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Ministers announce review to look at retentions in construction industry

Ministers have announced a review of the practice of retentions, together with a review of the effectiveness of the 2011 changes to the Construction Act.

The Construction Leadership Council has agreed to oversee the review.

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is seeking to support this work by developing a robust evidence base about the practice of retentions, notably in relation to the costs, benefits and impacts for the construction sector and construction sector clients.

Alongside this, BIS is keen to understand what alternatives to retentions exist, how these operate in practice, and the relative costs and benefits of these compared with retentions.

BIS has commissioned Pye Tait Consulting to undertake this research on their behalf. Pye Tait will be facilitating three round table discussions, bringing key industry stakeholders together to debate this important issue.

These discussions are designed to assist in gaining detailed information about the practice of retentions, across all sub-sectors of the construction industry. In addition to the round table events, Pye Tait will also be conducting telephone interviews with individuals unable to attend in person.

Feedback from industry stakeholders will be analysed and amalgamated with desk-based research to help shape the design of a structured questionnaire. This will be used to conduct a survey of a sample of 725 construction sector clients and contractors, to obtain more detailed data.

The final stage of the work will triangulate all data to model direct and indirect impacts of the current use of retentions on the UK construction sector and wider economy, and produce a detailed final report.

Further details about the venue and agenda for the day will be sent out with the confirmations of attendance.

Over the past few months, H&V News has been campaigning against long-established barriers impeding the growth of firms in the building services sector.

Prompted by readers such as Martin Burton of Delron Services and supported by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group and the Building & Engineering Services Association and many other organisations, the Time for Change campaign has highlighted the problems of cashflow faced by small and medium-sized firms in our sector.

H&V News is urging readers to contact their MPs to seek their support.


If you cannot make one of these events, please do be assured that there will be plenty of opportunity for you to engage in the work going forward.  This is simply the first stage.

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