The Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill 2018 was introduced by Peter Aldous MP on 9th January under the 10 Minute Rule Motion in the House of Commons.
Mr Aldous told the House of Commons: “This bill is relatively straightforward. It would amend the Construction Act to require the secretary of state to introduce regulations to protect retentions. It would bring closure to the many efforts made in the past to address the problem. In doing so, it would transform the prospects of SMEs, which make up 99% of firms in the UK construction industry.
“A key element of the government’s industrial strategy is to create the right conditions for businesses to grow and to encourage them to invest over the longer term to improve productivity. The bill would help to secure that objective.”
The question “That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision about protecting retention deposits in connection with construction contracts; and for connected purposes” was put to the chamber and agreed to. The bill will now be printed and read a second time on Friday 27 April 2018.
SEC Group chief executive Rudi Klein said: “We now believe that this latest private member’s bill has a good chance of being properly debated given the extent of cross-party support for the bill. We must succeed because the industry is losing almost £1m worth of retentions each working day because of insolvencies. This does not take account of the millions of pounds lost by way of the costs associated with waiting years for the release of the monies and chasing up the monies.”
Mr Aldous’ full speech can be read in Hansard.
Meanwhile, the government’s own consultation document on retentions reform is at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/654258/2017.10.23_Retentions_Payments_Consultation_FINAL.pdf
You can reply to the consultation online at: beisgovuk.citizenspace.com/im/retention-payments-in-the-construction-industry
The deadline for responses is 19th January 2018.