Adverse weather affecting your works?
The incidences of the recent adverse weather may have affected your works. Apart from having been required to maintain a site which complies with health and safety law, is there anything else you should consider?
This section seeks to put the matter of risk allocation and what consequential actions a subcontractor may be faced with, before you.
Commonly the issues will be concerned with ‘time’, that is the overall delay to the works and money, i.e. Who pays for the losses suffered and the consequential over-run costs?
Where the contract is silent
There is no statutory or common law right to an extension of time. In these circumstances, where the contract is silent or fails to provide a suitable response, then your obligations are to complete the works within a reasonable period of time. Keeping records as to the extent of any delaying event, as it affects you, whether the contract deals with the circumstances or not, is still an important activity. Good communication is a vital skill to deploy. You may be called upon to demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable measures to mitigate the effects of the delaying events upon the works. Think widely as the weather may also disrupt deliveries and the ability of the workforce to travel.
What do the standard forms of contract say?
The two most commonly deployed standard forms: The JCT and nec3, deal with these matters differently and as most contracts are amended in this area, the first check should always be to the actual contract entered into. Subcontractors employed under one of the main or intermediate JCT forms will have to apply for an extension of time citing “exceptionally adverse” weather conditions this being the most appropriate relevant event.