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State of the Industry Survey 2014

Download all surveys and related documents at the foot of the page

The Betrayal Of The Specialist Contractor!

Survey Reveals True State of the Industry’s Payment Practices

This is our third national survey and we have responses from 216 Specialist Contractors representing a broad spectrum of the industry, with 78% being firms with a turnover in excess of £1million and some 14% in the £5million plus bracket..

This year’s survey confirms that there has been no significant improvement in the dire payment situation that the UK construction industry continues to face.

The promises of ‘help’ for small businesses from the Government and the introduction of half-hearted schemes such as the Prompt Payment Code, "Name and Shame” and the introduction of the "Construction Supply Chain Charter" are all proving to be toothless tigers!

The StreetwiseSubbie survey has revealed that the Government’s 30 day payment promise on publically funded projects is not being seen through, with a staggering 94.9% of Specialist Contractors being paid in excess of 30 days, and some 4.7% having to wait longer than 90 days.

In particular the latest “Construction Supply Chain Charter” drew 42 comments almost all suggesting that it would not work in practice. Typical comments being;

“Worthless piece of paper that all the major mc payment abusers have ignored.”

 “… in reality hardly ever works the way it's intended to.”

“Supply chains are rarely monitored and clients that may question it are normally fobbed off with meaningless guarantees from main contractors.”

No real surprise therefore that 84% of respondents thought that the remedies available to get paid the correct amount and on time, such as the Construction Act, adjudication or litigation are unsuitable, do not work, and need changing.

Killing Small Businesses

To a small business, payment terms exceeding 30 days can mean the difference between survival and failure, with labour and material costs eating away at their cash-flow while the Contractors hold onto the money they so desperately need. And as a Specialist Contracting business, you know that delaying payment to your labour force or suppliers isn’t an option. The lads walk, and the suppliers put you on stop!

The failure of Specialist contracting businesses does not reflect well on the growth of the economy or the rebuilding of a strong construction industry.

While the Government plug their Small Business initiative, the outlook for small businesses in the UK construction industry is as bleak as ever.

And sadly no surprise that according to the Office of National Statistics’ figures; in the 12 months ending Q3 2013, the highest number of liquidations was in the construction sector at 2,819. A bleak picture which regrettably adds to the 5,000 construction insolvencies between Q3 2010 and Q2 2012 (figures from PwC).

The continued poor payment practices and ruthless unfair treatment of Specialist Contractors identified by our survey has to be stopped for the good of the industry as whole, and to help ensure the UK’s economic recovery.

The Importance To The Economy

The government would have you believe they are investing in infrastructure to boost the industry and the economy, but those taxpayer’s pounds are not flowing down the supply chain. It’s being cut off at source to prop up ailing Contractors who pay for their own incompetence with your money!

The survey also showed that there are similar issues on private sector construction projects, albeit slightly better, with around 11% of Specialist Contractors being paid in 30 days whilst a staggering 23.5% had to endure payments longer than 60 days.

So, what’s to be done about it? Ltd exists to help all Specialist Contractors regardless of size or specialisation. We are working with a range of organisations and private practices and are developing our nationwide support network.

We are available to work with anyone who shares our passion for the Construction and Engineering Industries and supports the fair treatment of everyone in the supply chain.

We can be contacted as follows;

Call us on: +44 (0)1773 712116   Fax us on: +44 (0)1773 719455

Email us at:   Web:

For low cost high value support check out our membership schemes;

Our entry level membership StreetwiseSubbie Silver Buddy

Or for even more benefits become a StreetwiseSubbie Gold Buddy

Or write to us at: Ltd, Shanakiel, 17 Ilkeston Road, Heanor, Derbyshire DE75 7DR 

Enter your details below to download "The Betrayal Of The Specialist Contractor" plus all the Surveys of Specialist Contractors, and/or the Press Releases and other documents.

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