Legal Issues Update for the Construction Industry in 2019

Legal Issues Update for the Construction Industry in 2019

23rd January 2019

We’re still no better informed about Brexit and what will happen once Britain leaves the European Union, but one thing is for sure – most of our labour and health and safety legislation has been written with universal compliance in mind.  This means that we’re likely to see some changes in the coming year, especially when it comes to legal issues.  Today we’re going to take a quick peek at some of the changes and challenges we may face.

CONTRACTS – we’re likely to see Brexit-related provisions added to construction (and other) contracts designed to address the risks and uncertainties that we experience.

BUILDING REGULATIONS – building regs were amended from 21 December 2018 to ban the use of combustible materials in all new residential buildings above 18 metres in England.

SALARY REPORTING REGULATIONS – companies with more than 250 employees will be obliged to report differences in salary between their CEO and their average UK employees and explain the ratio between the two.   On 1 January 2019 the Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations can into force, with the first reports due next year.

OFFSITE MANUFACTURE – November 2018 saw the government launching a consultation on the construction sector’s state of preparation for offsite manufacture.  This is an issue that we’ve been covering on a regular basis here at Safety Fabrications as this is likely to mean less work at height, which means fewer risks in future.

TECHNOLOGY – the construction industry as a whole was late to the party when it comes to adopting technological advances but this has changed in the past few years and our sector now seems fully onboard with the advantages that technology offers.  Late last year the government announced the £72 million Core Innovation Hub which will carry out research and development in construction-related techniques and innovations which will help to improve both safety and productivity.  Watch this space for more news on this subject over the coming year.  You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get notifications from us of any news as it happens.

DRONE REGULATION – here at Safety Fabrications we’ve long been advocates of using drones to avoid work at height where possible as this adds an extra layer of safety, especially for the roofing sector.  A consultation completed last summer has led to new legislation which gives the police added powers to land, seize and search drones, an important issue in the wake of the recent disruption caused by drones at Gatwick Airport, which resulted in hundreds of flights being cancelled and runway being closed for several days.  The new legislation also requires that all operators of drones between 250g and 20kg are registered and the government is committed to finalising the Drone Bill in 2019.

RETENTION – Although the government has yet to publish its response to the 2017 consultation on this issue, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee recommends that reforms to introduce compulsory project accounts for retention money should be brought forward as soon as possible.