UK construction and property
- Wages | The latest data from Hudson Contract shows that average pay for self-employed construction workers increased 2% between September and October. It also found that whilst the number of payments to brickworkers fell 11% when compared to a year earlier, pay increased; suggesting that the workforce has shrunk but experienced and higher-paid workers are being retained.
- Procurement Act | The new Act, which intends to modernise and streamline procurement rules, gained Royal Assent and is expected to come into force in October 2024. It is part of the government’s post-Brexit strategy to remove EU-based legislation.
- Safety | AXA UK is to provide body cameras to contractors so that they can record safety work on buildings with flammable or combustible materials. The insurer said that the process will provide detailed evidence and information on working practices and site management.
- CIS | Changes announced in the Autumn Statement to the CIS industry tax scheme have been heavily criticised. The changes mean subcontractors will now have their VAT records checked as part of compliance. Critics warn that although the checks are intended to tackle VAT fraud, they will instead just create more red tape and problems for the middle of the supply chain.
- Dogs | National Highways has begun using dogs trained to detect the scent of Japanese Knotweed. The more acute detection method means that the invasive plant can be found before it can be seen.
- Planning reforms | The Autumn Statement announced plans to allow applicants to pay for guaranteed planning timelines under a “premium planning service”.
- Net zero | A report by Lloyds Banking Group has found that more than 40% of private landlords have cancelled plans to decarbonise their rental properties after the government removed the energy efficiency targets for homes.