UK construction legal roundup — crucial info on 3 key issues

Legal developments affecting the construction industry can range from health and safety to data protection, fraud and immigration.

So it’s always wise to keep a keen eye on the latest test law and trending issues.

With that in mind, here’s a UK construction legal roundup with crucial info on three key issues.

  1. EU Workers

According to May 2018 Office of National Statistics (ONS) information, there are currently 2.29 million EU nationals working in the UK — some of whom ply their trades in construction.

And if you currently employ EU workers or need to recruit from Europe, you might have concerns ahead of the 29th March 2019 Brexit date.

So the UK government has released more information on its proposals for EU nationals living in the UK who arrive before 31st December 2020.

There’s no immediate need for EU citizens present in the UK to seek residence documentation — unless they’re applying for British citizenship or sponsoring a family member to join them under current immigration rules.

But they’ll need to apply for settled status under the new scheme as it’s phased in from the end of 2018 and it’ll be mandatory by July 2021.

For more information, consult the UK government EU settlement scheme employer’s toolkit.

  1. Gross negligence

Health and safety should always be at the heart of construction.

And while many more companies get things right than wrong, the results of inadequate safety provisions often have tragic results for employees and members of the public.

The charge of gross negligence manslaughter can be brought against companies who may have disregarded recommended safety measures to cut costs, leading to people losing their lives as a result.

Those convicted can face life imprisonment — but judges weigh up evidence while deciding how culpable an employer is.

To read about the latest changes, consult the sobering guidelines from the Sentencing Council.

  1. Fraud

In construction, fraud covers a wide spectrum of issues — from your firm being paid with fraudulent credit cards to being accused of financial irregularities or improper employment practices.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has a dedicated fraud department which works with the police to combat fraud across the industry — one such joint investigation resulted with the Metropolitan Police led to a construction gangmaster being sentenced to seven years imprisonment in April 2018 for enslaving 15 workers.

And in 2017, Professional services network PWC reported that the direct costs of fraud cost the industry an estimated £2 billion per annum — although the knock-on effects could be greater.

If you find yourself accused of fraudulent activity, or fear that your company has fallen victim to fraud, contacting a local lawyer with national scope like Switalskis Solicitors is a wise move — they’ll provide all the relevant and timely advice needed for a positive outcome.

So there’s some crucial information on three legal issues currently affecting the UK construction industry — along with top tips on sourcing more detailed assistance.

Keeping abreast of the latest legal issues provides the peace of mind necessary to focus on projects and profits.

Which UK construction legal trends catch your eye? Share your thoughts in the comments section

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