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Building a Better Future for the Construction Industry

NFB welcomes Network Rail’s signal on fair payment   20th June 2018

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has welcomed Network Rail’s announcement that it will commit its suppliers to paying their subcontractors within 28 days. 

The NFB has long argued for fair payment to be enforced at a central and local government level. 

Fair payment provisions are in place both in legislation and in standard contracts used across the industry, such as the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT). However, the legislation is rarely enforced and the fair payment contract provisions are usually the first to be amended on a project.

The NFB and the Scottish Building Federation are the only bodies representing contractors in negotiations on JCT and NEC contracts. We would welcome a commitment to keep the fair payment provisions already negotiated in place.

The effects of failing to pay fairly are becoming more widely known. A Prompt Payment Directory survey revealed that 48% of SME respondents who had experienced late payment said they had suffered from stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “Certainty of payment creates a truly healthy supply chain. Network Rail has answered the question on how quickly can a major supplier change its payment policy. The only question that remains is ‘who will be the next major contractor to act on fair payment?’”


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