Starting a UK Construction Project On-Time and Seamlessly?
- Are you thinking of tendering for a construction project in the UK?
- Do you have a construction project in the UK?
- Are you an EU company with skilled labour that the UK needs right now?
- Are you tendering for a project in the UK but wondering if you may have missed something important that will delay your start date?
So what are the common mistakes that cause unnecessary delays:
In the UK our construction industry underpins our economy and society by investing in our future. With the government’s commitment, we are at the beginning one of the greatest construction programs in UK’s history as well as being at the forefront to moving to cleaner economic growth. This vision includes an industry that has a talented and diverse workforce, is efficient and technologically advanced, is sustainable leading the way in low-carbon and green construction exports and growth across the entire country.
With planned infrastructure projects worth more than £600 billion over the next 10 years it is a great time to be a part of this growing industry. The future projects are and include:
- East Anglia One North (Scottish Power)
- Renewable Energy
- 3rd runway at Heathrow
- High-Speed 2 (tenders for Birmingham station)
- Homes (£44 billion alone)
One of the aims for the construction industry is to generate good jobs and greater earning power for all by attracting, retaining and developing the people and skills that the industry needs. Just last week a client of ours, who are specialists in the maintenance of high voltage power lines, shared how important it was for them to employ skilled labour and retain them for all their projects worldwide. The reason being, that apart from the challenges of working at height and other obvious dangers that these engineers face, the training that this kind of work requires is extensive, and skilled workers are highly valued.
However, with all this investment into the UK construction industry it is important that companies are compliant in all aspects of employment law and health and safety. The rules are not always black and white and there is some red tape that can slow down the whole process and put your deadlines in jeopardy.
The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), takes approximately 6 weeks to register for. If you do not register for CIS, your contractor/client will automatically deduct 30% from your payments.
Registering as a contractor or subcontractor for standard rate CIS is a fairly quick process and will knock down the deductions to 20% on all labour related construction industry invoices, however, if you are going for gross status and zero deductions, this takes at least 6 weeks and needs to be done before the project begins if you don’t want to suffer unnecessary deductions. Add to this the extra time you may need if you have a new 100% owned subsidiary in the UK that will not pass the turnover test that is required for gross status.
Most companies will use a business support company to make sure that they do not fall foul of the UK legal obligations when employing in the UK, however, one of the mistakes that we often encounter, is non-resident companies who second workers to the UK without operating payroll and deducting PAYE tax and National Insurance from their employees. In other words, the employees have an economic employer that is non-resident, but not a legal host employer in the UK.
There are also questions arising about the amount of time that employees can work in the UK before they are classed as resident for tax purposes. If this is causing you a headache get in touch with one of our consultants who will clear the doubts around employing in the UK.
Health and safety is universal and all workers need the correct training in order to work safely. In the UK there is a system that requires some planning and organisation in order to ensure that all your workers are allowed site access. Most construction sites now require workers to carry industry related cards to be allowed on site with different cards and requirements for unskilled and skilled work. Online Training and Classroom Training is important to ensure that your workers have the correct skills to carry out the work required. Unfortunately, for workers coming from EU countries Health and safety certificates obtained abroad are not accepted and there are rules that employees must possess the correct documentation. An example of this is the green CSCS card. A common mistake is leaving things too late so make sure you plan for the administrative planning for training.