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Last updateFri, 07 Dec 2018 10am

Specialist contractors under threat from poor payment practices

The businesses of Specialist Contractors working in the construction industry are at considerable risk from main contractors who use underhand and unscrupulous tactics to increase profits by not paying them for work properly carried out.

A recent survey carried out in conjunction with Limited found that up to 93% of Specialist Contractors experience disputes regularly or occasionally. Often these lead to serious financial problems, or even threat of closure, through payments being withheld for spurious reasons.

Payment abuse is rife and will destroy the UK construction industry if it is allowed to carry on unchallenged; over 95% of 506 respondents surveyed say that neither the Trade Associations or the Government are doing enough to solve the problem.

Which is why StreetwiseSubbie, a firm that provides contractual and commercial management support for Specialist Contractors is holding a series of one-day Contractual Training Events across the UK in November. 

The events, entitled ‘Understand your contract to minimise risk and maximise profit’, are designed to give Specialist Contractors the knowledge and skills necessary to manage contracts effectively, and to challenge main contractors when they ride roughshod over the payment process. 

They take place in Slough, Manchester and Loughborough during November and provide a detailed grounding in the essential elements of subcontract law and procedures. Emphasis will be on JCT sub contracts and training covers practical aspects of how contracts are formed and how to understand and use the key provisions of the contract. This will all be presented in a down-to-earth and easy to follow style using real life examples. 

These events are exclusively for Specialist Contractors and will appeal to everyone who works with construction contracts, including estimators, contracts managers, project managers, commercial managers, quantity surveyors, credit controllers and company owners and directors. 

There will be sessions to cover formation of the contract, time, notices, delay, disruption and variations. There will also be sessions dedicated to getting paid on time, resolving conflicts and disputes.

Barry Ashmore, managing director of organisers StreetwiseSubbie says; “At a time when main contractors are trying every way possible to ensure they maximise profits at the expense of the Subbie, it is vital that Specialist Contractors understand exactly what they are agreeing to when they sign a contract. It’s also important to realise that the contract is an important working tool and not something to be hidden away in a drawer.”

“Specialist Contractors often end up at the mercy of the contractor simply because they don’t understand the contract or do not apply it when they should. This dedicated training will help delegates to understand the fundamentals of those subcontracts and give them more confidence when dealing with contractual matters or challenging payment issues”, he says.

Many Specialist Contractors fall into the same traps that unreasonable and unscrupulous main contractors set for them and are left carrying the can when it all goes wrong. This can cost them thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds! They can start to fight back by improving the way they use and manage the contractual process.

The events are booking up fast, so to secure your place please call StreetwiseSubbie on 01773 712116 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Discounts are available for early booking and two or more delegates from the same business. The dates and fast access venues are:

Thursday 9th November 2017 - Grovefield House Hotel, Slough 
Thursday 16th November 2017 – Holiday Inn Central Park, Manchester
Thursday 23rd November 2107 – The Link Hotel, Loughborough