Amendments to the Act to finally be pushed through parliament, says Brown

The government is to finally push through amendments to the Construction Act during the next parliamentary session, Gordon Brown has announced.

Widespread reforms to the Act will be made next year to improve payment practices within the construction sector, and tighten up the adjudication procedure.

The measures announced in the Community Empowerment, Housing and Economic Regeneration Bill will “improve the operation of construction contracts,” including “improving cash flow through construction supply chains and, where appropriate, encouraging parties to resolve disputes by adjudication rather than by litigation.”

Gordon Brown

The news, announced as part of Gordon Brown’s draft Queen’s Speech, will come as a huge relief to construction trade bodies and lobby groups after it was left out of the Queen’s Speech last year.

Rudi Klein, chair of the Specialist Engineering Contractors Group, said he was “delighted” at the news.

He said: “We’ve spent seven years getting to this stage. Since 2001, we’ve campaigned to plug the holes in this Act, and that lobbying has finally paid off.”

Klein added that he and other industry lobbyists would look closely at the "fine print" to ensure that amendments would be of benefit to the SECG’s members.

The government also announced an Education and Skills Bill, which will allow for the creation of a National Apprenticeships Service and establish a statutory entitlement to apprenticeships for all young people.

A citizenship, immigration and borders bill will give the UK Border Agency stronger powers, and provide a new legal framework to manage migration to the country.

Gordon Brown also said the government would continue to pursue an agreement on the treatment of agency workers through an EU Directive incorporating the principle of equal treatment.

The draft Queen’s Speech is a parliamentary announcement to set out the following year’s legislative programme. Brown introduced it in July last year.