Subby Bashing Is Alive And Well…  

This week’s Wise Up Wednesday is about Subby Bashing, which sadly is alive and well. Even as I write this I have just put the phone down from a joinery subcontractor who is suffering and needs our help!

For many Specialist Sub-Contractors getting paid late, under-valuation and unjustified set off, is an everyday problem. Some almost take it for granted that Main Contractors are entitled to insist on long payment periods, or find unethical reasons to delay payment or pay less than you are entitled to.

According to some reports, SME’s in the UK are owed in excess of £50 billion in late payments, but the majority are reluctant to chase slow-paying customers because they are worried about upsetting them and losing future work.

You should ask yourself: ‘Do you really want to work for someone that does not pay?’

Stop The Subby Bashing

The fact of the matter is that the Contractors are not making any money! In the current economy, margins are so slender it only takes something minor to go wrong, for the Contractor to start losing money on a project.

Aggressive commercial managers demand that their staff use any means possible to recover margins and reduce or withhold payment to their sub-contractors by:

  • Under valuing payment certificates
  • Creating a contra charge account
  • Keeping hold of retention monies
  • Making false or illegal damages claims
  • Refusing substantial final payments until a ransom deal is struck
  • Invoking onerous contract terms

What Can You Do?

If you think that there is nothing that can be done to improve your financial position, I’m pleased to say you are wrong.

StreetwiseSubbie is helping hundreds of sub-contractors just like you to get paid properly. We can help you cut through all the smoke and mirrors and get you paid on time, and what you are actually entitled to , rather than what the Contractor wants to pay you!

The thing about the Contractor’s Bully Boys is that they rarely understand what they are doing contractually. Very few actually understand the New Construction Act rules, they either don’t understand the Payment Notice requirements, or they fail to comply with them.

The timing and content of Payment and Pay Less Notices is critical, plus they often miss the fact that payment applications become the sum due if they don’t do what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it.

The threat of a smash and grab, quick and inexpensive “technical adjudication” is often enough to unlock payment. If the law and the facts are in your favour the adjudicator is almost ‘rubber stamping’ your payment application as the sum due!

So, don’t be intimidated, and don’t accept payment abuse, we are here to help.

Take Time Out To Brush Up On The Contractual Stuff

We’ve said before that learning the contractual stuff doesn’t have to be difficult, so please don’t be put off by thinking it’s legal mumbo jumbo that only lawyers can understand.

This all gives you a good start in the battle to get paid properly, and if you need us, our experienced professional Consultants are here to help you get paid what you are owed and on time.

Want To Know More?

If you would like to know more about the ways to Minimise Risk and Maximise Profit, that we have been putting into practice on behalf of Specialist Subcontractors for the last 28 years, I would like to invite you to our exclusive March Seminars.

You will have a thoroughly enjoyable delay where you can enjoy the company of other Specialist Contractors at this exclusively “Subbies” only event.

The atmosphere is relaxed and the presentations are down to earth and user friendly, packed with real life examples of what to watch out for, and all the information that you need to minimise risk and maximise the profitability of your business.

And as all the venues are specifically chosen for ease of access you’re sure to have a great day, where you can network, learn and share ideas in a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere.

The secrets are being revealed at our March events;

“Understand Your Contract to Minimise Risk and Maximise Profit”

“Introduction To Contractual Awareness and Using JCT Subcontracts”

WHEN/WHERE IS IT? The dates and fast access venues are as follows;

Too late for Leeds which was 15 March – Oulton Hall

Too late for Nottingham which was 22 March Nottingham Belfry

Hurry book now for tomorrow 29 March – The Village HotelCoventry close to M6 and M40

** If you have an alternative location that you would prefer for future events please email us on


We will be unlocking the Secrets To Minimising Risk and Maximising Profit in a straightforward down to earth easy to follow style using real life examples.

Here’s what your fellow Subcontractors said about our last event;

“Fantastic! A great day”

“Easily digestible information delivered in an interesting and easy to understand format”

“Very detailed and informative”

“Very informative and well delivered”

“We were struggling to get paid; not any longer!”


  • Session 1 – Contract Formation
  • Session 2 – Introduction to JCT Contracts and Construction Act
  • Session 3 – Time, Notices and Delay and Disruption
  • Session 4 – Instructions, Variations and Maximising Return
  • Session 5 – Getting Paid On Time and the Right Amount
  • Session 6 – Resolving Conflicts and Disputes
  • Session 7 – Putting It All Together

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This is exclusively for Specialist Contractors and is designed specifically to provide a broad appeal for Specialist Contractors staff who work with contracts which includes;

  • Estimators,
  • Contracts Managers;
  • Project Managers;
  • Commercial Managers,
  • Quantity Surveyors,
  • Credit Controllers and
  • Directors

WHAT WILL WE GET OUT OF IT? The Secrets To Minimising Risk and Maximising Profit, including the best information available to resolve the all important problem of How To Get Paid!

Specialist Contractors don’t get paid because they don’t understand the contract or don’t apply it when they should. We will reveal all you need to know to enable you to understand the fundamentals of those subcontracts, and how to get paid.

WHAT DOES IT COST? You can book now for preferential discounts and rates – but be quick to ensure you receive your Early Booking Discount!

Book within the next few days and instead of paying £350, you can pay just £315.00 saving you 10% off the standard price.

Book two or more places and you can pay just £280 each saving you 20% off the standard price.

Special rates apply for our Buddies (members) – please ask Tanya for details.

All rates are subject to VAT

Booking couldn’t be simpler, just contact Tanya directly on 01773 712116 or to confirm your places and she will take care of the rest. She is brilliant!

But hurry it’s tomorrow!

Best regards


P.S. Please remember that we are here to provide solutions exclusively for Subcontractors. If you want access to professional solutions that work, then please give us a call on 01773 712116, or email today.


About Barry Ashmore

Qualifications Dip Law Dip Arb FClArb MCMi Year of Birth: 1954 Specialist Contractors Champion! • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Panel Adjudicator • CEDR Accredited Mediator • Construction Contracts Consultant • M&E Specialist QS An experienced professional with an extensive range of commercial managerial and contractual expertise. Been in the construction industry all my working life. Started as am apprentice electrician at 16, worked my way up, estimator, engineer, contracts manager, general manager. Moved into dispute resolution in 1990! Worked for the biggest and then the best James R Knowles. Now heads up Ashmore Consulting, and most importantly Ltd. Extensive experience working at Director level, project managing, advising and acting on behalf of clients in matters relating to the resolution of disputes by way of negotiation, mediation, adjudication, arbitration and litigation. Straightforward advice given to clients, and wherever possible assisting clients to resolve disputes by negotiation, and avoid formal process. Style; can be as forceful as necessary when advocating, can use mediation skills to create the best possible prospects of a successful deal in an atmosphere of calm, positive determination - either way I'm focused on achieving the best possible solution for you. Barry can be contacted on 01773 715062 or 07815 193718 Email: Web:

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