CFA president warns on Carillion collapse

David Hibbert, president of the CFA, says the impact of Carillion’s demise will truly hit home over the coming weeks and months.
Among the hardest hit will be sub-contractors, including many of our members. And one of the biggest reasons they will be hit hardest is because they have been subjected to retentions and late payments, and they are unlikely to see any of the money they are owed.

This is something the CFA, with others, has been pushing to change for years. We have lobbied Build UK (who are supposed to represent the whole of the supply chain) to demand change and, in tandem with the government, to outlaw these practices. The result of inaction will most keenly be felt by the hundreds of small subcontractors, many of whom are owed money stretching back for months.

Earlier this year, writing in CFJ, Build UK said it was: “committed to bringing together the contracting supply chain to consider what best payment looks like.” On its own website Build UK states: “Our ambition for 2025 is that the construction industry's standard payment terms are 30 days and that retentions are no longer withheld.” This is not good enough. Retentions and late payments are crippling sub-contractors now.

Build UK has been patting itself on the back for establishing a colour code for safety hats on construction sites. In some respects this is a bit like ‘fiddling while Rome burns’. For many sub-contracting firms and construction workers hit by the Carillion fallout, they’re not going to need safety hats of any colour anytime soon.

Picture: David Hibbert (on left).