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Legislation Tracker

  • United Kingdom
  • Construction and engineering - Articles

15-11-2018

1)   Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill

The Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill, which is aimed at the safeguarding of cash retentions withheld in connection with construction contracts, was introduced to the House of Commons as a Private Member’s Bill on 9 January by Peter Aldous MP. The text of the Bill was published in April.

If passed, the Bill would provide for the introduction of retention deposit schemes, and to require cash retention clauses in construction contracts to ensure that retention monies are kept in such a scheme.

The second reading of the Bill is currently expected to take place on 23 November 2018.

2)   TCC Electronic Filing Extension

The TCC has been using CE-File electronic court file software to store case files since November 2014.

During 2015, the TCC piloted new electronic working software (CE-File). The TCC pilot was governed by Practice Direction (PD) 51J. With effect from 16 November 2015, electronic working was introduced to all courts within the Rolls Building. PD 51J was omitted from the CPR and replaced by PD 51O (electronic working pilot scheme).

The electronic working pilot scheme was due to run until 1 April 2018, and has now been extended until 6 April 2020. However, it will be optional in the Queen’s Bench division from 1 January 2019.

3)   House of Lords Inquiry into Off-Site Construction

In July 2018, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee published its findings relating to an inquiry into off-site manufacture for construction. The inquiry considered:

-       The potential benefits of off-site manufacture for construction and any drawbacks or obstacles to its wider use.

-       How off-site manufacture might contribute to improving productivity within the construction industry.

-       How it would fit in the government’s construction sector deal.

-       Whether government policy, particularly around public procurements, needs to change to encourage economically and environmentally sustainable practises ion the construction industry, which could facilitate off-site manufacture.

The report goes on to detail that the broad potential benefits arising from the use of off-site methods include:

-       better quality buildings and infrastructure;

-       enhanced client experience;

-       fewer labourers and increased productivity; and

-       creation of regional jobs away from large conurbations.

However, the committee concluded that the construction sector as it currently operates cannot meet the UK's need for housing and may struggle to meet the need for infrastructure. Given that the UK already lags behind other countries in construction productivity, and is facing a labour shortage, the government and the construction sector must urgently find solutions. The report is currently awaiting Government Response and debate.