A new group has been created out of the soon-to-be dissolved Construction Confederation to lobby parliament over the poor drafting of payment clauses in the Construction Bill

The Contractors Legal Group (CLG) has been formed by the National Federation of Builders, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the Scottish Building Federation and the UK Contractors Group.

The body has attacked the bill, which is to become law before parliament returns on 18 November, for adding “ill thought-out amendments” that could lead to a lengthening of payment periods.

The government has agreed to an 18-month consultation on the bill after it becomes law, and it is not expected to come into force until early 2011.

Procedures due to be introduced under the bill include banning pay-when-certified clauses in construction contracts, and the outlawing of any payment mechanism where the payer (or any third party) can decide when payment becomes due.

The CLG said the provisions were “poorly drafted” and would not deliver improved payment.

The government should be providing support, not red tape to businesses

Nick Walden, chairman, CLG

Nick Walden, chair of the CLG, described the payment provisions as “horrendously complicated. He said: ”Under the bill, if the payer made a mistake and put the wrong amount, it would make it much harder for it to appeal.”

He said: “They could adversely affect cash flow in the industry at all levels. The government should be providing support, not red tape to businesses.”

Walden said the group was lobbying in the hope of influencing the next government.

The bill underwent its final hearing in the House of Lords on Monday.