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Sector must pull together ‘ethically and fairly’ to overcome coronavirus, says SBCC

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The chair of the Scottish Building Contracts Committee (SBCC) has urged the construction sector to forget its differences and work together to overcome the potentially devastating impact of coronavirus.

Chair Lisa Cattanach has said that it is vital for the industry to show a united front over looming contractual and supply chain issues – and insisted that all affected bodies should approach the task ahead “ethically and fairly”.

Speaking in a statement on the committee’s website, she said, “The construction industry finds itself in unprecedented times, a phrase which is regularly used at present. 

“People are understandably concerned about finances and the potential ramifications that delayed works will have on projects and their businesses and will turn to their contracts for guidance. 

“However, as the current pandemic gives rise to new contractual issues not previously experienced before, there are no clear distinct provisions in the contracts which fully address the issues the industry is facing. 

“As such, we need to work together now, and in the future, to ensure that businesses are able to survive and continue to provide the necessary services when the industry returns to normal.”

Cattanach said it was essential for the sector to pull together, adding, “Our sector is notorious for being contentious but this is not the time for such an approach. We have to be conscious of our individual actions throughout the supply chain to ensure that no-one feels pressured to continue working contrary to the government advice. 

“If we act ethically and fairly, and work together in these trying times, more businesses should be able to cope with the pressures and enable our industry to navigate its way through the current situation.”

The SBCC is a pan-industry body that provides definitive guidance on building contracts and construction law in Scotland.

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