A petition on fair payment and retentions will be delivered to Prime Minister Theresa May later this month by Peter Aldous MP and a delegation of industry leaders. The group will take the petition to 10 Downing Street on Monday April 23 at around 1.30pm.
The group of industry leaders presenting the petition includes FSB National Chair Mike Cherry, FMB chief executive Brian Berry, director general of the Institute of Directors Stephen Martin, ECA CEO Steve Bratt and BESA CEO David Frise.
BESA and ECA, who are coordinating the presentation on April 23, are urging the industry to support the petition, which comes four days before the second reading of the ‘Aldous Bill’ (Friday 27 April), which proposes cash retentions owed to suppliers are held in trust accounts.
ECA CEO Steve Bratt commented, “Putting retentions in trust is a vital first step in helping to protect the supply chain from future upstream insolvency, and it will also help to prevent the abuse of retention monies owed to the supply chain.
“Our petition aims to raise awareness of this critical issue with the Prime Minister in advance of the Aldous Bill being heard in Parliament. We urge the entire construction industry to back the bill and show support for immediate retentions reform.”
BESA CEO David Frise added, “This represents a tremendous show of support from industry and MPs. At its best, the industry can deliver a first-class built environment, but cash retentions impact every one of the 330,000 SMEs and sole traders represented in this petition. We need reform now and the proposal to hold cash retentions in trust will be a start to demonstrate lessons have been learned from Carillion.”
Reform of unfair payment practices, including excessive withholding of retentions, is already supported by over 75 industry trade bodies, representing over 330,000 companies and self-employed professionals. Support has been given from across the entire construction supply chain, including house building, roofing, scaffolding, electrical, heating, plumbing, interiors and demolition.
Payment abuse has climbed up the political agenda since construction giant Carillion collapsed just six days after the first reading of the Aldous Bill, leaving many SMEs owed huge sums of money. Had retentions owed by Carillion to suppliers been held in trust, this money could have been recovered.