Wise Up Wednesday – How To Get Paid Properly And On Time!
As a Specialist Contractor you will know how frustrating, time consuming and stressful not getting paid can be. You know the pain of having to meet your wages bill at the end of the week and persuading suppliers not to put you on stop. It can make you feel small and yes, ocassionally fearful of what the future might hold. You need expert advice.
Fortunately Expert Advice & Help Is At Hand
Here are our Top 10 Tips to help you to avoid and solve your Payment Problems:
1) Check and Understand The Contract
Always check the terms and conditions of your contract – not all contracts are the same – some are extremely onerous – do not simply hope for the best.
Make sure the key elements are clearly spelt out and understood;
- When do you need to submit payment applications and in what format?
- When is the payment Due Date?
- When is the Final Date for Payment?
- Are the payment terms acceptable?
Ensure that you give notice, at the time, of any event which is going to hold up your progress or cause additional cost to be incurred. Be clear and specific in your wording.
Always get a written instruction from the person authorised to do give instructions on behalf of the Contractor/Client before carrying out any additional work.
In all probability the contract will say that Instructions given to you verbally by the Contractor/Client are not valid. Therefore you must always confirm them back to him in writing.
4) Obtain Agreement to Additional Costs
Whenever possible, get agreement to the costs of additional works before you carry them out. Otherwise, sit down regularly with the Contractor/Client to agree and sign-off any additional work costs.
Don’t wait until the end of the job before getting his agreement.
5) Final Account
Never submit a document called a Final Account because this may trigger a lengthy process in the contract often delaying payment by months.
Instead, build-up your “final account” files from day one. Keep copies of all correspondence, cost information breakdowns etc, together with site records relating to each individual variation.
This will save an incredible amount of time and frustration at the end of the job, should a dispute arise.
Ideally you should produce and issue a issue a detailed programme for your works and monitor it daily/weekly depending on the size and circumstances of the project.
If you are prevented from achieving progress ensure the causes of the delay are recorded and notified to the Contractor/Client.
7) Records, Records, Records
So said a very learned construction lawyer and Arbitrator called Max Abrahamson.
You can never keep too many records – these will be invaluable in pursuing any payment or time entitlement should the other party not agree later on.
8) Take Action Early
Take action when you are not getting paid properly or on time. The sooner action is taken, the sooner you will get paid.
Most importantly, never allow an unpaid account or unpaid variations to go unresolved, as the problem is more than likely to grow rather than resolve itself.
9) Speak to a Senior Manager or Director
If discussions at site level are not addressing the problem, consider elevating the matter to a senior decision maker within the Contractor or Client’s business.
It is often the case that when site personnel become entrenched in their views, senior management are able to take a wider view and thus help to resolve the dispute without the need for adjudication or other proceedings.
10) Pick Up The Phone For Expert Advice
A phone call to obtain appropriate expert advice at the time a payment problem first arises will cost nothing in comparison to the cost of resolving a dispute later on.
You can speak to one of our experts free of charge on our friendly helpline on 01773 712116 or email email@example.com for a free no-obligation initial discussion, so that you can get a very quick idea of what we can do to help you get paid.
And please do not think that if you are the boss you should automatically have all the answers. This is simply not the case, we have years of professional and practical experience of dealing with this stuff every day, and we are here to help you.
For expert advice, you can contact us on 01773 712116 email firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Contact Page.