Throughout the lockdown in the UK, the construction industry has been allowed to remain open for business providing that compliance with the Public Health England measures is maintained. However, most national house builders at least had taken a decision to close sites. Boris Johnson on Sunday 10th May, in his long awaited press briefing on the potential relaxation of social distancing road map, made clear that those in construction and manufacturing should go back to work, if they could.
Lean Thinking as a concept has its roots in Toyota’s production system. One of the primary tenets of this concept is to aim to perfect process, as continuous improvements address root causes of quality issues, and the elimination of waste.
The construction industry, on the other hand, has long been criticised for being wasteful, and failing over the decades to deliver good value. Furthermore, it has a reputation for being an adversarial industry with significant disputes. There have been countless reports over the decades attempting to work out how these ills can be addressed.
In the UK, adjudication remains one of the quickest and most cost effective methods of resolving construction disputes. As most people adjust to the “new normal” of working from home, an away from the usual office environment, adjudication may not be at the top of everyone’s agenda. That is somewhat ironic given that the current COVID-19 situation is fast becoming a potential breeding ground for construction disputes. Projects are in delay, labour and materials supply may be an issue and cashflow may become and inevitable effect of the lockdown.
- The expert witness owed a fiduciary duty of loyalty, arising out of an engagement to provide expert witness services, advice and support in connection with an arbitration.
- The court allowed the continuation of an existing interim injunction refraining the defendant consultancy expert practice from providing expert services to another party in the arbitration.
Social distancing measures and lockdowns have been replicated across the globe and have brought world economies to all time lows. Understandably, there is now a degree of anxiety to getting back to work. The longer the lockdown goes on for, the harder the bounce back may be. Unsurprisingly murmurings of getting the country back to work are beginning to surface. Some manufacturers and building firms that shut down are now slowly preparing to return to work from a state of hibernation.
The COVID -19 pandemic has already had a massive effect on global economies. Its impact has been unprecedented and there is a degree of uncertainty on almost every facet of daily life.
This article seeks to touch upon issues that may affect those in the UK construction industry specifically, but certain elements will no doubt equally apply across other sectors. Continue reading “Challenging Times: Construction and Engineering in the UK”