Payment Bill receives industry-wide support
More than 60 trade bodies have come together to support the Aldous Bill in the wake of Carillion.
The Bill, spearheaded by Peter Aldous MP, aims to reform damaging payment practices and abuse in the construction industry.
A total of 64 construction and maintenance trade bodies are now backing the Bill, which proposes that cash retentions owed to the supply chain be held in trust.
It is the largest industry coalition ever formed on the issue of late and unfair payment, amid growing support and industry appetite for reform. There is also growing political support from MPs and Lords.
Support for the BIll comes from a broad cross section of the supply chain, including electrical, plumbing, heating, interiors, housebuilding, roofing, scaffolding and demolition. Major trade bodies in support include the Federation of Master Builders and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Aldous said: “This coalition of support shows the urgent need for reform and unity of industry following Carillion. Support covers so much of the industry that we now have a golden opportunity to change construction for the better.
“I hope government gets behind industry and this Bill. We need action to protect SMEs before more millions are lost, and this Bill is about ensuring people’s money is safe so businesses can grow and invest in their future.”
Awareness of the Bill and support for Aldous are being coordinated by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and electrotechnical and engineering services body ECA.
The Bill seeks to ensure payment retentions are protected in special ring-fenced deposit schemes, to minimise damage to the supply chain in the event of insolvencies.
ECA director of Business Paul Reeve said: “Quite simply, the time for major change to retentions is now. Putting retentions in trust would help to protect the supply chain from future upstream insolvency, and it would reduce the amount held in retentions when buyers see that they can no longer use suppliers’ cash to support their own business model.”
Alexi Ozioro, public affairs & policy manager at BESA, said: “Levels of support for the Bill are very encouraging, and this is a real opportunity for government to show it can respond to urgent developments and legislate on more than just Brexit.
“It will take months, maybe years to feel the full effect of Carillion, and what this Bill will do is make sure thousands of people can enjoy a more secure future.”
The second reading of the Bill is 27 April.