We are pleased to announce that Venian Recruitment are now REC members. This reflects our commitment to operating to the highest standards under the REC Code of Professional Conduct.
A new private members bill is being launched in the House of Lords today in the latest bid to toughen-up late payment legislation. The bill proposed by Labour peer Lord Mendelsohn contains a statutory limit of 30 days for paying bills. It also outlaws unfair payment practices like subcontractors having to pay fees to get on main contractors’ preferred lists of suppliers and payment of fees to get paid earlier under supply chain finance schemes. The bill also mandates the use of project bank accounts for public sector works over £500,000 allows small construction firms to refer payment disputes to the Small Business Commissioner rather than go through adjudication. Lord Mendelsohn said: “Late payment is crippling small businesses while the UK economy is crying out for investment. “By failing to tackle late payment we are starving our small businesses of the capacity to act. The recent huge escalation in outstanding payments shows that decades of promoting ‘culture change’ has only made things worse. “This Bill will tackle the issue once and for all with a package of measures that is operable, impactful and measurable.” Professor Rudi Klein, SEC Group’s CEO, said: “The construction industry is in the midst of an insolvency crisis with 2019 insolvencies likely to overtake by a wide margin the figure of 3,013 insolvencies in 2018. “The Government’s manifesto for the recent election made clear that it..
The government has launched a review of freelance tax rule changes due to come into force in April. Looming changes to IR35 rules are causing widespread concern in construction. HMRC rules are due to change from April 6 making contractors liable for determining the tax status of off-payroll professionals. Major contractors have been auditing freelancers employed via personal service companies as thousands of professionals are braced for a move back to PAYE. The government is now calling for evidence from affected individuals and businesses to ensure “smooth implementation of the reforms.” Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said: “We recognise that concerns have been raised about the forthcoming reforms to the off-payroll working rules. “The purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible.” Current rules allow workers to be employed via a personal service company (PSC) which determines whether IR35 tax rules should apply. That responsibility is due to shift from April to contractors who will determine employment status. Freelance workers fear they will lose out through higher tax payments while contractors will also face bigger bills from direct employment. The government is also reviewing its Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool which has attracted widespread criticism.
Experienced plant operators will need to pass a ‘Competence Interview’ to keep their skills cards earned under Grandfather Rights. The new initiative means up to 50,000 operators will not have to sit formal qualifications to keep their Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) blue cards. Operators will have to pay up to £160 to undertake a competence interview – which is much lower than the cost of taking vocational qualifications. The interview initiative has been launched by training body NOCN who own the CPCS. It follows an industry-wide drive by the Construction Leadership Council to ensure all skills cards are backed-up by relevant qualifications by 2024 and carry the Construction Skills Certification Scheme logo. Graham Hasting-Evans, Managing Director of NOCN Group said: “The CLC’s objective is to drive industry improvement and its requirement that every blue cardholder must have a nationally recognised qualification to match the categories on their card at VQ Level 2 is behind this withdrawal of cards issued through Grandfather Rights. “As the leading Construction NVQ Awarding Organisation, we are able to quality assure this Competence Interview to the same level of as that expected of a Regulated Qualification, allowing operators to continue to work on-site with a renewal deadline of 2024.” Passing the Competence Interview will allow existing blue card holders to continue working on-site from 2025 without the need to either switch to a red ‘Trained Operator’..
CODE Co-Living has submitted plans for three building elements: one of 12 storeys, a second of 16 storeys, and the tallest reaching 36 storeys. At almost 117m tall, the main tower would be 16m taller than Sheffield’s current title holder and edge above a 114m tall student scheme currently under construction in Leeds – which is set to be the county’s tallest. The co-living development will provide 1,370 private studio flats for rent, available for both students and non-students. Substantial communal spaces are also incorporated, including dining and café facilities, a 50-piece gymnasium, cinema room, private study spaces and a large first floor south-facing outdoor roof terrace. The building will be operated on a build-to-rent basis, owned and operated by the developer. Nearly 140 flats will be affordable rent for non-students – more than the number of affordable homes delivered across the entire city last year. It will be located on a prominent site to the side of the Vita building, just off Charter Row and close to The Light Cinema complex. Jamie Lewis of CODE, said: “We have been looking for a site in Sheffield for several years. From the outside, it is clear that the city is going places with Heart of the City II and developments on The Moor transforming the city centre. We want to be a part of this.” He added: “We have worked hard..
Construction safety test centre workers have been caught giving answers to candidates for cash. The cheating ring was exposed during counter-fraud raids by CITB, police and the Home Office. Three men involved in the delivery of CITB tests were arrested for Fraud Act offences while seven construction workers were detained on suspicion of working in Britain illegally. Staff at safety test centres in Cheshire, Essex and London were found giving the answers to candidates, some of whom are believed to be working in the country illegally. At the Cheshire centre a staff member admitted helping candidates choose correct answers, while a considerable amount of cash was found without a plausible explanation. In Essex, staff members admitted being supplied with a large number of candidates, many of whom the administrators were paid to give the right answers to during the test. Candidates admitted paying up to £500 to take the £21 HS&E test. Six candidates were suspected of being in the country illegally and were detained, while the centre was suspended from carrying out further tests. In London, the Metropolitan Police arrested a man suspected of facilitating corrupt tests for other candidates. A quantity of fake documentation and card making equipment was seized from a number of locations. The man has been released under investigation pending further enquiries. CITB will now review just over 2,500 tests conducted by these centres in..
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston has unveiled plans to create a £250m digital city in the city’s Boho district. The plans include building the highest office and residential towers for 30 miles as part of an initial £45m phase of the project that will transform Teesside’s skyline. Digital city plan for Middlesbrough with one office and two residential towers and a 750-seat indoor amphitheatre Construction of the first phase, which will include three 20 storey-towers, will start next summer and create up to 400 construction jobs. It will see the creation of a digital campus, a 750-seat indoor amphitheatre beneath a glass atrium and a 400-seat outdoor amphitheatre to host events such as lectures, cultural events and entertainment. Mayor Preston said: “For the next few years my obsession, my mission, my purpose on this planet is to get Middlesbrough on track as the digital city for the UK. “This is a £45m first step of a quarter of a billion pounds scheme that will propel Middlesbrough on a journey to become the UK’s digital capital – bringing investment, jobs and prosperity to the town. “This isn’t another pipe dream that might happen in two, four or ten years’ time. This is happening now. “We have the money and investors in place. Planning consent will be sought within weeks and construction will start next summer.” The £30m office element is being joint..
Latest figures collected by the Joint Industry Board on behalf of trade body ECA and Unite the Union show the rate of RIDDOR-reportable accidents fell once again last year to 164 per 100,000 employees. No fatalities were reported during 2018 and the rate of major accidents was also lower than in 2017 at just over 52/100,000. The main causes of injury were falls, slips and trips and there was one reportable injury due to electric shock. Steve Brawley, Chief Executive of the JIB said: It's very encouraging to report that the rate of reportable accidents in our industry continues to fall, and it means that the rate of these accidents is now, remarkably, only slightly more than 10% of what it was in 2001, the year we started to collect data. The 2018 figures mean that the accident rate has fallen nearly 90% since 2001, which is a great achievement. In fact, the number of RIDDOR-reportable “ in a sample of over 13,500 operatives “ is now so low that in 2019 we will be asking companies for additional details of any â€˜over one day accidents. While these accidents are not RIDDOR-reportable, this will give us more data to work with in future.
Thousands of construction companies are facing a 20% drop in cash flow when VAT changes come into force in October. Government experts believe 150,000 firms could be hit by the reverse charge. The changes mean companies in the construction supply chain will no longer receive their 20% VAT payment when they submit bills, the VAT cash will instead be paid direct to HMRC by the customer receiving the service who will reclaim it in the normal way. One worried specialist with a Â£50m turnover told the reporters: We've estimated that for us as a tier two contractor this will have a negative impact on cash of £2.3m. If you are already running at the limit of lending and can't get more money from your bank and HMRC just plough on as they usually do you could be screwed. Tier twos are already net providers of free credit to Tier one contractors and now we won't be getting that VAT cash in from Tier ones. HMRC has introduced the change to combat missing trader fraud where companies charge and collect VAT payments then disappear owing the tax man. Payroll companies were braced to be hit hard by the changes but they have now been granted an exemption. HMRC said: Employment businesses who supply staff and who are responsible for paying the temporary workers they supply, are not subject to the reverse charge.
A revolving door of senior managers is being blamed for causing financial problems at major construction companies. Industry experts believe the merry-go-round of senior staff is often the root cause of contract problems. One senior figure told reporters: definitely a pattern we are seeing more and more of. You get these people who come in to roles like regional directors who then start chasing work to make their division look healthy to the main board. Experienced staff below them will have their reservations but no-one can really stop the new person in charge. The directors are often incentivised with bonuses for winning new work so the order books fill up with jobs which aren't purely focused on the bottom line. The nature of construction is that those schemes take years to work through and often by that time the directors have moved on to another company. They often leave behind a pile of problems but just walk into a new job. It's a bit like being a football manager. Once that's on your CV you always seem to get a new job no matter how poor your track record is. Obviously it's not the only issue causing problems in construction but it's a real factor and something which will continue to be a problem until a new generation of talent comes through. We've hired supposedly big names from major..
Officials from the Cabinet Office have written to firms to remind them of the new rules on prompt payment, which come into force this autumn. Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, said: “Prompt payment is critical for all companies helping to deliver public services, particularly small businesses which are the backbone of our economy. “That’s why, from September, if government contractors are late with supplier payments, they could be prevented from winning public contracts until they clean up their act.” Under the new rules, suppliers who bid for government contracts above £5m per annum, who cannot show they are paying 95% of invoices within 60 days, risk being prevented from securing government contracts. The new measures follow further moves to level the playing field for small businesses, including an ambition to pay 90% of the government’s undisputed invoices from SMEs within five days. Suppliers that are not being paid on time are also able to raise complaints and concerns directly to the government through the Public Procurement Review Service.
Venian Recruitment are very pleased to announce the signing of Garry Schofield to the Venian Recruitment Team. Garry Joins as Business Development Executive with the remit to develop new accounts and assist with the management of existing relationships. Welcome Garry!!
The government could bar main contractors from winning public work if they fail to pay their supply chain on time. New rules will come into force next Autumn to ensure the government only does business with companies who pay their suppliers promptly. Cabinet Office Minister, Oliver Dowden said: “Companies providing crucial services to the public sector ,like delivering road infrastructure projects, must be paid on time. “Paying invoices promptly is vital in providing healthy cash flow, particularly for smaller businesses who are the backbone of the UK economy, to help them survive and thrive. “From next year, if government contractors are late with supplier payments, they could stop winning public contracts altogether – until they clean up their act.”
UK construction output is expected to bounce back to 2.3% growth in 2019 after dipping by 0.6% this year. The growth hiatus this year ends the five-year run enjoyed by the industry, fed mainly by private sector home building and strong commercial and industrial activity. While forecast 2019 and 2020 growth will boost civils contractors and trade contractors working for house builders, commercial building contractors are expected to continue to feel the squeeze in both commercial and retail work opportunities. The latest forecast from economists at the Construction Products Association, revises 2018 output down from stagnation to contraction, due mainly to bad weather and the fall-out from Carillion. Forecasters predict growth will bounce back in 2019 and then expand by 1.9% in 2020. Strong house building activity outside London will drive up activity in this sector by 5% in 2018 and 2% in 2019. Infrastructure will also become a primary driver of growth for the whole industry, with output forecast to hit a historic high of £23.6bn by 2020, driven by large projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C. CPA summer 2018 forecast Construction output to fall by 0.6% in 2018 before growth of 2.3% in 2019 and 1.9% in 2020 Private housing starts to rise by 2.0% in 2018 and 2019 Commercial offices output to fall by 20.0% in 2018 and by 10.0% in 2019 Commercial retail output to..
Construction buyers have reported the strongest rise in construction activity since November 2017. The latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index for June registered 53.1 in June – up from 52.5 in April. The rise represents the sharpest increase in overall construction output since last November. New orders also rose at their fastest pace since May 2017. Residential and commercial work were the main drives as civil engineering continued to plod along. Tim Moore, Associate Directorat IHSMarkit and author of the IHSMarkit/CIPS Construction PMI said: “The latest increase in UK construction output marks three months of sustained recovery from the snow-related disruption seen back in March. “A solid contribution from house building helped to drive up overall construction activity in June, while a lack of new work to replace completed civil engineering projects continued to hold back growth. “Of the three main categories of construction work, commercial building was sandwiched in the middle of the performance table during June. “Survey respondents suggested that improved opportunities for industrial and distribution work were the main bright spots, which helpedto offset some of the slowdown in retail and office development. “Stretched supply chains and stronger input buying resulted in longer delivery times for construction materials during June. “At the same time, higher transportation costs and rising prices for steel-related inputs led to the fastest increase in cost burdens across the construction sector..
Construction T level students will not be “site ready” The Government must be realistic about the capabilities and work-readiness of students who have completed construction T Levels. That is the warning from the Federation of Master Builders after plans for the practical alternative to A Levels were confirmed this week. The first schools and colleges to teach the new technical qualifications will offer courses from 2020 with construction among the first subjects. FMB Chief Eexecutive Brian Berry said: “The idea that a student who has completed a T Level in bricklaying is able to call themselves a qualified bricklayer is not credible. “The Government must be realistic about how much can be achieved in two years of largely college-based learning. “Although T Levels include a three-month work placement, when the rest of the individual’s knowledge and skills are acquired in the classroom, in construction they will need more time onsite, post-T Level, before they can and should describe themselves as being qualified in that trade. “Small and medium-sized construction firms, which do the bulk of training in our industry, would rather view T Levels as a rich pool of talent through which to find apprentices.” Berry added: “More positively, the Government has listened to the concerns of the construction industry and stated its intention to make work placements as flexible as possible. “In construction, work placements are not popular or..
Permanent staff appointments increase at weakest pace for four months Key points: Softer rise in perm placements contrasts with steeper increase in temp billings Growth of demand for staff picks up for first time in nine months Steeper decline in overall candidate availability leads to sharper rises in paySummary:The IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs – published today – provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by recruitment consultancies. Permanent placements growth softens to four-month lowThe number of people placed into permanent job roles continued to rise markedly in April. That said, the pace of expansion was the softest seen in 2018 so far. In contrast, growth of temp billings picked up from March’s 13-month low.Candidate availability continues to fall markedlyCandidate availability for both permanent and temporary roles declined further at the start of the second quarter. Furthermore, the rates of reduction quickened to three- and five-month records, respectively.Demand for staff strengthensGrowth of overall job vacancies picked up to a three-month high in April. Permanent staff demand grew at a sharper pace compared to the previous month, while short-term staff vacancies expanded at a slightly softer (but still marked) pace. Pay growth gathers paceStarting salaries for permanent workers continued to rise sharply in April, with the rate of inflation picking up from March. Concurrently, rates of pay for contract/temporary staff..
Construction workloads in Yorkshire and the Humber remained resilient, despite bad weather and a pessimistic economic outlook, in the first quarter of 2018. According to the Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey from ROCS, in the first quarter of the year (Q1 2018), 25% more chartered surveyors in Yorkshire and Humber reported that their workloads had risen as opposed to fallen. While 63% of respondents noted bad weather conditions as a limiting factor, the ‘Beast from the East’ was not enough to slow the pace of growth. Looking at workloads across all subsectors; both new work and repair and maintenance activity rose steadily in the early months of 2018. Infrastructure saw the strongest rise in workloads with 24% more respondents seeing an increase in activity (up from 19% in Q4 2017) – the most positive reading since the beginning of 2017. In the public housing sector, 20% more contributors reported a rise in workloads (up from 18% in Q4 2017), whilst in the Private Housing sector activity also increased, with 39% of respondents seeing a rise in workloads (up from 37% in Q4 2017). However, in the private industrial sector, workloads dropped quite considerably, with 8% of respondents reporting a rise in work on such projects (down from 28% back in Q4 2017). Contributors also noted a fall in workloads in the private commercial sector, with 21% reporting an increase in..
Laing O’Rourke has recorded the lowest inequality in pay between men and women among Britain’s top 30 main contractors. The firm’s record on equal pay was revealed as thousands of employers with over 250 staff were forced to published their gender pay gap figures for the first time. The Government hopes this will help to shine a light on the barriers preventing women from reaching the top. Construction ranks as one of the worst industries for pay inequality with women paid 36% less than men on average. The first returns by leading main contractors reveals Laing O’Rourke is way ahead on pay equality with women on average paid just under 9% less than men. Companies had to file data based on a “snapshot” of their payroll taken on 5 April 2017. The discrepancy among major players is widened because fewer women are among the top earners in the industry. This appears to have impacted BAM Construct which recorded the highest pay gap and women accounting for 68% of the lowest quartile of earners in its workforce. The listing of the top 30 main contractors recently compiled is ranked by the median, which gives a good sense of where a company is overall, the mean figures will include the outliers with large salaries. Main contractor pay gap reports Hourly rate % lower than men % of women in pay quartile Mean..
The average salary in construction management has hit £81,609 according to the latest pay survey of UK property professionals by RICS. And that is topped-up by an average annual bonus of £22,252. Construction management was one of the best paid professions in the survey which covered 42 disciplines. Across all property professions base salaries grew on average by 12% to £58,633. Quantity surveyors earned an average of £56,212 with an annual bonus of £5,754. RICS qualified professionals are earning 21% more than their counterparts and 14.2% of those who received a pay rise in the last year did so through gaining professional qualifications. Barry Cullen, RICS Diversity & Inclusion Director said: “The latest results from this survey show the built environment continues to be an attractive sector to work in with professionals’ pay hitting highs not seen since the financial crisis. “As headcount is once again expected to increase in 2018, more employers are placing greater focus on attracting and retaining talent, with attractive pay and benefit packages. “However, organisations must embrace an offering beyond an attractive salary and benefits package if we are going to truly diversify the profession and meets the needs of our future. “In 2018, the gender pay gap still remains evident and whilst it is significantly less for those under 26, more still needs to be done.”
Construction apprentices will earn thousands of pounds more than many university graduates. Latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) quizzed small contractors on how much they pay tradespeople. The highest reported ammual salary for a London bricklayer was £90,0000. The average annual salaries were: Site managers earn £51,266 Plumbers earn £48,675 Supervisors earn £48,407 Electricians earn £47,265 Civil engineering operatives earn £44,253 Steel fixers earn £44,174 Roofers earn £42,303 Bricklayers earn £42,034 Carpenters and joiners earn £41,413 Plasterers earn £41,045 Scaffolders earn £40,942 Floorers earn £39,131 Plant operatives earn £38,409 Painters and decorators earn £34,587 General construction operatives earn £32,392 In comparison government figures show the UK’s university graduates earn the following average annual salaries: Pharmacists earn £42,252 Dental practitioners earn £40,268 Architects earn £38,228 Teachers earn £37,805 Chartered and certified accountants earn £37,748 Midwives earn £36,188 Veterinarians earn £36,446 Physiotherapists earn £32,065 Nurses earn £31,867 FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry said: “Money talks and when it comes to annual salaries, a career in construction trumps many university graduate roles. “The average university graduate in England earns £32,000 a year whereas our latest research shows that your average bricky or roofer is earning £42,000 a year across the UK. In London, a bricklayer is commanding wages of up to £90,000 a year. “Pursuing a career in construction is therefore becoming an increasingly savvy move. University students in..
The latest figures from the ONS indicate the construction sector in the UK declined by 0.7% between Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 2017. This followed a decline of 0.7% between Quarter 2 and Quarter 3. Two consecutive quarters of decline is defi ned as a technical recession, so this is the interpretation from these fi gures. However, it should be noted that in December 2017 the industry grew by 1.6% (see fi g. 2.1). The main reason for the quarterly decrease in output are falls in all types of repair and maintenance as well as private commercial work. Non housing repair and maintenance declined by 2.4% in the quarter while the corresponding private housing fi gure showed a decline of 1.7%. New work in the private commercial sector declined by 4.4% between Q3 and Q4. Over the same period output in the industrial sector fell by 3.1%. The one sector which continues to grow is new private residential. This sector increased by 5% in Q4 compared to Q3 2017. The challenge will be whether continued growth in housing can off set the declines in the other large sectors such as commercial. CPA/Barbour ABI Index The CPA/Barbour ABI Index which measures the level of contracts awarded using January 2010 as its base month recorded a reading of 127 for January (see fi g. 2.2). This is a slight increase from..
House builders are being hampered by a shortage of construction materials including roof tiles, bricks and blocks. It has been reported that sites across the country are flagging-up shortages as an increasing problem. One industry source said: “Bricks and blocks are in short supply but the real problem is sourcing enough roof tiles. “Firms are having to look further afield to Europe for potential suppliers now because the domestic supply is stretched to the limit.” The issue was flagged-up by Taylor Wimpey in its results yesterday. The firm said: “Availability of materials is generally in line with demand but there remain pinch points with key products such as bricks, blocks and roof tiles. “The cost of these key products has risen significantly and whilst other material costs have been stable in 2017 we are experiencing more cost pressure coming into 2018. “The Group has agreed product lines and volumes with key suppliers to mitigate long lead times and shortages.” Persimmon also announced this week that it is building an in-house roof tile production plant which is expected to come on stream later this year. The UK’s largest house builder already has its own brick manufacturing plant. Persimmon said: “We recognise that with the continued increase in industry output the availability of skilled trade resources and some key materials to support further growth continues to be a constraint.”
24-hour protest against IR35 proposed A national day of action against is being proposed by a campaigner. Contractor Mike Gibson, of Changeir35.com, believes a 24-hour event should be used to protest against the of the being extended to the private sector. “[At this early] planning stage”, he said “[the event involves] a march to the Houses of Parliament, a few speeches and a petition [delivered]….to 10 Downing Street.” “The intent is to show the volume of support for and send a clear message that .” Gibson will also build and upload a directory of MPs’ responses to , to record their stance on the rule and create a log of the arguments for and against . But another IR35 critic, Graham Fisher, thinks that despite a consultation on the extension being , officials have likely already decided that it will go ahead. “Our general view is that HM Treasury and HMRC are not accepting any evidence pointing to the public sector changes being anything other than a . “If HMRC continues on their current course we should expect the same to be introduced into the ”. Fisher, who is managing director of accountants Orange Genie added: “In the unlikely event that they recognise the failure of the public sector implementation, any changes might be delayed to 2020.”
CCTV used to require installation by specialist security engineers, but modern small-scale camera systems can now be rigged up by almost anyone. Pam Loch, managing partner of Loch Employment Law, looks at the legal implications of surveillance cameras in the workplace. Research in recent years has estimated that the average person in the UK is likely to be caught on CCTV surveillance cameras 70 times a day. In London it is estimated to be much higher. Employee fairly dismissed after taking bribe contrary to Bribery Act 2010 Inevitably much of this footage is caught in a location that is – for somebody – his or her workplace. CCTV use at work is becoming increasingly controversial, as some feel the motivation behind it has developed from being used to promote safety and security to being used to monitor staff. The use of body-worn cameras is now emerging within organisations, such as the NHS and the police, principally in the interest of staff safety, but also for use as evidence in court. Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust recorded 850 assaults on staff between April and September 2016 and, as a preventative measure, it introduced body-worn cameras for security guards. Logistics companies are also increasingly using “dash cams” in drivers’ cabs or on couriers’ bikes to protect staff and to use potential footage as evidence. Fly on the wall Surveillance cameras..