An important consideration in any construction contract is what legislation and regulations govern the project. There are generally five areas that are regulated within construction projects:

  1. Health and safety legislation
  2. Payment of consideration
  3. Building regulations
  4. Tax rules
  5. Public procurement rules

Each of these five areas will be considered in turn before we move on to look at some practical tips for non-experts considering starting a construction project.

Health and Safety legislation

The most important regulations concerning health and safety which can potentially lead to a construction or building dispute are the Construction (Design and Management) Rules 2007 (also known as the “CDM 2007”). The CDM 2007 applies to all work carried out in the construction injury in the United Kingdom. It is supposed to encourage:

–          The improvement of planning and managing construction projects from the commencement of the building project

–          The management of risk on the construction project by allocating the appropriate consultants or contractors at the appropriate time

–          The upholding of health and safety on the construction site by focussing the contractor’s mind on risk

The obligations placed upon the employer differ as to whether project is classed as Notifiable or Non-Notifiable Projects.

The Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 also applies to construction projects. This legislation places obligations upon the appropriate persons to train their employees, provide the appropriate work equipment, and undertake risk assessments (among other obligations).

Payment under the contracts

This is regulated by the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. This Act provides a number of rules relating to:

–          The provision for grants and other assistance for housing purposes

–          Actions relating to unfit housing

–          The provision of grants and other assistance for regeneration and development

Under the 1996 Act contracts must provide an adequate method for determining what payments become due under the contracts, and when they are due. Employers may negotiate details of the payments under the Act but they can’t opt out of the compulsory payment rules.

Building Regulations

As you’d expect, the “Building Regulations” regulate the approval and management of the construction of buildings in the United Kingdom. The building regulations that apply across England and Wales are set out in the Building Act 1984. The Regulations govern such diverse topics as:

–          The structure of buildings

–          Fire safety

–          The preparation of the building site for construction

–          The use of toxic substances

–          Hygiene on site

–          Drainage

(and so on)

Tax rules

The most important rules relating to tax are contained with the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

Public procurement

Construction projects relating to the building of public works or buildings must follow EU public procurement rules.

As can be seen from the above short article, there is a diverse range of statute and rules covering all aspects of a construction project. Should you need advice on any particular aspect of a construction project, particularly relating to a dispute, get in touch with Redmans.

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