Aldous Bill launched - 2nd reading in April

On 9th January, Peter Aldous MP successfully introduced a Bill under the ‘Ten Minute Rule’. Its aim is to reform the controversial practice of retentions in the construction industry. The Bill has attracted cross- party support and is set for a second reading towards the end of April.

If passed, the Bill will amend the 1966 Construction Act, to ensure retention money is held in a deposit protection scheme, ending the issue of upstream insolvency. BESA and ECA research shows that the current method of a main contractor holding retentions cash, often much longer than required contractually, is draining the construction sector of working capital.

The Bill does not seek to abolish retentions, but to address the fact that this money is not protected from upstream insolvencies. The amount lost to the industry in this way amounts to £20 million per month, which might otherwise be spent on apprenticeships, for example.

Paul Reeve, ECA director of business, comments: “The growing contrast between the push for a modern digital and productive construction industry and the everyday reality for exposed supply chains is staggering.”

Rob Driscoll, BESA’s legal and commercial director says: “The Bill provides a solution that will help all parties involved in construction by stabilising and securing cash flow - including main contractors and clients.”

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