP is a leading manufacturer of ‘above the neck’ PPE specialising in head, eye, face and respiratory protection, as well as height safety products. To support the Build UK Safety Helmet Colours Standard, JSP has published a simple guide to the recognised safety helmet standards ‐ BS EN 397, BS EN 12492 and BS EN 14052 ‐ which shows at a glance the various requirements including use and lifespan. JSP also provides a technical helpline for PPE queries which is now available free of charge to Build UK members.

Contract Terms: Unquantifiable Risks

The Construction Playbook states that risks should be “owned or jointly owned by the party or parties best able to manage and bear them” in order to deliver value for money and successful outcomes. Whilst there is an element of dealing with the unknown in any project, targeted investigations can help to minimise uncertainty and identify the party best equipped to manage the risk, rather than pass it down through the supply chain which often leads to delays and disputes. Where it is not reasonably ascertainable, Build UK recommends that extension of time/loss and expense risk is not included when dealing with:

  • Asbestos
  • Fossils, antiquities and other objects of interest or value
  • Unexploded ordnances
  • The carrying out by a Statutory Undertaker of work in pursuance of its statutory obligations in relation to the works, or the failure to carry out such work.

Unquantifiable risks is one of six areas covered in Build UK’s recommendation on contract terms designed to encourage a fairer allocation of risk between clients and the supply chain. We have published guidance explaining why each term should be avoided and setting out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively, with specific guidance for JCT and NEC contracts. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms.

Building Safety Regulator

Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings and head of the Building Safety Regulator since February 2021, has retired. Philip White, HSE Director of Regulation and former Head of Construction Division, has taken up the role on an interim basis whilst a replacement is recruited.

HS&E Test Changes

The Health, Safety & Environment Test for Managers and Professionals has been updated to reflect changes in legislation, working practices, technology and industry needs. The accompanying revision materials are already available and the new test will be taken from Tuesday 27 June.

Retentions on Frameworks

Build UK is updating its information on the retention policies of public sector clients to include major frameworks such as Constructing West Midlands and Southern Construction Framework. The information includes the retention percentage generally inserted into contracts, as well as when the money should be released.

Cyber Security

A recent survey revealed that 5% of construction firms suffered a cyber breach or attack in the past year. To help businesses across the supply chain protect themselves, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has developed a range of resources, including industry‐specific Cyber Security for Construction Businesses.

ICYMI in April

  1. Build UK submitted a comprehensive response to the consultation on the Duty to Report Regulations, making the case for them to be extended to support continued improvement in payment performance.
  2. Our recommendation on contract terms was supported by the CLC and featured in Construction News and the wider industry press.
  3. The Head of Communications for the Building Safety Regulator joined our latest Building Safety call for members, and we updated our comprehensive guide to the building safety regime to reflect the most recent developments.
  4. Two more Build UK members joined the growing list using the Common Assessment Standard, with Lipton Rogers now specifying it for its supply chain and BCSA accepting it as part of its membership audit.

We published our accident survey report for 2021/22, which showed that Build UK Contractor members had lower injury rates than the wider industry.

Last Updated: 27/04/2023

Building Safety Latest

Thank you to all those members who attended our latest Building Safety meeting this week, where we were joined by Head of Communications for the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) Tressy Wojtowicz, who outlined how the BSR is communicating the new building safety regime. Build UK continues to highlight the need for advance sight of new requirements to provide much needed regulatory clarity, although we understand that secondary legislation and guidance may only be published three months before coming into force. It is anticipated that there will be transition periods and the BSR recognises that the industry will need time to implement the changes required. The most recent developments include:

  • The BSR will shortly announce the Key Building Information (KBI) that will be required to complete the registration of High‐Rise Residential Buildings and this part of the process will open in May. Existing buildings must be registered with the BSR by 30 September 2023.
  • The Government has published Testing for a Safer Future, an Independent Review of the Construction Product Testing Regime undertaken by Paul Morrell OBE and Anneliese Day KC, which sets out a number of recommendations to improve the system for testing and certifying construction products.
  • Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Michael Gove has warned cladding manufacturers they face ‘severe consequences’ if they do not provide a ‘comprehensive financial package to fix unsafe buildings’.

Build UK’s comprehensive guide to the building safety regime, which has been described by Dame Judith Hackitt as a “clear and accessible summary of what the Building Safety Act means”, is being regularly updated to reflect the latest secondary legislation and guidance, and the next version will be published in May.

Changes to Flexible Working

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill, which is expected to become law in early 2024, will grant employees the right to request flexible working from day one of employment, rather than after 26 weeks, and more than once in a 12‐month period. It will also require employers to respond more quickly to flexible working requests and to discuss alternative options before they can reject a request.

Build UK Partner Timewise is hosting a free webinar on Tuesday 23 May at 11:00am to help employers prepare for the new requirements. It will feature Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Business and Trade Kevin Hollinrake, who will introduce the legislation, and members can register to attend.

Industry Skills Plans Published

CITB has launched its Business Plan 2023/24 which sets out three key priorities:

  • Improving construction’s people pipeline by raising the profile of construction careers; supporting work experience, tasters and apprenticeships; and focussing on retaining existing industry talent.
  • Creating defined training pathways by updating industry standards and producing nine qualification and training pathways covering priority occupations.
  • Delivering an efficient training supply by expanding the network of recognised training providers, increasing the number of people trained through the National Construction Colleges, and tackling the shortages of trainers and assessors.

The CLC has also published its Industry Skills Plan Update for 2023/24, which highlights the industry’s successes over the last year and provides updates on the four priority areas of Culture, Routes into Industry, Competence, and Future Skills.

Drugs and Alcohol Policy Template

Build UK’s Drugs and Alcohol Policy can be adopted by the whole construction supply chain to provide a consistent approach to the use of drugs and alcohol. Recognising that there are different legal limits across the nations and workplace environments, along with various ways of testing, the Build UK template policy has been developed with Eurofins Workplace Drug Testing to provide a consistent framework for drug and alcohol testing as well as dealing with instances of misuse, eliminating unnecessary duplication and waste across the industry.

The policy, which is currently available to Build UK members and CIP Health & Safety Manual subscribers only, has been drafted so that companies can adopt it in its entirety or incorporate elements of it into their own policy to suit their business.

Government Engagement

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol joined over 200 business leaders at the Government’s first Business Connect conference this week, where Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and senior Ministers committed to creating the conditions for businesses to thrive in order to deliver their economic priorities and drive growth.

Coronation Restrictions

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has issued a letter to all businesses and residents in London who will be directly affected by restrictions due to the King’s Coronation next month. These will include temporary vehicle restrictions overnight on 2/3 May and from 7:00pm on 5 May until 5:00pm on 6 May.

Join Us for the Build UK Forums

The next Build UK Forum meetings will take place on Tuesday 9 May. Contractor members will be joined by Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Sir John Armitt, who will give an overview of the latest Infrastructure Progress Review and the 10 recommended actions for Government to address the current gap between ambition and performance. Trade Association members will discuss the progress of Working Group Two (WG2), which was established in response to the Hackitt Review to set out the competence framework for installer sectors identified as priorities for ensuring fire safety in buildings.

Members should have received a calendar invite with the details of the relevant meeting and please accept it to confirm your attendance or email [email protected]. Details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Last Updated: 20/04/2023

Common Assessment Standard Gathers Pace

Lipton Rogers has joined the growing list of organisations using the Common Assessment Standard, with Founding Partner Peter Rogers highlighting how it “simplifies all of our lives and avoids the need for endless paperwork which is good for us and the entire supply chain”. Companies can now obtain just one certification from any of the four Recognised Assessment Bodies ‐ AchillesCHASConstructionline and CQMS ‐ in order to tender for work with them.

The British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) is the latest Trade Association member to accept the Common Assessment Standard as part of its membership audit. BCSA members certified to the standard are now exempt from completing sections of the Register of Qualified Steelwork Contractors (RQSC) schemes for Buildings and Bridgeworks, further reducing duplication for the supply chain.

The Common Assessment Standard, which is endorsed by the CLC, has two levels of certification ‐ desktop and site‐based ‐ and companies should apply for the appropriate level depending on their trade, size and the requirements of their clients.

Immigration Update

The Government has increased the minimum salaries that can be paid to workers from outside the UK who are employed on a Skilled Worker visa. From 12 April, the general salary threshold has increased from £25,600 to £26,200 and new entrants and those with tradeable points such as a relevant PhD must now be paid a minimum salary of £20,960. The Government has also changed the going rate salaries for certain occupations, which need to be paid if higher than the general threshold salary.

Most workers from outside the UK in construction are ‘skilled workers’ and require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation. Build UK has updated its flowchart, which provides an overview of the process of employing a worker from outside the UK, to reflect the new rates, along with its guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence and How to Get a Skilled Worker Visa.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has launched a call for evidence to determine whether any new occupations should be added to the Shortage Occupations List (SOL). MAC is holding a roundtable for construction stakeholders next Monday 24 April and, if you would be interested in attending, please email Build UK. Build UK will be responding to the call for evidence through the CLC working group on immigration and the deadline is 26 May.

Contract Terms: Fitness for Purpose

Build UK Professional Services member Miller Insurance has published an article explaining the implications of ‘fitness for purpose’ requirements for Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance. When applied to design services, fitness for purpose elevates the standard of care above the requirement to use all reasonable skill and care of a relevant professional to one where the party taking responsibility for design becomes liable for any failure, regardless of the diligence with which they performed their duties. As most PI policies only cover the insured in the event of a claim arising out of the insured’s professional negligence, the insured is not typically protected against a claim for failure to meet a fitness for purpose requirement, and the policy is unlikely to respond to a claim where a defect occurs and no charges of wrongdoing are made.

Fitness for purpose in relation to design is one of six contract terms that Build UK recommends should not be used to ensure a fairer allocation of risk between clients and the supply chain. We have published guidance explaining why each term should be avoided and setting out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms.

Accident Report

Build UK has published its annual accident survey report for 2021/22 which shows that Build UK Contractor members have lower injury incidence rates than the wider industry for fatal, specified and over‐7‐day accidents reportable under RIDDOR. We are the only organisation that collates this data for tier one contractors.

Alternative Fuels

The CLC, working with the Construction Industry Advisory Council (CONIAC), has published a series of draft guides on the safety of alternatives to diesel on site, covering hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), lithium‐iron (Li‐ion) batteries and solar PV, with information on their potential hazards, control measures and operational safety.

Smart Motorways

The Department for Transport has announced that all plans for new smart motorways have been cancelled due to a lack of public confidence and cost pressures. This means that the 14 schemes included in the second and third Road Investment Strategies will be removed from the Government’s road‐building plans.

Powering Up Britain

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has published Powering Up Britain, setting out how the Government plans to enhance the UK’s energy security, seize the economic opportunities of the transition, and deliver on its net zero commitments, which will offer significant opportunities for UK construction.

Building Safety Latest News

Registration for Higher‐Risk Buildings in England is now open, although the process cannot be completed in full as the Key Building Information (KBI) cannot be submitted until May. Existing buildings that are 18 metres and over in height or at least seven storeys, which have at least two residential units that will be occupied by 1 October 2023, must be registered with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) by this date. The BSR has produced a short video explaining the registration process and the Building Safety Campaign website is being regularly updated with information.

All the latest news about the new building safety regime can be found in our Building Safety update and your nominated Building Safety representative should have received an invite to our next Building Safety call for members on Tuesday 25 April.

Last Updated: 18/04/2023

Building Safety Regulator Now Operational

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR), which became operational on 1 April, held its first conference last month which provided answers to some of the queries that have been raised by members. Speakers throughout the day emphasised that the new building safety regime will apply to all buildings ‘from shed to Shard’ and the BSR will have ‘teeth’ to hold to account those in the industry ‘who choose not to learn the lessons and improve’.

Build UK shared ‘10 Things We Learnt from the Conference’ earlier this month, and the BSR is making the conference sessions available to view on the BSR website. If you registered for the conference, you can access the recordings using your existing details otherwise you will need to sign up.

Higher‐Risk Building Registration Opens

Registration for Higher‐Risk Buildings in England is now open, although the process cannot be completed in full as the Key Building Information (KBI) cannot be submitted until May. Existing buildings that are 18 metres and over in height or at least seven storeys, which have at least two residential units that will be occupied by 1 October 2023, must be registered with the BSR by this date. The BSR has produced a short video explaining the registration process which includes:

  • The Principal Accountable Person, or someone authorised to act on their behalf, will need the building information along with a completion certificate to register an existing building. The fee will be £251 and it will be a multiple‐choice tick box format.
  • The additional KBI will need to be submitted once this part of the registration process opens in May.
  • Once the registration has been completed, the BSR will review the details to satisfy itself that the building should appear in the register.

The Building Safety Campaign website is being regularly updated with the latest information and you can sign up to receive the BSR ebulletin.

Building Safety Priorities

Build UK’s next Building Safety call for members will take place on Tuesday 25 April and your nominated contact should have received the details directly. Based on the discussion at our last meeting in March, we will continue to focus on the following key priorities:

  • Regulatory Clarity ‐ The BSR and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) have been asked for early sight of legislation and speedy decisions to enable the industry to prepare and plan for upcoming changes.
  • Resourcing ‐ The Government had announced £42 million of funding to support the recruitment and training of Building Control Inspectors and Fire Inspectors working with the BSR.
  • Liability ‐ The majority of developers have now signed the contract to accept liability for remediation work on projects they were involved in.
  • Competence ‐ Competence frameworks for six installer sectors are anticipated to be available in June and Build UK recently presented the Common Assessment Standard to the Industry Safety Steering Group, chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt, as a means of demonstrating organisational capability.

Build UK’s comprehensive guide to the building safety regime is being regularly updated and the April 2023 version published earlier this month includes links to the enhanced Manual to the Building Regulations and online PDF of Approved Documents. The next version will be published in May.

Building Control Framework

The Building Safety Act reforms the building control process with the aim of driving up standards and ensuring consistency across the building control profession. The BSR, which will oversee Building Control Bodies and their inspectors, has published the ‘strategic context’ for the regulation of the new building control framework. This reinforces that it is the responsibility of those commissioning and carrying out building works to comply with the Building Safety Act and Building Regulations.

From spring 2024, Building Control Bodies and Building Inspectors must follow mandatory codes of conduct and operating standards, and the BSR has published draft operational standards rules for Building Control Bodies (local authorities and registered Building Control Approvers).

Safety‐Critical Elements

Build UK member CIOB has published a guide in partnership with RIBA to increase awareness across the industry of the need for a more structured and consistent approach to the design, construction and inspection of safety‐critical elements within buildings.

Firestopping Guide

Build UK members ASFP, BESA and FIS, in collaboration with BSRIA and GPDA, have published a guide setting out best practice for the design, specification and installation of building services penetrations to ensure fire compartmentation is maintained.

Cladding Claims

As building owners and residents review the safety of their buildings, Build UK Partner Anderson Strathern has published an article on behalf of FIS providing insight into how claims will be heard in relation to cladding defects and fire safety following a recent court case.

Competence Committee

The BSR is required to establish and maintain an Industry Competence Committee to advise on competence‐related matters. Applications are invited for the positions of chair and members and the deadline for submitting a CV and covering letter is Friday 28 April.

Cladding Remediation Update

The latest figures published by DLUHC show that, of the 490 high‐rise residential buildings identified to have unsafe ACM cladding:

  • Remediation work has been fully completed on 357 (73%)
  • Work has been completed and is awaiting building control sign off on a further 51 (10%)
  • Work has started on 57 (12%)
  • Of the remaining 25 (5%), 11 have a remediation plan in place, 11 are intending to remediate, and 3 do not have a clear remediation plan.

The majority of developers have now signed the contract with DLUHC agreeing to remediate life‐critical fire safety issues in relation to buildings they have a played a role in since 1992. They will also be expected to join the new Responsible Actors Scheme once it is implemented.

Last Updated: 06/04/2023

Building Safety Regime Gains Momentum

As we head into the Easter break, we can look back on an eventful first quarter of 2023, which has seen progress in a number of areas. From our tier one Contractor members achieving an average of 30 days to pay invoices to publication of the new Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 03/23, which enables public sector bodies to start using the Common Assessment Standard, we have once again demonstrated the value of collaboration in driving the changes we all want to see. This is particularly true when it comes to the new building safety regime and our regular calls with members are highlighting the key issues and where we need to focus. The Building Safety Regulator is now operational and we used its conference last month to resolve a number of the queries raised by members as summarised below. Build UK is also continuing to update its comprehensive guide to the regime and the April 2023 version published today includes the following minor updates:

The Build UK update will be taking a break next week and we will be back in your inboxes on Thursday 20 April with all the latest news! Thank you for your continued support, and we hope you manage to take a well‐earned break over the Easter weekend.

Building Safety Conference ‐ 10 Things We Learnt

1. The Building Safety Regulator became operational on 1 April 2023.

2. The new Building Safety Regime will apply to all buildings ‐ “from Shed to Shard” in the words of the Building Safety Regulator.

3. The terms ‘High‐Rise Building’ and ‘High‐Rise Residential Building’ are being used interchangeably with ‘Higher‐Risk Building’, and the Building Safety Regulator has committed to work with Build UK to ensure consistent terminology is used across the industry.

4. Existing Higher‐Risk Buildings (with the exception of hospitals and care homes unless they have at least two permanent residential units) must be registered with the Building Safety Regulator by 1 October 2023. This includes those that will be occupied for the first time between 6 April and 1 October 2023. From 1 October 2023, new Higher‐Risk Buildings must be registered before they can be occupied.

5. The building registration process will be a multiple‐choice tick box format and require a completion certification for each building. The fee for registering each building will be £251.

6. It is anticipated that those who fulfil the roles of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor under CDM will also fulfil these dutyholder roles under the Building Safety Act.

7. The Building Safety Regulator will become the Building Control Authority for all Higher‐Risk Buildings from 1 October 2023. Work can continue under an existing Building Control Body where a building/initial notice has been submitted or plans deposited by 1 October 2023 and work has commenced by 1 April 2024.

8. Gateway Two, which requires Building Control Approval by the Building Safety Regulator before construction work can begin, and Gateway Three, which is when a completion certificate is issued by the Building Safety Regulator, are expected to come into force on 1 October 2023.

9. The Building Safety Regulator will not be specifying the format for the Golden Thread of information, which is the digital record of what has been built to enable those responsible for Higher‐Risk Buildings to manage and maintain them safely.

10. The Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG), chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt, will shortly be issuing its fourth report with an update on progress made by the industry.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming that there is good availability for the majority of products, including bricks, blocks and boilers after previous issues appear to have been resolved. Price inflation remains ‘the number one issue’ although wholesale gas prices are now falling

Tax Changes

The new business tax year began on 1 April and the tax changes announced in the Budget have now come into effect. The new full expensing policy allows businesses to deduct 100% of the cost of certain plant and machinery from their profits before tax and the first‐year allowance has been extended until March 2026.

ICYMI in March

  1. Open Doors 2023 saw over 230 sites across Great Britain take people behind the hoardings to inspire them to choose a career in construction.
  2. PPN 03/23 was published in response to calls from Build UK and its members, enabling central Government departments and wider public sector bodies to use the Common Assessment Standard.
  3. We updated our guidance on implementing the Build UK contract terms recommendation, which identifies six terms that should not be used if better project outcomes are to be achieved.
  4. Five construction occupations were added to the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) after Build UK worked closely with the CLC to submit a comprehensive response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s review.

Our meeting with members to discuss the Build UK response to the consultation on the Duty to Report Regulations confirmed full support for the Regulations being extended in recognition of all the work undertaken to improve payment terms.

Last Updated: 04/04/2023

Shortage Occupations List Review

The Government accepted the recommendation from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to add five construction occupations to the Shortage Occupations List (SOL), which specifies the job roles where a worker can be paid 80% of the usual going rate whilst still qualifying for a Skilled Worker visa. In line with the CLC response to the MAC review, which was supported by Build UK, the following trades will be added to the SOL by the summer: bricklayers and masons; carpenters and joiners; plasterers; roofers, roof tilers and slaters; and construction and building trades not elsewhere classified (N.E.C.).

The MAC has now launched a full call for evidence to determine if all the current occupations should continue to be included on the SOL and whether any other new occupations should be added. Build UK will be responding to the call for evidence through the CLC working group on immigration, and the deadline is Friday 26 May.

CITB Grants Increased

CITB grant rates have increased from 1 April to support individuals impacted by the withdrawal of CSCS cards obtained via Industry Accreditation at the end of 2024. The achievement grant has increased to £1,250 for certain supervision S/NVQs and £1,500 for certain management S/NVQs. Industry Accreditation cards will not be renewed after 30 June 2024 and CSCS has issued guidance on the different ways that individuals holding cards issued by the core scheme can move onto the appropriate card before they expire on 31 December 2024.

CITB has also doubled the grant rates for short courses to help businesses with their training needs amid rising costs. CITB‐registered employers will now receive up to £240 where an individual has successfully completed a short course after 1 April.

Apprenticeship Support

Feedback from visitors during this year’s Open Doors showed significant interest in construction apprenticeships, which offers a great opportunity for the industry to recruit the next generation. However, a report from CITB reveals that only 18% of small businesses with between two and nine employees in construction employ an apprentice, yet they make up almost 80% of businesses in the sector. To help address this gap, CITB’s New Entrant Team is available to support employers of all sizes taking on an apprentice for the first time, including how to complete the required paperwork and access any available grants and funding.

Apprenticeships are just one of the options covered in Build UK’s guide to the Routes of Entry into Construction, which is designed to help employers play their part in recruiting young people setting out on their Journey from Education to Employment in the industry

Transfer Your Apprenticeship Levy

Build UK Contractor members Bouygues UK, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerWessels UK have announced a partnership with the London Progression Collaboration (LPC) to use some of their unspent Apprenticeship Levy funds to create new construction apprenticeship opportunities for young people in London. Businesses can transfer up to 25% of their levy funds each year using their apprenticeship service account to help employers in their supply chain and other SMEs pay for the delivery of apprenticeships.

T Level Support

The Department for Education is launching a new one‐year employer support fund, providing £12 million to help employers offering industry placements to T Level students from April. The funding, which can be used to cover costs such as equipment and staff training, should be accessed through your chosen T Level Provider.

Flexible Working

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill, which is expected to become law by early 2024, grants employees the right to request flexible working arrangements from day one of employment. To help prepare, Build UK partner Timewise is hosting a webinar on Tuesday 23 May at 11:00am and members can register to attend.

CITB Employer Network

Build UK member Hire Association Europe (HAE) has been announced as the first sector‐specific group in CITB’s employer network pilot. The new 12‐month initiative will directly fund employers in a sector to organise their own training, meaning they do not need to navigate the CITB Grants Scheme.

Minimum Wage Rates

The National Living Wage has increased to £10.42 per hour, whilst the National Minimum Wage has risen to £10.18 for 21‐22 year olds, £7.49 for 18‐20 year olds, and £5.28 for 16‐17 year olds. The revised Promulgation Notice from the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) reflects the changes from 1 April.

Open Doors to Careers in Construction

A huge thank you to all our members and partners that welcomed people behind the hoardings of more than 230 sites across Great Britain as part of #OpenDoors23 last month. Young people and those looking for a change of career were able to see first‐hand the diverse range of opportunities the industry has to offer.

The feedback has been fantastic, from a Year 10 student who revealed their visit had given them a “better understanding about job opportunities and the types of work available” to a secondary school teacher who described it as “one of the best career‐based visits I have done” and an Assistant Principal who said it had “opened their eyes not only to the careers available in the industry but the amount of planning, preparation and work that is required to create new complexes and buildings”.

With your support, we reached over two million users across social media during the week, and please continue to email us any feedback and images from your events to help us inspire the next generation to choose a career in construction.

Last Updated: 30/03/2023

Improving Payment in Construction

Build UK hosted a meeting for members earlier this month to discuss our response to the consultation on the Duty to Report Regulations. There was full support for the Regulations being extended on the basis that all the work undertaken by Build UK to improve payment is dependent on the data provided by the Regulations. The key principle for any amendments to the Regulations should be that they strike an appropriate balance between providing meaningful data for the supply chain on the one hand and not resulting in a significant burden on reporting businesses on the other. The draft Build UK response to the consultation will be circulated to members for feedback in early April.

Build UK Deputy Chief Executive Jo Fautley has published a blog for the Office of the Small Business Commissioner reflecting on how Build UK’s payment performance table has transformed the industry culture around payment and seen ‘tier one’ Contractor members reduce their average payment time from 45 to 30 days since 2018.

CITB Grants Increased

From 1 April, CITB grant rates are increasing to support individuals impacted by the withdrawal of CSCS cards obtained via Industry Accreditation at the end of 2024. The achievement grant will increase to £1,250 for certain supervision S/NVQs and £1,500 for certain management S/NVQs. Industry Accreditation cards will not be renewed after 30 June 2024 and CSCS has issued guidance on the different ways that individuals holding cards issued by the core scheme can move onto the appropriate card before they expire on 31 December 2024.

CITB is also doubling the grant rates for short courses to help businesses with their training needs amid rising costs. CITB‐registered employers will receive up to £240 when an individual successfully completes a short course from 1 April.

Contract Terms: Performance Securities

In the current market, it has become increasingly common to require some form of security to protect against suppliers becoming insolvent or failing to perform their obligations under the contract. Whilst this is a reasonable requirement when used in these circumstances, there is often a tendency for the precise wording or trigger mechanisms of such performance securities to be too onerous, making them difficult to obtain or imposing unfair risk. Where a form of security is required, Build UK recommends:

  • Do not use a pure on‐demand performance bond
  • Do not use a Parent Company Guarantee which does not include a ‘no greater liability’ clause (save for legal costs) and equivalent rights of defence
  • Do not use a collateral warranty which does not include a ‘no greater liability’ clause.

Performance Securities is one of six areas covered in Build UK’s recommendation on contract terms designed to encourage a fairer allocation of risk between clients and the supply chain. We have published guidance explaining why each term should be avoided and setting out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms

Competition Law

The Competition and Markets Authority has fined 10 construction firms a total of almost £60 million for colluding to rig bids for contracts. Build UK has worked with Wedlake Bell LLP to publish guidance explaining common violations of competition law and the potential sanctions to help businesses understand the risks.

Minimum Wage Rates

From 1 April, the National Living Wage will increase to £10.42 per hour, whilst the National Minimum Wage will rise to £10.18 for 21‐22 year olds, £7.49 for 18‐20 year olds, and £5.28 for 16‐17 year olds. The Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) has issued a revised Promulgation Notice to reflect the changes.

Infrastructure Review

The National Infrastructure Commission has published its annual Infrastructure Progress Review, calling on the Government to focus on ‘fewer, bigger, better targeted initiatives’ to deliver the infrastructure needed to drive economic growth and reduce carbon, with 10 priorities for the year ahead.

Inflation Update

With inflation increasing ‘unexpectedly’ to 10.4% in February, Build UK’s guide on Managing Price Inflation contains practical advice on negotiating contracts to take inflation into account, including the use of fluctuations provisions to manage the risks associated with price volatility

Delivering Net Zero Carbon

The Government has awarded £1.8 billion to upgrade the energy efficiency of homes and public buildings across England over the next two years. £1.4 billion has been allocated to local authorities and social housing providers through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant to fund the installation of energy‐saving measures, whilst a further £409 million has been awarded under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to help public sector buildings, such as schools and hospitals, reduce their carbon emissions.

Wates and Wilson James are the latest Build UK members to become CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions as part of the CLC’s programme to drive carbon out of the sector. Business Champions can align their own business commitments to one or more of the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero, and Build UK is encouraging members across the supply chain to sign up to show how they are responding to the net zero challenge.

Last Updated: 23/03/2023

Building Safety Latest

Thanks to all those members who attended our Building Safety meeting earlier this week, where we discussed the latest developments within the Building Safety Regime. Based on your feedback, Regulatory Clarity is our current focus to ensure that the whole supply chain understands what is going to be required and by when. Build UK is setting out a timeline to show when all the secondary legislation and updated guidance is expected to be published this year, and the next significant change is the registration of existing High‐Rise Residential Buildings from April. Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol, who sits on the Building Advisory Committee, reinforced the importance of clarity for the industry during a recent meeting with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Local Government and Building Safety Lee Rowley. The point was also made repeatedly at the first Building Safety Conference hosted by the Building Safety Regulator yesterday.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove has confirmed that developers will be expected to sign the contract, which commits them to remediating life‐critical fire‐safety defects in buildings 11 metres and over in height that they developed or refurbished over the last 30 years. He is warning developers that refuse to sign that they “will be out of the housebuilding business in England entirely unless and until they change their course”, with further enforcement action from the Government due to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

PQ Update

Novus Property Solutions has become the latest Build UK Contractor member to specify the Common Assessment Standard for its pre‐qualification requirements. Novus joins a growing list of organisations using the Common Assessment Standard, and members of the supply chain can now obtain just one certification from any of the Recognised Assessment Bodies ‐ Achilles, CHAS, Constructionline and CQMS ‐ improving efficiency and reducing cost across the industry.

The Government has also published a new Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 03/23 in response to calls from Build UK and its members which enables central Government departments and wider public sector bodies to use the Common Assessment Standard to pre‐qualify their construction supply chains rather than PAS91.

Funding for Skills

Build UK Contractor members Bouygues UK, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerWessels UK have announced a new partnership with the London Progression Collaboration to use some of their unspent Apprenticeship Levy funds to create new construction apprenticeship opportunities for young people in London. Businesses can transfer up to 25% of their levy funds each year using their apprenticeship service account to help employers in their supply chain and other SMEs pay for the delivery of apprenticeships.

The CITB Leadership and Management Development Fund is providing funding of up to £50,000 for large businesses with over 250 directly employed staff to develop the leadership, management and supervisory skills of their workforce. The deadline for applications is 31 May and activity already funded by the CITB Grants Scheme or other routes will not be supported.

Cyber Security for Small Businesses

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched a new Cyber Aware campaign to help small and micro‐businesses protect themselves from cyber threats. The campaign encourages businesses to:

  • Complete a free Cyber Action Plan to receive a tailored list of actions to protect themselves online
  • Use the Check Your Cyber Security service to understand if any internet‐connected computers and systems are vulnerable to ransomware and if so the actions that should be taken.

The NCSC has also developed a range of construction‐specific resources, including Cyber Security for Construction Businesses and tailored information for Joint Ventures in the Construction Sector.

Women On Boards

A report has revealed that over 40% of FTSE 350 board positions are now held by women, which is three years ahead of the Government’s target. Build UK collates information on the Gender Pay Gap of its Contractor members and companies with over 250 employees have until Tuesday 4 April to report their latest figures.

Planning Fees

DLUHC has launched a consultation on increasing planning fees and improving the performance of local planning authorities. Proposals include raising planning fees by 35% for major applications and 25% for other applications, with additional fees for ‘fast track’ services. The deadline for responses is Tuesday 25 April.

Sustainability Agreements

The Competition and Markets Authority is consulting on new draft guidance on applying competition law in environmental sustainability agreements between businesses at the same level of the supply chain. The guidance is designed to help companies tackle climate change without undue fear of breaching competition rules.

CLC Webinar

The CLC is hosting a free webinar with Building on Tuesday 28 March from 1:30pm ‐ 3:00pm, where Co‐Chair Mark Reynolds and Deputy Co‐Chair Richard Robinson will introduce the refreshed CLC. It will feature panel discussions with the CLC’s Industry Leaders and Young Ambassadors, and you can register now.

Open Doors to Careers in Construction

We are extremely grateful to all our members and partners that welcomed people behind the hoardings of more than 230 sites across Great Britain as part of #OpenDoors23 last week. Young people and those looking for a change of career were able to see first‐hand the diverse range of opportunities the industry has to offer.

The feedback has been fantastic, from a Year 10 student who revealed their visit had given them a “better understanding about job opportunities and the types of work available” to a secondary school teacher who described it as “one of the best career‐based visits I have done” and an Assistant Principal who said it had “opened their eyes not only to the careers available in the industry but the amount of planning, preparation and work that is required to create new complexes and buildings”.

With your support, we reached over two million users across social media during the week, and please email us any feedback and images from your events so that we can continue to inspire the next generation to choose a career in construction.

Last Updated: 16/03/2023

Inspiring the Next Generation Through Open Doors

Open Doors 2023 has been a fantastic success so far, welcoming almost 3,000 visitors behind the hoardings since Monday. Mims Davies, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression, visited Berkeley Group’s 250 City Road in London, highlighting in a short video the value of Open Doors in “making sure that young people know about the construction sector and the opportunities that are here”. With more than 230 sites taking part this year, there is still time to encourage anyone who may be interested in a career in construction to book a visit, including Laing O’Rourke’s Crown House Technologies Manufacturing facility and Tilbury Douglas’s Prince Charles Hospital.

A huge thank you to all our members and partners for your support, including Kier and Willmott Dixon who have opened 49 sites between them! Please keep sharing your experiences on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook between now and Saturday, tagging Open Doors and using the hashtag #OpenDoors23.

Budget for Growth

The Chancellor delivered his Spring Budget yesterday, promising ‘long term, sustainable, healthy growth’ with the focus on what he referred to as the four Es: Enterprise, Education, Employment and Everywhere. The key points for businesses in construction included:

  • Introducing a new full expensing policy for businesses from 1 April 2023 for three years, allowing them to deduct 100% of the cost of certain plant and machinery from profits straight away, rather than over the life of the asset
  • Extending the first‐year allowance for a further three years, allowing businesses to continue to deduct 50% of the cost of other plant and machinery, known as special rate assets, from their profits during the year of purchase
  • Confirming that Corporation Tax will rise to 25% from 1 April 2023
  • Cancelling the planned rise in fuel duty and maintaining last year’s cut of 5 pence for a further 12 months
  • Launching ‘Returnerships’ for the over 50s to make apprenticeships more accessible to older workers.

The Chancellor also pledged funding for a range of projects across England, including £8.8 billion for City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements; £430 million for regeneration, capital, and city and metropolitan projects; £400 million for levelling up partnerships with local authorities; and an additional £200 million for local road maintenance.

Building Safety Latest

Build UK’s comprehensive overview of the new Building Safety Regime was recently updated to reflect the latest secondary legislation and guidance that has been published, and the next update will be published in early April.

In response to one of the recommendations in Building a Safer Future, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) has published an enhanced Manual to the Building Regulations in England. Volume 1 gives an overview of how the system works and volume 2 provides more detail for those working in the construction industry. DLUHC has also published an online PDF containing all the Approved Documents, making it easier to find, view and search them in one place.

The Industry Competence Committee, established by the Building Safety Regulator under the Building Safety Act to advise on competence matters, is inviting applications for the positions of chair and members. The deadline for submitting a CV and covering letter is Friday 28 April.

Shortage Occupations List Review

The Government has accepted the recommendation from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to add five construction occupations to the Shortage Occupations List (SOL), which specifies the job roles where a worker can be paid 80% of the usual going rate whilst still qualifying for a Skilled Worker visa. In line with the CLC response to the recent MAC review, which was supported by Build UK, the following trades will be added to the SOL by the summer: bricklayers and masons; carpenters and joiners; plasterers; roofers, roof tilers and slaters; and construction and building trades not elsewhere classified (N.E.C.).

The MAC has now launched a full call for evidence to determine if all the current occupations should continue to be included on the SOL and whether any other new occupations should be added. Build UK will be responding to the call for evidence through the CLC working group on immigration, and the deadline is Friday 26 May.

Most construction workers from outside the UK are likely to require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation, and Build UK has produced a flowchart providing an overview of the process.

Contract Terms: Uncapped Liabilities

One of the key policies in the Construction Playbook is a fair allocation of risk through the supply chain and it specifically states that suppliers should not be asked to take unlimited liabilities. Whilst uncapped liability has the appearance of offering full protection to a client, it is generally not insurable and there is a risk that contractors exposed to unlimited liability could become insolvent in the event of a major claim. Parties should work together to agree sensible caps on liability and it is common practice to limit liability to losses covered by insurance, plus a fixed sum or a percentage of the contract value for uninsured losses.

Uncapped liabilities is one of six contract terms that Build UK recommends should not be used if better project outcomes are to be achieved. We have published guidance explaining why each term should be avoided and setting out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms.

New Asbestos Campaign

The HSE has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the risks of asbestos. With 5,000 people a year still dying from asbestos‐related diseases, Asbestos and You is aimed at those who started their careers after asbestos was banned in 2000, and there is guidance on safely carrying out non‐licensed work involving asbestos.

Biodiversity Net Gain

The Government has confirmed that Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) of at least 10% will be mandatory for new developments as part of the planning process from November 2023. For small sites, such as residential developments with up to nine dwellings on an area less than one hectare, the commencement date will be April 2024.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week

This week is Neurodiversity Celebration Week which aims to challenge stereotypes around neurological differences and inspire conversations about the value of neurodiversity. Build UK member GKR Scaffolding has published guidance on developing training to suit employees with neurodiverse conditions, such as dyslexia, ADHD or autism, as part of an inclusive workplace that makes the most of their skills. There is also a range of resources available as part of Neurodiversity Celebration Week to help businesses make the most of neurodiversity at work.

Last Updated: 09/03/2023

Building Safety Guide Updated

Build UK has updated its comprehensive guide to the building safety regime to reflect the latest secondary legislation and guidance that has been published. Changes in the March 2023 version include:

Described as “the most straightforward and comprehensive piece of guidance around this issue”, the Build UK guide is designed to ensure all members are aware of their responsibilities, the new bodies that will oversee the regime, and the reforms to existing legislation which may extend liability. The next update will be published in early April and all the latest building safety news can be found in our Building Safety update.

Final Countdown to Open Doors 2023

Open Doors 2023 gets underway next Monday 13 March and we can’t wait to take people behind the hoardings of more than 230 sites across Great Britain during the week! From HS2’s Old Oak Common Station in London to Perth City Hall being refurbished by BAM in Scotland and Willmott Dixon’s BIM Cave ‐ VR Room to CITB’s National Construction Colleges, we know that seeing construction in action can directly lead to a new entrant joining our industry. Build UK Contractor member Kier, an Open Doors Industry Partner, has highlighted in Building the importance of actually showing young people how construction is “shaping the way we live, travel, work and learn for the better”, so please get out and about to support your sites next week and “give people the confidence to dream big and pursue a career right here in construction”!

We are also looking for support from your comms teams to get this year’s Open Doors trending across social media. Please promote your involvement using the hashtag #OpenDoors23 and share our posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so we can show as many people as possible just what our fantastic industry has to offer.

People Survey ‐ Final Call!

The deadline for our latest People Survey is next Friday 17 March and a huge thank you to all those members who have already responded. The online survey takes no more than five minutes to complete, and the results will help us understand how the current economic climate is affecting recruitment across the sector, as well as the level of awareness of the changes to CSCS cards.

Anyone completing the survey will need information to hand on their workforce, including the number of direct employees, apprentices, vacancies, and Industry Accreditation cardholders, and please share the link with your members and supply chains.

HGV Safety Permit Scheme

Transport for London (TfL) has published a consultation on changes to the HGV Safety Permit Scheme, which requires operators of lorries over 12 tonnes to obtain a permit before entering and operating in most of Greater London. The proposed changes to the scheme include:

  • Requiring that Camera Monitoring Systems fitted on vehicles must eliminate any remaining blind spots at the nearside and that sensors must ensure full coverage down the nearside of all vehicles to detect vulnerable road users
  • Moving Off Information Systems must be fitted to the front of a vehicle to prevent collisions at the frontal blind spot zone
  • Audio warnings must be fitted to all vehicles.

If the changes are adopted, it is estimated that around 90% of the existing fleet operating in London will be impacted, and fleet operators will need to ensure that their vehicles comply with the new requirements. Responses can be submitted via an online survey and the deadline is Monday 3 April.

CIJC Promulgation Notice

The Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) has issued a revised Promulgation Notice to reflect the increases in the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage which will come into effect on 1 April. The General Operative rate is the only one directly impacted by the changes and has increased to £10.42 per hour.

Windsor Framework for NI

The Government and the EU have agreed in principle the Windsor Framework, which will replace the Northern Ireland Protocol and allow free‐flowing trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland through a new ‘green lane’. There is guidance for businesses on how it will affect goods moving from GB to NI and NI to GB.

Women in Construction

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol MBE and Deputy Chief Executive Jo Fautley have been included in the first Women in Trade Associations Powerlist which recognises the 100 most influential women in the association sector. They are joined by Helen Hewitt of BWF and Ruth Scarrott of NFRC.

CITB Employer Network

Build UK member Hire Association Europe (HAE) has been announced as the first sector‐specific group in CITB’s employer network pilot. The new 12‐month initiative will directly fund employers in a sector to organise their own training, meaning they do not need to navigate the CITB Grants Scheme.

Members Discuss Key Issues

Thanks to all those members who joined our Forum meetings earlier this week. Contractor members heard from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), which confirmed the Government’s desire to deliver on its programme of major infrastructure projects despite the market volatility caused by COVID and the war in Ukraine. Price inflation remains the biggest challenge and improved productivity and more equitable procurement as set out in the Construction Playbook will be key to maintaining the pipeline.

Trade Association members were joined by the Chief Executive of the British Board of Agrément (BBA), Hardy Giesler, who provided an update on the changes being implemented by the BBA to respond to industry demands. From improving the client experience to redesigning the delivery process, the BBA is focussed on providing a ‘one stop shop’ for certification and testing services to support the industry.

The next Contractor and Trade Association Forum meetings will take place on Tuesday 9 May, and details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Last Updated: 07/03/2023

Building Safety Guide Updated

Build UK has updated its comprehensive guide to the building safety regime to reflect the latest secondary legislation and guidance that has been published. Changes in the March 2023 version include:

Described as “the most straightforward and comprehensive piece of guidance around this issue”, the Build UK guide is designed to ensure all members are aware of their responsibilities, the new bodies that will oversee the regime, and the reforms to existing legislation which may extend liability, and the next update will be published in early April.

Build UK Priorities for Building Safety

Thanks to all those members who joined our first Building Safety call at the end of January where we identified the following key priorities:

  • Regulatory Clarity ‐ Understanding what will be required and by when is key for the whole supply chain to enable all parties to comply with their obligations.
  • Resourcing ‐ Highlighting the need for sufficient resourcing within the Building Safety Regulator, planning departments, fire brigade and building control departments to minimise impact on the programme and cost of projects.
  • Liability ‐ Clarifying where liability sits within Building Liability Orders and the type of defect that can be raised under the changes to the Defective Premises Act to ensure parties are not left fully exposed to a claim.
  • Competence ‐ Developing individual and organisational competence frameworks, ensuring coordination between competence organisations so there is a single source of truth.

The next Building Safety call for all members will be on Tuesday 21 March and your nominated contact should have received the details directly.

Changes to Approved Document B

Approved Document B (Fire Safety) is being regularly reviewed and the latest consultation includes a number of proposed changes:

  • Two staircases ‐ Whilst the consultation states “there is no evidence to suggest that existing buildings with a single stair above the proposed threshold pose a life safety risk”, it proposes that two staircases should be required in all new residential buildings over 30 metres in height. There is growing consensus across the industry that this is an appropriate height which has already been introduced by the Mayor of London, and along with other industry bodies we are calling for a national decision to be made as soon as possible to enable projects to continue.
  • National classification ‐ As the British Standards version of the European Classification is now being used, it is proposed to remove the national classification (BS 476) from Approved Document B and use the BS‐EN series of tests (BS EN 13501). Roofing materials, cavity barriers, smoke extraction (including fire dampers etc.) and fire doors are likely to be affected, which could result in significant cost increases of these building elements.
  • Sprinklers in care homes ‐ It is proposed that sprinklers are installed in all new care homes regardless of their height. Members that build care homes will need to ensure their clients are aware of the proposal and the potential impact on the cost of construction.

The consultation closes on Friday 17 March and Build UK will be contributing to the CLC response.

Consultations Update

With many of the new requirements under the Building Safety Act due to come into force this year, there are currently a number of consultations underway including:

The Welsh Government is also consulting on a slightly different definition of ‘higher‐risk building’, which will be used to categorise buildings in Wales for the design and construction elements of the new regulatory regime. It is proposing that a ‘higher‐risk building’ is at least 18 metres in height or at least seven storeys and contains at least one residential unit (it is two in England) or is a hospital or a care home. The deadline for responses is 12 May.

Building Safety Campaign

The HSE has launched the Building Safety Campaign to help the industry prepare for the requirements under the new building safety regime. The first phase ‘Be Ready’ aims to help everyone understand what is coming and the initial focus is on the registration of existing Higher‐Risk Buildings with the Building Safety Regulator which will commence in April and must be completed by October 2023

Cladder Shortage

As part of the CLC response to the interim review of the construction occupations on the Shortage Occupations List (SOL), we have called for cladders to be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa to ensure there is sufficient capacity to undertake remediation work across the UK. The outcome of the interim review is expected to be published this month, and a full review of the SOL is now underway.

Industry Competence

Under the Building Safety Act, the Building Safety Regulator is required to establish and maintain a number of committees, including an Industry Competence Committee to advise on competence‐related matters. Applications are invited for the positions of chair and members and the deadline for submitting a CV and covering letter is Friday 28 April.

Fire Risk Assessment Tool

The Fire Safety Order requires the Responsible Person for workplaces, commercial buildings and non‐domestic parts of multi‐occupied residential buildings to undertake an assessment of the fire risks to ‘relevant persons’. The Home Office has launched a Fire Risk Assessment Prioritisation Tool to assist in prioritising the review of assessments for buildings.

Cladding Remediation Update

The latest figures published by the Government show that, of the 488 high‐rise residential buildings identified to have unsafe ACM cladding:

  • Remediation work has been fully completed on 357 (73%)
  • Work has been completed and is awaiting Building Control sign off on a further 50 (10%)
  • Work has started on 57 (12%)
  • Of the remaining 24 (5%), 12 have a remediation plan in place, nine are intending to remediate, and three do not have a clear remediation plan.

The Building Safety Fund for the remediation of unsafe non‐ACM cladding systems received 3,052 registrations, 36% of which have now been invited to apply for funding, with 1% in the process of having their eligibility assessed.

Last Updated: 02/03/2023

Establishing A New Normal in Contractual Practice

With the business environment expected to remain challenging for the rest of this year, ensuring a fair allocation of risk through the supply chain is more important than ever. Build UK’s contract terms recommendation identifies six contract terms, including fitness for purpose and uncapped liabilities, which should not be used if better project outcomes are to be achieved. We have updated our guidance on implementing the recommendation, which explains why each term should be avoided and sets out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively, with specific guidance for JCT and NEC contracts.

Geoff Hunt, Commercial Director at Build UK member Arup, has confirmed support for the Build UK recommendation, stating: “Equitable contract terms that address the risk and opportunity for all stakeholders, and which are relevant for the project and the longer term relationships that our industry needs, are vital and we all have to invest for the industry’s future. However, we need a more collaborative approach in which all parts of the value chain are working together as a team”. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms with their clients.

Duty to Report ‐ Share Your Views

As part of the Government’s Payment & Cash Flow Review, a consultation on the Duty to Report Regulations has been published to determine whether they should be extended beyond 6 April 2024 and if any amendments are required. Build UK is still the only organisation using the data submitted under the Regulations to benchmark its members and the wider industry on their payment performance, and we will be holding a meeting for all members on Wednesday 22 March to inform our response to the consultation. Places are limited to one representative per member and your nominated contact should have received the details directly.

There is also a statutory review of the Small Business Commissioner underway to determine its effectiveness in carrying out its role and whether it should continue. Whilst the Small Business Commissioner administers the Prompt Payment Code, which a number of construction companies have signed up to, complaints in relation to construction contracts are outside its remit as there is a statutory adjudication procedure.

Transferring Your Apprenticeship Levy

As highlighted in a recent report from the National Federation of Builders, spending the Apprenticeship Levy can be difficult for large businesses due to the low funding bands and slow development of apprenticeship standards, which may result in a build‐up of unspent funds. Businesses can transfer up to 25% of their levy funds each year to help employers in their supply chain and other SMEs pay for the delivery of apprenticeships. Members wishing to use the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer have to publicly advertise the opportunity via their apprenticeship service account and other employers can then submit an application for funding.

All the latest training and skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Speeding Up Infrastructure Delivery

The Government has published its plan to speed up the delivery of major infrastructure projects to support economic growth, improve connectivity and deliver net zero. The new measures set out in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project action plan will streamline the planning process for large‐scale infrastructure projects related to energy, transport, water and waste, with new powers for the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities to set a ‘fast track’ timeframe.

The relevant departments ‐ Department for Transport; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and Department for Energy Security and Net Zero ‐ will each shortly announce their National Policy Statements setting the future direction for infrastructure within their remits.

New Member

Build UK is delighted to welcome the New Hospital Programme as our latest Client member, further increasing our representation of the industry. The New Hospital Programme is the biggest hospital building programme in a generation, with a target to develop 40 hospitals with new, state of the art facilities by 2030

Award Success

Congratulations to Build UK Trade Association members, Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) and Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), who were winners at the Trade Association Forum Awards! ASFP picked up the Skills Development Award and BESA took home Best Use of Technology Award

TrustMark App

TrustMark has updated its Home Improvement App with new guidance for homeowners having work carried out on their properties. The app, which has been developed with the HSE, is free to download with the aim of driving up standards amongst tradespeople.

IR35 Reminder

Under the IR35 ‘off‐payroll’ legislation, medium and large organisations have responsibility for determining a worker’s employment status when they are employed through an intermediary. Build UK has published a practical guide to help members ensure compliance.

ICYMI in February

  1. Build UK launched the latest People Survey to help understand how the current economic climate is affecting recruitment across the sector ‐ the deadline for responses is Friday 17 March!
  2. We published updated information on the retention policies of major public sector clients to provide increased transparency for the industry.
  3. National Apprenticeship Week 2023 was a huge celebration of construction apprenticeships, with Build UK and its members showcasing the experiences of apprentices, pledging to transfer Apprenticeship Levy, and setting new targets.
  4. Working closely with the CLC, we submitted a comprehensive response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s interim review of the construction occupations on the Shortage Occupations List.

Our roundtable meeting with Supply Chain Directors reinforced the benefits of Build UK members across the supply chain working together to resolve industry issues through initiatives such as the Common Assessment Standard.

Last Updated: 23/02/2023

Registering Higher‐Risk Buildings

The Higher‐Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) (England) Regulations, which introduce the requirement for Principal Accountable Persons to register Higher‐Risk Buildings, will come into force on 6 April 2023. Existing Higher‐Risk Buildings must be registered before October 2023 and the Regulations set out the specific information that will need to be provided to the Building Safety Regulator in an electronic format within 28 days of applying to register a building. A significant amount of information will be required, including the materials used in the structure, roof and external walls; the number of staircases; the fire and smoke control equipment in the building; and the type of evacuation strategy. Detailed guidance from the Building Safety Regulator is expected to be published shortly.

Build UK has published a comprehensive overview of the new Building Safety Regime to ensure all members are aware of their responsibilities and the first update will be issued in early March.

Immigration Update

Build UK has worked closely with the CLC to respond to the Migration Advisory Committee’s interim review of the construction occupations in the Shortage Occupations List (SOL). We have called for 17 new occupations to be added to the SOL, including a number represented by Build UK Trade Association members such as carpenters, painters and decorators, piling rig operatives, plasterers, roofers, and scaffolders. The outcome of this interim review is expected in March, with a full review of the SOL due to be undertaken later this year.

Most workers from outside the UK in construction are likely to be ‘skilled workers’ and require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation. Build UK’s flowchart provides an overview of the process of employing a worker from outside the UK, with detailed guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence and How to Get a Skilled Worker Visa.

Retaining Health and Safety Legislation

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, which is expected to receive Royal Assent in the spring, will give the Government new powers to amend, repeal and replace retained EU law, ensuring that UK domestic law takes precedence. It also includes a ‘sunset’ date of 31 December 2023 by which all remaining retained EU law will either be repealed or assimilated into domestic law. Build UK has raised this with the HSE and CLC to ensure that key industry health and safety legislation, such as the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM), Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, and Work at Height Regulations, is not inadvertently repealed on this date. The Department for Business and Trade has confirmed that this is not the intention and we have requested a statement to that effect.

How to be a Smart Site

CSCS has completed the rollout of its Smart Check App, which means that cards across all 38 card schemes carrying the CSCS logo can now be verified with the same app for the first time. This is in line with the objective in the CLC Industry Card Schemes Recommendation to make sure everyone on site has the right qualifications and training for the job they do.

Build UK’s How to be a Smart Site guide has been updated to reflect the changes and covers how to check cards and what to do in the event of coming across a fraudulent card on site. Members are reminded that CSCS does not issue cards for non‐construction related occupations and it is the responsibility of the site manager to induct and escort non‐construction workers arriving on site without a card so that they can carry out their work safely.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming there is now “good availability for most construction products and prices [are] no longer as volatile”. It is monitoring any potential disruption from the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria as Turkey is one of the largest exporters of raw iron bars.

Energy Bills Support

The current Energy Bill Relief Scheme will end on 31 March 2023 and be replaced by the Energy Bills Discount Scheme, which will provide discounts on gas and electricity unit prices for all non‐domestic consumers until 31 March 2024, with greater discounts for businesses in Energy and Trade Intensive Industries.

East West Rail

Build UK Client member, East West Rail, is building and upgrading over 95 miles of track between Oxford and Cambridge. The nationally significant project has been profiled in our series of factsheets, which are designed to help the industry explain what each project is and why it is being built.

Welsh Transport Plan

The Welsh Government has confirmed in its National Transport Delivery Plan that it will only be proceeding with 17 road projects following a year‐long review. Going forward, investment in roads will be reprioritised in favour of sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling and public transport.

Complete the People Survey

Build UK is asking members across the supply chain to take five minutes to complete our latest People Survey to help us understand how the current economic climate is affecting recruitment across the sector, as well as the level of awareness of the changes to CSCS cards.

You will need information to hand on your workforce, including the number of direct employees, apprentices, vacancies, and Industry Accreditation cardholders, and the deadline for responses is Friday 17 March.

Last Updated: 16/02/2023

Open Doors: The Countdown is On!

Open Doors 2023 will kick off in less than a month with over 230 sites across the UK set to take people behind the hoardings from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March. We know from feedback that a site visit can directly lead to a new entrant joining our industry, so please ensure you are promoting sites in your local area and reaching out to schools and colleges so they can see our industry in action and the wide range of opportunities it offers. Everyone is encouraged to get out and about to support sites and inspire the next generation of workers to choose a career in construction!

Further information can be found in our latest Open Doors update, and your comms teams can help to promote site visits on your social media using the hashtag #OpenDoors23.

Join Us for the Build UK Forums

The next Build UK Forum meetings will take place on Tuesday 7 March. Contractor members will hear from Stephen Dance and Helen Campbell from the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), who will give an update on the public sector pipeline, including the impact of market volatility on the level of spending. Trade Association members will be joined by Hardy Giesler, Chief Executive of the British Board of Agrément (BBA), who will provide an insight into how the BBA is transitioning to respond to industry demands, as well as how its certification and testing services for materials and products support the industry.

Members should have received a calendar invite with the details of the relevant meeting and please accept it to confirm your attendance or email [email protected]. Details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Consultation on Duty to Report

As part of the Government’s Payment & Cash Flow Review, a consultation on the Duty to Report Regulations has been published to determine whether they should be extended beyond 6 April 2024. It also includes the following specific proposals for amending the Regulations to further increase transparency of payment performance:

  • Adding a new metric for the total value of invoices not paid within agreed terms
  • Including information on retention payments for construction contracts
  • Considering disputed invoices as a ‘separate entity’
  • Clarifying the payment dates that should be reported when supply chain finance is used
  • Introducing a requirement to include the payment report within a directors’ annual report.

Build UK will be submitting a comprehensive response to the consultation based on the experience of our payment performance table and any members who would like to get involved should email Build UK.

New Cyber Security Threats

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a warning about spear‐phishing cyber‐attacks from entities based in Russia and Iran. Spear‐phishing is when a malicious link is emailed to individuals which directs them to a fake website that either installs malware onto their device or takes their details when they try to log in.

To help businesses in the construction sector protect themselves against cyber‐attacks, NCSC has developed a range of resources including Cyber Security for Construction Businesses and specific information for Joint Ventures in the Construction Sector. Members can also sign up to the NCSC Early Warning system which provides notifications in the event of malicious activity being detected in information feeds.

Shortage Occupations List

The Migration Advisory Committee has announced an interim review of the construction occupations in the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) ahead of a full review later this year. For an occupation to be considered for inclusion on the SOL as part of this review, the required evidence must be submitted by next Monday 20 February.

Fire Code of Practice

The Joint Code of Practice for Fire Prevention on Construction Sites, which is endorsed by Build UK, has been updated following recent amendments to regulations and version 10.1 is free to download from CIP Books. The code applies to projects with a value of £2.5 million or above, including smaller value contracts on these projects.

Building Safety Latest

The Mayor of London has announced that all planning applications for new residential buildings over 30 metres in height must now have two staircases before they are submitted to the Greater London Authority for stage 2 approval. The decision, which takes immediate effect, is in line with the proposal in the consultation on Approved Document B, and Build UK is calling for a national decision to be made as soon as possible to enable projects to continue.

Thanks to all those members who have provided feedback on our new guide to the Building Safety Regime. Described as “the most straightforward and comprehensive piece of guidance around this issue”, the Build UK guide will be regularly reviewed as secondary legislation and guidance is published, with the first update due in early March. It is designed to help all members understand their responsibilities, the new bodies that will oversee the regime, and the reforms to existing legislation which may extend liability.

Build UK will also be hosting its next Building Safety call for members on Tuesday 21 March and your nominated contact will receive the details shortly.

Last Updated: 09/02/2023

People Survey ‐ Help Us to Help You!

The latest People Survey is now live! Build UK is asking all members to complete it by Friday 17 March to help us understand how the current economic climate is affecting recruitment across the sector, as well as the level of awareness of the changes to CSCS cards. The short survey should take no more than five minutes and you will need information to hand on your workforce, including the number of direct employees, apprentices, vacancies, and Industry Accreditation cardholders.

Previous surveys have helped to secure a range of support for the sector, including Talentview Construction which all members can use to advertise their new entrant and apprenticeship vacancies. For all the latest training and skills news, please see our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Government Reshuffle

The Prime Minister has announced the creation of four new Government departments focussed on the key priorities he has outlined for this year:

  • Department for Business and Trade ‐ Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State
  • Department for Energy Security and Net Zero ‐ Grant Shapps, Secretary of State
  • Department for Science, Innovation and Technology ‐ Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport ‐ Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State

Rachel Maclean has been appointed Housing Minister within the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, replacing Lucy Frazer, and we are awaiting confirmation of who will be given the construction brief within the Department for Business and Trade.

Building Safety Consultations

Many of the new requirements under the Building Safety Act will come into force this year and there are currently a number of consultations underway including:

Further information on all current consultations can be found on the DLUHC and Building Safety Regulator websites

Public Sector Retention Policies

Build UK has published updated information on the retention policies of major public sector clients to provide increased transparency for the industry. The information, which covers central Government departments and the wider public sector, such as Network Rail and Sellafield, includes the retention percentage generally inserted in contracts between the client and its tier one contractors, as well as when the money should be released.

Build UK’s Roadmap to Zero Retentions, which is supported by the CLC, sets out a phased approach for the industry to achieve zero retentions. Whilst cash retentions continue to be withheld, our Minimum Standards on Retentions are designed to ensure their appropriate and fair use and there is detailed drafting guidance for incorporating them into both JCT and NEC forms of contract.

TfL Scrappage Scheme

Ahead of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) being expanded across all London boroughs from 29 August, TfL has launched a scrappage scheme to support the replacement or retro‐fitting of non‐compliant vehicles. Micro‐businesses can apply for grants of up to £9,500 to replace vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ standard.

Corporate Transparency

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill is progressing through Parliament and the Government has confirmed it will be amended to include a corporate ‘failure to prevent’ offence for fraud, false accounting and money laundering, which was one of the lessons learnt following the collapse of Carillion in 2018.

UK Infrastructure Bank

report by the Public Accounts Committee has highlighted concerns about ‘the independence, strength and value’ of the first deals made by the UK Infrastructure Bank since its launch in 2021, concluding that it needs to “develop strong performance measurement and evaluation of its important objectives”.

Competition Law Guidance

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) continues to monitor anti‐competitive behaviour in construction, and Build UK has worked with Wedlake Bell LLP to publish guidance explaining some of the more common violations of competition law and the potential sanctions to help businesses and directors understand the risks.

National Apprenticeship Week Success

This week is National Apprenticeship Week 2023 and the theme for this year is ‘Skills for Life’ focussing on how apprenticeships can support businesses to develop a talented workforce with skills for the future. It has been great to see so many members celebrating their apprentices and showing their support for recruiting the next generation, including:

  • Berkeley Group sharing the stories of apprentices and how the hands‐on experience of an apprenticeship is helping them develop #SkillsForLife
  • ISG pledging £200,000 of its Apprenticeship Levy funds to help SMEs in North East England create new apprenticeship opportunities
  • Kier leaders shadowing apprentices to understand what their roles entail
  • NASC touring the country to visit apprentices undertaking on‐the‐job training
  • TClarke unveiling a new five‐year target to fill 25% of its apprenticeship and training positions with women.

The daily theme for today is ‘T Level Thursday’ and it’s not too late to get involved on social media using the hashtag #NAW2023 and official graphics and logos.

Last Updated: 06/02/2023

National Apprenticeship Week is Here!

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 kicks off today and this year’s theme is ‘Skills for Life’ focussing on how apprenticeships can support businesses to develop a talented workforce with skills for the future. It’s not too late to get involved and there are some simple things you can do over the next week to show your support:

  • Celebrate your apprentices ‐ Put your apprentices front and centre of your business and on social media using the hashtag #NAW2023 and showcase the career journeys of employees who started as apprentices
  • Promote your apprenticeship vacancies ‐ Make it easier for young people to join our industry by ensuring all your apprenticeship opportunities are listed on Talentview Construction
  • Get involved in Open Doors ‐ Promote your Open Doors sites as a unique way for people to learn more about the industry and involve your apprentices in site tours.

More ideas can be found in the official toolkit and keep an eye on the daily themes and use the graphics and logos to support your social media posts.

Complete the People Survey

The latest People Survey is now live! Build UK is asking all members to complete it by Friday 17 March to help us understand how the current economic climate is affecting recruitment across the sector, as well as the level of awareness of the changes to CSCS cards. The short survey should take no more than five minutes and you will need information to hand on your workforce, including the number of direct employees, apprentices, vacancies, and Industry Accreditation cardholders. Previous surveys have helped to secure a range of support for the sector, including Talentview, which all members can use to advertise their new entrant and apprenticeship vacancies.

Countdown to Open Doors 2023!

Recruiting the next generation is vital if we are to maintain the pipeline of talent coming into the industry and one of the best ways to show young people the fantastic work we do is through Open Doors. Visitor booking is now open for this year’s event and members have already registered over 200 sites to take people behind the hoardings from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March. With just over a month to go, we are seeing huge interest in site visits, so if your organisation is yet to get involved what are you waiting for!

More information can be found in our latest Open Doors update and please help us to showcase the wide range of opportunities construction has to offer by promoting sites in your local area.

End of Industry Accreditation

From 30 June 2024, cards carrying the CSCS logo obtained via Industry Accreditation will no longer be renewed and all such cards will expire on 31 December 2024. This is in line with the CLC requirement that all cards should be achieved by qualification by the end of 2024, enabling workers to demonstrate that they are competent to undertake their role. CSCS has issued guidance on the different ways that individuals holding Blue, Gold or Black Industry Accreditation cards issued by the core scheme can move onto an appropriate card, and there are a number of things employers should be doing now:

  • Identify which of your workers hold Industry Accreditation cards
  • Confirm the appropriate route for each worker to replace their card and put in place a plan to move them onto the right card by the deadline
  • Where required, find an S/NVQ provider and register workers for the appropriate qualification.

From 1 April 2023, CITB will increase the grants for the achievement of certain supervision S/NVQs to £1,250 and certain management S/NVQs to £1,500, where they are required by individuals to renew Industry Accreditation cards. Employers can support their self‐employed workforce by registering them onto the appropriate S/NVQ and claiming grant on their behalf.

Industry Outlook on Skills

The latest industry outlook from CITB’s Construction Skills Network shows that construction needs to recruit 224,900 workers (44,980 per year) over the next four years to meet expected demand, down from 266,000 (53,200 per year) in the previous year’s forecast. If this projected growth is met, the number of people working in construction by 2027 would be 2.67 million.

CITB has also published an analysis of construction apprenticeships which reveals that there were 35,290 apprenticeship starts in 2021/22, up from 27,250 in 2020/21. However, this figure needs to be two to three times larger for the industry to meet expected demand, and CITB’s New Entrant Team, which will be fully rolled out across England in March, will be supporting small employers to take on apprentices for the first time.

Funding for Traineeships

The Government has announced that it will no longer fund a standalone national traineeships programme from 1 August 2023. Further information on traineeships can be found in Build UK’s guide on the Routes of Entry into Construction, which is designed to help employers play their part in recruiting the next generation.

Safety Helmet Colours

Build UK’s Safety Helmet Colours Standard provides a consistent, industry‐wide approach to identifying the roles of individuals on site through the colour‐coding of their safety helmets. With the aim of improving safety and communication across the industry, it is now recognised as the standard for construction in the UK.

Competence and the New Building Safety Regime

Build UK has published a comprehensive overview of the new building safety regime to ensure all members are aware of their responsibilities, including those in relation to skills and competence. The Building Safety Act defines competence as having the appropriate skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours, and the Competence Steering Group, which was established in response to the Hackitt Review, has set up 12 working groups to determine the specific requirements for the various occupations in the industry, including designers, managers, supervisors and installers. Trade Association members requiring support to develop pathways to competence for occupations in their sector can contact Build UK to get involved.

Last Updated: 02/02/2023

Members Average 30‐Day Payment Terms

Build UK Contractor members are now taking an average of 30 days to pay invoices, according to the latest results published under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance. The 30‐day threshold for payment is seen as significant, especially for businesses within the supply chain facing cash flow pressures, which have been exacerbated by high inflation. Since Build UK began benchmarking payment performance in 2018, our tier one Contractor members have reduced their average payment time from 45 to 30 days and now pay 94% of invoices within 60 days, up from 82%, and Dr David Hancock, Construction Director at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, has praised Build UK’s “great leadership in reporting payment performance, which has clearly helped to transform behaviour in the sector”.

As part of the Payment & Cashflow Review announced at the end of last year, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published a consultation on the Duty to Report Regulations to consider whether they should be extended beyond 6 April 2024 and if any amendments are required. The deadline for responses is 28 April 2023 and Build UK will be submitting a response focussed on the role of our payment performance table.

The latest business news can be found in our Improving Business Performance update

Building Safety Latest

The Government has written to developers, who pledged to pay to remediate unsafe buildings, confirming that it now expects them to sign the ‘developer remediation contract’. The contract will require them to address life‐critical fire‐safety defects in buildings 11 metres and over in height that they developed or refurbished over the last 30 years in England. Developers have been given until 13 March to sign the contact, with Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove warning those that don’t that they will face significant consequences, including being prevented from carrying out development and receiving Building Control Approval. In an interview with the Sunday Times last weekend, Gove reiterated his determination to take action, whilst acknowledging that Government guidance was “so faulty and ambiguous that it allowed unscrupulous people to exploit a broken system in a way that led to [the Grenfell] tragedy”.

All the latest building safety news can be found in our Building Safety update and we have published a comprehensive overview of the new building safety regime to ensure all members are aware of their responsibilities.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, which confirms that product availability continues to improve. However, the supply of EV chargers is ‘an increasingly problematic area’ following recent regulatory changes which require all new EV charge points to have additional security measures. To ensure EV charge points meet the latest regulations, a statement of compliance should be requested from the supplier.

Whilst price inflation has stabilised overall, some energy‐intensive products ‐ such as bricks, cement and PIR insulation ‐ continue to increase in price due to energy and distribution costs, with timber prices also expected to rise again in quarter two. Build UK’s guide on Managing Price Inflation, published with the support of Wedlake Bell LLP, provides practical advice on negotiating contracts to take inflation into account.

D&O Insurance

Miller Insurance, a Build UK member, has launched a Directors’ and Officers’ Liability (D&O) insurance product specifically for businesses in construction. D&O Construct offers broader coverage, including for claims arising out of company insolvency, and nil deductibles throughout the policy.

Net Zero Champions

Applications for the next round of CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions are open until Friday 10 February, and Build UK is encouraging all members to sign up and support the CLC to collate the actions being taken across the whole construction supply chain to respond to the net zero challenge.

ICYMI in January

  1. Build UK published a comprehensive overview of the new Building Safety Regime to ensure all members are aware of their responsibilities.
  2. Contractor members achieved an average of 30 days to pay invoices, showing that our payment performance table is changing the industry culture around payment.
  3. Visitor booking opened for Open Doors 2023 and 200 sites will take people behind the hoardings in March to showcase the diverse range of opportunities available in construction.
  4. Working in partnership with CSCS, we called on Industry Accreditation cardholders to start taking action to renew their cards.

Our roundtable meeting on managing the use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace reviewed the successful implementation of Build UK’s template Drugs and Alcohol Policy across the industry.

Last Updated: 26/01/2023

Your Guide to the New Building Safety Regime

The Building Safety Act is the foundation of a new building safety regime for the construction sector and represents the most significant change to industry regulation in a generation. With many of the new requirements coming into force this year, Build UK has published a comprehensive overview of the regime to ensure all members are aware of their responsibilities. The guide includes information on:

  • New bodies that will provide effective oversight of the new regime
  • New responsibilities for all those who design, build, own or manage Higher Risk Buildings
  • New systems designed to improve levels of competence and formalise processes
  • Existing legislation which will be reformed
  • Other activities outside the scope of the Act but related to building safety.

The guide, which is initially being made available to Build UK members only, will be regularly updated as secondary legislation and supporting guidance from industry is published. It has been welcomed by Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of the Industry Safety Steering Group, who said: “This guide provides Build UK members across the supply chain with a clear and accessible summary of what the Building Safety Act means for them and their organisation. I urge you to not just read this guide but to then discuss what it means for your organisation and how your practices need to change.”

End of Industry Accreditation

From 30 June 2024, cards carrying the CSCS logo obtained via Industry Accreditation will no longer be renewed and all such cards will expire on 31 December 2024. This is in line with the CLC requirement that all cards should be achieved by qualification by the end of 2024, enabling workers to demonstrate that they are competent to undertake their role. CSCS has now issued guidance on the different ways that individuals holding Blue, Gold or Black Industry Accreditation cards issued by the core scheme can move onto an appropriate card, and members of the CSCS Alliance will be providing guidance relevant to their individual card schemes.

There are over 60,000 Industry Accreditation cardholders across the industry who will be required to take action if they wish to renew their card. Employers should identify which of their workers need to complete an appropriate qualification ahead of the deadline and put a plan in place now to help them achieve it. From 1 April 2023, CITB will be increasing the grants for the achievement of certain supervision NVQ Diplomas/SVQs to £1,250 and certain management NVQ Diplomas/SVQs to £1,500, where they are required by individuals to renew Industry Accreditation cards.

Common Assessment Standard Latest

Hire Association Europe (HAE) is the latest Build UK Trade Association member to accept the Common Assessment Standard as part of its membership audit scheme. HAE members certified to the standard are now exempt from completing sections of SafeHire, and Director of Hire Certification Services at HAE, Carl Bartlett, has highlighted how the move will “reduce duplication and support members to gain recognition for continual improvement and raising standards across the industry”.

In addition, a growing list of major contractors and clients are now specifying the Common Assessment Standard for their pre‐qualification requirements, and members of the supply chain can obtain certification from any one of the Recognised Assessment Bodies ‐ Achilles, CHAS, Constructionline and CQMS. There are two levels of certification ‐ desktop and site‐based ‐ and the Common Assessment Standard logo is available from the Recognised Assessment Bodies for use by companies that are certified to the standard.

Managing the Use of Drugs & Alcohol

Build UK hosts roundtable meetings to bring members together to develop solutions to issues impacting the supply chain. A recent meeting, hosted by Eurofins with the support of Citation and People’s Partnership, focussed on how to manage the use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace, the challenges facing employers, and the importance of having a clear policy, particularly in the event of a positive test result.

Build UK’s Drugs and Alcohol Policy can be adopted by the whole construction supply chain to provide a consistent approach to the use of drugs and alcohol. Developed to provide a clear framework for drug and alcohol testing, as well as dealing with instances of misuse, the template policy has been drafted so that companies can adopt it in its entirety or incorporate elements of it into their own policy to suit their business.

Details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Coronation Weekend


Buckingham Palace has announced details of the events that will take place over the weekend of the King’s coronation from Saturday 6 ‐ Monday 8 May, including the Big Lunch and The Big Help Out. CIJC has confirmed there will be an additional bank holiday on Monday 8 May to mark the coronation.

Membership Subscriptions

Thank you very much to all those members who have already paid their Build UK membership subscription for 2023. The deadline for payment is next Tuesday 31 January and your prompt payment will enable us to continue focussing on delivering projects that transform the construction industry.

National Apprenticeship Week ‐ Get Involved!

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 will run from Monday 6 ‐ Sunday 12 February and this year’s theme is ‘Skills for Life’ focussing on how apprenticeships can help businesses develop a talented workforce with future‐ready skills. Build UK is encouraging all members to get involved and there are a number of simple things you can do:

  1. Celebrate your apprentices ‐ Put your apprentices front and centre of your business and on social media using the hashtag #NAW2023 and showcase the career journeys of employees who started as apprentices
  2. Promote your apprenticeship vacancies ‐ List all your apprenticeship opportunities on Talentview Construction and make it easier for young people to join our industry
  3. Get involved in Open Doors ‐ Promote your Open Doors sites as a unique way for people to learn more about the industry and involve your apprentices in site tours.

For more ideas on how you can show your support, see the National Apprenticeship Week 2023 toolkit.

Last Updated: 19/01/2023

Building Safety Latest

The ban on the use of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings with a storey at least 18 metres above ground level has been extended to include hotels, hostels and boarding houses. Other changes include an update to the list of combustible materials covered by the ban which now includes some elements of solar shading devices. Metal Composite Material panels with unmodified polyethylene core (MCM PE) have been banned on all new buildings of any height.

Approved Document B (Fire Safety) also now includes new requirements for external walls and balconies on new residential buildings between 11 and 18 metres in height to limit the combustibility of materials. These allow a degree of flexibility for lower risk medium‐rise buildings to use environmentally friendly materials, such as structural timber, where appropriate. Further amendments to Approved Document B are the subject of a consultation, and members are invited to send any comments on the proposals, which including installing sprinklers in all new care homes regardless of height, to Build UK by Friday 3 March.

There will be a meeting for all Build UK members to discuss the latest building safety developments on Tuesday 31 January from 8:30am ‐ 9:30am. If you have not received an invite and would like to attend, please email Build UK.

Construction Product Marking Update

Following the extension of CE marking for construction products until 30 June 2025, DLUHC has issued a clarification on applying the UKCA mark to products under the AVCP system 3. Despite originally announcing it would allow manufacturers to use the UKCA mark on these products when tested by an EU Notified Body without having to retest through a UK Approved Body, DLUHC has now stated that UKCA marking should be affixed only to products tested by a UK Approved Body from 1 January 2023.

In light of the change in policy, the Office for Product Safety and Standards has confirmed it will not take enforcement action against any manufacturer solely on the basis that the UKCA mark has been used on construction products tested by an EU Notified Body, where this testing was done before 1 January 2023. The Government has updated its guidance to clarify the issue, and products tested by an EU Notified Body must only display a CE mark going forwards.

Net Zero Review

Former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore has published his report on delivering net zero after being commissioned by Government to undertake an independent review of its approach. Confirming that “net zero is the growth opportunity of the 21st century”Mission Zero sets out 129 recommendations on how Government and businesses can meet net zero by 2050 whilst realising economic growth at the same time. Specific recommendations for the construction sector include the Government fully implementing the Construction Playbook, developing a public procurement plant for low‐carbon construction and materials by the end of 2023, and setting up Net Zero Retrofit Hubs.

The report also recognises the role of the CLC’s CO2nstruct Zero programme which includes a target to eliminate 78% of diesel plant from sites by 2035. Build UK’s ‘Drive Out Diesel’ guide contains a range of tips to use less diesel, go alternative and use more electric plant and equipment, and there has never been a better time to start following the removal of the red diesel rebate.

Finance for Housebuilders

The Levelling Up Home Building Fund provides development loans to SME housebuilders to support them to build more homes more quickly. Companies may be eligible if the project is financially viable, involves building or refurbishing five or more homes, and would stall or progress less quickly without support.

Building Safety Conference

The Building Safety Regulator will host the first Building Safety Conference on Wednesday 22 March in central London to outline the key changes under the Building Safety Act from April and what organisations need to do to prepare. The conference is free to attend and members can register their interest now.

Routes of Entry into Construction

The Government has announced that it will no longer fund a standalone national traineeships programme and the last start date for traineeships under the current programme is 31 July 2023. From 1 August 2023, all the elements of the traineeship programme will be funded as part of the national 16 ‐ 19 study programme or through the adult education budget, and Build UK will be working with CITB to understand the implications for construction.

Traineeships are one of the options set out in Build UK’s guide on the Routes of Entry into Construction for young people in England leaving school. Endorsed by CITB, the CLC and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), the guide is designed to help employers play their part in recruiting the next generation by providing an apprenticeship, work placement or sponsorship to young people setting out on their Journey from Education to Employment in the industry.

Last Updated: 12/01/2023

Open Doors 2023 ‐ Promote Your Sites!

Recruiting the next generation is vital if we are to maintain the pipeline of talent coming into the industry and one of the best ways to show young people the fantastic work we do is through Open Doors. Visitor booking is now open for this year’s event and members have already registered more than 150 sites to take people behind the hoardings from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March. We are seeing huge interest in site visits, so if your organisation is yet to get involved what are you waiting for!

Now is the time to start promoting your sites in the local area and we would encourage you to reach out to schools and colleges who can book group visits to see our industry in action and the wide range of opportunities available. Further information and resources can be found in our latest Open Doors update, and please register any remaining sites, offices, factories and other facilities on the Open Doors website as soon as possible.

Government Support for Business

The Treasury has confirmed that the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme will end in March and a new scheme will support businesses with their energy costs for another 12 months until 31 March 2024. The Energy Bills Discount Scheme will provide discounts on gas and electricity unit prices for all non‐domestic consumers, with greater discounts for businesses in Energy and Trade Intensive Industries, such as manufacturers of construction products, which are particularly vulnerable to high energy prices. Whilst the discount will be applied automatically to bills, businesses eligible for the higher level of support will need to apply for it and details will be published in due course.

The Prime Minister has also set out five key priorities to deliver growth and improve productivity this year. These include halving inflation, growing the economy and reducing debt, and Build UK’s guide on Managing Price Inflation, published with the support of Wedlake Bell LLP, provides practical advice on negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account.

Contract Terms Recommendation

The business environment is expected to remain challenging over the next 12 months and ensuring a fair allocation of risk through the supply chain is more important than ever. Build UK’s contract terms recommendation identifies six contract terms, including fitness for purpose and uncapped liabilities, which should be avoided in order to promote collaboration and realise better project outcomes. We have published comprehensive guidance to help implement the recommendation, explaining why each term should be avoided and setting out ways to manage the underlying issues more effectively, with specific guidance for JCT and NEC contracts.

The recommendation has been described as a “credible rebuttal of uninsurable and unrealistic terms during contract negotiations”, and the guidance can help members to resolve issues in a more collaborative way and reduce potential disputes. The recommendation is non‐binding and Build UK members are free to negotiate their own contractual terms with their clients.

Safety Helmet Colours

Build UK’s Safety Helmet Colours Standard provides a consistent, industry‐wide approach to identifying the roles of individuals on site through the colour‐coding of their safety helmets. With the aim of improving safety and communication across the industry, it is now recognised as the standard for construction in the UK.

Celebrating Apprentices!

National Apprenticeship Week 2023 will run from Monday 6 ‐ Sunday 12 February to showcase the positive impact of apprenticeships. The theme is ‘Skills for Life’ highlighting how apprenticeships can help develop a workforce with future‐ready skills, and there is a toolkit with ideas for getting involved.

New Building Safety Regime Gathers Pace

Thanks to all those members who joined our Forum meeting earlier this week where Chief Inspector of Buildings Peter Baker provided an update on the work of the Building Safety Regulator in what he referred to as the ‘delivery year’. He outlined the new requirements that will come into force over the next 12 months, including registration for Higher Risk Buildings from April, stating that “the time for talking is over and we need to get on with it”. Peter also set out the common concerns that had been raised following the introduction of Planning Gateway One in 2021. Build UK will be publishing a comprehensive overview of the new building safety regime later this month to ensure that all members understand their responsibilities under the Building Safety Act.

The next Contractor and Trade Association Forum meetings will take place on Tuesday 7 March, and details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Last Updated: 05/01/2023

Happy New Year!

Welcome back after what we hope was a relaxing break. Although it looks like there will be no let up over the next 12 months, Build UK is ready to hit the ground running and provide opportunities for the industry to shine and show its value to the UK economy. We begin the year by welcoming two new members, Morrisroe Group and East West Rail, and our first major deliverable later this month will be a comprehensive overview of the new building safety regime to ensure that all members understand the many different requirements under the Building Safety Act.

On that note, we are looking forward to seeing many of you at the first Build UK Forum of the year next Tuesday 10 January from 8:30am ‐ 9:30am. Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings, will be providing an update on the new Building Safety Regulator which will oversee all buildings, not just those categorised as Higher Risk, so will affect all Build UK members in some way. If you have not received a calendar invite and would like to attend, please email [email protected].

In line with the Government’s ongoing commitment to levelling up the UK, the latest public sector pipeline due at the end of January will confirm the level of spending on construction and this will be followed later in the year by the National Infrastructure Commission publishing its updated review of the country’s infrastructure needs. If we continue to collaborate and implement best practice, there will be plenty of opportunities for members over the next 12 months despite the challenging business environment.

Delay to UKCA Marking Confirmed

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) has confirmed that the changes to product marking rules for construction have been delayed until 30 June 2025. This means that construction products covered by the Construction Products Regulations displaying the CE mark can continue to be sold in Great Britain until this date. The CLC first highlighted the changes as an issue for the industry back in 2018, and manufacturers of construction products now have another two and a half years to transition to UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking.

From 1 July 2025, products will be required to carry the UKCA mark if they are to be sold in England, Scotland and Wales. For products to be sold in Northern Ireland, CE marking will continue to be recognised due to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Companies exporting to the European single market will still need a CE mark on their products as the UKCA mark is not recognised by the EU.

High Profile Representation

Build UK Vice Chair Julie White continues to represent the construction sector on the Prime Minister’s Business Council and had the opportunity to speak directly to Rishi Sunak at the latest meeting. Her calls for the public sector construction pipeline to be delivered at pace and an effective immigration system to provide the skills the industry needs were supported by other key sectors around the table.

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol has been appointed to the new Building Advisory Committee (BAC), which has been established under the Building Safety Act. Chaired by the Chief Inspector of Buildings, the Committee will support the Building Safety Regulator to deal with issues across the built environment and provide leadership to drive change. The BAC, which met for the first time in December and puts Build UK and its members at the heart of the new building safety regime, will be underpinned by technical working groups focussed on specific areas of work to ‘help develop sensible and proportionate solutions’ that will ensure buildings are safe to occupy.

Payment & Cash Flow Review

The Government has launched a Payment & Cash Flow Review to examine the impact of late payment on small businesses and the progress made by different sectors. It will also make recommendations on how current Government policies can be improved to establish a stronger culture of prompt payment. The review will include a consultation on the Duty to Report Regulations to consider whether they should be extended beyond 6 April 2024 and if any amendments are required. There will also be a Statutory Review of the Small Business Commissioner, looking at their effectiveness in improving payment practices.

Build UK will be contributing to the review highlighting the role of our payment performance table in improving payment practices in construction, and the Government will publish a conclusions document later in the year setting out next steps.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming that overall product availability is returning to pre‐COVID levels with lead times now ‘far lower’. Price inflation has moderated slightly but rising energy and wage costs may impose upward pressure in the near future.

Holiday Dates 2023

The Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) has published the Holiday Entitlement 2023 with guidance on annual and public/bank holidays that apply under the CIJC Working Rule Agreement. There will be an additional bank holiday on Monday 8 May 2023 to mark the King’s coronation.

Meet our New Members!

Build UK is delighted to kick off the year by welcoming two new members to strengthen our reach across the whole construction supply chain. Our latest Contractor member is Morrisroe Group, which offers civil engineering and specialist trade capabilities, including demolition, piling, concrete structures, joinery installation and manufacturing, in addition to permanent and temporary works design. East West Rail, a nationally significant project to build and upgrade over 95 miles of track between Oxford and Cambridge, also joins us as a Client member.

A huge thank you to all those members that have paid their Build UK membership subscription for 2023 ahead of the due date of 31 January. Your prompt payment enables us to focus on delivering projects that will help to transform the industry whilst providing support for the current challenges affecting the wider economy.

2022

Last Updated: 15/12/2022

What a Year!

As we come to the end of another unprecedented year, we can look back with huge pride on how we have continued to move the industry forward whilst dealing with events not seen in the UK for a generation. The year began with us back under COVID‐19 restrictions, saw the historic invasion of Ukraine, the death of the nation’s longest serving monarch, and three different Prime Ministers, and ended with inflation at its highest level for more than 40 years. Add in acute shortages of labour and materials, the introduction of new, wide‐ranging responsibilities under the Building Safety Act, and a ‘mini budget’ that caused turmoil in the markets, and the role of a representative organisation like Build UK has never been more important.

With the support of the Build UK Board chaired by Paul Cossell, we have continued to bring our members together to respond quickly and effectively to every issue. I believe that our growth in membership, the achievements highlighted below, and the superb feedback from #TeamBuildUK over the last year shows that Build UK’s approach of working collaboratively to resolve industry issues, whilst providing support for the challenges affecting the whole economy, is the right one.

Working closely with the CLC, now chaired by Mark Reynolds from Build UK member Mace, we are well positioned to send a strong message to the Government that the industry is ready to support the ambition to deliver the economic and social infrastructure needed to level up the UK. No one company or organisation is big enough to do it alone; we succeed when we all ‘lean in’ and work together. So thank you for choosing Build UK to represent you and for your ongoing support, and I and the rest of the Build UK team look forward to working with you in 2023.

Suzannah Nichol MBE, Build UK Chief Executive

Our Highlights of 2022

1. Led the call for a collective response to mitigate the impact of rising inflation whilst providing comprehensive guidance for members

2. Continued improvement in payment practices across the sector, with our benchmarking table showing Contractor members now take an average of 31 days to pay invoices

3. Increased use of the Common Assessment Standard for pre‐qualification, with a growing list of organisations specifying it and a fourth Recognised Assessment Body coming on board

4. Publication of Working Group Two report benchmarking the competence requirements across six priority sectors for ensuring fire safety in buildings

5. Practical support to recruit, train and retain a diverse workforce, including a guide to the Routes of Entry into Construction, collating information on the Gender Pay Gap, and demonstrating the impact of flexible working practices

6. Development of a template Drugs and Alcohol Policy in response to calls for a consistent framework for drug and alcohol testing to eliminate duplication across the industry

7. Comprehensive guidance on a wide range of issues, including how to ‘Drive Out Diesel’, PI Insurance, the Construction Playbook, and Cartels and Cover Pricing

8. Collation and analysis of data to inform policy decisions, including monthly ‘State of Trade’ reports, bi‐annual People Surveys and annual Accident Survey

9. Growing series of factsheets on major infrastructure projects showcasing the value of construction to the UK economy and the benefits to local communities

10. Royal Charter Award for Excellence in Construction presented to Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol by the Worshipful Company of Constructors for the leadership role played by Build UK during COVID‐19

Membership Subscriptions

All members should have received an invoice for their Build UK membership subscription for 2023. We would be grateful for your prompt payment which will enable us to focus on driving the industry forward. Build UK’s Articles of Association require a minimum of six months’ notice from anyone wishing to resign from membership.

Next Member Forum

The first Build UK Forum of 2023 will be for all members and take place on Tuesday 10 January from 8:30am ‐ 9:30am where Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings, will provide an update on the Building Safety Regulator. Details of all confirmed meetings for next year can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Open Doors

Booking for visitors for Open Doors 2023 will open on Monday 9 January. With schools requiring approximately three months’ notice to organise visits, please ensure you have registered your sites, factories, offices and other facilities on the Open Doors website before the Christmas break and start promoting them in the local area.

UKCA Marking

DLUHC has confirmed the changes to product marking rules for construction have been delayed by two and a half years, meaning CE marked products can continue to be sold in Great Britain until 30 June 2025. From 1 July 2025, construction products will have to carry the UKCA mark if they are to be sold in England, Scotland and Wales.

We ❤ #TeamBuildUK

“We fully support the great work Build UK does and the pivotal role it plays in shaping our industry. Your leadership and support on the key issues we have faced this year such as inflation has been invaluable.”
Stuart Robinson, Lyndon SGB

“The weekly Build UK update is great. It’s very insightful with information on the key industry issues in an easily digestible format. I always ensure to circulate it amongst our senior team.”
Paul Gandy, Tilbury Douglas

“We have taken advantage of the advice issued by Build UK on contract terms. It gave us a credible rebuttal of uninsurable and unrealistic terms during contract negotiations. Thank you!”
Martin O’Kane, Heron Bros. Ltd (CEF)

“Well done for the excellent and prompt communications following the death of the Queen this week. I knew we could rely on Build UK to provide all the information we needed.”
Alison Cox, Sir Robert McAlpine

“What can I say? A brilliant speaker for the AGM. Worth our Build UK subscription just for today!”
Bob Perry, Door & Hardware Federation (DHF)

“Thanks for your hospitality last night. It was a great event and lovely to connect with like‐minded people. Being my first Build UK event in person, it was noticeable how friendly and welcoming the group is!”
Richard Lennard, Sellafield Ltd

Last Updated: 08/12/2022

Open Doors 2023 ‐ Last Chance to Register!

There is now just one month to go until booking opens for Open Doors visitors on Monday 9 January. Recruiting the next generation is vital if we are to maintain the pipeline of talent coming into the industry, and Open Doors is one of the best ways to show young people the fantastic work we do! Please upload all your sites, factories, offices and other facilities on the Open Doors websiteas soon as possible and start promoting them to potential visitors in the local area.

We had a brilliant response from the Walsall College students who joined us at HS2’s Long Itchington Wood Tunnel site last month to kickstart the countdown to Open Doors, with 16‐year‐old Ethan saying: “If someone else had the chance [to go on site during Open Doors], I’d say definitely go for it. It gives you a really great insight into all the opportunities and careers, and there’s excellent people to speak to that can recommend any path to you within construction!”. Our short video from the event shows just how we can inspire people across the country to choose a career in construction during Open Doors from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March.

Routes of Entry into Construction

Thanks to all our members who have shared Build UK’s new guide on the Routes of Entry into Construction, which is endorsed by CITB, the CLC and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). Boosting routes into the industry is one of CITB’s key priority areas to address the skills gap, and its Customer and Product Director Jackie Ducker is encouraging employers across the supply chain to use the guide to help “identify which options will best suit their business, ensuring they are well placed to offer opportunities and develop their future pipeline of skills”.

Described as a ‘fantastic piece of work’ which is “easy to follow and a useful source of information for anyone considering a career in our industry”, the Build UK guide explains the most common routes of entry into construction, including apprenticeships, traineeships, T Levels and degrees, to help employers recruit young people setting out on their Journey from Education to Employment in the industry.

Immigration Roundtable

The review of the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) commissioned by the Government is expected to get underway shortly. The SOL, which lists the job roles where a worker can be paid 80% of the usual going rate whilst still qualifying for a Skilled Worker visa, will be reviewed to determine whether the current occupations should continue to be included and any new occupations added. Build UK will be hosting a roundtable event on Thursday 2 February to discuss the review of the SOL and wider issues with the Points‐Based Immigration System and please email us if you would be interested in attending.

Most workers from outside the UK in construction are ‘skilled workers’ and require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation. Build UK’s flowchart provides an overview of the process of employing a worker from outside the UK, with detailed guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence and How to Get a Skilled Worker Visa.

Building Remediation

The Government has launched a new fund to support the remediation of fire safety defects in buildings between 11 ‐ 18 metres in height where the developer cannot be traced or held responsible. Around 60 buildings in England are being invited to apply for the pilot phase of the Medium‐Rise Scheme, ahead of a wider rollout in 2023.

Plant Card Schemes

Key industry stakeholders involved in plant‐based operations in construction, including Build UK, have come together to form the Plant Sector Representative Organisation (PSRO), which will advise industry, card schemes and other relevant bodies on the standards required for plant training, assessment and certification.

People’s Partnership

B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, has changed its name to People’s Partnership to reflect its wider remit as a financial services business offering people a range of financial support. The B&CE name will be retained for existing products provided solely to the construction industry, as well as The Charitable Trust.

Build UK Interview

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol has been interviewed in the latest edition of One Voice, the official magazine of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF). Suzannah discusses her career journey in construction, Build UK’s three strategic priorities and the importance of leadership across the industry.

Thanks for Your Support

Our final Build UK update of the year will be next Thursday when we will share our highlights from the last 12 months. There is no doubt that Build UK’s strength lies in its membership and a huge thank you to each and every one of you for joining our meetings and events, sharing information, and reading our updates again this year. Your insight enables us to focus on the issues that really matter, present a collective voice for the industry, and provide an effective response to changing circumstances. We will be back in your inboxes with our first update of 2023 on Thursday 5 January!

The Build UK office will close on Thursday 22 December and re‐open on Tuesday 3 January, and we look forward to working with you all again next year!

Last Updated: 01/12/2022

Building Safety Levy Proposals Published

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) has launched a consultation on the design and implementation of the Building Safety Levy, which will be paid by developers on new residential buildings requiring building control approval in England. The Levy is designed to help pay for the remediation of unsafe buildings and the consultation includes the following key proposals:

  • Option for the basis of the Levy to be on either a ‘per unit’ or a ‘per square metre’ basis
  • Exemptions for affordable homes, NHS facilities and a range of community buildings
  • Exclusion of smaller projects comprised of less than ten units (or the square metre equivalent) to protect SMEs
  • Altering the Levy rates depending on where the building is located, with lower rates for areas where land and house prices are less expensive
  • Local authorities acting as the collection agency for the Levy, as they are central to the building control regime.

The Levy, which is expected to raise up to £3 billion over the next decade, will run alongside the developer pledge announced earlier this year to ensure the burden of paying to fix historic building safety defects does not fall on leaseholders or taxpayers. The consultation closes on 7 February 2023 and members are invited to send any views or comments on the proposals to Build UK by Friday 13 January.

All the latest building safety news can be found in Build UK’s Grenfell update.

Amendments to the Levelling Up Bill

DLUHC has announced a series of amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which will introduce major reforms to the planning system, including a new ‘Infrastructure Levy’, a fast‐track planning route for major infrastructure projects in England and Wales, and the requirement for ‘Environmental Outcome Reports’ on major projects. The proposed amendments to the Bill include a requirement for developers to report annually to local councils on their progress with building new homes, with local councils given new powers to block planning proposals where developers have failed to deliver on the same land. The Bill is currently going through Parliament and any changes to the planning system are expected to take effect from 2024.

Non‐Domestic Energy Customers

OFGEM has written to non‐domestic energy suppliers to reiterate their responsibilities to business customers, warning they ‘must not subvert the intent of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme’. This follows a range of issues being raised by both small and large businesses, including increased standing or management charges, excessive security deposit requirements, and a lack of offers to contract, which has led to an increase in customers on expensive ‘deemed contracts’.

With businesses across the country facing mounting economic pressures, CBI Director‐General Tony Danker has called on the Government to act as ‘the great unlocker of private sector investment’, welcoming the announcement on business rates relief as well as its commitment to major infrastructure projects. In his speech to the CBI Annual Conference earlier this month, Tony also highlighted the need for greater flexibility on regulations, planning and shortage occupations, stating that “while I have no problem with Government taking tough choices to bring stability, I also want them to take tough choices for growth”.

CO2nstruct Zero Annual Review

The CLC has published its first annual review showing progress against the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero, the industry‐wide programme to drive carbon out of the sector. Highlights over the last 12 months include more than 500 retrofit coordinators trained, a 33% increase in EV charging points installed, and 55,000 heat pumps connected, meaning 15% of all buildings are now connected to low carbon heat networks.

Build UK is encouraging all members to play their part and sign up as CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions, which enables the CLC to collate the actions being taken across the whole supply chain to respond to the net zero challenge.

HSE Accident Figures

The HSE has published its annual accident statistics for construction covering the period April 2021 to March 2022. There was a decrease in the number of fatalities from 40 to 30 but specified and over 7‐day injuries increased by 25% compared to the previous year. Build UK will be publishing accident data for its Contractor members in the New Year.

Working in Winter

Build UK member, the Contract Flooring Association (CFA), has launched a campaign to ensure work is carried out in the correct conditions during the winter. CFA members have been issued with a unique ‘Winter Warning Card’ containing a thermometer strip, which they will be using to check the temperature on site is appropriate for installing floor coverings.

Common Assessment Standard Update

There are four Recognised Assessment Bodies for the Common Assessment Standard which are reviewed every year to ensure their organisational competency. Achilles, CHAS, Constructionline and CQMS have all successfully completed this process for another 12 months, meaning suppliers can continue to obtain the Common Assessment Standard from any one of them. There are two levels of certification ‐ desktop and site‐based ‐ and companies should apply for the appropriate level depending on their trade, size and the requirements of their clients.

With a growing list of organisations now using the Common Assessment Standard, it is reducing the duplication of time and effort involved in the PQ process which costs the industry up to £1 billion a year.

Last Updated: 24/11/2022

Chancellor Commits to Infrastructure Investment

In welcome news for the industry, the Chancellor confirmed in his Autumn Statement last week that the Government would deliver £600 billion of investment in infrastructure over the next five years. Recognising capital expenditure is a key driver of economic growth, the Government has maintained its commitment to delivering major infrastructure projects, including HS2, East West Rail, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Sizewell C and full‐fibre broadband via Project Gigabit. The Chancellor also confirmed that the New Hospital Programme will go ahead and the second round of the Levelling Up Fund will allocate at least £1.7 billion to local infrastructure projects.

Build UK continues to highlight to the Government that “the industry has the capability and capacity to deliver vital infrastructure”, and our series of factsheets on major infrastructure projects is designed to help everyone in the industry explain what each project is and why it is being built in Britain today.

Government Approach to Inflation

The Chancellor has reiterated that tackling inflation is ‘top of the priority list’, using his Autumn Statement to set out plans for stability, growth and public services. The key points for businesses in construction include:

  • A new national target to reduce energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030, with additional funding of £6 billion from 2025 for retrofit programmes
  • Reform of R&D tax relief for SMEs, including reducing the additional deduction from 130% to 86% and the credit rate from 14.5% to 10%
  • Freezing the business rates multiplier in 2023/24, with a new transitional relief scheme to cap bill increases to properties revaluated next year
  • A 9.7% increase in the National Living Wage to £10.42 from 1 April 2023
  • Maintaining the Employment Allowance threshold at £5,000 until 31 March 2026.

Independent forecasting from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) reveals that inflation is expected to peak at 11.1% this quarter, before falling to 7.4% in 2023. The latest statement from the CLC Product Availability Group confirms that “inflationary pressures rather than availability present the main challenges for energy‐intensive products, such as glass, concrete, cement, PIR, plasterboard and bricks”.

Routes of Entry into Construction

Build UK’s new guide setting out the Routes of Entry into Construction has been endorsed by the CLC, CITB and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), with CLC Co‐Chair Mark Reynolds highlighting how “we can make great progress on recruiting the next generation into construction if every business across the supply chain does just one thing to support a new entrant into the industry”.

Delivering on one of the commitments in the CLC’s Industry Skills Plan, the Build UK guide, which includes apprenticeships, traineeships, T Levels and degrees, is designed to help employers play their part in recruiting the next generation by providing an apprenticeship, work placement or sponsorship to young people setting out on their Journey from Education to Employment in the industry.

Implementing a Drugs & Alcohol Policy

Build UK’s template Drugs and Alcohol Policy is designed for use by the whole construction supply chain to provide a consistent approach when dealing with the use of drugs and alcohol. Developed with the support of Eurofins Workplace Drug Testing in response to calls for a consistent framework to eliminate duplication across the industry, the template policy has been drafted so that companies can adopt it in its entirety or incorporate elements of it into their own policy to suit their business.

Build UK and Eurofins will be hosting a roundtable event on Wednesday 18 January from 10:00am ‐ 11:30am to discuss the drug and alcohol tests available and members’ experiences of implementing Build UK’s policy on their projects to date. Places are limited and please email us if you are interested in attending.

New Construction Minister

Nusrat Ghani has been confirmed as the new Construction Minister and will take up the position of Co‐Chair on the CLC and join its regular industry calls. Previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and a Government Whip, she is the fourth Minister to hold the post this year.

PAS 91 Review

BSI is carrying out a review to determine whether PAS 91 is maintained or withdrawn. Following the successful rollout of the Common Assessment Standard, Build UK’s response to BSI recommends that PAS 91 is withdrawn when PPN 08/16 is updated enabling all public sector clients to use the Common Assessment Standard.

CITB Support for Industry

CITB has issued its Annual Report 2021/22, setting out how it invested £97 million in direct employer funding to attract, build and retain the industry’s workforce. Almost £50 million was issued in apprenticeship grants supporting 23,000 apprentices, with £6.7 million paid to 5,300 employers in short course grants.

CITB has also published its latest quarterly Performance Report, which tracks progress against the targets set out in its Business Plan 2022/23. Highlights include 33,300 apprenticeship starts in the year to date, above the target of 30,450, and a 5% increase in the number of employees.

Last Updated: 17/11/2022

UKCA Marking Delayed Again

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced a further two‐year delay to the changes to product marking rules, which will allow CE marked products to continue to be sold in Great Britain until 31 December 2024. Construction products are covered by the Construction Products Regulations and a statement from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) is anticipated shortly to confirm the two‐year delay for manufacturers of construction products to transition to UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking. The CLC first highlighted the changes as an issue for construction back in 2018 and is continuing to raise concerns about the availability and capacity of testing for products under the new UKCA marking regime.

From 1 January 2025, products will be required to carry the UKCA mark if they are to be sold in England, Scotland and Wales. For products to be sold in Northern Ireland, CE marking will continue to be recognised due to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Companies exporting to the European single market will still need a CE mark on their products as the UKCA mark is not recognised by the EU.

Construction Awaits Autumn Statement

The Chancellor will deliver his Autumn Statement to Parliament later today as the Government looks to provide assurance it is ‘committed to fiscal sustainability and economic stability’ whilst tackling rising inflation. Accompanied by independent forecasting from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), the Autumn Statement will set out how the Government intends to get debt falling over the medium term, and the Chancellor has warned that it “will involve difficult decisions across tax and spending”. With cuts to public spending expected alongside tax rises, Build UK is calling on the Government to maintain its commitment to infrastructure investment in order to deliver growth and level up the UK.

Inflation has now reached a 41‐year high at 11.1% and is expected to remain at this level until at least the end of the year. Build UK’s guidance on Managing Price Inflation, produced with Wedlake Bell LLP, provides practical advice on negotiating contracts to take high inflation into account, including the use of fluctuations provisions to manage the risks associated with price volatility.

Private Sector Playbook Launched

The CLC is supporting the Private Sector Construction Playbook, published by the Construction Productivity Taskforce, which aims to drive change in the way projects across the private sector are commissioned, procured, delivered and operated. Building on the principles of the Government’s Construction Playbook, the Private Sector Playbook sets out 10 ‘drivers for success’ that should underpin any project, including early supply chain involvement, fair allocation of risk, and an outcome‐based approach. By adopting the Playbook’s principles, it is anticipated that companies will boost productivity, reduce carbon emissions, and improve the health, safety and wellbeing of the workforce.

CLC Route Map to Zero Diesel

The CLC has published a draft route map setting out how the industry can achieve the CO2nstruct Zero target to eliminate 78% of diesel plant from sites by 2035. Measures include 500 companies committing to phase out diesel generators by 2025, guidance on improving the efficiency of existing plant, and increasing energy usage from renewables and battery‐electric. Feedback on the route map is invited by Friday 2 December.

Build UK’s guide to ‘Drive Out Diesel’ contains a range of tips to use less diesel, go alternative and use more electric plant and equipment. Whilst there are significant challenges, the removal of the red diesel rebate has provided an additional financial incentive, and there are some simple things that all businesses can start doing now to reduce their reliance on diesel on site.

EV Chargepoint Grants

SMEs can get grants from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure in their commercial car parks. Eligible businesses can claim £350 for each chargepoint socket installed and £500 per parking space enabled with supporting infrastructure, up to a maximum of £15,000 per car park.

MEWP Guidance

Build UK member IPAF has issued guidance on the ‘catapult’ or whiplash effect which can occur when using mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and result in occupants or materials being ejected from the MEWP. Ensuing work at height is properly planned with adequate control measures can prevent serious or fatal injury.

Flexible Working in Construction

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol has spoken to Construction News about the positive impact of flexible working, following publication of A View One Year On in partnership with Timewise earlier this year. Suzannah highlights how “flexible working can be implemented on construction sites, without negatively affecting budgets or delivery”, and there is an industry‐wide toolkit available to help companies of all sizes introduce flexible working practices and make construction a positive career choice for everyone.

Timewise will be hosting a free webinar on Wednesday 30 November from 2:00pm ‐ 3:00pm to launch its annual ‘Flexible Jobs Index’, which analyses vacancies that are advertised with any kind of flexible or part‐time options. Members can register to attend and learn more about how working and hiring practices are changing.

Last Updated: 10/11/2022

The Journey from Education to Employment

Construction needs to recruit over 53,000 new entrants each year to maintain output and employers across the supply chain are keen to support young people to choose a career in the sector. We know that not all businesses can take on an apprentice but there are many other ways to reach out to the next generation and every employer can play their part by providing a work placement, sponsorship or employment to those still in education or looking to secure their first job.

Although the routes of entry into the industry can be complex and confusing, employers that understand them are well placed to offer opportunities and recruit their future pipeline of skills. Build UK has published a guide setting out the most common Routes of Entry into Construction for young people in England leaving school, including apprenticeships, traineeships, T Levels and degrees, and how they might suit different employers.

All the latest skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Construction Activity Holds Up

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 369 contracts worth £6.5 billion were awarded in October. The value of contracts rose to its highest level for more than 12 months following the award of the £1.3 billion A66 Northern Transpennine contract, although the total number remained below the monthly average for the last year. It was another strong month for the public sector, which accounted for 41% of all contracts awarded by value, including 12 road projects totalling £1.8 billion, five port and river projects worth £428 million, and 31 health and welfare projects totalling £373 million. In the private sector, there were 108 housing projects worth £1.4 billion and 44 office projects totalling £379 million.

With interest rates now at 3% following the biggest rise in the base rate since 1989, the latest Bank of England Monetary Policy Report predicts that inflation will reach 11% this quarter. Build UK’s guidance on Managing Price Inflation, produced with Wedlake Bell LLP, provides advice on negotiating contracts to take inflation into account.

Improving Your Cyber Security

Over 60% of large companies in the UK reported having cyber security breaches or attacks in 2020/21 and the construction sector is particularly vulnerable due to its complex supply chains and high cash flow. Companies whose cyber security measures are not sufficient to protect against an attack can face significant fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office in the event that an attack leads to a breach of the Data Protection Act. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has developed a range of resources to help companies protect against cyber attacks, including tailored guidance on Cyber Security for Construction Businesses as well as specific information for Joint Ventures in the Construction Sector. Companies can also sign up to the NCSC Early Warning system which provides notifications in the event of malicious activity being detected in information feeds

New Member

Build UK is delighted to welcome the British Board of Agrément (BBA) as its latest Professional Services member, further increasing our representation of the industry. The BBA provides construction product testing and certification services to help mitigate risk and strengthen accountability.

PQ Update

Over 16,000 suppliers are now certified against the Common Assessment Standard, meeting the pre‐qualification requirements of a growing list of major contractors and clients. The Common Assessment Standard can be obtained from any of the four Recognised Assessment Bodies.

Additional Bank Holiday

The Government has announced an additional bank holiday next year on Monday 8 May to mark the coronation of King Charles III. The Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) Working Rule Agreement formally recognises eight bank holidays each year and is reviewing the position in relation to this extra one for 2023.

Timber Battens Alert

Build UK member, the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), has issued a safety alert after a large volume of non‐standard timber battens, falsely coloured and/or stamped with BS 5534, entered the UK market. Battens should be checked to ensure they are compliant to avoid the risk of roof failures and accidents.

CLC Vision Presented to Members

Thanks to all those members who joined our Forum meetings earlier this week where Mark Reynolds, Co‐Chair of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), gave an update on the relaunch of the CLC and its strategy for the next three years. Setting out a ‘new era of delivery for the built environment’, Mark outlined the CLC’s four strategic priorities ‐ Building Safety, Net Zero and Biodiversity, People and Skills, and Next Generation Delivery ‐ and how Build UK and its members have a leading role to play in their delivery.

The first Forum meeting of 2023 will be for all members and take place on Tuesday 10 January from 8:30am ‐ 9:30am where Peter Baker, Chief Inspector of Buildings, will provide an update on the new Building Safety Regulator. Details of all confirmed Build UK meetings for the start of next year can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Last Updated: 03/11/2022

Get Ready for Open Doors!

HS2’s Long Itchington Wood Tunnel site hosted the launch of Open Doors 2023 yesterday, showing more than 20 students from local colleges what a career in construction might look like! As well as catching a glimpse of ‘Dorothy’, the tunnel boring machine currently excavating a one‐mile twin bore tunnel under an ancient woodland, attendees had the chance to put their questions to the site team about what it’s like to work on such a transformative project. Speaking at the event, Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol called on the industry to get behind Open Doors and show the next generation that “whatever you enjoy doing and are good at ‐ there is a job for you in construction”.

With bookings for visitors opening on Monday 9 January 2023, members are encouraged to register their sites, factories, offices and other facilities on the Open Doors website as soon as possible, giving schools and colleges plenty of time to plan visits. We have provided a Coordinators’ Toolkit to help you identify suitable sites and maximise your involvement in the event which will run from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March 2023.

Latest Payment News

The latest results published under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance show that the payment performance of Build UK members is holding steady, despite the significant pressures caused by rising inflation. Contractor members are reporting an average of 31 days to pay invoices, down from 45 days when the Build UK table was first published in July 2018.

The Small Business Commissioner has issued a self‐declaration form to signatories of the Prompt Payment Code, which are required to show that they pay 95% of invoices to SMEs within 30 days and 95% of other invoices within 60 days. Signatories have until next Wednesday 9 November to return the form, and the payment performance of more than 100 of the largest construction companies can be viewed in Build UK’s payment performance table.

All the latest business news can be found in our Improving Business Performance update.

The Journey to Net Zero

As COP27 gets underway in Sharm el‐Sheikh, Egypt this weekend where world leaders will set out collective actions to tackle climate change, the CLC is encouraging businesses across the construction supply chain to play their part by signing up as CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions. With construction accounting for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, a growing list of Build UK members have aligned their business commitments to one or more of CO2nstruct Zero’s nine priorities and been recognised as Business Champions, demonstrating how the industry is coming together to reach net zero.

To support the CO2nstruct Zero target to eliminate 78% of diesel plant from sites by 2035, Build UK’s ‘Drive Out Diesel’ guide contains a range of tips to use less diesel, go alternative and use more electric plant and equipment. Whilst there are significant challenges for the industry, the removal of the red diesel rebate has provided an additional financial incentive, and there are some simple things that all businesses can start doing now to reduce their reliance on diesel on site.

Product Marking

The CLC has written to the new Government calling for a two‐year delay to the implementation of UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking, which is due to replace CE marking from 1 January 2023, citing concerns about the availability and testing capacity for products under the new regime.

HSE Site Inspections

The HSE is carrying out site inspections until the end of November focussed on moving and handling materials. The health inspection initiative aims to raise awareness of the risks and there is guidance for employers on planning work and using the right control measures to prevent injury.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry

Closing statements for Phase 2 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, examining the reasons why the fire started, will begin next week. The Phase 1 report explored how the fire started and the emergency services response, and you can listen back to the Inquiry via the BBC Sounds podcast.

Free Innovation Training

CITB has funded the Innovation Driven Procurement Project to offer 40 SME and micro‐businesses free training, coaching and mentoring to help improve productivity and increase procurement opportunities. Businesses interested in participating must sign up by the end of November.

Are You Using Talentview?

Launched last year in response to our call for an apprenticeship‐matching service, Talentview Construction is a dedicated online platform for those looking to secure their first role in construction. By bringing together all opportunities for new entrants in one place, we can make it much easier for young people to join our industry, and it is now up to employers to use it!

Members can list all their new entrant vacancies ‐ including apprenticeships, traineeships, graduate placements and work experience ‐ on Talentview for free, and it sits alongside the Construction Talent Retention Scheme to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for the recruitment and retention of skills across the industry.

Last Updated: 27/10/2022

New Government Sets Out Priorities

New Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has appointed his Cabinet which met for the first time yesterday. Jeremy Hunt has been re‐appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer, with Grant Shapps appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Michael Gove returning as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. In his first speech to the nation, the new Prime Minister confirmed he will “place economic stability and confidence at the heart of [the] Government’s agenda”, whilst warning of the ‘profound economic crisis’ the country is facing and the ‘difficult decisions to come’. Speaking to Construction News, Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol called on the industry to “demonstrate that construction…is a good place for the public sector to invest” and show the value of Government putting national and local infrastructure projects at the core of its plans.

With inflation rising to 10.1% in September, the Chancellor will now deliver a full Autumn Statement on Thursday 17 November, accompanied by independent forecasting from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), to provide confidence in the country’s finances as the Government supports businesses and households with the rising cost of living. Build UK’s guidance on Managing Price Inflation, produced with Wedlake Bell LLP, contains practical advice on negotiating contracts to take inflation into account, including the use of fluctuations provisions to manage the risks associated with price volatility.

Construction Playbook Updated

Following publication of the revised version of the Construction Playbook, Build UK has updated its executive summary which is designed to help the whole supply chain understand the Playbook’s key policies and its potential to transform the delivery of public sector projects. Our executive summary, which is endorsed by the Cabinet Office, now incorporates the additional and updated guidance provided in version 1.1 of the Playbook on key topics such as Modern Methods of Construction and Promoting Net Zero Carbon and Sustainability.

Working Rule Agreement Revised

The Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) Working Rule Agreement (WRA) has been updated, following the 5% increase in the national pay rates in July 2022. The WRA ‐ also referred to as ‘The Pink Book’ ‐ sets out the terms and conditions for use across the industry and there are changes to the provisions relating to benefit schemes, pensions and temporary lay‐off. Build UK Contractor members along with a number of Trade Association members are signatories to the WRA, and hard copies are available for purchase via CIP Books, priced at £12 + postage.

As set out in the CIJC Holiday Entitlement 2022, this year’s two‐week Winter Break (Christmas shutdown) will run from normal finishing time on Friday 23 December 2022 to normal starting time on Monday 9 January 2023.

Support for Energy Efficiency

The Government has confirmed the second wave of funding for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Upgrade Grant schemes, which will provide support to upgrade the energy efficiency of around 130,000 low‐income properties. Up to £1.5 billion will be made available for social housing providers and local authorities to install measures such as external wall and loft insulation, energy efficient doors and windows, heat pumps and solar panels. Bids for funding must be submitted by Friday 18 November, and those that are successful will be able to deliver upgrades from early next year through to March 2025.

Phase 3b of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is also now open for applications and will provide a further £635 million for public sector bodies to install energy efficiency measures. The scheme, which will provide a total of over £1.4 billion through to 2025, aims to reduce emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037 and there is detailed guidance on how to apply.

CLC Industry Sponsors

The CLC has launched an open competition to recruit industry sponsors for each of its priority workstreams ‐ Building Safety, Net Zero and Biodiversity, People and Skills, and Next Generation Delivery. Each sponsor will be expected to lead and oversee their workstream, and the deadline for applications is Monday 14 November.

CDM Case Studies

The CLC, working with HSE and the Construction Industry Advisory Council (CONIAC), has launched CDM Case Studies for Small Builders and Contractors, a new guide to help those working in the domestic sector understand their responsibilities under the Construction Design & Management (CDM) Regulations.

PI Insurance Guide

Build UK’s comprehensive guide to Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance, produced with the support of Miller Insurance, provides an overview of what PI insurance is, why it is needed, and the steps that members can take to secure the best possible terms in the current market.

Economic Crime Bill

The Government has introduced the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill designed to prevent and tackle economic crime. The Bill includes changes to how Companies House operates, reforming Limited Partnerships and strengthening anti‐money laundering powers.

New Hospital Programme Industry Day

The New Hospital Programme (NHP) will be holding an Industry Day on Tuesday 13 December to outline how businesses across the supply chain can play a role in the biggest hospital building programme in a generation. With a target to develop 48 hospitals by 2030, the NHP will provide further information on how it is building better, faster and greener, following publication of its first commercial pipeline earlier this year providing visibility of contract opportunities up to 2024.

Places at the Industry Day are limited and members can register their interest to attend either in‐person at the Vox Conference Venue in Birmingham (B40 1PU) or online.

Last Updated: 20/10/2022

Government Ditches Majority of Growth Plan

New Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that the majority of the measures outlined in the Government’s Growth Plan 2022 will no longer be taken forward, in order to ‘ensure the UK’s economic stability and provide confidence in the Government’s commitment to fiscal discipline’. Whilst the changes that have already been legislated for in Parliament will go ahead, such as the reductions in National Insurance contributions and stamp duty, the following tax policies have now been reversed:

  • Corporation tax will increase from 19% to 25% from 1 April 2023 as previously planned
  • There will be no changes to the IR35 ‘off‐payroll’ legislation, which means that medium and large organisations will continue to have responsibility for determining a worker’s status when they are employed through an intermediary
  • The basic rate of income tax will remain at 20% indefinitely, until economic conditions allow for it to be reduced.

The Chancellor will deliver the Medium‐Term Fiscal Plan on Monday 31 October setting out the economic impact of the Government’s plans, which will be accompanied by independent forecasting from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Acknowledging there will be ‘more difficult decisions to take on both tax and spending’, he has also announced a Treasury‐led review of both the Energy Price Guarantee and the Energy Bill Relief Scheme to consider how to support households and businesses beyond April 2023, with any support targeted at those most in need.

Get Ready for Open Doors!

Preparations for Open Doors 2023 are now well underway, with sites already registered including HS2’s Long Itchington Wood Tunnel, Stanhope’s 8 Bishopsgate and Sisk’s Birmingham Health Innovation Campus. Open Doors will take place from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March 2023 and members are encouraged to open up their sites, factories, offices and other facilities across the country to showcase the diverse range of opportunities that construction has to offer.

Bookings for visitors will open on Monday 9 January 2023 and we know that schools and colleges need plenty of time to plan visits, so please register your sites as soon as possible and start promoting them to potential visitors in your local area. We have provided a Coordinators’ Toolkit to help you identify suitable Open Doors sites and make sure you have the required information to maximise your involvement.

Right to Work Checks

Temporary changes to right to work checks introduced during the COVID‐19 pandemic ended on 30 September 2022, and employers now have the following options for ensuring an individual has the right to work in the UK:

  • Using a certified digital Identity Service Provider (IDSP) to conduct digital checks on any individual who has either a valid British or Irish Passport (or Irish Passport Card). The employer is still required to prove that they have seen the prospective employee face to face, which can be done via video call.
  • Conducting an online check via the Home Office online service where an individual is providing certain documentation, such as a Biometric Residence Card, Biometric Residence Permit or Frontier Worker Permit. An employer can also use the Employer Checking Service in specific circumstances, for example where an individual has an outstanding application or appeal with the Home Office.
  • Conducting in‐person manual document‐based checks, where the employer has to physically obtain, check and copy one ‘acceptable document’ from the prospective employee.

Employers conducting any of the above right to work checks in accordance with the Home Office guidance will be provided with a ‘statutory excuse’, which means that, in the event they are found to be employing someone illegally, they will not have to pay a civil penalty which can be up to £20,000 per illegal worker.

CO2nstruct Zero Progress

The CLC has published its latest report showing progress against the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero, the industry‐wide programme to drive carbon out of the sector. It highlights an increase in the number of retrofit coordinators, as well as the number of businesses accredited against PAS 2080, the global standard for managing carbon in building and infrastructure, in line with the targets set out in the Performance Framework.

TClarke is the latest Build UK member to become a CO2nstruct Zero Business Champion, and Build UK is encouraging all members to sign up so that the CLC can collate the actions being taken across the whole supply chain to respond to the net zero challenge. The Lower Thames Crossing has also been recognised as a CO2nstruct Zero Partner and the Build UK factsheet provides an overview of the project, which aims to be the country’s ‘greenest road’.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming ‘all regions are reporting the best product availability in two years’. Price inflation has moderated slightly but concerns remain for energy intensive products such as blocks, bricks, cement, ceramics, glass and steel.

Insolvency Risk

As company insolvencies hit a 13‐year high in England and Wales, KPMG has published a summary on protecting against insolvency in the construction supply chain, which includes the warning signs to look out for and the practical steps that should be taken in the event of an insolvency occurring.

Welsh Building Regs

The Welsh Government is hosting a free webinar on Thursday 17 November from 12:30pm to 1:30pm to outline recent changes to the building regulations in Wales, including new energy efficiency requirements for new built dwellings. To register to attend, complete and return the form via email by 1 November.

PQ Review

Build UK is currently undertaking a review of the Common Assessment Standard and any suggested changes should be submitted via the online form by Friday 25 November. The updated version will be published next year and include any changes required following the introduction of the Building Safety Act.

Delivering the CLC Strategy

The final Build UK Forum meetings of the year will take place on Tuesday 8 November, where Mark Reynolds, Co‐Chair of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), will provide an update on the work of the CLC. The CLC recently published its strategy for the next three years, focussed on four priorities to transform construction ‐ Net Zero and Biodiversity, Next Generation Delivery, Building Safety, and People and Skills ‐ as well as more immediate challenges, including inflation, forward pipeline, and business sustainability.

All members should have received a calendar invite to the relevant Forum and please accept it to confirm your attendance or email [email protected].

Last Updated: 13/10/2022

Immigration Update

The Government has commissioned a review of the Shortage Occupations List (SOL) to identify whether other occupations need additional support when recruiting workers from outside the UK. The SOL, which lists the job roles where a worker can be paid 80% of the usual going rate whilst still qualifying for a Skilled Worker visa, will be reviewed to determine whether the current occupations should continue to be included and any new occupations with a RQF level 3 or above qualification should be added. Build UK will be contributing to the review through the reconvened CLC working group on immigration, and it is scheduled to be completed by March 2023 with any changes implemented by autumn 2023.

Under the Points‐Based Immigration System, most workers from outside the UK in construction are ‘skilled workers’ and require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation. Build UK has updated its flowchart providing an overview of the process of employing a worker from outside the UK, as well as its detailed guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence and How to Get a Skilled Worker Visa.

Managing Inflation

The Chancellor has confirmed that publication of his Medium‐Term Fiscal Plan will be brought forward to Monday 31 October to set out the economic impact of the Government’s Growth Plan 2022 over the next three to five years. It is expected to include a commitment to an annual growth target of 2.5% as well as further details on the Government’s proposed tax cuts. The Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that the Government would not be reducing public spending, and Build UK will be pushing for it to deliver on its promise to ‘get Britain building’ through investment in infrastructure.

With some construction products such as steel more than doubling in price since 2019, Build UK’s guidance on Managing Price Inflation, produced with Wedlake Bell LLP, contains practical advice on negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account, including the use of fluctuations provisions to manage the risks associated with price volatility.

Fire Prevention on Construction Sites

The Joint Code of Practice for Fire Prevention on Construction Sites, published by CIP Books, has been updated and made freely available to download. The 10th Edition of the code, which is endorsed by Build UK, applies to all activities during design, procurement and construction to help projects design out risks and adopt safe working practices. Often used as a condition of construction insurance, the scope of the code applies to projects with an original contract value of £2.5 million or above, including smaller value contracts on these projects.

Changes to IR35

As part of the Government’s Growth Plan 2022, the changes to the IR35 ‘off‐payroll’ legislation introduced in April 2021 will be repealed on 6 April 2023. This means that after this date, workers providing their services through an intermediary will once again be responsible for determining their employment status and paying the appropriate amount of tax and National Insurance contributions. HMRC has confirmed that medium and large organisations continue to have responsibility for determining a worker’s employment status where employed through an intermediary until then, and Build UK’s practical guide to IR35 includes a checklist to help ensure compliance.

New Construction Minister

Jackie Doyle‐Price has been confirmed as the new Construction Minister and will take up the Co‐Chair position on the CLC and join its regular industry calls. She was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Assistant Government Whip.

CITB Board

Louisa Finlay of Kier has been appointed to the CITB Board, joining fellow Build UK members Holly Price (Keltbray) and Sophie Seddon (Novus Property Solutions). The CITB Board has nine trustees and is responsible for CITB’s governance and strategic direction.

Prompt Payment Code

The Small Business Commissioner has issued a self‐declaration form to signatories of the Prompt Payment Code, which are required to show they pay 95% of invoices to SMEs within 30 days and 95% of other invoices in 60 days. Build UK’s payment performance table provides information on over 100 of the industry’s largest companies.

Change in SME Definition

The Government has confirmed that the definition of Small and Medium‐Sized Enterprise (SME) has been expanded to include all businesses with fewer than 500 employees, up from 250. This new threshold will apply to all new and updated regulations, including retained EU laws, but will not be applied retrospectively to existing regulations.

Drugs and Alcohol Policy

Build UK, working with Eurofins Workplace Drug Testing, has published a template Drugs and Alcohol Policy which can be adopted by the whole construction supply chain to provide a consistent approach to the use of drugs and alcohol. Recognising that there are different legal limits across the nations and workplace environments, along with various ways of testing, the Build UK template policy has been developed in response to calls from members to provide a consistent framework for drug and alcohol testing as well as dealing with instances of misuse, eliminating unnecessary duplication and waste across the industry.

The template policy can be used to meet the relevant requirement in the Common Assessment Standard ‐ question 173 which asks ‘Do you have a drugs and alcohol policy?’.

Last Updated: 06/10/2022

Responding to Inflation

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed that the Government intends to proceed with its Growth Plan 2022, acknowledging that it is ‘an expensive intervention, but doing nothing wasn’t an option’ in terms of reducing inflation and supporting economic growth. However, the decision to remove the 45p top tax rate has been reversed and the fiscal statement may be brought forward from 23 November. Interest rates are likely to rise again and soaring inflation remains the biggest issue facing the construction supply chain. Build UK’s guidance on Managing Price Inflation, produced with Wedlake Bell LLP, contains practical advice on negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account, including the use of fluctuations provisions to manage the risks associated with price volatility.

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme has also now come into effect, and all businesses in Great Britain and Northern Ireland on either a fixed price energy contract signed after 1 April 2022 or deemed, variable or flexible energy tariffs will receive an automatic discount on their energy bills until 31 March 2023.

Construction Activity Stalls

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 422 contracts worth £3.8 billion were awarded in September. The National Mourning period following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, together with the Government’s Growth Plan which caused turmoil in the financial markets, saw the value of contracts fall to its lowest level since June 2020 when the country was still in lockdown due to COVID‐19. It was another strong month for the public sector, which accounted for 38% of all contracts awarded by value, including 13 road projects totalling £462 million and 79 education projects worth £377 million. In the private sector, there were 122 housing projects worth £1.4 billion (37%), 54 office projects totalling £365 million (9%), and 15 industrial projects worth £211 million (5%).

The number of tender opportunities was consistent with the previous month but 50% below the monthly average for the past year.

Accelerating Infrastructure Projects

As part of its drive to ‘get Britain building’, the Government has introduced the Planning and Infrastructure Bill to speed up the delivery of major infrastructure projects. The Bill, which is expected to receive Royal Assent in 2023, outlines measures to reform the planning system by making consultation requirements more proportionate, reducing the requirements of environmental assessments, and increasing flexibility to make changes to a Development Consent Order once it has been submitted.

The Growth Plan also identifies 138 infrastructure projects, which the Government plans to accelerate so that construction starts on the majority of them before the end of 2023. The list of projects includes 86 roads; 21 energy‐related projects including nuclear, hydrogen and off‐shore wind; and 10 railway lines and stations. However, Build UK continues to highlight the need for certainty of pipeline and the priority is to speed up the decision‐making process within Government departments to ensure delivery of projects in accordance with agreed programmes.

Reverse VAT Enforcement

There has been an increased focus from HMRC on the application of Reverse VAT and the requirement to have written confirmation of ‘End User’ status. Under Reverse VAT, an End User, which is usually the client, must confirm in writing to its suppliers that it is an End User and that VAT should be charged in the normal way, and suppliers should keep a record of this written confirmation. Build UK’s practical guide to Reverse VAT explains how the current system affects businesses across the supply chain and includes a checklist of things to consider to help ensure compliance.

With Reverse VAT exacerbating cashflow pressures for businesses across the industry, any business that is unable to pay their VAT bill on time should contact HMRC as soon as possible to discuss the support available, such as a ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement, which allows for payment in instalments.

HSE Site Inspections

The HSE is carrying out site inspections in October and November focussed on moving and handling materials. The health inspection initiative aims to ensure employers and workers know the risks, plan their work and use the right control measures to prevent injury, and there is guidance for employers.

Brexit Freedoms Bill

The Government has introduced the Brexit Freedoms Bill, which will remove the special legal status of all retained EU law across the UK by 31 December 2023. This will give the Government new powers to amend, replace or repeal any remaining EU law, ensuring that domestic law takes precedence.

Members Discuss Key Issues

Build UK hosts roundtable meetings to bring members together to develop solutions to issues impacting the supply chain. A recent meeting hosted by Professional Services member Miller Insurance focussed on the state of the construction insurance market and identified a number of potential solutions that will be explored further to increase cover and reduce premiums. Build UK’s comprehensive guide to Professional Indemnity insurance continues to be updated with the latest information on the steps that members can take to secure the best possible terms in the current market.

Build UK also held a roundtable discussion on the recruitment and retention of a more diverse workforce which confirmed that greater flexibility helps to support a more inclusive working environment. Our industry‐wide toolkit, developed with Timewise, includes a 10‐point action plan to help employers of all sizes implement flexible working practices on their sites.

Details of Build UK meetings for the remainder of the year can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Last Updated: 29/09/2022

Government Sets Out Growth Plan

The Chancellor has announced the Growth Plan 2022 which aims to ‘get Britain building’ with infrastructure identified as ‘an essential foundation of growth’. Promising to ‘streamline a whole host of assessments, appraisals, consultations, endless duplications and regulations’, the Growth Plan 2022 includes the following key measures:

  • Introducing the Planning and Infrastructure Bill to accelerate the delivery of 138 major infrastructure projects across England through planning and regulatory reform
  • Creating 38 new Investment Zones in England which will support business investment through tax incentives and more relaxed planning rules
  • Cancelling the planned rise in Corporation Tax which means it will remain at 19% for all businesses
  • Increasing the Annual Investment Allowance to £1 million from 1 April 2023, providing businesses with 100% tax relief on plant and machinery investments up to £1 million
  • Repealing IR35 ‘off‐payroll’ rules from 6 April 2023 so that workers providing their services through an intermediary will once again be responsible for determining their employment status and paying the appropriate amount of tax and National Insurance contributions
  • Reducing National Insurance contributions by 1.25% from 6 November 2022.

The Government has also confirmed the Energy Bill Relief Scheme for non‐domestic customers, which will apply from 1 October 2022 for six months. All businesses in Great Britain and Northern Ireland on either a fixed price energy contract signed after 1 April 2022 or deemed, variable or flexible energy tariffs will receive a discount on their energy bills funded by the Government.

Building Safety Consultations

The Building Safety Act introduces a new building safety regime which requires changes to regulations, standards and ways of working. As a result, there are a number of consultations underway, including:

  • Building Safety Regulator Fees and Charges ‐ The HSE is consulting on what the new Building Safety Regulator may recover costs for when carrying out its relevant ‘chargeable’ functions. Comments should be submitted online by Friday 7 October.
  • Occupied Higher‐Risk Buildings ‐ The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) is seeking views on the new safety regime for occupied higher‐risk buildings, including proposals for their in‐occupation phase. There are 12 sections to the consultation, including certification, reporting, resident’s duties, appeals, and key building information. Comments should be submitted online or via email by Wednesday 12 October.
  • Building Regulations ‐ DLUHC is also consulting on the changes that will be made to Building Regulations to implement the new building safety regime. There are 12 sections to the consultation, including dutyholder roles, gateways, change control process and more rigorous enforcement powers. Comments should be submitted online or via email by Wednesday 12 October.
  • Operational Standards Rules ‐ Ahead of the Building Safety Regulator beginning to operate from April 2023, the HSE is seeking views on the proposed operational standards rules which will allow it to effectively monitor building control bodies. Comments should be submitted via email by Tuesday 25 October.

All the latest building safety news can be found in Build UK’s Grenfell update.

Get Set for Open Doors 2023

With Open Doors 2023 now less than six months away, Build UK members will be able to start registering the sites they will be opening up on the Open Doors website from next Monday 3 October. Recruiting the next generation is vital if we are to maintain the pipeline of talent coming into the industry, and you can help us to inspire young people to choose construction by showcasing the huge range of opportunities the industry has to offer.

Feedback from schools and colleges confirmed that they need more notice to plan visits, so members are encouraged to start uploading their sites, factories, offices and other facilities as soon as possible. We have prepared a Coordinators Toolkit to help identify sites and promote your involvement between now and next year’s event from Monday 13 to Saturday 18 March 2023.

Inflation Update

The Bank of England has increased interest rates to 2.25%, their highest level since 2008, and ‘will not hesitate’ to raise them further to reach its target of 2% inflation. Inflation remains high at 9.9% and the latest statement from the CLC Product Availability Group confirms it is still the ‘biggest issue’ for the industry.

New CLC Strategy

The CLC has published its new strategy for the next three years, focussed on four priorities to transform construction ‐ Net Zero and Biodiversity, Next Generation Delivery, Building Safety, and People and Skills ‐ as well as more immediate challenges, including inflation, forward pipeline, and business sustainability.

Right to Work Checks

Temporary changes to right to work checks, which allow employers to undertake checks via video calls and use scanned copies rather than original documents, will end tomorrow (30 September). After this date, employers should verify an individual’s right to work using a certified digital identity service provider (IDSP).

CLOCS Training

CLOCS has developed standardised Site Access Traffic Marshall (SATM) training, including practical exercises for signalling, banking and vehicle checks to help ensure the safe movement of construction vehicles in and out of sites. CLOCS SATM training is only available to CLOCS Champions who can book online.

Flying the Flag for Construction

To coincide with the Build UK AGM last week, Chair Paul Cossell has spoken exclusively to Construction News about his role, saying he ‘was drawn to Build UK because it actually makes things happen’. He discussed how construction is ‘getting sexier’ when it comes to recruiting the next generation, stating: “We can help save the planet. With the gigafactories and alternative sources of green energy, and all those things, we can really shift the dial. If we embrace modern methods of construction, we start to become smarter, slicker, and it starts to become even more appealing.”

Members attending the Build UK AGM heard from the futurist, Graeme Codrington, who outlined how businesses can anticipate future trends and build resilience into their systems to avoid being caught out by ‘surprises’. Minutes of the AGM are now available to view, and details of the Board can be found on the Build UK website

Last Updated: 22/09/2022

Government Announces Energy Bill Relief Scheme

The Government has confirmed details of a new Energy Bill Relief Scheme for non‐domestic customers, which will apply from 1 October 2022 for six months. All businesses in Great Britain and Northern Ireland on either a fixed price energy contract signed after 1 April 2022 or deemed, variable or flexible energy tariffs will receive a discount on their energy bills funded by the Government.

  • Businesses on a fixed price contract will pay £211 per megawatt hour of electricity and £75 per megawatt hour of gas, which is the Government Supported Wholesale Price.
  • Businesses on default, deemed or variable tariffs will receive a per‐unit discount on energy costs, which is likely to be around £405 per megawatt of electricity and £115 per megawatt of gas. The Government is advising businesses to move to a fixed price contract as there will be a maximum discount funded for those that remain on a variable tariff.
  • The discount will be automatically applied to a company’s energy bills by their supplier and there is no need to apply for it.

The scheme will be reviewed in three months’ time when a plan will be published setting out what further Government support will be made available to the most vulnerable non‐domestic customers after the six‐month period ends on 31 March 2023.

Drugs and Alcohol Policy Published

Build UK, working with Eurofins Workplace Drug Testing, has published a template Drugs and Alcohol Policy which can be adopted by the whole construction supply chain to provide a consistent approach to the use of drugs and alcohol. Recognising that there are different legal limits across the nations and workplace environments, along with various ways of testing, the Build UK template policy has been developed in response to calls from members to provide a consistent framework for drug and alcohol testing as well as dealing with instances of misuse, eliminating unnecessary duplication and waste across the industry.

The policy, which is initially being made available to Build UK members and CIP Health & Safety Manual subscribers only, has been drafted so that companies can adopt it in its entirety or incorporate elements of it into their own policy to suit their business.

All the latest skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Build UK AGM Success

More than 125 members joined us in person and online for our AGM yesterday where the futurist, Graeme Codrington, gave a fascinating insight into how the future will impact the world of work. He explained how businesses can better prepare for the future by analysing and understanding trends, being clearer about what is coming, removing the ‘surprise element’ and building resilience. A recording of Graeme’s session is available on request for any members that could not attend the AGM, and please email us if you would like a copy.

Build UK Chair Paul Cossell highlighted the fundamental role played by Build UK in bringing the whole supply chain together to transform the industry, stating that “it is only by pulling together on the ‘big ticket’ items that we will deliver the changes we want to see and get the response from Government and others that we need”. Paul will continue to be supported by the Board, which was re‐elected for the next 12 months, and details can be found below.

Fast‐Track Planning for Infrastructure

The Government recently announced amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which will create a new fast‐track planning route for major infrastructure projects in England and Wales. New powers designed to speed up the planning process will mean shorter deadlines can be set for examinations of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects by the relevant Secretary of State, with decisions on smaller (non‐material) changes to projects that have already been approved also being made more quickly. Once the Bill has received Royal Assent, changes to planning procedures are expected to take place from 2024.

New Growth Plan

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will announce the new Government’s ‘Growth Plan’ tomorrow, setting out measures to deal with rising inflation and support growth across the UK. This is expected to include reversing the recent increase in National Insurance contributions and ruling out any rise in corporation tax.

Contractual Delays

Wedlake Bell LLP has provided advice on contractual issues arising from the National Mourning period, which covers claiming additional time and money if the progress of works is affected with specific considerations for JCT contracts. All parties are encouraged to work collaboratively to resolve any challenges that have arisen.

TfL Investment

After reaching a settlement with the Government, Transport for London (TfL) has announced it will support nearly £3.6 billion worth of projects until March 2024. These include modernisation of four underground lines, extension of the Northern Line, and expansion of the capital’s walking and cycling infrastructure.

CLC Relaunch

The CLC will be hosting a webinar next Monday 26 September from 9:00am to 10:30am to mark the relaunch of the Construction Leadership Council. To find out more about how the CLC is restructuring to bring the industry together to support change and its vision for the next three years, please register to attend.

Build UK Board 2022/23

Congratulations to the Build UK Board of Directors, which was re‐elected at yesterday’s AGM for the coming year 2022/23!

Chair
• Paul Cossell, Vice Chair, ISG

Vice‐Chair
• Julie White, Managing Director, D‐Drill (DSA)

Contractor Directors
• Fabienne Viala, Chair, Bouygues UK
• Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer, John Sisk & Son
• Paul Gandy, Chief Executive Officer, Tilbury Douglas

Trade Association Directors
• Lynn Way, Director, Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding (NASC)
• Matthew Nesbit, Board Director, William Hare Group (BSCA)
• Kay Porter, Chief Executive Officer, The Tile Association (TTA)

Further information regarding the Board is available on the Build UK website.

Last Updated: 15/09/2022

National Mourning and State Funeral for the Queen

Build UK joins the nation in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and we thank her for her dedicated and selfless service throughout her 70‐year reign. The Government continues to provide and update guidance on the National Mourning period and the State Funeral, and Build UK is sharing the latest information for businesses on Twitter. Whilst there is no obligation to suspend business during this period, construction sites located in the vicinity of ceremonial events, memorial sites or Royal residences should consider the visibility and noise of their operations to ensure they are operating respectfully. Sites in London should also monitor the latest travel advice as the transport network is severely affected, with a number of road and station closures.

Based on feedback from members, it is expected that most sites will close on the day of the funeral on Monday 19 September. Any sites undertaking essential or safety critical works that will remain open should consider how they will pay their respects during the funeral service which takes place from 11:00am. Sites in London should be aware of the funeral route and additional road closures which will be confirmed by the Metropolitan Police on Twitter.

Businesses are also being invited to display the EIIR Cypher on their websites, social media and site hoardings between now and the day of the funeral to show unity across the country at this time.

Bank Holiday Entitlement

The day of the funeral will be a national bank holiday across the UK and operate in the same way as other bank holidays where there is no statutory entitlement to time off. However, the Government has stated that “it would expect employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take the day of the funeral off work”, and Build UK Partner Wedlake Bell LLP has published an article with advice for employers. Any members who have specific queries can contact Build UK Partner Citation on 0345 844 4848 and quote ‘Advice Card Number 95730’.

There is no agreed position from the Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) in relation to this bank holiday for operatives subject to the Working Rule Agreement. However, its Holiday Entitlement 2022 stated the following in respect of the additional Jubilee bank holiday earlier this year:

  • The additional bank holiday was not subject to bank holiday accrual and was awarded to operatives who were in employment on that day
  • In the event that an operative was required to work that day, they were entitled to a day ‘in lieu’ to be taken in the remaining holiday year
  • Working Rule 19.4 did not apply and there were no additional payments for working on that specific bank holiday.

We will share any further information in relation to this additional bank holiday on Twitter.

Dealing with Contractual Delays

Although there is no requirement to stop working during this period, construction sites may experience delays due to events taking place or the national bank holiday. Wedlake Bell LLP has provided advice on contractual issues arising from the National Mourning period, which covers claiming additional time and money if the progress of works is affected and the specific considerations for JCT contracts. Given the circumstances, the focus of all parties should be on working collaboratively to resolve any challenges that arise in the most time and cost‐effective manner, ensuring that any costs incurred are distributed fairly.

Interest Rates

Due to the National Mourning period, the Bank of England has delayed its next decision on interest rates until Thursday 22 September. The Government has indicated that it will hold a ‘fiscal event’ after Parliament resumes, which it may use to reduce taxes or reverse the increase in National Insurance contributions, but a date for it has not yet been confirmed.

Energy Price Guarantee

Last week the Prime Minister announced a new Energy Price Guarantee, which will include a six‐month scheme for businesses limiting the price suppliers can charge for each unit of gas. Further details are expected once Parliament resumes and the CLC Product Availability Group’s statement expects it to ‘help energy‐intensive manufacturing in the UK to some degree’.

Build UK AGM To Go Ahead

With the National Mourning period ending after the State Funeral on Monday 19 September, the Build UK AGM will go ahead as planned on Wednesday 21 September from 4:00pm ‐ 6:30pm. Our guest speaker will be the futurist Graeme Codrington, who will lead an interactive session on what the future will mean for business and the world of work, and you can find out more about what to expect from Graeme in this short video.

Members can join us either in person at Pinsent Masons in central London or online, and please confirm your attendance as soon as possible if you have not already done so.

Last Updated: 08/09/2022

New Government Sets Out Priorities

After being confirmed as Prime Minister on Tuesday, Liz Truss has appointed a new Cabinet which met for the first time yesterday. It includes Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor of the Exchequer; Jacob Rees‐Mogg as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and Simon Clarke as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

In her first speech to the nation, Truss outlined three initial priorities ‐ economy, energy and the NHS ‐ and promised a ‘bold plan to grow the economy through tax cuts and reform’. In a positive sign for construction, she set out her mission to get the UK ‘growing, building and working’ saying: “We will get spades in the ground to make sure people are not facing unaffordable energy bills and we will also make sure we are building hospitals, schools, roads and broadband”. She is expected to unveil plans to tackle the energy crisis this week, with measures to support both businesses and households, followed by a ‘mini budget’ later this month.

In a letter to the new Prime Minister published in Building, former Build UK Chair Sir James Wates has highlighted the value of investing in infrastructure and how the construction industry can deliver solutions that will support both the economy and the new Government’s ambition to transform Britain into an ‘aspiration nation’.

Increasing Employment in Construction

With construction needing to recruit over 53,000 new entrants every year to maintain output, Build UK has published the results of its latest survey of members to understand current levels of employment within the industry and the impact of job vacancies across the supply chain. ‘Increasing Employment in Construction’ reveals that 33% of respondents have increased their number of directly employed workers in the last 12 months, with 50% predicting an increase over the next year, which is being driven primarily by an increase in activity, followed by companies taking on more new entrants and apprentices.

68% of members confirmed they currently have vacancies, which is increasing pressure on existing teams and stifling business growth. To help recruit more new entrants into construction, Build UK is focussed on improving the Journey from Education to Employment, and we have reviewed the various ways that young people take their first step into the industry, including Apprenticeships, Traineeships, T Levels and Degrees. We will be publishing a guide on how employers can get involved as we know that not all members can take on an apprentice but almost all can offer work experience or provide support to schools, colleges or universities.

Bounce Back in Construction Activity

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 460 contracts worth £6.2 billion were awarded in August. Both the number and value of contracts were higher than the monthly average over the last year, which is particularly encouraging given that August is traditionally quieter due to the summer holidays. It was a strong month for the public sector, which accounted for 39% of all contracts awarded by value, including two prison contracts totalling £650 million and three water and sewage projects worth £505 million. In the private sector, there were 136 housing projects worth £1.9 billion (30%), 24 industrial projects totalling £326 million (5%), and 67 office projects worth £319 million (5%).

The number of tender opportunities was still 8% below the previous month and, with the new Prime Minister now in place, the industry will be hoping that continued investment in infrastructure together with a plan to deal with rising inflation will sustain activity for the rest of the year.

Protecting Against Insolvency

With insolvency risk beginning to rival inflation as a threat to the industry, Director of KPMG’s Major Projects Advisory Team Joe Manning joined the Build UK Forum earlier this week, where he outlined how to identify and respond to signs of insolvency in the supply chain. A combination of the following warning signs may indicate that a company on site is in distress:

A high turnover of staff

A general decrease in labour

A slowdown in the progress of the works or the works not achieving project timescales or milestones

Poor quality workmanship and/or an increase in defects

Removal of plant, equipment and/or materials

KPMG has published a summary on preserving value under supply chain pressure which includes the measures that can be put in place to protect against insolvency and the steps that should be taken in the event that it occurs.

Construction Playbook

The Cabinet Office has published an update to the Construction Playbook, which sets out 14 key policies designed to deliver public sector projects better, greener and faster. Version 1.1 incorporates additional and updated guidance on topics including building safety and net zero carbon, and Build UK will be updating its executive summary.

Inflation Guidance

With the support of Wedlake Bell LLP, we have updated our Managing Price Inflation guidance with information on whether a contract can be lawfully terminated if inflation makes it commercial unviable. It outlines the key considerations, including the circumstances giving rise to termination and consequences if that step is taken.

Get Set for Open Doors 2023!

Seeing construction in action is one of the most effective ways of inspiring young people and those looking for a change of career to choose our industry. Every Build UK member can play their part in showcasing the huge range of opportunities available by participating in Open Doors 2023 which will take place from Monday 13 to Saturday 18 March.

Members will be able to start registering their sites and events on the Open Doors website from Monday 3 October, and further information can be found in our latest Open Doors update.

Last Updated: 01/09/2022

 Happy Birthday Build UK!

As we celebrate Build UK’s seventh birthday today, we are delighted to welcome back members after the summer break ready for a busy end to the year! With the next Prime Minister being announced next week, the industry can expect changes to the Ministerial line up, which may include a new Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and Minister for Construction. Build UK will be calling for continued investment in infrastructure and expects an action plan to deal with rising inflation which remains a key concern for members. We will continue to provide practical guidance and support on Managing Price Inflation whilst also taking forward work on our three strategic priorities ‐ Improving Business Performance, Increasing Productivity, and Recruiting, Training and Retaining Talent ‐ to transform the sector for the long term.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you at the Build UK AGM 2022 on Wednesday 21 September from 4:00pm ‐ 6:30pm, where our guest speaker will be the futurist Graeme Codrington. His interactive session on what the future will mean for business and the world of work is not to be missed, and please confirm your attendance either in person at Pinsent Masons or online if you have not already done so!

Building Safety Consultations

The Setting the Bar report outlines a system of competence standards for all those working on higher‐risk buildings, and two of the Working Groups responsible for reviewing specific sectors have now published proposed standards for comment:

  • Working Group 9 is consulting on the Framework for competence of Site Supervisors in England which covers individuals working under the supervision of a Principal Contractor and those supervising workers on a day‐to‐day basis. This will be of interest to those fulfilling the role of Site Supervisor, as well as those that delegate to, employ or train Site Supervisors. Comments should be submitted to the CIOB by Friday 30 September.
  • Working Group 7 is consulting on the Framework for competence of Designers in England which covers organisations or individuals that prepare or modify designs for projects, as well as those that arrange for or instruct others to do so. This will be of interest to anyone fulfilling the role of a Designer, for example architects, engineers, surveyors, contractors, specialists, manufacturers and suppliers. Comments should be submitted to the RICS by Wednesday 5 October.

DLUHC is also consulting on the changes that will be made to Building Regulations to implement the new building safety regime. There are 12 different sections to the consultation, including dutyholder roles, gateways, change control process and more rigorous enforcement powers. Comments can be submitted online or via email by Wednesday 12 October.

Recruiting the Next Generation

CITB’s latest Performance Report shows that the industry is on track to meet its target of 30,450 apprenticeship starts in 2022/23. Supporting the drive for more apprentices, CSCS has removed the cost and simplified the application process for Apprentice Cards issued by the core scheme in time for the new academic year. Individuals requiring a card prior to enrolment or whilst registering for their apprenticeship will need to apply for a Provisional Card, which they can then exchange for an Apprentice Card at no further cost.

With construction needing to recruit more than 50,000 new entrants each year to maintain output, one of the most effective ways for employers to inspire young people to choose a career in our industry is to participate in Open Doors! Taking place from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March 2023, our Countdown to Open Doors contains all the key dates and members are encouraged to identify now which projects, offices, factories and other facilities they will be opening up ready to register them on the Open Doors website from Monday 3 October.

JV Cyber Security

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published new guidance on managing information security risks on joint ventures in construction. With the value and complexity of such projects making them particularly vulnerable, the guidance contains information for business owners, JV Board members and IT professionals.

Fire Dampers Warning

Build UK member, the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), has issued an urgent warning after a number of fire dampers were found to have been incorrectly installed in building ventilation systems. Guidance on the correct way to install fire dampers can be found in the BESA technical bulletin.

Maintaining Payment

With inflation predicted to reach 13% by the end of this year, cashflow is more important than ever and the latest payment results published by Build UK Contractor members show that they have maintained their performance, averaging 31 days to pay invoices over the last six months.

PI Insurance Update

Build UK member Miller Insurance has published its latest half‐year review on the state of the construction PI market, which concludes there is ‘cautious optimism’ for the rest of 2022. Build UK’s guide to PI insurance provides an overview of what it is and how to obtain the best possible terms.

CO2nstruct Zero Latest

The CLC will publish its next quarterly report on the progress of CO2nstruct Zero this month, showing the industry’s progress against the nine priorities designed to drive carbon out of the sector. Members can sign up as a CO2nstruct Zero Business Champion at any time to demonstrate how they are responding to the net zero challenge and help the CLC to collate actions being taken across the whole supply chain.

A key target within CO2nstruct Zero is to eliminate 78% of diesel plant from sites by 2035, and Build UK’s ‘Drive Out Diesel’ guide contains a range of tips to use less diesel, go alternative and use more electric plant and equipment. Whilst there are significant challenges for the industry, the removal of the red diesel rebate has provided an additional financial incentive, and there are some simple things that all businesses can start doing now to reduce their reliance on diesel on site.

Last Updated: 25/08/2022

Funding for Training and Skills

With a shortage of skilled labour affecting businesses across the supply chain, CITB provides grants and funding to employers registered with CITB to help them train and qualify their workforces, including:

Members looking to recruit new entrants can use Talentview Construction for free to promote all their new entrant opportunities. Talentview sits alongside the Construction Talent Retention Scheme to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for the recruitment and retention of skills across the industry.

Guidance and Support from Build UK

Build UK continues to publish practical guidance on a wide range of issues affecting the construction supply chain, including:

Specialist Contractors in membership of Build UK Trade Associations also have access to a number of helplines and services providing free advice on issues ranging from contracts and disputes to employment law and health and safety.

Join Us at the Build UK AGM!

There is now less than one month to go until the Build UK AGM 2022 on Wednesday 21 September from 4:00pm ‐ 6:30pm and we have had a fantastic response so far! Our guest speaker will be Graeme Codrington, an author, futurist and TEDx speaker, who will be discussing what the future will mean for the world of work. His interactive session promises to be a bit different to the usual conference speaker and you can find out what to expect from Graeme in this short video.

We are offering the option to attend either in person at Pinsent Masons in central London (EC2A 4ES) or online and please confirm your attendance if you have not already done so.

PQ Review

The Common Assessment Standard is reviewed every year to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the industry, and the dedicated Review Group will shortly be starting the next review process. To submit any suggested changes, please complete the online form by Friday 9 September.

Building Control

With the Building Safety Act now in force, Local Authority Building Control (LABC) has launched a fully‐funded, three‐year trainee scheme to recruit 150 people into the building control profession and strengthen its capacity to support the responsibilities of the Building Safety Regulator.

Delivering An Infrastructure Revolution

Build UK’s factsheets on major infrastructure projects are designed to help everyone in the industry explain what each project is and why it is being built in Britain today. The series, which includes HS2, Birmingham’s Perry Barr Regeneration incorporating facilities for the recent Commonwealth Games, and the Silvertown Tunnel in East London, shows how modern infrastructure helps to level up opportunity and prosperity across the country by providing better local services, new jobs, cleaner air and faster connections.

If your business is involved with a large national or local infrastructure project that we could profile in a future factsheet, please email us.

Last Updated: 18/08/2022

Protecting Against Insolvency in the Supply Chain

With the number of insolvencies in construction on the rise, the next Build UK Forum meeting on Tuesday 6 September from 8:30am ‐ 9:30am will focus on how to identify and respond to signs of insolvency in the supply chain. Joe Manning, Director of KPMG’s Major Projects Advisory Team, will analyse the latest insolvency statistics and outline the practical steps that can be taken for companies showing early signs of distress, before taking questions from members. All members should have received a calendar invite and please accept it to confirm your attendance or email [email protected].

The final Contractor and Trade Association Forum meetings of the year will take place on Tuesday 8 November and details of all the remaining Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Cladding Remediation Update

The latest figures published by the Government show that, of the 486 high‐rise residential buildings identified to have unsafe ACM cladding, remediation work has now been fully completed on 70% (340), whilst work is either underway or awaiting sign off on a further 25% (122). Since the start of this year, remediation work has been completed on a further 51 buildings, whilst the number of buildings where work has yet to start has reduced from 32 to 24.

The Government is still finalising the draft contract, which it expects to be signed by the 48 developers who have pledged to remediate fire‐safety defects in buildings over 11 metres that they have played a role in developing over the last 30 years.

Employing Ukrainian & Afghan Workers

Minister for Refugees Lord Harrington has written to businesses confirming that Ukrainian and Afghan nationals have a right to work in the UK where they have resettled under the Ukraine Family Scheme, Homes for Ukraine Scheme, Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy or Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. Although the exact process will be determined by how the individual arrived in the UK, employers should conduct right to work checks in the usual manner and contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service (ECS) if further verification if required.

The temporary changes to right to work checks introduced in response to COVID‐19, which allow employers to undertake checks via video calls and use scanned copies rather than original documents, are due to end on 30 September 2022. After this date, employers are recommended to verify an individual’s right to work using a certified digital identity service provider (IDSP).

Decarbonisation Funds

Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is providing grants totalling more than £1.4 billion for public sector bodies to fund energy efficiency measures, with the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037. The next application window (Phase 3b) is expected to open in September.

Cyber Security Guidance

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has published tailored guidance for construction on how to protect its businesses and projects from common cyber threats. Cyber Security for Construction Businesses provides advice on a range of threats, including spear‐phishing, ransomware and supply chain attacks.

Reverse VAT Reminder

With businesses across the industry facing significant cashflow pressures due to rising inflation, Reverse VAT may be exacerbating the situation for contractors that generally work for other contractors. Under Reverse VAT, they no longer receive VAT on the services they supply but must still pay VAT to suppliers of plant and materials, which means they are likely to end up being due a VAT repayment from HMRC each quarter.

Build UK’s practical guide to Reverse VAT explains how the current system affects businesses across the supply chain and includes a checklist of things to consider, which can include switching to monthly rather than quarterly VAT returns to support cashflow. Any business that is unable to pay a VAT or other tax bill on time should contact HMRC as soon as possible to discuss the support available, such as a ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement, which allows for payment in instalments.

Last Updated: 11/08/2022

Common Assessment Standard Improves Efficiency

Canary Wharf Contractors has become the latest Build UK member to adopt the Common Assessment Standard, with Supply Chain Manager Ben Fidler highlighting how “reducing risk, duplication and administration, both internally and externally, allows [its] supply chain to focus much needed resource in other areas”. Canary Wharf Contractors joins a growing list of organisations using the Common Assessment Standard, and members of the supply chain can now obtain just one certification from any of the Recognised Assessment Bodies ‐ Achilles, CHAS, Constructionline or CQMS ‐ improving efficiency and reducing cost across the industry at just the right time.

All the latest news regarding the Common Assessment Standard can be found in our PQ update.

Construction Feels Impact of Inflation

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 344 contracts worth £5.7 billion were awarded in July. Both the number and value of contracts decreased compared to the previous month, although the total value was higher than the monthly average over the past year (£5.5 billion). 71% of all contracts awarded by value were in the private sector. Overall, there were 49 office projects worth £1.8 billion, 90 housing projects totalling £1.4 billion (25%), and 12 road projects worth £863 million (15%). The number of tender opportunities was 5% above than the previous month but 44% below the monthly average for the past year.

After interest rates were raised to their highest level for 27 years last week, the latest Bank of England Monetary Policy Report is predicting that inflation will reach around 13% in the final quarter of this year. Our guidance on Managing Price Inflation, produced with Wedlake Bell LLP, includes advice on fluctuations clauses and negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account.

Competence for Building Safety

Under the Building Safety Act, duty holders ‐ Clients, Principal Designers and Principal Contractors ‐ are expected to have an overarching understanding of all aspects of building safety and demonstrate their competence to oversee the safe design, construction and occupation of all buildings, including higher‐risk buildings. BSI issues Publicly Available Specifications (PAS), which seek to accelerate the adoption of a consistent approach by industry, and it has recently published:

  • PAS 8671 ‐ Framework for competence of individual Principal Designers
  • PAS 8672 ‐ Framework for competence of individual Principal Contractors
  • PAS 8673 ‐ Competence requirements for the management of safety in residential buildings.

There are no specific requirements within the PAS documents to confirm which organisations can carry out assessments to determine whether or not a duty holder is competent. Build UK will shortly be starting the next review process for the Common Assessment Standard and any changes required following the introduction of the Building Safety Act and supporting legislation will be incorporated in the next version.

Net Zero Latest

William Hare is the latest Build UK member to become a Business Champion as part of the CLC’s CO2nstruct Zero programme to drive carbon out of the sector. Members can sign up at any time by aligning their own business commitments to one or more of the nine priorities to show their response to the net zero challenge.

Fire Safety in Construction

The HSE has updated its guidance on Fire Safety in Construction explaining how everyone involved in construction projects can comply with their legal duties relating to fire risks. The main changes in the third edition relate to the elimination or reduction of fire risks at the pre‐construction stage, in line with the CDM Regulations.

Flexible Working: A Win‐Win for Everyone

Build UK, working in partnership with Timewise, is transforming attitudes towards flexible working on site, following the success of our Construction Pioneers pilot last year. The latest report, A View One Year On, reveals the positive impact within the four companies involved ‐ BAM Construct, BAM Nuttall, Skanska UK and Willmott Dixon ‐ over the last 12 months, including improved employee satisfaction and wellbeing and reduced sickness absence, with no detrimental effect on the programme or budget of projects.

To help more employers realise the benefits of flexible working practices, our industry‐wide toolkit includes a 10‐point action plan that companies of all sizes can follow. If you aren’t already having the flexible working conversation within your business, it is definitely one worth starting!

Last Updated: 04/08/2022

Build UK Members Maintain Payment Performance

The latest results published under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance show that Build UK members have maintained their payment performance over the last six months, despite the significant pressures caused by rising inflation. Contractor members are now reporting an average of 31 days to pay invoices, down from 32 days at the start of this year and 45 days when the Build UK table was first published in July 2018. On average, they are paying 94% of invoices within 60 days, up from 82% four years ago.

Build UK’s payment performance table features more than 100 of the industry’s largest companies, including contractors, clients and housebuilders, to provide a comprehensive picture of payment practices across the construction industry.

All the latest business news can be found in our Improving Business Performance update.

Changes to UKCA Marking

UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking is replacing CE marking following Brexit and the Government is making it simpler for businesses to apply the UKCA mark for most products placed on the GB market from 1 January 2023.

  • For products that have already been tested by an EU notified body by the end of 2022, including construction products under AVCP system 3, manufacturers will be able to apply the UKCA mark without the need to re‐test.
  • Spares will continue to be accepted onto the GB market where they comply with the same requirements that were in place at the time the original products or systems they are being used to repair, replace or maintain were placed on the market.
  • The need to re‐test existing imported stock will be removed, allowing CE marked products that are imported into the UK by the end of 2022 to be sold without the need to meet UKCA requirements.

If a construction product is covered under AVCP system 3 and placed on the GB market, either for the first time or after it has been modified, from 1 January 2023, then it will need to be tested by a UK notified body to achieve the UKCA mark.

Cost of Living Toolkit

With the Government providing £37 billion this year to help households deal with the rising cost of living, a new toolkit has been published to raise awareness of the support available. Part of the Government’s Cost of Living campaign, it contains a range of resources to promote the one‐off Cost of Living Payments as well as the support for energy bills, food and childcare costs, which members can use to share the information with employees.

Build UK continues to call for a collective response to mitigate the pressures of inflation on construction projects, and our guidance on Managing Price Inflation, produced with Wedlake Bell LLP, includes advice on fluctuations clauses and negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account.

CSCS Apprentice Cards

CSCS has removed the cost and simplified the application process for Apprentice Cards issued by the core scheme. Individuals requiring a card prior to enrolment or whilst registering for their apprenticeship will need to apply for a Provisional Card, which they can then exchange for an Apprentice Card at no further cost.

Conflict Avoidance Pledge

As industry leaders continue to highlight the need for a collaborative approach to rising inflation, the CLC is supporting the Conflict Avoidance Pledge, which commits businesses to implementing conflict avoidance measures in contracts and on site, with the aim of delivering projects on time and budget with fewer disputes.

New Hospital Programme Industry Day

The New Hospital Programme (NHP) is hosting an Industry Day on Tuesday 20 September to outline how businesses across the supply chain can play a role in the biggest hospital building programme in a generation. With a target to develop 48 hospitals by 2030, the NHP will set out how it is building better, faster and greener ahead of the forthcoming procurement launch of the NHP’s Framework Alliance. Places are limited and members can register their interest to attend either in‐person at the Vox Conference Venue in Birmingham (B40 1PU) or online.

The NHP has previously published the NHP Supplier Guide outlining what it requires from its supply chain, along with the first NHP commercial pipeline which provides visibility of current and future contract opportunities up to 2024.

Last Updated: 01/08/2022

Build UK Members Maintain Payment Performance

The latest results published under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance show that Build UK members have maintained their payment performance over the last six months, despite the significant pressures caused by rising inflation. Contractor members are now reporting an average of 31 days to pay invoices, down from 32 days at the start of this year and 45 days when the Build UK table was first published in July 2018. On average, they are paying 94% of invoices within 60 days, up from 82% four years ago.

Build UK’s payment performance table features more than 100 of the industry’s largest companies, including contractors, clients and housebuilders, to provide a comprehensive picture of payment practices across the construction industry.

Managing Price Inflation

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming price inflation is expected to persist ‘across most product categories for the rest of the year’, with ongoing concerns over rising energy costs and labour shortages. With cost escalation now the key issue facing members across the supply chain, Build UK Chair Paul Cossell has called for a collective response to mitigate the significant impact of inflation on current and future projects.

We learned the value of collaboration during the pandemic and proved that we perform better when we work together, and Build UK’s guidance on Managing Price Inflation, published with the support of Wedlake Bell LLP, includes advice on fluctuations clauses and negotiating contracts to take inflation into account.

Obtaining PI Insurance

A CLC survey undertaken earlier this year revealed that companies across the industry are still finding it difficult to secure Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance. 42% of respondents found the experience of buying PI insurance significantly worse than their last renewal, and nearly a quarter were unable to buy the cover they want or need. Almost 70% of companies had some form of restriction on their cover relating to cladding or fire safety, with a third being prevented from undertaking remediation work on unsafe cladding as a result.

Build UK’s comprehensive guide to PI insurance, produced with the support of Miller Insurance, provides an overview of what it is, why it is needed, and how to obtain the best possible terms in the current market.

COVID‐19 Update

With the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimating that 1 in 20 people in England now have COVID‐19, businesses across all sectors are feeling the impact of staff absences. Build UK Partner Citation has produced guidance for employers on managing the spread of respiratory illnesses within the workplace, including COVID‐19, whilst still meeting health and safety and other legal obligations. If you or your supply chain are being adversely affected by increasing COVID‐19 rates, please email us.

Recovery Loan Scheme

The Government’s Recovery Loan Scheme has been extended for a further two years and will now remain open until July 2024. To help with increasing cost pressures, small businesses can access loans of up to £10 million, with lenders given a Government‐backed guarantee against the outstanding balance

Help to Grow

Businesses with 10 or more employees can now enrol up to two participants in the Government’s Help to Grow: Management scheme. Launched last year, the scheme delivers training and support to SMEs through a 12‐week programme covering financial management, digital technology and other areas.

Competition Law in Construction

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) continues to monitor anti‐competitive behaviour in construction and recently published the provisional findings of its investigation into cartel activity by 10 construction firms across 19 contracts for demolition work. Build UK firmly condemns any breach of competition law and is clear that all businesses must take steps to understand what their legal obligations are. We have published guidance explaining some of the more common violations of competition law, including cartels and cover pricing, and the potential sanctions to help businesses understand the risks.

Last Updated: 28/07/2022

Flexible Working: One Year On

Last year, Build UK in partnership with Timewise published the results of our Construction Pioneers pilot project, which proved that flexible working can be implemented on site. After further evaluation, we are delighted to publish A View One Year On which reveals the significant impact that flexible working practices have had across the companies involved ‐ BAM Construct, BAM Nuttall, Skanska UK and Willmott Dixon. All four have seen a continuing positive impact, including improved employee satisfaction and wellbeing and reduced sickness absence, with no detrimental effect on the programme or budget of projects.

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol highlights in the latest report that the ‘overwhelmingly positive response demonstrates that the industry can make a real difference to people’s lives and tackle some longstanding issues by providing a better work‐life balance’, which will help us to recruit and retain a diverse workforce. To help more employers implement flexible working practices on their sites, our industry‐wide toolkit includes a 10‐point action plan that companies of all sizes can follow, making construction a positive career choice for everyone.

All the latest skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Price Inflation Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming price inflation is expected to persist ‘across most product categories for the rest of the year’, with ongoing concerns over rising energy costs and labour shortages. Whilst general product availability is improving, gas boilers are still subject to extended lead times and transport issues continue to affect imported products.

Following the call from Build UK Chair Paul Cossell for a collaborative approach to mitigate the pressures of inflation on current and future projects, Build UK hosted a meeting of Contractor members and key Government departments last week where it was confirmed it is in everyone’s interests to keep projects moving forward. Our guidance on Managing Price Inflation, produced with Wedlake Bell LLP, includes advice on fluctuations clauses and negotiating contracts to take inflation into account.

Drive Out Diesel

The CLC’s CO2nstruct Zero programme has set a target to eliminate 78% of diesel plant from sites by 2035, and Build UK’s ‘Drive Out Diesel’ guide contains a range of tips to use less diesel, go alternative and use more electric plant and equipment. Whilst there are significant challenges for the industry, the removal of the red diesel rebate has provided an additional financial incentive, and there are some simple things that all businesses can start doing now to reduce their reliance on diesel on site.

IPA Annual Report

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has published its Annual Report on Major Projects 2021‐22, which features 235 live major projects worth a total of £678 billion. Projects are ‘RAG’ rated indicating the likelihood of achieving their aims and objectives on time and on budget.

PI Insurance

With businesses across the industry continuing to find it difficult to secure Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance, Build UK’s comprehensive guide to PI insurance provides an overview of what it is, why it is needed, and how to obtain the best possible terms in the current market.

Build UK AGM ‐ Confirm Your Attendance

Members should have received their invitation to the Build UK AGM 2022 on Wednesday 21 September from 4:00pm ‐ 6:30pm at Pinsent Masons in London (EC2A 4ES). Our guest speaker will be Graeme Codrington, an author, futurist and TEDx speaker, who will lead an interactive session on what the future will mean for the world of work. We are offering the option to attend either in person or online and please confirm your attendance if you have not already done so.

The Board for 2022/23 will be announced at the AGM, and Contractor and Trade Association members are reminded to submit your vote for the appointment of the Directors by Monday 5 September.

Last Updated: 21/07/2022

Collective Response to Inflation

We have had a fantastic response to the statement from Build UK Chair Paul Cossell on the significant impact of inflation, with members across the supply chain supporting the call for a collective response to mitigate the challenges on current and future projects. We learned the value of collaboration during the pandemic and proved that we perform better when we work together, and Build UK’s guidance on Managing Price Inflation, published with the support of Wedlake Bell LLP, includes advice on fluctuations clauses and negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account.

The Energy Security Bill has been introduced to Parliament in the wake of rising energy prices, with the aim of delivering a more affordable and secure energy system for the long term. Offering significant opportunities for construction, the Bill includes measures to promote private investment in carbon capture usage and storage, scale up heat pump manufacturing and installation, and remove barriers to investment in future nuclear sites.

Cladding Remediation Terms Published

With 48 developers having signed the pledge to remediate fire‐safety defects in buildings over 11 metres that they have played a role in developing over the last 30 years, the Government has now published a draft contract designed to formalise the commitments they made. Setting out the terms that will apply between developers and the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the draft contract will be available for comment until 10 August.

All the latest building safety news can be found in Build UK’s Grenfell update.

New CITB Plant Grants

CITB has announced new plant standards and grants, which will be introduced from January 2023 to ensure consistent requirements across the industry. There will be new standards for eight of the most used plant grants ‐ including Ride on Roller, Industrial Forklift, and Plant and Vehicle Marshaller ‐ as well as changes to the grant rates for plant training and tests. A new larger single grant will be available to all CITB‐registered employers whose employees complete plant training and testing, with a separate higher grant rate for employers who are putting employees with no prior experience through plant training

COVID‐19 Update

With the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimating that 1 in 19 people in England now have COVID‐19, businesses across all sectors are feeling the impact of staff absences. Build UK Partner Citation has produced guidance for employers on managing the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID‐19, within the workplace, whilst still meeting health and safety and other legal obligations. If you or your supply chain are being adversely affected by increasing COVID‐19 rates, please email us.

Construction Fatalities

HSE has released provisional fatality statistics for 2021/22, with the construction sector recording 30 fatalities, 10 fewer than in 2020/21. Build UK is the only industry organisation to publish an annual accident survey report benchmarking the accident injury rates of its members.

CLOCS Standard

CLOCS has published version 4 of the CLOCS Standard effective from 1 August, with the two main changes around collisions and emissions data collection and reporting and fleet accreditation requirements. A list of Build UK members who are CLOCS Champions is on the Build UK website.

Open Doors & HS2

We are delighted to welcome HS2 Ltd as our latest industry partner for Open Doors 2023. With the project due to employ over 30,000 people at peak construction, we are looking forward to working with HS2 to showcase the diverse range of opportunities that the construction industry has to offer as part of #OpenDoors23!

Pipework Statement

Build UK Trade Association members BESA and TICA have issued a joint statement on the use of pre‐insulated pipework for underground and buried applications inside buildings, confirming it represents a ‘fundamental change in product application’ which takes the products outside the scope of performance standards.

Welcome to our New Members!

Build UK is delighted to welcome two new members, increasing our reach across the whole construction supply chain.

  • Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA) is our latest Trade Association member and represents the leading manufacturers of liquid applied waterproofing, approved contractors and related materials suppliers.
  • Eurofins is a leading laboratory testing company offering over 200,000 analytical methods and support services, including a complete service for pre‐employment, random and for‐cause workplace drug and alcohol testing, and joins us as a Professional Services member.

If you know an organisation that would benefit from all the work that we are doing, then please encourage them to join us and strengthen Build UK membership even further.

Last Updated: 14/07/2022

Price Inflation: We All Need to Play Our Part

A statement from Build UK Chair Paul Cossell

As an industry, we are currently facing inflationary pressures not seen in the UK for 40 years. The latest update from the CLC Product Availability Group confirmed that average inflation for products and materials this year has been around 23%, with further increases expected, particularly for energy intensive products.

We know that cost escalation, closely followed by a lack of skilled labour and material shortages, is now the key issue for businesses across the supply chain. As we did during COVID‐19, Build UK is bringing its members together to coordinate a collective response. With the support of Wedlake Bell LLP, we have published comprehensive guidance on Managing Price Inflation, which includes advice on fluctuations clauses, negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account, and how to mitigate its impact on projects. Most forms of contract have standard provisions for sharing the risks associated with price volatility, which should be used appropriately and fairly and in a spirit of collaboration.

With businesses across the industry under pressure, we all need to play our part. We often talk about the better industry we want to see, where risk is allocated fairly and projects are delivered more efficiently. How each of us responds to the current challenges will determine how quickly we can realise this vision.

An enduring commitment to prompt payment must remain a priority, and a number of Build UK Client and Contractor members are reducing their payment terms to support the cash flow of their suppliers. The Welsh Government has provided advice to its public sector bodies on how to manage the unprecedented pressures on materials, and Build UK will be meeting with key Government departments to discuss a collaborative approach to managing inflation to the benefit of all parties.

We learned the value of collaboration during the pandemic and showed that we perform better as an industry when we work together. Where businesses, programmes or projects are struggling due to materials shortages and price inflation, we need to discuss the issues openly and find creative and innovative ways to mitigate these risks in the interests of our clients and the supply chain.

I firmly believe that by doing the right thing over the coming weeks and months, we can achieve our shared ambition of being a productive and profitable sector.

Payment Performance

Prompt payment is more important than ever in the current economic climate and Build UK will be updating its payment performance table at the end of this month in line with the latest results published under the Duty to Report Regulations. Build UK Contractor members currently take an average of 32 days to pay invoices, with the Government’s recent statutory review highlighting the role our table has played in improving payment practices within the sector.

A New Normal for PQ

Build UK continues to roll out the Common Assessment Standard across the industry, significantly reducing the duplication of time, effort and resources involved in the PQ process. Neil Mant, Supply Chain and Procurement Director at VINCI Construction UK and Chair of Build UK’s Cross Industry Body for PQ, has highlighted in Building how the Common Assessment Standard is ‘at the core of a new system that makes quality, consistency and efficiency the new normal’.

Changes in Government

Following the Prime Minister’s resignation and subsequent cabinet reshuffle, Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol has highlighted that disruption on this scale is not good for business or the economy. Without Ministers permanently in place, decisions on major programmes of work, planning and housing are at risk, affecting delivery and exacerbating the already challenging environment we find ourselves in.

The changes relevant to construction include Lord Callanan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility), now having construction included within his responsibilities. Greg Clark has replaced Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with Marcus Jones appointed as the new Minister of State for Housing.

Last Updated: 07/07/2022

Mitigating the Impact of Inflation

The latest statement from the CLC Product Availability Group confirms that average inflation for products and materials so far this year has been around 23% with further increases to come, particularly for energy intensive products. Cost escalation is now the key issue facing Build UK members across the supply chain and we have published comprehensive guidance on Managing Price Inflation with the support of Wedlake Bell LLP, which covers fluctuations clauses, negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account, and how to mitigate its impact on projects. All members are encouraged to find ways to work together to manage the current pressures in the interests of projects and the supply chain.

The changes within Government this week have included the resignation of Construction Minister and CLC Co‐Chair Lee Rowley and the sacking of Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, who had oversight of building safety and the response to the Grenfell Tower fire. Following the appointment of new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, it remains to be seen what actions will now be taken by the Government to tackle rising inflation.

Continued Uncertainty for Construction

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 367 contracts worth £6.0 billion were awarded in June. Based on the number of contracts, it was the second worst performing month this year after April’s five‐year low. Whilst the value of contracts increased to its highest total since February, this did include a £1 billion contract for a new logistics site at the West Midlands Interchange. 67% of all contracts awarded by value were in the private sector. Overall, there were 110 housing projects worth £1.2 billion (21%); 13 industrial projects totalling £1.1 billion (19%); and 18 road projects worth £667 million (11%).

The number of tender opportunities was 5% lower than the previous month and 50% below the monthly average for the past year.

Common Assessment Standard V3.1

Build UK has published an update to the Common Assessment Standard in light of the unprecedented situation in Ukraine, which has led to a growing list of sanctions against Russia and Belarus. Version 3.1 includes a new question to enable the construction supply chain to demonstrate that it is not dealing with any companies or individuals subject to the UK Sanctions List. Suppliers are now required to answer the new question when they go through the certification process for the Common Assessment Standard.

The Common Assessment Standard is reviewed every year to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the industry. To submit any suggested changes, please complete the online form by Friday 9 September.

Building Safety Act Comes into Force

The Building Safety Act has now taken effect, introducing the most significant changes to building safety regulation in a generation, including:

  • An extension of the limitation period for claims brought under the Defective Premises Act, both retrospectively from 6 to 30 years for dwellings completed before 28 June 2022, and prospectively from 6 to 15 years for dwellings completed after this date
  • The introduction of the Building Safety Regulator and Construction Products Regulator
  • A new gateway system to ensure building safety requirements are met throughout the planning and construction process, along with the requirement to maintain a ‘golden thread’ of information throughout a building’s lifecycle
  • An extension of the Building Safety Levy worth an estimated £3 billion.

The Government has published a series of factsheets to help dutyholders and the wider industry understand the new requirements, and more building safety news can be found in Build UK’s Grenfell update.

Competition Law in Construction

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published the provisional findings of its investigation into cartel activity by 10 construction firms across 19 contracts for demolition work. Build UK firmly condemns any breach of competition law and is clear that all businesses must take steps to understand what their legal obligations are. We have published guidance for members explaining some of the more common violations of competition law, including cartels and cover pricing, and the potential sanctions to help them understand the risks.

Pay Rates 2022

The Construction Industry Joint Council has agreed new pay rates effective from Monday 25 July. There is a 5% increase in all pay rates, as well as increases in travel and subsistence allowances. The rates should be read in conjunction with the Working Rule Agreement and Holiday Entitlement 2022.

Steel Quota Reallocation

The Government has confirmed that the steel quotas formerly allocated to Russia and Belarus covering Category 1 (non‐alloy and other alloy hot rolled sheets and strips) and Category 13 (rebars) products have been reallocated to other countries in the extended safeguards system effective from 1 July 2022.

Lorry Loaders

Following a fatal incident involving a ‘swing up’ lorry loader fitted with hydraulic tilting and hydraulic deployment, Build UK Trade Association member ALLMI has issued additional information on the risks to operators when using this type of equipment.

People Survey Closing!

The deadline for responding to our latest People Survey is tomorrow (8 July) so if you haven’t already done so please find five minutes to complete it and help us understand current levels of employment and vacancies across the supply chain.

Thanks to all those members who joined our Forum meetings earlier this week. Contractor members heard from Construction Innovation Hub (CIH) Programme Director Keith Waller who provided an update on the Value Toolkit, the Government‐backed initiative designed to change the way the industry thinks about and measures value to demonstrate broader, social, environmental and economic outcomes.

Trade Association members were joined by CITB Chief Executive Tim Balcon who set out his vision for CITB after nine months in the role andt took questions on the CITB Business Plan 2022/23. There will be a follow up discussion on CITB grants and funding for Trade Association Members in‐scope to CITB on Tuesday 19 July.

The next Forum meeting will be for all members and take place on Tuesday 6 September from 8:30am ‐ 9:30am with the focus on insolvency. Details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Last Updated: 30/06/2022

Leading the Industry in 2022

Looking back on the first half of this year, it is hard to believe that we were still operating under some form of COVID‐19 restrictions until 31 March! Build UK published nine versions of the Site Operating Procedures during the two years they were in place, and I am still incredibly proud that our collective effort kept the industry open throughout every lockdown.

We hit the ground running this year, with Paul Cossell (ISG) appointed as the new Chair of Build UK in January, followed by Vice Chair Julie White (D‐Drill/DSA) being invited to join the Prime Minister’s Business Council in February. This strengthened our voice within Government at just the right time; Brexit changes and the war in Ukraine have exacerbated pressures on costs, supply of materials and skills, as reflected again this week in the latest CIJC agreement which will see pay rates increase by 5%. We all learnt the value of collaboration during the pandemic and Build UK will continue to bring the industry together on the issues that matter in the weeks and months ahead.

I hope this update provides a useful reminder of everything we have been doing on your behalf so far this year, from guidance and support on a range of issues to the rollout of the Common Assessment Standard and flexible working. I am delighted that all our work has seen six new members join #TeamBuildUK since 1 January: Sunbelt Rentals, Sellafield, Buildots, Miller Insurance, NRL and PlanRadar. If you know any other organisations that would benefit from what we are doing, please encourage them to join us. A huge thank you to each and every one of you for your continued support and I look forward to working with you during the rest of the year.

Suzannah Nichol MBE, Build UK Chief Executive

Transforming Construction

Whilst Build UK is doing what it can to address the inflationary pressures currently facing the industry, we have also been taking forward our work on long‐standing issues as part of Improving Business Performance, Increasing Productivity, and Recruiting, Training and Retaining Talent across the whole supply chain.

The statutory review of the Duty to Report regulations published in April highlighted the ‘positive impact’ that our benchmarking of payment performance has had across the sector, with Build UK Contractor members now taking an average of just 32 days to pay invoices. Ahead of the Building Safety Act coming into force this week, we delivered the Working Group 2 report benchmarking the competence requirements for six occupations identified as priorities for ensuring fire safety in buildings. Along with the CSCS Smart Check app launched in April, this represents a major step towards ensuring that individuals deemed competent have the appropriate knowledge, skills and training to undertake their role. We have also published our first report on the Gender Pay Gap and started planning for Open Doors 2023 to inspire the next generation to choose a career in construction.

Practical Guidance and Support

Build UK continues to publish easy to follow guidance on a wide range of issues affecting the construction supply chain. Since 1 January, the top 5 most popular guidance notes on the Build UK website are:

  1. The Removal of the Red Diesel Rebate from Construction
  2. PI Insurance for Construction
  3. Reverse VAT
  4. How to be a Smart Site!
  5. Employing a Foreign Worker Flowchart

We have also recently published guidance on Managing Price Inflation with the support of Wedlake Bell LLP to provide practical support on the key issue now facing members.

Member Engagement

We are delighted to have returned to our busy schedule of meetings and events, including member‐wide Forums, roundtables on specific issues and networking events. Whilst many of our meetings remain online, we recognise the value of bringing members together to get to know each other and share ideas in person. Our AGM on Wednesday 21 September from 4:00pm ‐ 6:30pm will be a hybrid event and we hope as many of you as possible can join us in whatever way works best for you to hear what our guest speaker Graeme Codrington has to say about what the future will mean for the world of work!

People Survey Reminder

Build UK is asking all members to complete the latest People Survey to help us understand current levels of employment and vacancies across the industry. Our previous survey this year provided valuable insight into where apprentices are employed, and these results will be used to improve the Journey from Education into Employment in the industry. The deadline for responses is Friday 8 July.

New CLC Chair

Mark Reynolds, Group Chairman and CEO of Build UK Contractor member Mace, has been appointed as the new CLC Co‐Chair, alongside Construction Minister Lee Rowley. Having played a key role in the CLC throughout the COVID‐19 pandemic, Mark succeeds Andy Mitchell from Tideway and will be supported by Richard Robinson, CEO of Atkins UK and Europe, in the new role of Deputy Co‐Chair.

Last Updated: 23/06/2022

Managing Price Inflation

With the industry facing inflationary pressures not seen in the UK for 40 years, cost escalation is a key issue for Build UK members across the supply chain. Last week, the Bank of England raised interest rates for the fourth time this year to 1.25% and reported that “construction output growth weakened modestly as rising materials costs and labour shortages caused projects to be delayed or cancelled”.

Against this backdrop, companies need to find ways to manage the risk of cost inflation during a project and Build UK has worked with Wedlake Bell LLP to publish guidance for members. Managing Price Inflation includes practical advice on fluctuations clauses, negotiating new and existing contracts to take inflation into account, and how to mitigate its impact on projects. As with COVID‐19, all parties are advised to collaborate in finding solutions, as more time spent planning ahead and thinking strategically about procurement is likely to be the first step towards successful cost management.

UKCA Marking Latest

UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking is replacing CE marking and the Government has announced changes to make it simpler for businesses to apply the UKCA mark for most products placed on the GB market (England, Scotland and Wales) from 1 January 2023:

  • For products that have already been tested by an EU notified body by the end of 2022, including construction products under AVCP system 3 ‐ such as radiators, sealants and tile adhesives ‐ manufacturers will be able to apply the UKCA mark without the need to re‐test
  • Spares will continue to be accepted onto the GB mrket where they comply with the same requirements that were in place at the time the original products or systems they are being used to repair, replace or maintain were placed on the market
  • The need to re‐test existing imported stock will be removed, allowing CE marked products that are imported into the UK by the end of 2022 to be sold without the need to meet UKCA requirements.

Whilst further guidance is expected, if a construction product is covered under AVCP system 3 and placed on the GB market, either for the first time or after it has been modified, from 1 January 2023, then it will need to be tested by a UK notified body to achieve the UKCA mark.

CSCS Smart Check App Update

CSCS is continuing to roll out its Smart Check App, which will enable cards across all 38 card schemes carrying the CSCS logo to be verified with the same app. Another eight CSCS partner schemes are now compatible with the app, leaving just two which are expected to be incorporated in the next update. Build UK played a key role in driving the use of this technology and our How to be a Smart Site guide has been updated to show details of all the card schemes now using the app, which is a huge step towards ensuring that everyone on site has the right qualifications and training for the job they do.

All the latest skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Procurement Bill

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, the Government has published the Procurement Bill which will introduce major changes to the way that it procures goods and services, including:

  • The creation of a single digital platform for suppliers to register their details that can be used for all bids
  • A requirement for contracting authorities that spend more than £100 million on procurement a year to publish pipeline notices outlining public contracts with an estimated value of more than £2 million
  • The ability for buyers to reserve competitions for contracts below a certain threshold for UK suppliers, SMEs and social enterprises
  • A new exclusions framework for suppliers that have underperformed on other contracts, including the creation of a debarment register of companies that should be excluded from contracts.

The Bill, which is expected to become law in 2023, will apply to all elements of public procurement, which is around £300 billion per year.

CIH Value Toolkit

The Construction Innovation Hub has reached the final development stage of its Value Toolkit. The Government‐backed initiative aims to change the way the industry thinks about and measures value, shifting the emphasis from time and cost to broader social, environmental and economic outcomes. The overarching principles of the Value Toolkit are set out in BSI Flex 390 and will be supported by a detailed suite of tools that help clients and the supply chain work together to target, measure and deliver improvements in value on projects.

Programme Director Keith Waller will be providing a detailed update on the Value Toolkit and the next steps for the Construction Innovation Hub at the next Build UK Contractor Forum on Tuesday 5 July. Details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

NI Protocol

The Government has introduced legislation addressing key elements of the Northern Ireland (NI) Protocol designed to reduce costs for businesses and minimise disruption to trade. Changes will include ‘green’ and ‘red’ channels for goods depending on whether they are to remain in the UK or be exported to the EU.

UKAS CertCheck

UKAS CertCheck is a free online database which can be used to check whether an organisation holds valid UKAS‐accredited certifications, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The database, which is regularly updated, shows expiry date, certification number, certification body, and scope of audit for all certifications.

Complete the People Survey

Build UK is asking all members to complete the latest People Survey to help us understand current levels of employment and vacancies across the construction supply chain. With the latest Construction Skills Network Industry Outlook estimating that the industry needs to recruit an additional 266,000 workers by 2026 to meet demand, we will be using the results of this survey to improve the Journey from Education into Employment in the industry.

Anyone completing the online survey will need to have to hand information on the number of people in their workforce, including direct employees and apprentices and what happens to them once they complete their apprenticeship. Previous surveys have helped to secure a range of support for the sector, including Talentview which can be used for all new entrant vacancies. The deadline for responses is Friday 8 July.

Last Updated: 21/06/2022

People Survey – We Need Your Help!

The latest People Survey is now live! With construction facing significant skills and labour shortages, one of Build UK’s priorities is to improve the Journey from Education to Employment in the industry and we need your help! Our short survey for contractors across the whole supply chain should take no longer than five minutes to complete with the right information to hand. You will need the number of people in your workforce, how many are directly employed, the number of apprentices and what happens to them once they complete their apprenticeship, and the deadline for responses is Friday 8 July.

The findings from previous surveys have been incredibly useful, enabling Build UK to present information and influence policy with the Department for Education, the National Apprenticeship Service, CITB and others on behalf of members. It was our People Survey that secured support for Talentview which all members can use for their new entrant and apprenticeship vacancies.

Get Ready for Open Doors 2023

We are stepping up our preparations for Open Doors 2023, which will take place from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March, and have produced three essential toolkits to help your organisation get involved:

  • Coordinators’ Toolkit ‐ easy to follow guidance on identifying sites, promoting your involvement and managing bookings through the Open Doors website
  • Local Site Team Toolkit ‐ all the information your site teams need to host site visits, including health and safety advice
  • Marketing & Communications Toolkit ‐ a range of resources to help you promote #OpenDoors23, including templates for press releases and case studies and social media assets.

You will be able to start registering your sites on the Open Doors website from Monday 3 October, and we have published a handy Coordinator’s Checklist containing all the information you will need when creating your company profile and uploading sites

CITB Levy and Grants

The deadline for employers registered with CITB to submit their completed 2022 Levy Return is next Thursday 30 June 2022. Failure to submit it by this date will result in grant claims being withheld until it is received, and any employers who do not submit a completed Levy Return by 30 November 2022 will lose eligibility for all grant claims, including the new and increased grant rates from 1 April 2022.

The CITB Skills and Training Fund offers funding of up to £25,000 over a 12‐month period to support employers to train and develop their workforce. It is available to companies with 250 or fewer employees, and there is detailed guidance on how to apply for both small and micro‐sized and medium‐sized businesses.

Construction’s Gender Pay Gap

As part of our work on Recruiting, Training and Retaining Talent, Build UK collates information on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) of its Contractor members. Our latest report which includes data for 2021/22 shows that women working for Build UK Contractor members were paid on average 75p for every £1 men were paid, when comparing median hourly pay. Whilst this is a slight improvement on the average between 2017 and 2021 when women were paid 73p for every £1 men were paid, the GPG continues to be heavily impacted by the low number of women employed at all levels in the industry, including just 10.7% in the highest pay quartile in 2021/22, and it will take time and concentrated effort to improve.

Industry Outlook

The latest Construction Skills Network Industry Outlook estimates the industry needs to recruit an additional 266,000 workers by 2026, which would increase the size of the workforce to 2.78 million. Demand is expected to be greatest for occupations such as carpenters and joiners, construction managers, and technical roles

Competence Report

Working Group Two (WG2) has published its report benchmarking the competence requirements for six installer sectors identified as priorities for ensuring fire safety in buildings. Build UK is encouraging all sectors to read the report and review the path to competence for their occupations to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Right to Work Checks

The Home Office has introduced a new solution to allow employers to verify an individual’s right to work via a digital identity check, and there is a growing list of digital identity service providers that have been certified to carry out digital identity checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens.

Apprenticeship Awards

Entries are now open for the National Apprenticeship Awards 2022, which recognise and celebrate apprentices as well as employers and individuals that have championed and provided successful apprenticeships over the last 12 months. The closing date for entries is Friday 1 July.

CSCS Smart Check App Update

CSCS is continuing to roll out its Smart Check App, which will enable cards across all 38 card schemes carrying the CSCS logo to be verified with the same app. Another six CSCS partner schemes are now compatible with the app, leaving just four which are expected to be incorporated in the next update. Build UK’s How to be a Smart Site guide has been updated with details of all the card schemes now using the app, which is a huge step towards ensuring that everyone on site has the right qualifications and training for the job they do.

Last Updated: 17/06/2022

Latest CBI Economic Forecast

With economic growth weakened by high inflation, the CBI is calling on the Government to take urgent action to avoid the UK slipping into recession. CPI inflation reached a 40‐year peak of 9% in April and is expected to remain high into the autumn given the anticipated rise in the energy price cap, and the latest CBI economic forecast now expects growth of just 1% for the UK in 2023, downgraded from 3%. The CBI is highlighting the importance of business investment to support the economy and has proposed a range of Government measures, including:

  • Securing ongoing capital spending by committing to a permanent successor to the super‐deduction, which is set to end on 31 March 2023
  • Announcing a permanent replacement to the Recovery Loan Scheme to support cashflow for businesses
  • Creating a new Shortage Occupations List and granting immediate flexibility to the Apprenticeship Levy to tackle labour shortages.

The CBI’s ‘Cost of Doing Business’ campaign provides guidance for businesses to manage rising costs, supply chain disruption and labour shortages.

PI Insurance for Construction

With companies across the industry continuing to find it difficult to secure Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance, the latest CLC survey has revealed that 42% found the experience of buying PI insurance significantly worse than their last renewal, and nearly a quarter were unable to buy the cover they want or need. Almost 70% of respondents had some form of restriction on their cover relating to cladding or fire safety, with a third being prevented from undertaking remediation work on unsafe cladding as a result.

With the support of Miller Insurance, Build UK has published a comprehensive guide to PI insurance, which provides an overview of what it is, why it is needed, and how to obtain the best possible terms in the current market.

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill is continuing its passage through Parliament and had its second reading in the House of Commons last week. The Bill will introduce major reforms to the planning system, including a new ‘Infrastructure Levy’ to be charged to landowners and developers on the value of property when it is sold above a minimum threshold, with the proceeds going to local authorities to fund local infrastructure. It will also introduce a new requirement to prepare ‘Environmental Outcome Reports’ for major projects, which will be assessed against tangible environmental outcomes set by Government and replace the current Environmental Impact Assessments.

The Bill, which will now be sent to a Public Bill Committee for scrutiny, is expected to become law in early 2023.

Construction’s Gender Pay Gap

As part of our work on Recruiting, Training and Retaining Talent, Build UK collates information on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) of its Contractor members. Our latest report includes data for 2021/22 and shows that women working for Build UK Contractor members were paid on average 75p for every £1 men were paid, when comparing median hourly pay. Whilst this is a slight improvement on the average between 2017 and 2021, when women were paid 73p for every £1 men were paid, the GPG continues to be heavily impacted by the low number of women employed at all levels in the industry, including just 10.7% in the highest pay quartile in 2021/22. This means it will take time and concentrated effort to improve the sector’s GPG through initiatives such as the Build UK and Timewise flexible working project and Open Doors.

People Survey Reminder

All Build UK members are encouraged to respond to the latest People Survey to help us understand current levels of employment and vacancies across the industry. The results will be used to improve the Journey from Education into Employment in the industry and the deadline is Friday 8 July.

Apprenticeship Awards

Entries are now open for the National Apprenticeship Awards 2022, which recognise and celebrate apprentices as well as employers and individuals that have championed and provided successful apprenticeships over the last 12 months. The closing date for entries is Friday 1 July.

Zero Emission HGVs

In line with plans to ensure all new HGVs are zero emission by 2040 at the latest, the Government has published a call for evidence on a potential limited range of exemptions for vehicles weighing 26 tonnes or under. The deadline for submitting views on the proposals is Friday 22 July.

Decarbonising Homes

More than £700 million will be made available as part of Wave 2 of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund to help improve the energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions from 1.6 million social homes. Applications for Wave 2 of the funding are expected to open in late August.

CITB Levy and Grants

he deadline for employers registered with CITB to submit their completed 2022 Levy Return is Thursday 30 June 2022. Failure to submit it by this date will result in grant claims being withheld until it is received, and any employers who do not submit a completed Levy Return by 30 November 2022 will lose eligibility for all grant claims.

CITB Chief Executive Tim Balcon will be joining the next Build UK Trade Association Forum on Tuesday 5 July to present the CITB Business Plan 2022/23. Build UK will also be hosting a roundtable meeting for Trade Association members in‐scope to CITB on Tuesday 19 July, where CITB Engagement Director Deborah Madden will provide an update and take questions on grants and funding, including the new and increased grant rates from 1 April 2022.

Last Updated: 09/06/2022

People Survey ‐ Share Your Views

The latest People Survey is now live! Against a backdrop of skills and labour shortages and discussions on the benefits of direct employment, Build UK is looking to understand current levels of employment and vacancies across companies of all sizes in membership. To complete the online survey, you will need to have to hand information on the number of people in your workforce, including direct employees and apprentices and what happens to them once they complete their apprenticeship.

Previous surveys have helped to secure a range of support for the sector, including Talentview, and provided a real insight into where apprentices are employed. The results of this survey will help Build UK to improve the Journey from Education into Employment in the industry, and the deadline for responses is Friday 8 July.

Building Safety Changes

New improvements to fire safety guidance and Building Regulations have been introduced by the Government, in line with the recommendations from Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. These include extending the ban on Metal Composite Material panels with an unmodified polyethylene core (MCM PE) to all new buildings of any height, as well as extending the ban on combustible materials in and on external walls to cover new hotels, hostels and boarding houses over 18 metres.

Further changes to strengthen the information available to fire and rescue services are detailed in Approved Document B and include requiring all new residential buildings over 11 metres to include a ‘Secure Information Box’ containing important details about a building in the event of a fire, and those over 18 metres to incorporate an ‘Evacuation Alert System’ to help inform residents of a change in evacuation strategy during an incident.

PI Insurance Update

Businesses across the construction industry are continuing to find it difficult to secure Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance, with increasing pressure on policy coverage and premium rates. Insurance market conditions first started to deteriorate in 2018, leading to the ‘hard’ market cycle that still prevails today, which has seen insurers reducing the amount of business they are prepared to take on or withdrawing from the market altogether. Whilst there is no easy solution, there are proactive steps that members can take to help improve their outcome with insurers. We have worked with new Professional Services member, Miller Insurance, to update our comprehensive guide to PI insurance, which provides an overview of what PI insurance is, why it is needed, and how to obtain the best possible terms in the current market.

All the latest business news can be found in our Improving Business Performance update.

Latest Net Zero News

Skanksa is the latest Build UK member to become a Business Champion as part of the CLC’s CO2nstruct Zero programme to drive carbon out of the sector. Business Champions can align their own business commitments to one or more of the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero, and Build UK is encouraging all members to sign up to show how they are responding to the net zero challenge. The CLC will be publishing its latest quarterly report on the progress of CO2nstruct Zero over the summer, and Business Champions have the opportunity to submit case studies.

From 30 June 2022, new homes and buildings such as supermarkets and workplaces, as well as those undergoing major renovation, will be required to install electric vehicle charge points with smart functionality, allowing electric vehicles to be charged when there is less demand on the grid, or when more renewable electricity is available.

New Member

Build UK is delighted to welcome Buildots as a new Professional Services member, further increasing our reach across the whole construction supply chain. A leading construction management platform, Buildots provides cutting‐edge technology to help fully digitise and connect construction sites.

HSE Inspections

The HSE is carrying out site inspections throughout June focussed on the respiratory risks to construction workers from exposure to dust. Part of a wider plan to improve health within the industry, the initiative aims to raise awareness of the serious dangers, and there is guidance available for employers.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming that price inflation and labour shortages are now of greater concern than product availability. However, there remain challenges with aircrete blocks, bricks, chipboard flooring, gas boilers and other products requiring semi‐conductors, and roof tiles.

Open Doors 2023

We are holding a meeting for Open Doors Coordinators next Thursday 16 June to share our plans for Open Doors 2023 which will include top tips for engaging with schools. Your nominated Open Doors Coordinator should have received an invite and please make sure your organisation is represented at the meeting.

Mixed Picture for Construction Activity

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 432 contracts worth £4.7 billion were awarded in May. Whilst the number of contracts recovered from the previous month in line with the monthly average over the last year, the total value was down again reaching its lowest level this year. 69% of all contracts awarded by value were in the private sector. Overall, there were 131 housing projects totalling £1.2 billion (26%); 24 entertainment projects worth £544 million (12%); and 60 office projects worth £498 million (11%).

The number of tender opportunities was 6% lower than the previous month and 47% below the monthly average for the past year.

Last Updated: 26/05/2022

Celebrating the Platinum Jubilee

As the country gets ready to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next week, we can all look forward to a brief respite from the current challenges facing the industry. With the Building Safety Act coming into force last month and ongoing pressures on costs, supply of materials, and skills at all levels, there is going to be no let up for construction in the second half of the year. However, a strong public sector pipeline, together with publication of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill and the imminent update to the Construction Playbook, offer significant opportunities for the whole supply chain. The industry will need to transform the way that it procures and delivers projects in response to these changes, and our guest speaker at this year’s AGM will get us all thinking about the future and how we might do things differently ‐ find out more below!

Thank you to all our members for your continued support, and we do hope that you enjoy the Jubilee celebrations. Due to the additional bank holiday, there will not be a member update next week so we will be back in your inboxes with all the latest news on Thursday 9 June.

Common Assessment Standard Latest

ISG is the latest Build UK member to adopt the Common Assessment Standard for its pre‐qualification (PQ) requirements, with Head of Supply Chain Rob Scriven highlighting how “removing the burden of administration and eliminating inefficient practices is a win for us all”. ISG joins a growing list of organisations using the Common Assessment Standard, and members of the supply chain can now obtain just one certification from any of the four Recognised Assessment Bodies ‐ Achilles, CHAS, Constructionline and CQMS ‐ in order to tender for work with them.

The Common Assessment Standard, which is endorsed by the CLC, has two levels of certification ‐ desktop and site‐based ‐ and companies should apply for the appropriate level depending on their trade, size and the requirements of their clients.

All the latest news regarding the Common Assessment Standard can be found in our PQ update.

Cyber Security in Construction

Over 60% of large companies in the UK reported having cyber security breaches or attacks in 2020/21 and the construction sector is particularly vulnerable due to its complex supply chains and high cash flow. Whilst the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has confirmed it is not aware of any specific cyber threats in light of the war in Ukraine, it is calling on UK organisations to bolster their online defences to reduce the risk of falling victim to an attack. It has published Cyber Security for Construction Businesses providing tailored guidance for the industry on how to protect its businesses and building projects from common cyber threats, including spear‐phishing, ransomware and supply chain attacks.

The NCSC also has a dedicated construction group and any Contractor members interested in discussing their experiences and learning from others are invited to nominate a representative to Build UK.

CITB Business Plan

CITB has published its Business Plan 2022/23 setting out how it will invest over £233 million to support the industry to address its skills challenges. The plan is focussed on three key areas: responding to the skills demand, developing the capacity and capability of training provision, and addressing future skills needs.

Worker Exclusivity

The Government has confirmed it will widen the ban on exclusivity clauses, which restrict staff from working for multiple employers, to contracts where the guaranteed weekly income is on or below the Lower Earnings Limit of £123 a week, giving 1.5 million low paid workers the option to top up their income with extra work.

Fuel Theft

The removal of the red diesel rebate and rising fuel prices are resulting in an increase in high value fuel thefts, which can lead to costly delays as well as environmental issues. Secured by Design has published guidance on reducing the risk of theft, which includes improving site security and securing fuel tanks.

Defibrillators on Site

The British Heart Foundation has launched ‘The Circuit’, a new national database mapping the locations of defibrillators across the country. With a number of them located on construction sites, members are encouraged to register defibrillators and ensure emergency services know how to access them.

Build UK AGM ‐ Save the Date!

The Build UK AGM 2022 will be held on Wednesday 21 September from 4:00pm ‐ 6:30pm in central London and we are delighted that our guest speaker will be Graeme Codrington, an author, researcher and TEDx speaker specialising in what the future will mean for the world of work. His interactive session promises to be a bit different to the usual conference speaker and you can find out what to expect from Graeme in this short video! Please save the date in your diary and an invitation with further information will follow.

The Board for 2022/23 will be elected at the AGM and any Contractor or Trade Association members interested in submitting a nomination should contact us by Friday 1 July.

Last Updated: 19/05/2022

Building Safety Update

The Building Safety Act has now been published, paving the way for the most significant changes to building safety regulation in a generation. The majority of the provisions will come into effect over the next 12 to 18 months as the secondary legislation is developed, and the Government has published a series of factsheets to help the industry understand the new requirements.

Working Group Two (WG2) has issued its report benchmarking the competence requirements for six installer sectors identified as priorities for ensuring fire safety in buildings. Competence Framework ‐ Installer Pilots (Phase One) details the current competence framework for each of the sectors, together with a process to address areas where they are falling short of the recommendations in Setting the Bar. Build UK would encourage all installer sectors of the industry to read this report and review the path to competence for their occupations to ensure they are fit for purpose.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has also published a report estimating the number of mid‐rise residential buildings between 11 ‐ 18 metres in England that require external wall system remediation, together with the associated costs.

All the latest building safety news can be found in Build UK’s Grenfell update.

Latest Availability of Materials

The latest statement issued by the CLC Product Availability Group confirms that there is a good supply of most products and materials. However, aircrete blocks, bricks, concrete products, gas boilers and PIR insulation products are subject to long lead times, whilst timber supplies are expected to be increasingly affected by the war in Ukraine. Price inflation also remains a critical issue due to the rising costs of energy, fuel and raw materials, and CLC member Simon Rawlinson has highlighted in Building the need for a consistent approach to share the burden of inflation on projects.

The Government has announced its latest package of sanctions against Russia and Belarus, which includes further import tariffs on products worth £1.4 billion and export bans on key materials such as chemicals, plastics, rubber and machinery.

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

The Government’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which was introduced as part of the Queen’s Speech last week, will reform the planning system to regenerate towns and cities across the UK. There will be new powers for local authorities to bring empty premises back into use, changes to ensure developments are accompanied by new infrastructure and affordable housing, and a revised approach to environmental assessments to further prioritise them in planning decisions. The Bill will also replace the current system of developer contributions with a mandatory Infrastructure Levy to be set and collected at a local level.

Other key bills for the next Parliamentary year include the UK Infrastructure Bank Bill, which will set it up with £22 billion of funding, the High Speed Rail (Crewe ‐ Manchester) Bill for the next stage of HS2, the Energy Security Bill with support for increased investment in electric heat pumps, and the Procurement Bill, which will enable buyers to take account of a supplier’s past performance.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Planning is already well underway for Open Doors 2023 which will be delivered by Build UK in partnership with CITB from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March 2023. We are delighted to be working with a number of industry partners to showcase the diverse range of opportunities available in construction, including the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), CSCS, Go Construct and Skylapse Media. Our community partners, the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), will help us to inspire young people and those looking for a change of career to choose construction. We will also be supported by our media partner Building.

CITB Levy Update

The Levy Order 2022 has now been approved by Government, which means the CITB Levy returns to its pre‐pandemic rates of 0.35% for PAYE and 1.25% for Net CIS. CITB has confirmed it will be issuing Levy Assessment Notices in June and the last date for employers to submit their completed 2021 Levy Return is this Sunday 22 May.

Competition Law Guidance

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) continues to monitor anti‐competitive behaviour in construction, and Build UK has worked with Wedlake Bell LLP to publish guidance explaining some of the more common violations of competition law and the potential sanctions to help businesses and directors understand the risks.

Data Interoperability

The Government & Industry Interoperability Group is developing a Code of Practice to support the secure sharing of data and address interoperability challenges. Any members interested in joining the new working group should contact Build UK, and there is a short survey which will help to inform the group’s work.

NHP Supplier Guide

The New Hospital Programme (NHP), which is developing 48 hospitals by 2030, has published the NHP Supplier Guide to help the supply chain understand what is important to NHP and what is required to realise the opportunities available. The guide is aligned to the Construction Playbook and will be updated regularly.

Use of Diesel in Construction

It is now illegal to put red diesel into the tank of a vehicle or machine to be used for construction work, following the removal of the red diesel rebate last month. In the event that red diesel is found in a vehicle or machine that is not entitled to use it, HMRC can seize the vehicle or machine and issue a fine of £250, although it has confirmed it will take a pragmatic approach to enforcement where a company can prove that the red diesel was put in before the rules changed. Build UK’s Frequently Asked Questions contain all the information you need to manage the transition to white diesel, including a checklist of the steps to take.

With the additional financial incentive to reduce reliance on diesel, Build UK has published a guide to help members ‘Drive Out Diesel’ which includes a range of tips to use less diesel, go alternative and use more electric plant and equipment on site.

Last Updated: 12/05/2022

Increased Cost Pressures Due to Rising Inflation

Cost inflation is a key issue facing Build UK members across the construction supply chain. After interest rates were increased to 1% last week, the latest Bank of England Monetary Policy Report indicates that inflation will rise to around 10% later this year, and our recent roundtable meeting with the Bank of England identified a number of specific challenges, including:

  • Price volatility ‐ resulting in delays to projects and margins being impacted due to budgets being overrun
  • Availability of materials ‐ causing programmes to be delayed as works cannot be completed due to a lack of materials
  • Skilled labour shortages ‐ projects are being turned down due to the lack of resources available in the market and higher salary expectations amongst some staff.

Build UK is working with the CBI to support its new ‘Cost of Doing Business’ campaign, which provides guidance for businesses to manage rising costs, supply chain disruption and labour shortages.

Journey from Education to Employment

With construction needing to recruit more than 43,000 new entrants every year to maintain output, it is essential to improve the Journey from Education to Employment in the industry. Build UK has identified the first steps on this journey as follows:

  • Clear Routes of Entry ‐ Both employers and those joining the industry understand the different routes of entry and which one is appropriate for them and their occupation
  • Increase in Apprenticeship Numbers ‐ Effective systems to match potential apprentices with suitable employers
  • Sufficient Training Capacity ‐ Appropriate resources to deliver the number of new entrants the sector requires.

Whilst there are a range of initiatives focussed on inspiring young people to choose a career in construction, it is often very difficult for them to find their way into a job. With the new Skills and Post‐16 Education Act aiming to make it easier for people to get the skills they need, we can make sure everyone understands what is required for construction by setting out the Journey from Education to Employment in the industry.

All the latest skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Common Assessment Standard Update

Due to the unprecedented situation in Ukraine, which has led to a growing list of sanctions against Russia and Belarus, Build UK will be adding a new question to the Common Assessment Standard to enable the construction supply chain to demonstrate that it is not dealing with any companies or individuals subject to the UK Sanctions List. Version 3.1 will be published on 1 July and suppliers will be required to answer the new question when they next go through the certification process for the Common Assessment Standard.

We are continuing to roll out the Common Assessment Standard across the industry and our new infographic shows how it is improving efficiency and reducing cost in the pre‐qualification (PQ) process.

Changing Legislation in Scotland

Developers in Scotland will be banned from using combustible cladding on high‐rise buildings from 1 June, following the introduction of new building standards legislation. Since 2005, new cladding systems on high‐rise blocks of flats have either had to use non‐combustible materials or pass a large‐scale fire test. However, the new legislation removes the option of the fire test, prohibiting such materials from being used on domestic and other high‐risk buildings above 11 metres. The highest risk metal composite cladding material will be banned from all new buildings whatever their height, with replacement cladding also required to meet the new standards.

Scottish Procurement Policy Note (SPPN) 02/2022 will also be introduced from 1 June, which sets out how public sector bodies are to embed prompt payment performance in the supply chain through procurement processes. Suppliers will have to pay 95% of valid invoices on time, or provide an improvement plan, otherwise they will not be selected to bid

Queen’s Speech

The Prince of Wales delivered the Queen’s Speech this week, setting out the Government’s legislative agenda for the next year. Key bills for construction include Levelling Up and Regeneration, Transport, Energy Security and UK Infrastructure Bank, offering real opportunities for the industry as Government looks to grow the economy.

Elizabeth Line

Transport for London has confirmed that Crossrail will open on Tuesday 24 May, cutting journey times and improving transport links across London and the South East. The Elizabeth line will link Reading and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood via central London, although Bond Street station will not open until later this year.

Mental Health in Construction

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the focus this year is on loneliness and the practical steps that can be taken to address it, which is particularly relevant for construction with many workers working away from home for long periods of time. The industry has recognised the challenges of mental health amongst its workforce and there are a range of resources available to provide support, such as the Lighthouse Club’s ‘Help Inside the Hard Hat‘ campaign and Movember Conversations.

Last Updated: 11/05/2022

CLC Industry Skills Plan Update

The CLC has published an update to its Industry Skills Plan, which highlights the industry’s successes over the last year in tackling the skills challenges facing construction. It also sets out four priorities for the next 12 months to improve access to opportunities in construction, increase apprenticeship starts and completions, shift the focus from qualifications to competence, and prepare for future skills needs. There are a number of ‘calls to action’, which reflect Build UK’s activities within our strategic priority of Recruiting, Training and Retaining Talent, including:

The industry’s plan will be supported by the Skills and Post‐16 Education Act which aims to make it easier for people to get the skills they need and for employers to find qualified employees. The new Act underpins the Government’s transformation of post‐16 education and skills to help level up and drive growth across the whole country.

Journey from Education to Employment

With construction needing to recruit more than 43,000 new entrants every year to maintain output, it is essential to improve the Journey from Education to Employment in the industry. Build UK has identified the first steps on this journey as follows:

  • Clear Routes of Entry ‐ Both employers and those joining the industry understand the different routes of entry and which one is appropriate for them and their occupation
  • Increase in Apprenticeship Numbers ‐ Effective systems to match potential apprentices with suitable employers
  • Sufficient Training Capacity ‐ Appropriate resources to deliver the number of new entrants the sector requires.

Whilst there are a range of initiatives focussed on inspiring young people to choose a career in construction, it is often very difficult for them to find their way into a job. By clearly setting out the Journey from Education to Employment, we will make it easier for everyone to achieve the qualifications, skills and experience required.

CITB Levy Update

The Levy Order 2022 has now been approved by Government, which means the CITB Levy returns to its pre‐pandemic rates of 0.35% for PAYE and 1.25% for Net CIS. CITB has confirmed that it will be issuing Levy Assessment Notices in June and the last date for employers to submit their completed 2021 Levy Return is 22 May 2022. If a Levy Return is not submitted by this date, the amount due will be estimated. Payment is due from July 2022 and employers will have the option to pay by direct debit over 10 months until March 2023.

Looking ahead, employers should submit their completed 2022 Levy Return by 30 June 2022 and any grant claims will be withheld until it is received. Failure to submit a completed 2022 Levy Return by 30 November 2022 will mean eligibility for all grant claims will be lost.

Latest Immigration Guidance

The Home Office has introduced a new immigration route, Global Business Mobility, to support companies expanding their presence in the UK. It includes a number of new visa options for foreign workers ‐ Senior or Specialist Worker, Graduate Trainee, Secondment Worker, Service Supplier, and UK Expansion Worker ‐ who will not need to prove their knowledge of English when applying.

Most foreign workers in construction are likely to be ‘skilled workers’ and will require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation. The Build UK flowchart providing an overview of the process of employing a foreign worker, along with our detailed guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence and How to Apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, have been updated to reflect the latest requirements.

There is currently a range of visa support available for Ukrainian nationals and their family members ‐ Ukraine Extension Scheme, Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine ‐ which enables them to stay in the UK for up to three years.

Smart Check App

There have been over 15,000 downloads of the new CSCS Smart Check App since its launch on 1 April. Build UK’s How to be a Smart Site guide includes information on the app to support members to check that everyone on site has the right qualifications and training for the job they do.

Open Doors 2023

The next Open Doors will take place from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March 2023 to inspire the next generation to choose a career in construction. We have published a Countdown to Open Doors 2023, and please make sure your Open Doors Coordinator attends the meeting on 16 June.

Inspiring Change 2022

The CLC is supporting this year’s Inspiring Change Conference and Awards on Wednesday 6 July to raise awareness of the value of more inclusive workplace cultures in construction. Sponsored by CITB, the event is free to attend and will feature a range of speakers from across construction and other sectors who have helped to attract and retain diverse talent within their organisations.

The event will also include the Inspiring Change Awards to celebrate organisations across the industry that have created a more inclusive culture. Entries are open across five categories, and the deadline for submissions is this Friday 13 May

last Updated: 05/05/2022

Building Safety Act 2022

The Building Safety Bill has now received Royal Assent and become law, paving the way for the most significant changes to building safety regulation in a generation. Whilst the final text of the Building Safety Act is yet to be published, it is expected to incorporate a number of key changes reflecting the Government’s approach to the remediation of unsafe cladding, focussed on protecting leaseholders and ensuring the ‘polluter pays’.

The Act introduces the Building Safety Regulator and Construction Products Regulator, as well as a gateway system to ensure building safety regulatory requirements are met at different stages of the planning and construction process. The majority of the provisions will not come into effect for another 12 to 18 months until the secondary legislation is developed. Along with the Fire Safety Act introduced in 2021, there is now a new building safety regime and the Government has published a series of factsheets to help dutyholders and the wider industry understand the new requirements.

Members Debate Key Issues

Thanks to all those members who joined our Forum meetings earlier this week. Contractor and Client members heard from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on the latest cyber security guidance for construction. Over 60% of large companies in the UK reported having cyber security breaches or attacks in 2020/21 and the construction sector is particularly vulnerable due to its complex supply chains and high cash flow. Contractor members interested in discussing their experiences and learning from others are invited to nominate a representative to Build UK.

Trade Association and Professional Services members were joined by the Department for Education for an update on the rollout of T Levels. Members across the supply chain are encouraged to consider offering work placements for T Levels, and Build UK’s work experience guide contains useful information on providing placements for those of school age, as well as internships and work experience for career changers.

The next Forum meetings will take place on Tuesday 5 July and details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Decline in Construction Activity

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 318 contracts worth £5.2 billion were awarded in April. The number of contracts fell to its lowest level in more than five years and the value of contracts was down on the first three months of this year despite the awarding of four large infrastructure projects worth a combined total of £1.9 billion. 57% of all the contracts awarded by value were in the private sector. Overall, there were 19 road projects worth £2.1 billion (41%); 90 housing projects totalling £1.1 billion (22%); and 30 office projects worth £276 million (5%).

The number of tender opportunities was 9% lower than the previous month and 46% below the monthly average for the past year.

Visa Support for Ukrainian Nationals

Ukraine Extension Scheme ‐ New scheme allowing Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family in the UK who already had permission to stay on or before 18 March 2022, or those whose permission to stay has expired since 1 January 2022, to extend their stay for up to three years, even if their visa does not normally allow them to do so.

Ukraine Family Scheme ‐ Allows family members of British nationals, UK settled persons and certain others to apply to join or accompany their UK‐based family member for up to three years.

Homes for Ukraine ‐ Enables those without family in the UK to apply to come and stay in the UK for up to three years if they have a named eligible sponsor who can provide accommodation.

CLC Industry Skills Plan

The CLC has published an update to its Industry Skills Plan, which sets out how to tackle the skills challenges facing construction through to 2025. The report highlights the industry’s successes over the last year and provides updates on the four priority areas of Culture, Routes into Industry, Competence and Future Skills.

Mast Climber Safety Alert

The HSE has issued a safety alert following the discovery of a serious technical fault in the drive units of some mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs) which means they could fall from height. All Build UK members using this type of equipment are advised to read the information from HSE and take action where required.

An Infrastructure Revolution

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has published its second report on the delivery of infrastructure projects focussed on how professionals can become better at planning, constructing and integrating the complex systems installed across the UK. A Systems Approach to Infrastructure Delivery outlines eight principles that should be adopted to deliver projects effectively and reflects Build UK’s position that collaboration and an integrated supply chain is key, stating that “owners need to create an integrated and collaborative enterprise that embraces all of the key organisations working on a project”. Case studies include Tideway, HS2 and East West Rail.

Build UK’s series of factsheets covers a range of national and local infrastructure projects across the UK to help everyone in the industry explain what they are and why they are being built in Britain today.

Last Updated: 28/04/2022

Funding for Cladding Remediation

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has reached an agreement with developers that will see them commit a minimum of £2 billion to fix fire‐safety issues with their own buildings. To date, 36 of the UK’s largest homebuilders have pledged to fix all buildings over 11 metres that they have played a role in developing over the last 30 years, and Gove has urged other developers to sign up, stating that those who refuse to do so could be prevented from building and selling new homes in the future. Alongside this, the Government has confirmed plans to extend the Building Safety Levy to be paid by developers on all new residential buildings in England, which is expected to raise up to £3 billion over the next decade to support remediation works.

Gove has also written to the product manufacturing sector, expressing his disappointment at its failure to make a public funding commitment and reiterating that the Government will do ‘whatever it takes’ to make sure they are held to account through the powers established in the Building Safety Bill.

All the latest building safety news can be found in Build UK’s Grenfell update.

Impact of War in Ukraine

The Government has announced new measures to support Ukraine under its free trade agreement, which include reducing all tariffs on goods imported to zero and removing all quotas. It has also strengthened sanctions against Russia, with tariffs increased by up to 35 percentage points and the list of products facing import bans expanded to include silver and wood products.

The latest statement issued by the CLC Product Availability Group confirms that ‘the impact of the war in Ukraine is only beginning to be felt by UK construction’. Sanctions against Russia have led to reports of nickel prices doubling, which affects the price of stainless steel, whilst rising energy and raw material costs are continuing to drive up prices, particularly for energy‐intensive products like steel, cement and glass.

Roadmap to Zero Retentions

In light of recent Parliamentary discussions on the use of retentions in construction, Build UK and other members of the CLC have met with Construction Minister Lee Rowley to discuss how Government and industry can work together on this issue, building on the work previously undertaken by Build UK through our Roadmap to Zero Retentions. With any legislation on retentions unlikely during this Parliament, we will be reviewing the milestones in our roadmap over the coming months, including the Minimum Standards on Retentions and the table of public sector retention policies.

Dame Judith Hackitt has also made the case for removing retentions, stating that they are ‘totally inconsistent with collaborative procurement’. Speaking earlier this month at the launch of the Guidance on Collaborative Procurement for Design and Construction to Support Building Safety, she outlined how “suppliers assume they will never receive their retention payments…so therefore from the outset of projects with retentions involved they are looking for other ways to cut costs, cut corners and save money in whatever way possible”.

New Low Carbon Concrete Route Map

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), a Build UK Alliance member, has published its Low Carbon Concrete Route Map, which explores how the industry can adopt the latest tools, technologies and materials to continue using concrete whilst working towards a zero‐carbon future. The cement used as the active ingredient within concrete produces emissions equivalent to 7.2 million cars each year, and the new route map sets out a number of recommendations for clients and contractors to help reduce emissions and support the Government’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2050.

Supporting the development of low carbon materials is one of the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero, the industry‐wide programme to drive carbon out of the sector. Build UK is encouraging members across the supply chain to sign up as a Business Champion by aligning their own business commitments to one or more of the CO2nstruct Zero priorities.

Open Doors 2023

The next Open Doors will take place from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March 2023 to inspire the next generation to choose a career in construction. We have published a Countdown to Open Doors 2023, supported by our Media Partner Building magazine. Please make sure your Open Doors Coordinator attends the meeting on 16 June.

PI Survey Reminder

The CLC is carrying out an industry‐wide survey on Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance to demonstrate to Government the ongoing challenges in obtaining appropriate cover. The deadline for responses is tomorrow (Friday 29 April) and members will need details of their level of cover and excess when completing it.

Inspiring Change 2022

The CLC is supporting this year’s Inspiring Change Conference and Awards on Wednesday 6 July to raise awareness of the value of more inclusive workplace cultures in construction. Sponsored by CITB, the event is free to attend and will feature a range of speakers from across construction and other sectors who have helped to attract and retain diverse talent within their organisations.

The event will also include the Inspiring Change Awards to celebrate organisations across the industry that have created a more inclusive culture. Entries are open across five categories, and the deadline for submissions is Friday 13 May.

Last Updated: 21/04/2022

Government’s Energy Strategy Published

The Government has released its British Energy Security Strategy with the aim of providing secure, clean and affordable energy for Great Britain. It sets out how the deployment of wind, nuclear, solar and hydrogen will be accelerated, which could see 95% of electricity being low carbon by 2030, whilst supporting the production of domestic oil and gas in the nearer term. Offering significant opportunities for construction, measures include planning reforms to cut the approval times for new offshore wind farms from four years to one year and a £120 million Future Nuclear Enabling Fund which could see eight new reactors built across Britain.

To help the industry reduce its reliance on diesel in line with the CO2nstruct Zero target to eliminate 78% of diesel plant from sites by 2035, Build UK has published its ‘Drive Out Diesel’ guide which contains a range of tips to use less diesel, go alternative and use more electric plant and equipment on site.

New Visa Route Available

The Home Office has introduced a new immigration route, Global Business Mobility, to support companies expanding their presence in the UK. It includes a number of new visa options for foreign workers: Senior or Specialist Worker, Graduate Trainee, Secondment Worker, Service Supplier, and UK Expansion Worker. Companies will need a sponsor licence to provide a certificate of sponsorship for these new visas, but eligible foreign workers will not need to prove their knowledge of English when applying.

Most foreign workers in construction are likely to be ‘skilled workers’ and will require a Skilled Worker visa to work in an eligible occupation. The Build UK flowchart providing an overview of the process of employing a foreign worker, along with our detailed guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence and How to Apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, have been updated to reflect the latest requirements.

NHP Supplier Guide

The New Hospital Programme (NHP), which is developing 48 hospitals by 2030, has published the NHP Supplier Guide. The guide is aligned to the Construction Playbook and sets out what is important to the NHP ‐ better, faster and greener procurement ‐ and what it requires from its supply chain to realise the opportunities available. The guide, which will be updated regularly, follows publication of the first NHP commercial pipeline, which gives suppliers visibility of current and future contract opportunities on proposed projects up to 2024

Competition Law Guidance

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) continues to monitor anti‐competitive behaviour in construction, and Build UK has worked with Wedlake Bell LLP to publish guidance explaining some of the more common violations of competition law and the potential sanctions to help businesses understand the risks.

Sustainability Disclosure

Organisations with more than 500 employees and a turnover over £500 million are now required to report climate‐related financial information on an annual basis. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published guidance to help organisations understand how to meet the new requirement.

Net Zero Champions

Build UK is encouraging members across the supply chain to sign up as Business Champions as part of the CLC’s CO2nstruct Zero programme to drive carbon out of the sector. Members can align their own business commitments to one or more of the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero.

Employment Allowance

The Employment Allowance has risen from £4,000 to £5,000, meaning businesses can now employ four full‐time workers on the National Living Wage without paying employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs). This is expected to benefit around 52,000 businesses in construction.

Next Forum Meetings

The next Build UK Forum meetings will take place on Tuesday 3 May. Contractor members will hear from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which will give an overview of the latest cyber security guidance for construction to protect against cyber‐attacks. Trade Association members will be joined by Ian Ryan, Senior Manager ‐ T Levels PMO and Employer Readiness, at the Department for Education to discuss the rollout of T Levels.

Members should have received a calendar invite with the details of the relevant meeting and please accept it to confirm your attendance or email [email protected]. Details of all upcoming Build UK meetings can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Last Updated: 14/04/2022

Leading the Construction Industry

As we head into the Easter break, we can look back on an action‐packed first quarter of 2022 which saw no let up for construction. The impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic has been compounded by the war in Ukraine and the industry faces increasing pressures on costs, supply of materials, and skills. Whilst Build UK continues to do what it can to address these challenges, we are also taking forward our work on long‐standing issues which will help to improve the efficiency, productivity and profitability of the whole supply chain.

The recent statutory review of the Duty to Report regulations praised Build UK for the ‘positive impact’ our benchmarking of payment performance has had within the sector. With a growing list of organisations using the Common Assessment Standard, we are reducing duplication and cost in the pre‐qualification process. We have also begun our work to improve the Journey from Education to Employment to make sure the industry isn’t held back by a lack of new entrants and skills.

Transforming construction will take time and effort, but we have demonstrated over the last two years that we can make a real difference when we bring everyone together. On that note, we are delighted to welcome another four new members to #TeamBuildUK ‐ Sellafield, Miller Insurance, NRL and PlanRadar ‐ and you can find out more about each of them below. Thank you to all our members for your continued support, and we hope you manage to take a well‐earned break over the Easter weekend!

Competence Framework Report

Working Group Two (WG2), led by Build UK, has benchmarked the competence requirements for six occupations identified as priorities for ensuring fire safety in higher‐risk residential buildings and members can read the draft report in advance of publication. The report evaluates the current requirements for domestic plumbing and heating, dry lining, fire detection and alarms, fire stopping, rainscreen cladding, and roofing, highlighting where further action is required to ensure that individuals deemed competent have the appropriate knowledge, skills and training to undertake their role in line with the recommendations in the Setting the Bar report.

WG2 is planning to publish the final report at the end of April and any comments on the draft report should be sent to Build UK by next Thursday 21 April.

Statutory Review of Duty to Report

The Government has published its report on the statutory review of the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations, which highlights the role of Build UK’s payment performance table in improving payment practices in construction. Praising the work that we have done ‘as a good model for trade organisations across other sectors to adopt’, the report shows how our benchmarking of members and the wider industry is ’rais[ing] awareness of the need to pay promptly, and driv[ing] improvements in their payment behaviour’. The average time taken to pay by businesses across all sectors is 37 days, compared to 32 days for Build UK Contractor members, underlining how we are changing the industry culture around payment.

With 92% of respondents to the review agreeing that the Regulations have brought greater transparency on payment, the Government has confirmed that it will undertake a further consultation before deciding whether to extend the current expiry date for the Regulations beyond 6 April 2024.

CSCS Update

Build UK’s How to be a Smart Site guide has been updated following the launch of the CSCS Smart Check app, which enables cards across all 38 card schemes carrying the CSCS logo to be verified with the same app for the first time. Our guide covers how to check cards, including those that are not yet smart, to make sure everyone on site has the right qualifications and training for the job they do. Members are reminded that CSCS does not issue cards for non‐construction related occupations, which means that some workers will be arriving on site without a card. It is the responsibility of the site manager to induct and escort non‐construction workers where appropriate so that they can carry out their work safely.

All the latest skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Conflict Avoidance Pledge

The CLC supports the Conflict Avoidance Pledge, developed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which commits clients and contractors to implementing conflict avoidance measures in contracts and on site, with the aim of helping to deliver projects on time and budget with fewer disputes.

PI Survey Reminder

The CLC is carrying out an industry‐wide survey on PI insurance in order to demonstrate to Government the ongoing challenges in obtaining appropriate cover. The deadline for responses is Friday 29 April and members will need details of their level of cover and excess to hand.

Welcome to our New Members!

Miller Insurance is a leading independent specialist (re)insurance broking firm, operating at Lloyd’s and internationally, and joins us as a Professional Services member.

NRL also becomes a Professional Services member and is a specialist recruitment company focussing on workforce solutions across renewable energy, power generation, infrastructure, and the built environment.

PlanRadar is a software‐as‐a‐service provider specialising in on‐site task management and communications for construction and real estate projects and is another new Professional Services member.

Sellafield Ltd is a global centre for nuclear engineering, working to safeguard nuclear fuel, materials and waste on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, and joins us as a Client member.

Last Updated: 12/04/2022

Get Ready to Inspire the Next Generation!

The next Open Doors will take place from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March 2023 and Build UK is encouraging all members to start thinking now about how they can get involved! Open Doors is a fantastic way for young people and those looking for a change of career to find out what the industry has to offer by going behind the site hoardings and seeing the diverse range of opportunities available.

Last year, 96% of visitors rated their experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, with three out of four more likely to consider a career in construction after their visit, demonstrating the impact of Open Doors on recruiting the next generation. We have published a Countdown to Open Doors 2023, which was featured in Building magazine this week, and the first date for your diaries is a meeting for Open Doors Coordinators on Thursday 16 June

How to be a Smart Site!

Build UK’s How to be a Smart Site guide has been updated to reflect the new CSCS Smart Check app, which launched this month. In line with the objective in the CLC Industry Card Schemes Recommendation, the Smart Check app enables cards across all 38 card schemes carrying the CSCS logo to be verified with the same app for the first time. Build UK is supporting members to check that everyone on site has the right qualifications and training for the job they do, and our guide covers how to check cards, including those that are not yet smart, and what to do if you find a fraudulent card.

Members are reminded that CSCS does not issue cards for non‐construction related occupations. This means that some workers will be arriving on site without a card and it is the responsibility of the site manager to induct and escort non‐construction workers where appropriate so that they can carry out their work safely.

PPE Regulations Extended

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations have been extended from 6 April to require employers to provide limb (b) workers with the same PPE as employees. The HSE has published guidance for employers and limb (b) workers are defined as individuals who “generally have a more casual employment relationship and work under a contract for service”. Those who have self‐employed status are not covered by this change and any organisations that are unsure about whether they need to provide a sub‐contractor on site with PPE should check their employment status by referring to Government guidance.

Work Experience Guide

Work experience is a great way for young people to begin their Journey from Education to Employment in the industry by getting an initial taste of construction. Build UK’s work experience guide is designed to make it as easy as possible for members to provide placements for those of school age, internships and work experience for career changers. It contains a checklist for each type of placement and supporting guidance on ensuring that employer’s legal obligations to health and safety are met.

Ukrainian Visas

Build UK is working with CITB to understand how Ukrainians arriving in the UK will be able to use existing skills and qualifications to apply for jobs in construction. Anyone with a visa issued under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine has the right to work in the UK and an employer will not require a sponsor licence to employ them.

Education to Employment

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol was interviewed by Raconteur Magazine about the challenges of recruiting the next generation into construction. She highlighted the lack of clear career pathways into a job in the industry and Build UK will be prioritising its activities to simplify the Journey from Education to Employment in the industry.

Changes to COVID‐19 Guidance

In line with the Government’s Living with COVID‐19 plan, the Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance and the health and safety requirement for employers to explicitly consider COVID‐19 in their risk assessments were withdrawn from 1 April. The latest Government guidance is for anyone testing positive to ‘try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days’, and there are new public health principles for reducing the spread of respiratory infections in the workplace.

In accordance with these changes, the Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart has been withdrawn and the Site Operating Procedures and the Use of Face Coverings in Construction remain available as reference documents only. Build UK partner Citation has also updated its guidance for employers on implementing a vaccination policy.

Last Updated: 07/04/2022

Get Ready to Inspire the Next Generation!

The next Open Doors will take place from Monday 13 ‐ Saturday 18 March 2023 and Build UK is encouraging all members to start thinking now about how they can get involved! Open Doors is a fantastic way for young people and those looking for a change of career to find out what the industry has to offer by going behind the site hoardings and seeing the diverse range of opportunities available.

Last year, 96% of visitors rated their experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, with three out of four more likely to consider a career in construction after their visit, demonstrating the impact of Open Doors on recruiting the next generation. We have published a Countdown to Open Doors 2023 detailing the key dates for your diaries, starting with a meeting for Open Doors Coordinators on Thursday 16 June

Construction Activity Latest

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 490 contracts worth £5.8 billion were awarded in March. Whilst the number of contracts increased for the third month in a row, the value dipped again but was only just below the monthly average for the past year (£6.1 billion). 69% of all the contracts awarded by value were in the private sector. Overall, there were 161 housing projects worth £1.9 billion (34%), the largest of which was a £350 million project to build 30 residential units with a swimming pool and gymnasium in Westminster; 62 office projects totalling £1.1 billion (19%); and 57 education projects worth £567 million (10%).

The number of tender opportunities (359) was slighter higher than the previous month (352) but still 43% below the monthly average for the past year.

New Drive Out Diesel Guide

Build UK has published a new ‘Drive Out Diesel’ guide designed to help the industry reduce its reliance on diesel, in line with the CO2nstruct Zero target to eliminate 78% of diesel plant from sites by 2035. The guide contains a range of tips to use less diesel, go alternative and use more electric plant and equipment on site. Whilst there are significant challenges for the industry, the removal of the red diesel rebate provides an additional financial incentive, and there are some simple things that all businesses can start doing now.

We have also updated our Frequently Asked Questions on the use of red diesel following the end of the rebate, which provide all the information you need to manage the transition to white diesel, including a handy checklist of the steps to take.

Automotive Roadmap Published

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has published the Automotive Roadmap, which brings together the Government’s policies to decarbonise road transport in the UK. With a target for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2035, the roadmap outlines joint Government and industry commitments to support the transition, including the requirement for new homes and buildings, as well as those undergoing major renovation, to install electric vehicle (EV) charge points from 2022, and reduced company car tax rates for zero emissions company cars.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming that ‘price inflation remains the major concern’ whilst ‘the volatility of energy prices has begun impacting the market’. The war in Ukraine is impacting global shipping and the supply of materials, including steel, pallets, ceramic tiles and sanitary ware.

Net Zero Latest

Tilbury Douglas is the latest Build UK member to become a Business Champion as part of the CLC’s CO2nstruct Zero programme to drive carbon out of the sector. Members can align their own business commitments to one or more of the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero and sign up as a Business Champion at any time.

COVID‐19 Guidance

Following the withdrawal of the Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance, the Government has published public health principles for reducing the spread of respiratory infections in the workplace. The Site Operating Procedures and Use of Face Coverings remain available as reference documents.

NI Changes

National Insurance (NI) contributions have now risen by 1.25% for employees in Class 1, 1A, 1B or 4, as well as Class 1 employers. This increase will remain until 5 April 2023, before contributions revert to 2021/22 levels. The Chancellor also confirmed that the NI threshold will increase to £12,570 from 6 July 2022.

Cyber Security for Construction Businesses

Whilst the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has confirmed it is not aware of any specific cyber threats in light of the war in Ukraine, it is calling on UK organisations to bolster their online defences to reduce the risk of falling victim to an attack. It has published Cyber Security for Construction Businesses providing tailored guidance for the industry on how to protect its businesses and building projects from common cyber threats, including spear‐phishing, ransomware and supply chain attacks.

The NCSC will be joining the next Build UK Contractor Forum on Tuesday 3 May to discuss the latest guidance on cyber security and take questions from members.

Last Updated: 31/03/2022

Common Assessment Standard Updated

The latest version of the Common Assessment Standard has been published following extensive consultation with members and the wider industry. Version 3 includes new questions on sustainability, diversity and cyber security, as well as a revised section on Information Management to reflect the recently updated IPA mandate. Designed to raise the bar in assessing the competence of the supply chain, the Common Assessment Standard is reviewed every year to reflect the latest legislation, industry requirements and good practice, ensuring they are integrated into how the sector operates.
 
With a growing number of organisations using the Common Assessment Standard for their PQ requirements, members of the supply chain can obtain certification from any one of four Recognised Assessment Bodies ‐ Achilles, CHAS, Constructionline or CQMS ‐ in order to tender for work with them.

COVID‐19 Guidance

The Government has confirmed that it will be updating its COVID‐19 guidance from tomorrow (1 April) to advise anyone who tests positive to ‘try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days’. In line with the Living with COVID‐19 plan, the Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance and the health and safety requirement for employers to explicitly consider COVID‐19 in their risk assessments, are due to be withdrawn from 1 April, and the Government will be publishing ‘principles that employers can follow to help them decide how to reduce risks in the workplace’.

In accordance with these changes, the Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart will be withdrawn and the Site Operating Procedures and the Use of Face Coverings in Construction will remain available as reference documents only from tomorrow. Build UK partner Citation has also updated its guidance for employers on implementing a vaccination policy to reflect the latest Government guidance.

End of Red Diesel Rebate

From tomorrow (1 April), the entitlement to use rebated red diesel will be removed from most sectors, including construction, which means it will be illegal to put red diesel into the tank of a vehicle or machine being used for construction work. If HMRC finds traces of red diesel in such a vehicle or machine, it will ask for evidence to demonstrate that it was put in before the rules changed and is still being used up. HMRC has confirmed it will take a pragmatic approach to enforcement in this situation but can seize the vehicle or machine and issue a fine of £250.

To help members manage this significant change, Build UK has published a series of Frequently Asked Questions covering the transition from red to white diesel which includes a checklist of the steps to take.

How to be a Smart Site

Build UK’s How to be a Smart Site guide has been updated to reflect the new CSCS Smart Check app, which will be launched tomorrow (1 April). In line with the objective in the CLC Industry Card Schemes Recommendation, the Smart Check app will enable cards across all 38 card schemes carrying the CSCS logo to be quickly verified with the same app for the first time. Build UK is supporting members to check that everyone on site has the right qualifications and training for the job they do, and our guide covers how to check cards, including those that are not yet smart, and what to do in the event of finding a fraudulent card.

Cartels & Cover Pricing

Build UK has issued new guidance, written by Wedlake Bell LLP, on preventing anti‐competitive behaviour in construction, including cartel activities and cover pricing. It aims to help businesses and directors comply with their legal obligations by explaining the risks and the steps they should take.

War in Ukraine

The Cabinet Office has issued Procurement Policy Note 01/22 which provides guidance for contracting authorities on reducing contractual exposure to Russian and Belarussian suppliers. The CLC has also published guidance for the supply chain on the direct and indirect impacts of the war.

Gender Pay Gap Deadline

Companies with 250 employees or more have until next Monday 4 April to report their gender pay gap information for 2021/22. Employers that fail to report on time or report inaccurate data via the gender pay gap service could face enforcement action.

Minimum Wage Rates

From 1 April, the National Living Wage will increase to £9.50 per hour, whilst the National Minimum Wage will rise to £9.18 for 21‐22 year olds, £6.83 for 18‐20 year olds, and £4.81 for 16‐17 year olds. The Apprentice Rate will also increase to £4.81.

PI Insurance ‐ Share Your Views

With businesses across the industry continuing to find it extremely difficult to secure Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance, the CLC is undertaking its latest industry‐wide survey. The results will be used to demonstrate to Government the ongoing challenges in obtaining appropriate cover, and members are asked to complete the survey by Friday 29 April. For ease of response, you will need details of your level of cover and excess to hand.

To help members obtain the best possible terms in the current market, Build UK has published a comprehensive guide to PI insurance which includes an overview of what it is, why it is needed and what to do when taking out or renewing a PI policy.

Last Updated: 24/03/2022

Chancellor’s Spring Statement

The Chancellor has used his Spring Statement to ‘help people and businesses deal with rising costs’ and strengthen the UK economy in the face of global uncertainty following COVID‐19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Presenting the Government’s Tax Plan as the biggest net cut in taxes for over 25 years, the Chancellor announced a range of measures including:

  • Cutting fuel duty by 5p per litre for the next 12 months
  • Removing VAT on energy‐saving home upgrades until 2027
  • Increasing the Employment Allowance to £5,000
  • Bringing forward business rates exemptions for eligible plant and machinery to April 2022
  • Increasing the National Insurance threshold by £3,000 to £12,570.

The Chancellor also highlighted the Government’s Help to Grow: Digital and Help to Grow: Management schemes in supporting SMEs to develop and grow their businesses.

Building Safety Update

The Government has announced a number of key changes to the Building Safety Bill, reflecting its approach to the remediation of unsafe cladding which is now focussed on protecting leaseholders, ensuring the industry pays for remediation works, and stopping buildings being declared unsafe unnecessarily.

The RICS has updated its EWS1 form to confirm that all assessments of external walls should now be carried out in accordance with PAS 9980. It has confirmed that existing EWS1 forms will remain valid until a new EWS1 form or updated fire risk assessment is completed. On withdrawing its Consolidated Advice Note in January, the Government stated that buildings below 18m do not require an ESW1 form to be completed. However, RICS guidance continues to state that lenders should ask for EWS1 forms on blocks of six stories or fewer where ACM, MCM or HPL panels are present on the building.

An Infrastructure Revolution

Build UK has published another factsheet in its series on major infrastructure projects, featuring the Silvertown Tunnel, a new twin‐lane road tunnel beneath the River Thames connecting Silvertown and the Greenwich Peninsula in East London. The £1 billion project, which is being constructed using the largest Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) in the UK, will reduce congestion, improve journey times and make the surrounding area more attractive to businesses and residents, supporting economic growth.
 
Build UK’s factsheets cover a range of national and local projects, including HS2, Hinkley Point C and Birmingham’s Perry Barr Regeneration to help everyone in the industry explain what each project is and why it is being built in Britain today.

COVID‐19 Update

The Government has stated that from next Friday 1 April its guidance to stay at home for five days following a positive COVID‐19 test will be removed, along with the Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance and the health and safety requirement for employers to explicitly consider COVID‐19 in their risk assessments. As a result, the Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart will be withdrawn and the Site Operating Procedures and the Use of Face Coverings in Construction will remain available as reference documents only from 1 April.
 
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme has now closed, and the deadline for submitting final claims is today at 11.59pm. Government guidance on travel to the UK has also been updated and people are no longer required to take any COVID‐19 tests or fill in a passenger locator form when arriving from overseas.

War in Ukraine

With material supplies increasingly affected by the war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia, members are encouraged to keep their operations under review to identify Russian companies that may no longer be able to trade with the UK and Russian investment in current or future projects which could be affected.

PQ Support

A growing list of organisations are now using the Common Assessment Standard and our Communications Toolkit contains a range of resources to help raise awareness amongst the supply chain. You can also share how it is benefitting your business on Twitter and LinkedIn using the hashtag #CommonAssessmentStandard.

Red Diesel

From next Friday 1 April, it will be illegal to put red diesel into the tank of a vehicle or machine used for construction work. To help members prepare for this significant change, Build UK has published a series of Frequently Asked Questions on the transition from red to white diesel.

Loader Crane Safety

Build UK Trade Association member ALLMI has launched the ‘Strap Down Your Loader Crane!’ campaign, which aims to ensure all businesses involved in the movement of lorry loaders are safely securing loader cranes for travel. A range of resources are available, including a toolbox talk template.

New Government Payment Requirements

From next Friday 1 April, the prompt payment threshold will increase for suppliers bidding for Government contracts above £5 million per annum. In accordance with the updated Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 08/21, companies will be required to show that they pay 90% of invoices within 60 days and have an action plan in place to achieve a standard of 95% in future, otherwise they risk being prevented from bidding.
 
On average, Build UK Contractor members pay 95% of their invoices within 60 days, and our payment performance table shows the percentage of invoices paid within 60 days for more than 100 of the industry’s largest companies.

Last Updated: 17/03/2022

Impact of the War in Ukraine on Construction

The Government has announced new economic sanctions against Russia designed to further isolate the Russian economy from global trade following its invasion of Ukraine. The new measures include an additional 35% tariff on a number of products imported from Russia, including steel, iron, wood, cement, copper, aluminium, silver, lead and iron ore. This is expected to have a further impact on availability and price inflation for the whole construction supply chain, and the CLC’s Product Availability Group is reverting to meeting fortnightly to collate and share information across the industry.
 
Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol attended a meeting with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to discuss the impact of the war on different sectors of the UK economy. Energy UK confirmed that the price of gas has reached a record high which is affecting all businesses but particularly those that are high users of energy, whilst British ports were asked by the Department for Transport not to provide access to ships owned, controlled, chartered or operated by any person connected with Russia.
 
Build UK is working with CITB to understand how Ukrainians arriving in the UK will be able to use existing skills and qualifications to apply for jobs in construction. We have also confirmed that anyone with a visa issued under the Ukraine Family Scheme or Homes for Ukraine scheme has the right to work in the UK and an employer will not require a sponsor licence to employ them.

Building Safety Update

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has responded to the Home Builders Federation (HBF) regarding its proposal to remediate buildings with unsafe cladding, stating that it ‘falls short of full and unconditional self‐remediation that I and leaseholders will expect us to agree’. Gove is calling for a fully funded remediation plan and is prepared to impose a solution in law if agreement is not reached by the end of March.

Working Group 2, led by Build UK, has finished benchmarking the competence requirements for six occupations identified as priorities for ensuring fire safety in higher‐risk residential buildings, including dry lining, plumbing and domestic heating, and roofing. It will be publishing its findings next month before undertaking a similar exercise for other installer occupations, ensuring that individuals deemed competent have the appropriate knowledge, skills and training to undertake their role.

The Building Safety Bill is now at the report stage in the House of Lords where the suggested amendments are examined and voted upon. Build UK has written to representatives of the House of Lords to highlight significant issues with the proposed amendment which would retrospectively extend the limitation period for claims brought under the Defective Premises Act from 6 to 30 years.

CO2nstruct Zero Progress

The CLC has published its second quarterly report showing the industry’s progress against the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero designed to drive carbon out of the sector. It confirms that the industry has achieved the first of 28 metrics outlined in the Performance Framework, with over 90% of planning, design and estimating professionals having access to the relevant net zero training and CPD, ensuring future generations will be carbon aware.
 
Build UK is encouraging all members to sign up as a Business Champion, which will enable the CLC to collate actions being taken across the whole supply chain to respond to the net zero challenge.

New Member

Build UK is delighted to welcome Sunbelt Rentals as a Contractor member, further increasing our reach across the whole construction supply chain. A leading specialist in the hire of plant, tools and equipment, Sunbelt Rentals services 30,000 businesses each year via its network of over 190 depots across the UK.

Red Diesel Rebate

With energy costs rising significantly, Build UK has joined other industry organisations in calling for the removal of the red diesel rebate to be deferred for 12 months. The change is currently due to take effect on 1 April and we have published a series of Frequently Asked Questions which include a checklist to help members prepare.

PQ Update

The Common Assessment Standard is reviewed each year to ensure it meets the industry’s requirements and Version 3.0 will be published on 31 March. It includes new questions on diversity, sustainability and cyber security, as well as a revised Information Management section to reflect the IPA mandate.

Fatigue Standard

Companies working for Build UK Client member Network Rail have until October 2022 to comply with its updated fatigue risk management standard, which aims to safeguard the Network Rail workforce by reducing fatigue and minimising the risk of errors when operating construction equipment.

Changes to PPE Regulations

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations will be extended from 6 April to require employers to provide limb (b) workers with the same PPE as employees. This means organisations will have to provide all workers with the correct PPE necessary for health and safety free of charge, as well as maintain and replace it as necessary, and the HSE has published guidance for employers.
 
The HSE has confirmed that those who have self‐employed status are not covered by this change, and any organisations that are unsure about whether they need to provide a sub‐contractor on site with PPE should check their employment status by referring to Government guidance.

Last Updated: 11/03/2022

Recruiting the Next Generation

With construction needing to recruit over 43,000 new entrants every year for the next five years to maintain output, Build UK has published the results of a snapshot survey of its Contractor members as a step towards understanding their role in the process. ‘Recruiting the Next Generation’ reveals that 89% of Contractor members offer apprenticeships, with 39% sponsoring undergraduates at university and 56% offering year out placements. 92% of Contractor members have vacancies at management level, whilst 72% are looking to recruit for trade occupations.

There are currently 40,000 young people on a construction‐related further education course, and we are focussed on improving the journey from education into employment in the industry. Build UK Vice Chair Julie White attended the first meeting of the Prime Minister’s new Business Council last month where she highlighted to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi the need for a skills system which supports young people into a job and subsequently a career in their chosen industry.

National Careers Week ‐ Get Involved!

NCW LogoNational Careers Week 2022 kicks off today and will run until this Saturday 12 March with the aim of promoting careers guidance to young people leaving education. Coming at an important stage in the academic calendar, NCW gives young people an insight into the world of work and members can get involved by: 

  • Celebrating your rising stars ‐ Put your employees front and centre on social media to showcase different career routes using the hashtag #NCW2022
  • Promoting your vacancies ‐ Ensure all your opportunities for new entrants are registered on Talentview Construction to make it as easy as possible for young people to join our industry
  • Using GoConstruct ‐ Share information on the range of career options in construction to help the next generation find a role that suits them.

This is a great opportunity to promote your work around careers to a wider audience, and further ideas on how get involved are available in the NCW Social Media Guide.

New CSCS Smart Check App

CSCS

The new CSCS Smart Check app will be rolled out from next month, in line with the objective in the CLC Industry Card Schemes Recommendation for all card schemes carrying the CSCS logo to use Smart Technology. Build UK’s last SmartCard Audit highlighted the need for all cards to use the same technology, and for the first time cards across all 38 card schemes carrying the CSCS logo will be able to be quickly verified with the same app.
 
Build UK has been supporting members to check that everyone on site has the right qualifications and training for the job they do, and our How to be a Smart Site guide will be updated to reflect CSCS Smart Check. CSCS is also holding a series of free webinars on using the app, with the first one this Thursday 10 March.

War in Ukraine

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, members employing Ukrainian or Russian nationals are encouraged to check in with them to see if they need any support. This may be moral support or more practical advice, and the Government has published guidance for Ukrainian nationals, which includes temporary visa concessions.

Gender Pay Gap

Build UK has collated information on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) of its Contractor members, which we will be using to drive the behaviour change required to reduce the significant GPG in construction. Companies with 250 employees or more have until Monday 4 April to report their Gender Pay Gap for 2021/22.

Self‐Isolation Changes

Build UK’s COVID‐19 flowchart has been updated following the lifting of the remaining coronavirus restrictions in England. Anyone who tests positive is now advised to stay at home, rather than it being a legal requirement, and is no longer required to tell their employer if they need to self‐isolate.

Right to Work Checks

Temporary changes to right to work checks introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic have been extended again and will now end on 30 September 2022. Employers can continue to undertake checks via video calls and use scanned copies rather than original documents until this date.

CITB Trustees

CITB is inviting applications for five trustee vacancies on its Board. Last year, Build UK members supported the continuation of the CITB Levy, with our Levy In ‐ Skills Out plan setting out how to improve the industry skills system to recruit, train and retain the talent the industry needs. Becoming a trustee offers an excellent opportunity to support these reforms, and the deadline for applications is this Friday 10 March.

Responding to Current Issues

We are continuing to monitor the impact of the war in Ukraine on construction, including the supply and cost of raw materials and products. With the UK Government increasing sanctions against Russia, members should be reviewing their operations to identify goods supplied from Russia, Russian companies that may no longer be able to trade with the UK, and Russian investment in current or future projects which could be affected.
 
Following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, the majority of Build UK Contractor members confirmed on our latest member call earlier this week that they are continuing to implement both the Site Operating Procedures and the Use of Face Coverings in Construction either in full or in part until the end of March. From 1 April, when the health and safety requirement to explicitly consider COVID‐19 in risk assessments is removed, over half of members intend to stop using the face coverings guidance but will maintain elements of the Site Operating Procedures. In line with the Government’s Working Safely during Coronavirus guidance which will be in place until 31 March, both the Site Operating Procedures and the Use of Face Coverings in Construction will remain available until this date.

Construction Activity Holds Steady

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 451 contracts worth £6.1 billion were awarded in February. Whilst the number of contracts increased again, the value dipped slightly, although it was consistent with the monthly average over the last year (£6.2 billion). 78% of all the contracts awarded by value were in the private sector. Overall, there were 152 housing projects worth £2.4 billion (39%), the largest of which was a £320 million project to build over 1,200 homes in Watford; 64 office projects totalling £684 million (11%); and 56 education projects worth £524 million (9%).
 
The number of tender opportunities was 9% lower than the previous month and 49% below the monthly average for the past year.

New CSCS Smart Check App

The new CSCS Smart Check app will be rolled out from next month, in line with the objective in the CLC Industry Card Schemes Recommendation for all card schemes carrying the CSCS logo to use Smart Technology. Build UK’s last SmartCard Audit highlighted the need for all cards to use the same technology, and for the first time cards across all 38 card schemes carrying the CSCS logo will be able to be quickly verified with the same app. Build UK has been supporting its members to check that everyone on site has the right qualifications and training for the job they do, and our How to be a Smart Site guide will be updated to reflect CSCS Smart Check. CSCS is also holding a series of free webinars on using the app.
 
All the latest skills news can be found in our Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Construction Innovation Hub

As part of the Construction Sector Deal published in 2018, the Government committed £170 million of funding, subsequently matched by £250 million from the industry, to support the ‘Transforming Construction: Manufacturing Better Buildings Programme’, which resulted in the Transforming Construction Challenge and the creation of the Construction Innovation Hub.

With ambitions including reducing whole‐life costs by a third, halving carbon emissions and doubling the speed of delivery, Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) have been tested and proved to be a more effective way of building, as the results of the programme show. The challenge now is to embed these new ways of working into future projects from procurement, through design, specification and manufacture, to delivery on site, and one of Build UK’s priorities is to implement the Construction Playbook across the public sector, which highlights the need for an increase in MMC.

Materials Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming that ‘price inflation, largely caused by a shortage of raw materials, rising energy, freight, and labour costs, is of greater concern than availability’, with energy‐intensive products increasing by as much as 20%. The war in Ukraine is also likely to have an impact, particularly on the supply of raw materials used in the manufacture of steel.

Collaborative Procurement

The Government has published guidance on collaborative procurement for design and construction to support building safety, with the aim of helping clients and the industry to implement procurement practices that will deliver safer buildings post Grenfell. Dame Judith Hackitt and other speakers will be formally launching the guidance at a free online event on Monday 28 March from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

NHP Pipeline

The New Hospital Programme (NHP), which is developing 48 hospitals by 2030, has published its first commercial pipeline to give suppliers visibility of current and future contract opportunities. It provides information on proposed projects up to 2024, including estimated contact value, start date, length and sourcing route.

Net Zero Champions

Kier Group is the latest Build UK member to become a Business Champion as part of the CLC’s CO2nstruct Zero programme to drive carbon out of the sector. Members can align their own business commitments to one or more of the nine CO2nstruct Zero priorities, and the next deadline to sign up is next Thursday 17 March.

Using the Common Assessment Standard

The data sharing solution for the Common Assessment Standard enables Contractors and Clients to access verified PQ data for their supply chains via their preferred Recognised Assessment Body, meaning they do not have to set up an arrangement with every Recognised Assessment Body. Build UK has produced an overview of data sharing which outlines what data is shared and the process for sharing data with different Recognised Assessment Bodies.
 
Build UK is hosting a meeting for Contractor and Client members interested in specifying the Common Assessment Standard on Thursday 21 April, and please email Build UK if you would like to attend and find out more about how data sharing works.
 
Details of all Build UK meetings and events, including our regular Forums and roundtables responding to specific issues, can be found in our schedule of meetings and events.

Last Updated: 03/03/2022

Common Assessment Standard Latest

Build UK is delighted to announce that CQMS is the fourth organisation to become a Recognised Assessment Body to certify companies against the Common Assessment Standard. With the data sharing solution enabling Contractors and Clients to obtain verified PQ data from any Recognised Assessment Body, companies can apply to the Recognised Assessment Body of their choice for certification: Achilles, CHAS, Constructionline and now CQMS. The Common Assessment Standard products offered by CQMS are known as Safety‐Scheme Premium (desktop) and Safety‐Scheme Elite (site‐based).

This month marks a year since we began rolling out the Common Assessment Standard across the industry, and our latest PQ update provides an overview of progress and how everyone in the industry can support it.

War in Ukraine

All sectors, including construction, are likely to be affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as factories in the Ukraine cease production and the UK Government imposes further sanctions on Russia. Members are advised to assess the potential economic impact, including increased energy prices and the supply of products and services that may be affected. Anyone employing Ukrainian or Russian nationals is also encouraged to check in with them to see if they need any support. This may be moral support or more practical advice, and the Government has published guidance for Ukrainian nationals in the UK, which includes temporary visa concessions.

Recruiting the Next Generation

With construction needing to recruit over 43,000 new entrants every year for the next five years to maintain output, Build UK has published the results of a snapshot survey of its Contractor members as a step towards understanding their role in the process. ‘Recruiting the Next Generation’ reveals that 89% of Contractor members offer apprenticeships, with 39% sponsoring undergraduates at university and 56% offering year out placements. 92% of Contractor members have vacancies at management level, whilst 72% are looking to recruit for trade occupations.

There are currently 40,000 young people on a construction‐related further education course, and Build UK is focussed on improving the journey from education into employment to support as many of them as possible into a job and subsequently a career in the industry.

Living with COVID‐19 Update
  • Following the lifting of the remaining coronavirus restrictions in England, Build UK has updated its COVID‐19 flowchart to reflect the latest Government guidance. Individuals who test positive are now advised to stay at home, rather than it being a legal requirement, and they are no longer required to tell their employer if they need to self‐isolate.
  • Following the end of routine contact tracing, the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme has ended. Individuals who were required to self‐isolate before 24 February can still submit an application for payment up to 42 days after their first day of self‐isolation until 6 April.
  • The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will close on 17 March, and employers with fewer than 250 employees can submit claims for up to two weeks of coronavirus‐related SSP until 24 March.
  • Face coverings are no longer mandatory on the London transport network but customers are still strongly recommended to wear them.
Cyber Security for Construction

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched Cyber Security for Construction Businesses to provide tailored guidance for the industry on how to protect its businesses and building projects from cyber attacks. Supported by Build UK member the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the guide is aimed at SMEs and split into two parts: the first aimed at business owners and managers to help them understand why cyber security is important and the second aimed at staff responsible for IT equipment and services on the actions to take to protect against common cyber threats, including spear‐phishing, ransomware and supply chain attacks.

Whilst NCSC is not aware of any specific cyber threats in light of the situation in Ukraine, it is calling on UK organisations to bolster their online defences to reduce the risk of falling victim to an attack.

CITB Trustees

CITB is inviting applications for five trustee vacancies on its Board. Last year, Build UK members supported the continuation of the CITB Levy, with our Levy In ‐ Skills Out plan setting out how to improve the industry skills system to recruit, train and retain talent. Becoming a trustee offers an excellent opportunity to support these reforms, and the deadline for applications is next Friday 10 March.

CLC Co‐Chair

Co‐Chair of the CLC Andy Mitchell has confirmed that he will be stepping down in the spring. Having held the role alongside the Construction Minister since 2019, Andy has guided the sector through the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and led industry change through initiatives such as CO2nstruct Zero. The CLC is inviting applications for the Co‐Chair role and the deadline is 31 March.

Get Ready for End of Red Diesel Rebate

There is now less than a month until the entitlement to use rebated red diesel is removed from most sectors, including construction. From 1 April 2022, it will be illegal to put red diesel into the tank of a vehicle or machine that is not entitled to use it, and businesses should be running down the fuel in their vehicles and machines and using up existing stocks.
 
To help members prepare for this significant change, Build UK has published a series of Frequently Asked Questions which cover the use of red diesel in construction and the transition to white diesel, including a handy checklist of the steps to take.

The Prime Minister has announced the Government’s Living with COVID‐19 plan, which will see the remaining coronavirus restrictions in England lifted from today (24 February). Emphasising the need to ‘begin to treat COVID‐19 as other infectious diseases such as flu’, the Government has confirmed the restrictions will be withdrawn as follows although the updated guidance has not yet been published:

Build UK is currently reviewing the CLC Site Operating Procedures and Use of Face Coverings in Construction, as well as the Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart, and will confirm and publish any updates required.

Different restrictions remain in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Building Safety Update

The Building Safety Bill is continuing its passage through Parliament and has now reached the committee stage in the House of Lords. This involves a detailed line‐by‐line review of the Bill and all suggested amendments, of which there are many, will need to be considered before it can progress to the report stage where it will be voted upon. Following a meeting earlier this month with members involved in the cladding remediation programme, Build UK has written to representatives of the House of Lords to highlight significant issues with the proposed amendment to the Bill which would retrospectively extend the limitation period for claims brought under the Defective Premises Act from 6 to 30 years.

All the latest building safety news can be found in Build UK’s Grenfell update.

Prime Minister’s Business Council

Build UK Vice Chair Julie White attended the first meeting of the Prime Minister’s new Business Council earlier this month. Invited to speak by the Prime Minister on behalf of the industry, Julie highlighted how construction was key to the levelling up agenda and she urged the Government to clearly commit to delivering the infrastructure projects set out in the Construction Procurement Pipeline. She also called for the Construction Playbook to be implemented by central and local Government to ensure projects are delivered ‘better, greener and faster’, and Build UK will be hosting a meeting next month with members that undertake public sector work to discuss how Build UK can support the rollout of the Playbook.

With the Education Secretary also in attendance at the meeting, Julie backed the call for an education and skills system that supports young people from education into employment, as well as the need for a review of the Apprenticeship Levy.

Infrastructure Revolution

Build UK’s factsheets series profiles a range of national and local infrastructure projects from HS2 to Full‐Fibre Broadband to help everyone in the industry explain what each project is and why it is needed. If you are working on projects that might be suitable to feature, please email Build UK.

Right to Work Checks

Temporary changes to right to work checks introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic have been extended again and will now end on 30 September 2022. Employers can continue to undertake checks via video calls and use scanned copies rather than original documents until this date.

Build UK Meetings & Events

Following the lifting of COVID‐19 restrictions, Build UK has confirmed a schedule of meetings and events until July. Building on the productive and useful dialogue established during the pandemic, we will be continuing with our regular Forums enabling members to hear from each other and share ideas, as well as hosting a series of roundtable meetings to respond to specific issues.

Our next Contractor and Trade Association Forums will take place on Tuesday 8 March, where we will discuss key priorities for 2022, the impact they will have on transforming construction and how members can support them. Members should have received a calendar invite with details of the relevant call and please accept it to confirm your attendance or email Build UK.

Last Updated: 22/02/2022

Government Gets Tough on Cladding Crisis

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has outlined a number of amendments to the Building Safety Bill designed to ensure that ‘the industry who caused the crisis will now pay to fix it instead of innocent leaseholders’. Gove is already in discussions with developers and manufacturers to develop a fully‐funded plan by early March for the remediation of unsafe cladding and is prepared to take action against those ‘not doing the right thing’. The measures include:

  • The ability for Government to block planning permission and building control sign‐off if developers do not contribute to funding
  • Cost Contribution Orders will be able to be placed on manufacturers who have been successfully prosecuted under construction products regulations, which will require them to pay towards a building’s remediation
  • Enabling building owners and landlords to take legal action against manufacturers who used defective products on a home that has since been found unfit for habitation. This power will retrospectively apply for up to 30 years and allow recovery where costs have been paid out.

Build UK held a meeting earlier this month with members involved in the cladding remediation programme to discuss the approach from Government, and they were extremely concerned about the proposal to retrospectively extend the limitation period for claims brought under the Defective Premises Act from 6 to 30 years. Build UK has written to representatives of the House of Lords, who have already submitted amendments to the Building Safety Bill, to highlight significant issues with updating the legislation in this way.

Building Safety Bill Progress
Parliament

The Building Safety Bill is continuing its passage through Parliament and has now reached the committee stage in the House of Lords. This involves a detailed line‐by‐line review of the Bill and all suggested amendments, of which there are many, will need to be considered before it can progress to the report stage where it will be voted upon. These include the measures proposed by Michael Gove to ensure the industry contributes towards the costs of remediation, and the Housing Committee has now received evidence in response to its inquiry into the effectiveness and impact of the measures.

The Bill is expected to achieve Royal Assent in May and the Government continues to update its series of factsheets to help stakeholders understand the new requirements, which include Dutyholders and Industry Competence. The HSE has also produced a factsheet detailing its approach to enforcement under the new regime.

Cladding Remediation Progress

The latest figures published by the Government show that, of the 481 high‐rise residential buildings identified to have unsafe ACM cladding:

  • Remediation work has been fully completed on 309 (64%)
  • Work has been completed and is awaiting Building Control sign off on a further 59 (12%)
  • Work has started on 81 (17%)
  • Of the remaining 32 (7%), 17 have a remediation plan in place, 14 are intending to remediate, and one does not have a clear plan for remediation.

The Building Safety Fund for the remediation of unsafe non‐ACM cladding systems received 2,826 registrations, 32% of which have now been invited to apply for funding, with 9% in the process of having their eligibility assessed.

FCA Insurance Inquiry

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is to conduct a review of the buildings insurance market following complaints from leaseholders over rising premiums for multiple‐occupancy residential buildings. It is expected to publish a report in July.

Housing Minister

Stuart Andrew MP has been appointed to the role of Minister for Housing, replacing Christopher Pincher MP, who had held the role since February 2020. His responsibilities include housing supply, planning and home ownership policy.

PI Insurance Guide

With businesses in the construction industry continuing to find it extremely difficult to secure Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance, Build UK has published a comprehensive guide which includes an overview of what PI insurance is, why it is needed, the current state of the market and how to obtain the best possible terms.

Fire Safety in Construction

The House of Commons Library has published a research briefing looking at who is responsible for covering the costs of fire safety work in high‐rise buildings. It outlines the Government’s latest position on building safety, issues with remediation funding and EWS1 forms, and progress of the Building Safety Bill.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Update

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry recently heard evidence from BRE and the National House Building Council (NHBC) on the testing and certification of cladding systems. It will shortly move on to examine the actions of central Government in the years prior to the Grenfell Tower fire. You can keep up to date with the Inquiry via the BBC Sounds podcast, which is recommended listening for everyone in construction.

Last Updated: 17/02/2022

Government Gets Tough on Cladding Crisis

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has outlined a number of amendments to the Building Safety Bill designed to ensure that ‘the industry who caused the crisis will now pay to fix it instead of innocent leaseholders’. Gove is already in discussions with developers and manufacturers to develop a fully‐funded plan by early March for the remediation of unsafe cladding and is prepared to take action against those ‘not doing the right thing’. The measures include:

  • The ability for Government to block planning permission and building control sign‐off if developers do not contribute to funding
  • Cost Contribution Orders will be able to be placed on manufacturers who have been successfully prosecuted under construction products regulations, which will require them to pay towards a building’s remediation
  • Enabling building owners and landlords to take legal action against manufacturers who used defective products on a home that has since been found unfit for habitation. This power will retrospectively apply for up to 30 years and allow recovery where costs have been paid out.

Build UK held a meeting last week with members involved in the cladding remediation programme to discuss the approach from Government, and they were extremely concerned about the proposal to retrospectively extend the limitation period for claims brought under the Defective Premises Act from 6 to 30 years. Build UK will be highlighting concerns with the practicalities of updating the legislation in this way.

Gender Pay Gap Report

As part of our work on Recruiting, Training and Retaining Talent, Build UK has collated information on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) of its Contractor members. The report reveals a significant GPG ‐ the difference between the average earnings of men and women across a workforce ‐ with women paid on average 73p for every £1 men were paid between 2017 and 2021. The biggest effect on the GPG is the low number of women employed in the industry, representing on average 33.3% of employees in the lowest pay quartile, compared to just 10.0% in the highest pay quartile, over the four‐year period. Closing the GPG will take time and Build UK will be using this information to drive the required behaviour change.

Companies with 250 employees or more have until 4 April to report their Gender Pay Gap for 2021/22, and the Government has produced guidance confirming what data must be submitted.

Common Assessment Standard Update

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has become the third Build UK Trade Association member to accept the Common Assessment Standard as part of its audit scheme. IPAF members certified to the standard will now be exempt from completing certain sections of the IPAF Rental+ audit, further reducing duplication for the supply chain. IPAF joins a growing list of organisations using the Common Assessment Standard, and members of the supply chain can obtain certification from any one of three Recognised Assessment Bodies ‐ Achilles, CHAS or Constructionline.

The Common Assessment Standard is reviewed every year to ensure that it continues to meet the pre‐qualification requirements of the industry, and Version 3.0 will be published on 31 March.

Changes to Right to Work Checks

Temporary changes to right to work checks introduced in response to COVID‐19 will end on 5 April. Employers can currently undertake checks via video calls and use scanned copies rather than original documents; however, from 6 April, the Home Office will introduce a new digital solution and guidance will be issued ahead of this date. Employers who conducted right to work checks remotely before 6 April will not need to carry out retrospective checks

Accident Survey

Build UK has published its latest accident survey report for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 which shows that Build UK Contractor members have lower incidence rates than the wider industry for fatal, specified and over‐7‐day accidents reportable under RIDDOR.

Statutory Sick Pay

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees can use the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to recover COVID‐19‐related SSP paid since 21 December 2021. They can claim online for up to two weeks of sick pay for current and former employees on any type of employment contract.

PPE Regulations

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations will be amended from 6 April to require employers to provide so called limb (b) workers with the same PPE as employees. Those who have self‐employed status are not included and the HSE has published interim guidance to help employers prepare.

Celebrating Apprentices

National Apprenticeship Week was a fantastic celebration and thanks to all our members who shared stories of their apprentices. Please continue to register your apprenticeship and other new entrant opportunities on Talentview Construction to make it easier for young people to join our industry.

Government Payment Requirements Strengthened

From 1 April, the prompt payment threshold is going to be increased for suppliers bidding for Government contracts above £5 million per annum. In accordance with updated Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 08/21, suppliers will be required to show that they pay 90% of invoices within 60 days and have an action plan in place to achieve the required standard of 95% in future, otherwise they risk being prevented from bidding.

On average, Build UK Contractor members now pay 95% of their invoices within 60 days, and our payment performance table shows the percentage of invoices paid within 60 days for more than 100 of the industry’s largest companies. The latest results published last month show that payment performance continues to improve with over half of our Contractor members now paying in an average of 30 days or less.

Last Updated: 10/02/2022

Levelling Up White Paper Published

The Government has released its Levelling Up White Paper setting out how it intends to give everyone the chance to flourish by ‘ending the geographical inequality… of the UK’ and ‘improving economic dynamism and innovation to drive growth across the whole country’. With the aim of providing clarity and consistency over its levelling up objectives, the document details 12 medium term ‘missions’ to be achieved by 2030 which include:

  • The number of people successfully completing high‐quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK
  • Local public transport connectivity across the country will be significantly closer to the standards of London
  • The number of non‐decent rented homes will have fallen by 50%, with the biggest improvements in the lowest performing areas
  • The UK will have nationwide gigabit‐capable broadband and 4G coverage, with 5G coverage for the majority of the population.

The levelling up agenda offers huge opportunities for the construction sector and all central Government policies will be aligned to it, with extra resources delivered to local areas and devolution extended in England. The Government will now engage with a wide range of stakeholders for their views and set out further detail on the policy commitments in due course.

It’s National Apprenticeship Week!

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 is now well underway and this year’s theme ‘Build the Future’ is focussed on helping individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career. It is not too late to get involved and there are a number of simple things you can do:

  • Celebrate your apprentices ‐ Put your apprentices front and centre of your business and on social media using the hashtag #NAW2022
  • Use your Apprenticeship Levy ‐ Make sure you are using your Apprenticeship Levy or pledging it to other employers in your supply chain via the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer to help them deliver their apprenticeships
  • Promote your apprenticeship vacancies ‐ Ensure all your apprenticeship opportunities are registered on Talentview Construction to make it easier for young people to join our industry. All apprenticeship vacancies registered via the Government’s Recruit an Apprentice service are automatically registered on Talentview.

All the other latest skills news can be found in the Build UK Recruit, Train and Retain update.

Construction Activity Recovers

The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that 424 contracts worth £6.3 billion were awarded in January. In encouraging signs for the industry, the number of contracts increased by a third after reaching a four‐year low in December and the value of contracts rose to its highest level since September. 68% of all the contracts awarded by value were in the private sector. There were 130 housing projects worth £2.5 billion (40%), the largest of which was a £700 million project to build nearly 3,000 homes across five sites in Suffolk; five energy projects totalling £466 million (7%); and 50 education projects worth £436 million (6%).

The number of tender opportunities was 5% higher than the previous month but still 52% below the monthly average for the past year.

Royal Charter Award

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol has been awarded the Royal Charter Award for Excellence in Construction by the Worshipful Company of Constructors in recognition of the ‘significant leadership role’ played by Build UK during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Suzannah was praised for the ‘rapid and effective actions’ taken by Build UK which had ‘a dramatic impact on mitigating the reduction in the construction sector outturn in 2020’. The award also recognised the collaboration of members, and Build UK’s ‘Year in Review 2021’ showcases how sharing knowledge and best practice kept projects open, teams working safely and the industry moving forward over the last 12 months.

UK Infrastructure Bank

The Government‐owned UK Infrastructure Bank, launched in June 2021 with £22 billion to invest in infrastructure across the UK, has published a discussion paper seeking feedback on where it could potentially invest up to £8 billion in private sector opportunities. The deadline for responses is Friday 25 February.

Safety Steps for WAH

The Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) has published ‘Safety Steps’, a series of six guides providing information on safe work at height. Designed to help all duty‐holders ‐ designers, clients, managers, supervisors and operatives ‐ they can be used in a range of ways to plan any work at height activities.

CLC Plan for 2022

The CLC has published its Annual Review & Plan for 2022, which looks back on what it has achieved over the last 12 months and sets out the following key priorities for the coming year:

  • Net zero carbon ‐ delivering progress against the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero
  • Building safety ‐ driving the implementation of competency frameworks to prepare for the introduction of the Building Safety Bill
  • Meeting the skills challenge ‐ progressing the targets of the Industry Skills Plan, with a focus on returning apprenticeship numbers to pre‐COVID-19 levels
  • Implementing the Construction Playbook ‐ raising awareness of the key policies of the Construction Playbook among clients and suppliers.

With cross‐sector collaboration key to the progress that has been made, Build UK will continue to bring members together to drive change across the industry in 2022.

Last Updated: 08/02/2022

It’s National Apprenticeship Week ‐ Get Involved!

Today is the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2022! With the theme ‘Build the Future’, it is focussed on helping individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career. Build UK is encouraging all members to get involved and there are a number of simple things you can do:

  • Celebrate your apprentices ‐ Put your apprentices front and centre of your business and on social media using the hashtag #NAW2022
  • Use your Apprenticeship Levy ‐ Make sure you are using your Apprenticeship Levy or pledging it to other employers in your supply chain via the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer to help them deliver their apprenticeships
  • Promote your apprenticeship vacancies ‐ Ensure all your apprenticeship opportunities are registered on Talentview Construction to make it easier for young people to join our industry. All apprenticeship vacancies registered via the Government’s Recruit an Apprentice service are automatically registered on Talentview.

Remember to tag Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn as we can help to share your success and showcase the positive impact that apprenticeships have within construction.

CSCS Update

In response to the CLC Industry Card Schemes Recommendation, which requires all card schemes carrying the CSCS logo to use Smart Technology, a new CSCS Smart Check app will be rolled out from April 2022. Build UK’s last SmartCard Audit highlighted the need for all cards to be able to be checked using the same technology to make it easier for employers and sites to check the qualifications and training of their operatives. Build UK has been encouraging its members to prepare for this major step forward in checking the competence of the workforce with its How to be a Smart Site guide.

CSCS has also confirmed that card schemes carrying the CSCS logo will stop renewing cards obtained via Industry Accreditation or ‘Grandfather Rights’. From 30 June 2024, all individuals will require a recognised qualification to obtain a card, and employers should identify which of their workers will need to complete an appropriate qualification ahead of the deadline.

PPE Regulations Extended

Following a consultation last year, the HSE has confirmed that the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations will be amended to ensure that agency and temporary workers ‐ so‐called limb (b) workers ‐ are provided with the same PPE protections as employees. From 6 April 2022, organisations will have to provide all workers with the correct PPE necessary for health and safety free of charge, as well as maintain and replace it as necessary. To help organisations prepare for this significant change, HSE has published interim guidance and they should confirm the number of limb (b) workers they have and ensure they have sufficient PPE

Get Boosted Now

As part of its campaign encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against COVID‐19, the Government has published a free employer toolkit containing a range of resources, which can be used to increase awareness within the workplace and provide workers with access to reliable and accurate information on vaccines. With more construction workers needing to get their booster, employers are being asked to be as flexible as possible, which could include giving paid time off work to attend vaccination appointments.

Build UK partner Citation has also produced guidance for employers who may be considering implementing a vaccination policy, and a recent Citation webinar provided further information on vaccination and testing of employees.

School Reforms

A recent report by the Times Education Commission found that 44% of employers believe young people are not ‘work ready’ and that reforming schools would boost the economy by £125 billion. The report highlights the need for future generations to be flexible and inquisitive, as they are likely to have to retrain multiple times over the course of their careers.

Apprenticeship Awards

Entries are now open for the Government’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers and Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers awards, which celebrate the organisations that have done the most to provide successful apprenticeships over the last 12 months. Nominations should be submitted online and rankings will be announced this summer.

CIJC Holiday Dates 2022

The Construction Industry Joint Council (CIJC) has published the Holiday Entitlement 2022 confirming the public/bank holidays that apply under the Working Rule Agreement. There will be an additional paid bank holiday on 3 June to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Statutory Sick Pay

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees can use the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to recover COVID‐19‐related SSP paid since 21 December 2021. They can claim online for up to two weeks of sick pay for current and former employees on any type of employment contract.

Go Construct STEM Ambassadors

STEM Ambassadors is a great way for the industry to get into schools and inspire the next generation to join construction by showcasing the fantastic range of careers we have to offer. We are encouraging all Build UK members to support Go Construct STEM Ambassadors and businesses can register by email and individuals can sign up by selecting ‘Go Construct STEM Ambassador’. If you are already a STEM Ambassador you can update your profile in the ‘About Me’ section to show you are a Go Construct STEM Ambassador.

Being part of STEM Ambassadors enables the industry to offer a joined‐up approach and reach as many schools as possible, and Go Construct STEM Ambassadors have access to a range of industry‐specific resources and activities for school presentations, careers talks and mentoring.

Last Updated: 03/02/2022

Members Continue to Improve Payment Terms

More than half of Build UK Contractor members now pay in an average of 30 days or less, according to the latest results published under the Duty to Report Regulations. Despite the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID‐19 pandemic, payment performance has improved again over the last six months, underlining how the increased transparency provided by the Build UK table is transforming the industry culture around payment. Contractor members are now reporting an average of 32 days to pay invoices, down from 34 days last July and 45 days when Build UK first published the information in July 2018. On average, they now pay 95% of invoices within 60 days, up from 82% three years ago, and 82% of their invoices are paid within terms, compared to just 61% in 2018.

Build UK has responded to a call for evidence looking at the extent to which the objectives of the Duty to Report Regulations have been achieved. The Build UK response highlights how the data provided by the Regulations has provided a consistent means of comparing payment performance which has helped to drive culture change across the sector.

All the latest business news can be found in the Build UK Improving Business Performance update.

COVID‐19 Latest

With face coverings no longer mandatory in any setting in England, Build UK has updated the CLC Use of Face Coverings in Construction to reflect the latest Government position. Where workers on site are not required to wear RPE and their workplace is crowded and enclosed and they come into contact with others they do not normally meet, their employer should make face coverings available and they should be worn. Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed they remain a condition of travel on its services.

As part of the Government’s booster campaign, construction workers are being urged to get their third COVID‐19 vaccination. The Government has published a free employer toolkit to help raise awareness amongst workers, and employers are being asked to be as flexible as possible when it comes to workers getting their jabs. Build UK partner Citation has also produced guidance for employers who may be considering implementing a vaccination policy.

Building Safety Update

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has met with 20 of the largest housebuilders to discuss a plan for funding the remediation of unsafe cladding. He has also sent a letter to the Construction Products Association (CPA) demanding a similar funding commitment from the manufacturing sector by early March. The CPA has published its reply to Gove which will be of particular interest to Contractor members. Build UK will be hosting a meeting with members involved in the remediation programme next week to consider the implications of the Government’s approach.

The latest figures published by Government show that 73% of the 481 high‐rise residential buildings identified to have unsafe ACM cladding have now been completed or are awaiting Building Control sign off. The Building Safety Fund for the remediation of unsafe non‐ACM cladding systems received 2,825 registrations, 28% of which have now been invited to apply for funding.

CO2nstruct Zero Business Champions

Carey Group is the latest Build UK member to become a Business Champion as part of the CLC’s CO2nstruct Zero programme, which is bringing the whole supply chain together to drive carbon out of the sector. Business Champions can align their business commitments to one or more of the nine priorities within CO2nstruct Zero to demonstrate how they are responding to the net zero challenge. Build UK members can sign up at any time and the next round of Business Champions is expected to be announced at the end of this month.

PM’s Business Council

Julie White, Build UK Vice Chair and Managing Director of D‐Drill, has been appointed to the new Prime Minister’s Business Council, which will bring business leaders together with Government to advise on the delivery of its economic priorities and help businesses invest and create jobs

New Build UK Director

Congratulations to Paul Brown, Chief Executive of John Sisk & Son, who has been appointed as a Contractor Director on the Build UK Board. He joined his first Board meeting last week which was chaired by new Chair Paul Cossell. Full details of the Board can be found on the Build UK website.

Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 will run from next Monday 7 ‐ Sunday 13 February and Build UK is encouraging all members to get involved. The easiest thing you can do is put your apprentices front and centre of your business and on social media using the hashtag #NAW2022 and tagging Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Highway Code Updated

The Highway Code which applies to all road users, including pedestrians, in Great Britain has been updated. Key changes include establishing a ‘hierarchy of road users’, clarifying pedestrians have priority when crossing junctions, updated guidance on overtaking and a new technique for leaving vehicles.

Get Ready for UKCA Marking

Businesses may only sell CE marked products within Great Britain until the end of this year. From 1 January 2023, products will be required to carry the UKCA mark if they are to be sold in England, Scotland and Wales. Build UK has produced a simple guide to product marking, published by the CLC, which shows which product marks are accepted where. Members should be preparing for the new system now, as it can take time to ensure and demonstrate compliance. Different rules will apply in Northern Ireland.

Last Updated: 31/01/2022

Members Continue to Improve Payment Terms

Half of Build UK Contractor members now pay in an average of 30 days or less, according to the latest results published under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance. Despite the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID‐19 pandemic, payment performance has improved again over the last six months, underlining how the increased transparency provided by the Build UK table is transforming the industry culture around payment. Contractor members are now reporting an average of 32 days to pay invoices, down from 34 days last July and 45 days when Build UK first published the information in July 2018. On average, they now pay 95% of invoices within 60 days, up from 82% three years ago, and 82% of their invoices are paid within terms, compared to just 61% in 2018.

Build UK’s table features more than 100 of the industry’s largest companies, including contractors, clients and housebuilders, to provide a comprehensive picture of payment practices across the construction industry.

Framework ‘Gold Standard’ Published

The Cabinet Office has published the independent review of public sector frameworks undertaken by Professor David Mosey, which sets out 24 recommendations for a new ‘Gold Standard’ designed to ‘improve the outcomes delivered by framework strategies procurement, contracting and management and to avoid the pitfalls of bureaucratic and inconsistent practices’. By helping clients and suppliers to create and implement Gold Standard action plans under current frameworks, it is hoped that Government and industry can achieve the objectives of the Construction Playbook to deliver projects ‘faster, better and greener’.

Recommendation 20 within the review promotes the use of the Common Assessment Standard, which we will be using to support the rollout of the new PQ system across the industry with more Clients and Contractors.

Brexit Update

The CLC Product Availability Group has issued its latest statement, confirming that ‘there are relatively good stocks and availability of many products, including timber where prices have also fallen from their peak’. However, supply challenges continue to affect bricks and blocks, roof tiles, steel lintels, and coatings and paints, and Build UK’s guidance on Your Contracts Post‐Brexit provides advice on dealing with delays, fluctuations and sourcing materials.

As employers continue to get to grips with the Points‐Based Immigration System following its introduction last year, Build UK has published a flowchart providing an overview of the process of employing a foreign worker, along with detailed guidance on How to Get a Sponsor Licence and How to Apply for a Skilled Worker Visa.

Businesses may only sell CE marked products within Great Britain until the end of this year. From 1 January 2023, products will be required to carry the UKCA mark if they are to be sold in England, Scotland and Wales. Build UK has produced a simple guide to product marking, which is published by the CLC, to help companies during the transition.

COVID‐19 & Contracts

With COVID‐19 still having an impact on projects across the UK, Build UK has updated its guidance on Managing COVID‐19 within Contracts. It offers practical advice on dealing with the effects of COVID‐19 within existing and future contracts in a collaborative, fair and cost‐effective manner

Retentions Update

At the end of last year, the House of Lords debated how the Government could support the implementation of the Build UK Roadmap to Zero Retentions. The Government confirmed it favoured an approach taken forward by the CLC and we will be raising this issue with the Task Force in due course.

Help to Grow: Digital

The Government’s Help to Grow: Digital scheme is now open for applications. Eligible SMEs can receive discounts of up to £5,000 on approved digital accounting and CRM software from leading technology suppliers, as well as free online support on the use of digital technology.

Statutory Sick Pay

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees can use the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to recover COVID‐19‐related SSP paid since 21 December 2021. They can claim online for up to two weeks of sick pay for current and former employees on any type of employment contract.

End of Red Diesel Rebate

There are now just two months until the entitlement to use rebated red diesel is removed from most sectors, including construction. From 1 April 2022, it will be illegal to put red diesel into the tank of a vehicle or machine that is not entitled to use it, and businesses should be running down the fuel in their vehicles and machines and using up existing stocks.

To help members prepare for this significant change, Build UK has published a series of Frequently Asked Questions which cover the use of red diesel in construction and the transition to white diesel, including a handy checklist of the steps to take.

Updated: 27/01/2022

COVID‐19 ‘Plan B’ Restrictions End

All COVID‐19 ‘Plan B’ restrictions in England have now been lifted. This means that face coverings are no longer mandatory in any setting, although people are still advised to wear them in crowded and enclosed spaces where they come into contact with others they do not normally meet. They also remain a condition of travel on Transport for London (TfL) services. Build UK has made two minor revisions to the CLC Site Operating Procedures ‐ Version 9.1 to provide the most up to date guidance for sites and will review the Use of Face Coverings in Construction once the relevant Government guidance has been updated.

The legal requirement to self‐isolate after testing positive for COVID‐19 remains in place, and the Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart reflects the latest rules on self‐isolation.

Restrictions are also being eased in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, although face coverings remain mandatory in certain settings in all three nations

Changes to Cyber Essentials

The National Cyber Security Centre (NSCS) has updated its Cyber Essentials scheme, the Government‐backed certification scheme that helps companies of all sizes to protect themselves against common cyber threats. NSCS has produced Frequently Asked Questions on the changes, which cover the use of cloud services, home working, password management and security updates, and will be publishing construction‐specific guidance by the end of February. Companies can also use the free Cyber Essentials Readiness Tool to help prepare for the certification process.

Cyber Essentials is increasingly becoming a requirement for companies working on Government contracts, and the updated version of the Common Assessment Standard, due to be published on 31 March 2022, will include new questions on Cyber Essentials and other information security topics, with companies that hold Cyber Essentials exempt from answering the associated questions.

CSCS Update

In response to the CLC Industry Card Schemes Recommendation, which requires all card schemes carrying the CSCS logo to use Smart Technology, a new CSCS Smart Check app will be rolled out from April 2022. Build UK