CITB and BIS win judicial review but objector calls judgment ‘destructive’

Royal Courts of Justice

A legal challenge against the CITB’s changes to its levy system has failed after a judicial review ruled in its favour.

The judicial review was taken against the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), with the CITB named as an interested party, by construction payroll firm Hudsons Contract Services over changes made to simplify the levy in 2015.

The case was heard at the beginning of last month at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

The judgment was handed down yesterday, with the judge ruling in favour of BIS and CITB.

The ruling upholds the current CITB levy order and the levy simplification process.

The judge, ruling in favour of BIS and CITB, dismissed the claim by Hudsons, and ordered the company to pay the CITB’s legal costs.

Steve Radley, director of policy at CITB, said: “This outcome is good news for the construction industry. It confirms that the 2015 CITB levy order and levy simplification are legal.

“We worked with industry for two years to make the levy simpler and fairer, and deliver more for construction firms. We are pleased that the benefits of these changes will be felt right across our industry, as planned.”

However, Hudsons hit back at the ruling and claimed the system is “destructive”.

In a statement, the firm said: “The CITB and the levy system need urgent reform. These proceedings have shown just how wide-ranging and unaccountable the CITB’s powers are.

“The levy is intended to fund training, yet the CITB admits that there is no requirement that they actually spend a single penny on training.

“If they choose, they can use all the money to cover their board’s expenses. SMEs who are vital to our economic growth are getting short-changed, and the country is failing to train as many young workers as it could.

“This is quangoism at its most pernicious and destructive.”