The construction industry has always been riven by contractual disputes as blame is thrown around. The current health crisis has given rise to even more arguments between companies that have different attitudes to worker safety – some believe they can manage the risks, other believe it is not worth testing it. But those wanting to send workers home have not always had a sympathetic ear from their customers.
However, the RICS conflict avoidance pledge is designed to “encourage all organisations to consider their working practices and the way they deal with disputes”.
It is entirely voluntary but the hope is that it might help drive a cultural shift.
Under the pledge, clients and contractors commit to implementing conflict avoidance measures in their contracts and on site.
Organisations signing up to the pledge are encouraged to work collaboratively and use early intervention techniques throughout the supply chain to try and resolves issues before they escalate into disputes.
RICS has the backing of several other big organisations in this initiative, namely:
- Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) United Kingdom
- Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
- Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
- Dispute Resolution Board Foundation (DRBF)
- Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)
- Transport for London (TfL)
- Network Rail
The government’s Construction Leadership Council has also put its stamp of approval on it. Co-chair Andy Mitchell said: “The CLC fully endorses the conflict avoidance pledge. Preventing the escalation of problems with the delivery of construction projects into disputes is in the best interests of the whole supply chain, and will save the industry significant time and money. The pledge has already delivered measurable results for those organisations that have used it, and we hope others will adopt it, and help to build a more collaborative and stronger industry”.
For further detakls and/or to sign the pledge, see www.rics.org/uk/products/dispute-resolution-service/conflict-avoidance-pledge