Subbies, You NEED To Read This…”Self Employed” Plumber Has Won “Workers” Rights Case Today!

A self-employed plumber has today won the latest stage in a legal fight over his employment status in a case which his solicitor says could affect the legal status of others. And it could have a massive impact on you as a Specialist Contractor if you employ subcontract labour.

Gary Smith, who worked for London-based Pimlico Plumbers for six years until 2011, had already won a tribunal case after challenging the company’s view that he was self-employed.

The Court of Appeal has now rejected an appeal by the firm – a decision welcomed by unions but which could concern employers including you.

Mr Smith’s lawyer Jacqueline McGuigan said it could affect other workers in a similar position, and that “The decision brings welcome clarity to the issue of employment status relating to work in parts of the economy.”

Mr Smith worked for Pimlico Plumbers for six years until 2011 when he claims he was dismissed following a heart attack.

He took his case to a tribunal which found he was a “worker” and therefore entitled to employment rights.

The case centred on whether people engaged as self-employed contractors should be classed as workers. Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins said he “We will be looking at the full judgment and there is a good chance we will appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Mr Mullins said it was not likely to affect the current workforce as the case referred to a contract six years ago and the company’s contracts had changed since then.

A leading employment lawyer has already said that “This is a significant ruling for the workers at Pimlico but it will also concern for lots of other companies too”

 Take Action Now

Whatever happens next, this is significant ruling which could have serious ramifications for your business.

It certainly highlights the potential dangers of having defective contracts in place for anyone you employ on a “self employed” basis.

As one of our Buddies we are offering you a no-cost, no obligation review of your employment terms and conditions. But, please note that following this ruling we expect demand to be high.

Therefore, we are operating on first come first served basis, so please email us now on to book your place on the list for a call back from our employment law specialist.


We look forward to keeping you up to date and helping you to resolve all your business problems, so please feel free to give us a call on 01773 712116.


Another Two Specialist Contractors Bite The Dust…But Who’s Counting?

Another One Bites The Dust…

(It’s two actually – but no-one seems to be counting)

Just read about not one, but two Specialist Contractors that have bit the dust this week…

McGrath Bros (Engineering) Group has ceased trading with the loss of 171 jobs.

The firm, founded in 1981, worked on major projects across the UK, including the London Olympics Aquatics Centre, with a London office in Tottenham handling a large order book in England and a Glasgow office covering Scotland.


Hull-based offsite manufacturer Modular Space Limited has fallen into administration.

The firm specialised in site cabins supplying the Costain/Skanksa joint venture on Crossrail and Wates.  It also delivered prefabricated buildings for school and health projects.

Skills and High Profile Projects Do Not Equal Success

Clearly both firms had worked on high profile projects, they don’t come much bigger than the Olympics and Crossrail. And there was no shortage of skills and expertise in these two companies, Modular had even developed a special two-storey house design, which could be assembled from four basic units in just five hours.

So What’s Going Wrong?

The fact of the matter is that whilst Trade Associations and Build UK tinker around the edges of the major issues facing you and your business, and promote nonsensical solutions to the very real and business threatening payment problems facing the industry, more Specialist Contractors are going to fail.

As Brian McGrath is quoted as saying;

“Legacy contracts taken on during the recession have also taken their toll on main contractors and specialist subcontractors alike, all linking to underpayments of completed works and disputed final accounts.”

So, if you are not getting paid properly then don’t delay in getting it sorted.

Please don’t stand for late or underpayment.

Take action

Take action to safeguard your business from the catastrophic impact of reduced, late, or non-payment in 2016.

If you don’t then it could cost you your business…

Unscrupulous Contractors use every trick in the book, to reduce and delay payments. Specialist Contractor’s efforts to avoid or rectify this problem often come too late in the process.

Don’t be one of the casualties, take action now.

You can download a complimentary “How To Get Paid” report right now, and put an end to reduced, late and non-payment.

And you can call us for initial no cost advice on 01773 712116, and our Gold and Platinum Buddies can use their commercial and contractual consultancy to find an answer.

Whatever level your business is at, and whatever your specialisation I want to encourage you to experience and enjoy a better more profitable, less stressful way.


UK Construction Blacklisting Scandal – It’s a Disgrace!

According to reports in today’s construction media Contractors involved in the construction blacklisting scandal have settled claims with another 180 workers.

Campaigners claimed the latest payouts totaled “in the region of £15-20 million plus legal costs” and come ahead of the full blacklist trial set to start at the High Court on May 9 and scheduled to run until July 31.

Eight contractors – Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and Vinci PLC – have set up The Construction Workers Compensation Scheme to try and settle with victims out of court.

A spokeswoman for the Contractors confirmed that 180 new settlements had been reached, and the Blacklist Support Group said there are currently 154 live claims remaining plus 82 recently issued new claims.

What’s that got to do with you?

You may be thinking what has that got to do with me?

Well, first of all the blacklisting happened in the industry from which we all earn our living, and frankly we should all be outraged that these Contractors behaved in this way and ruined the lives of so many people, and tarnished the reputation of the industry.

Secondly, we should be disgusted by the fact that having been found out, and in some cases admitted their part in the sordid affair, the Contractors involved have pushed their victims all the way to the steps of the court before paying out.

Lastly, Specialist Contractors need to be wary of the culture that pervades at the highest levels of some construction companies. Because frankly you need to be extremely careful that you don’t fall foul of it.

As we have seen some companies will do and say anything, so, if you do not look after your own interests, this is an industry where some people won’t think twice about making you suffer. Don’t fall for the Contractor’s BS, because it is highly likely (there are some exceptions), that what they are telling you is a pack of lies.

Take action!

One of the key areas that you need to be extremely careful about is payment. Please don’t stand for late or underpayment.

Take action to safeguard your business from the catastrophic impact of reduced, late, or non-payment in 2016.

If you don’t then it could cost you your business!

Unscrupulous Contractors use every trick in the book, to reduce and delay payments. Specialist Contractor’s efforts to avoid or rectify this problem often come too late in the process.

Don’t be one of the casualties, take action now.

Download “How To Get Paid” for free right now, and put an end to reduced, late and non-payment!

Whatever level your business is at, I want to encourage you to experience and enjoy a better more profitable, less stressful way.


I hope you enjoyed my Wise Up Wednesday email and that it gave you some food for thought, and please don’t hesitate to grab your Free Report at “How To Get Paid” and if you need any help with any of your business problems pick up the phone and give us a call on 01773 712116.

What The Budget 2016 Means For Specialist Contractors and The Construction Industry

Another year, another budget. It’s time to see what impact this year’s revelations will have on the construction industry and on the Specialist Contractors that make up the foundation of it.

Rate Relief = Business Boost

The chancellor made a number of cut announcements that actually benefit SMEs for a change!

  • Business rate relief has more than doubled, from £6,000 to £15,000 max for small businesses.
  • The higher business rate relief threshold has risen from £18,000 to £51,000.

His announcement concluded that from April 2017, 600,000 SMBs will pay no business rates at all, with a further 250,000 seeing significant reductions in their business rates.

And hopefully a large proportion of those businesses will be in the construction sector!

Corporation Tax Cuts Pressure On Subbies

Another exciting announcement for construction SMBs:

  • By April 2020, corporation tax will have fallen by 3%, to a rate of 17%.

This cut will offer more much needed relief for small businesses across the UK, particularly Specialist Contractors.

Government Green Light For Construction Projects

The approval of several large scale construction projects should have a positive impact throughout the industry, as much needed money is invested back into construction:

  • £30m set aside to fund Crossrail 2.
  • £60m funding approved for HS3.
  • £161m designated for Highways England to upgrade the M62.
  • £700m allocated for flood defence schemes across UK.

The real test will be how this new investment and signs of positivity impact the industry’s deep-set culture.

Will the main contractors play fair and pay fair? Or will the continued greed continue to grasps the higher tiers, leaving those further down the construction supply chain to struggle on?

Our Very Best Ideas To Help Protect and Grow Your Business

We’d like you to have our very best ideas to help protect and grow your business over the next 12 months, and they’re now available in a set of 10 Relevant, Informative, No-Nonsense Video Presentations That Will Boost Your Success as a Specialist Contractor.

“Win Work-Get Paid-Make Money” was recorded live at our Conference this year, on one AMAZING DAY of presentations designed exclusively for Specialist Contractors by top industry experts.

It reveals all the business secrets you need to know about “Winning Work”, “Getting Paid” and “Making Money” in the Construction and Engineering Industries. But don’t take my word for it, here are a just a couple of the dozens of comments we got on the day;

“It was a fantastic conference with lots of useful information and actions to take away” Ollie Yeo – Security Direct Ltd

“Very interesting with excellent tips on sales and marketing, business planning and getting paid” Graham Holmes – Ground Control

** Why Else Should You Take a Look? **

Specialist Contractors make things happen. You have all the skills, you take all the risks, and incur all the costs, and it’s no exaggeration to say that without you nothing would ever get built.

Unfortunately, for many Specialist Contractors business is full of struggle. Financial struggle, personal struggle, dealing with staff and suppliers struggle. And most importantly, getting paid from tight fisted Contractors struggle. It’s a long list…

So if you would like some great ideas and information to help you and your staff avoid that struggle then please take a look at this;

You don’t need me to tell you how difficult it is to turn those jobs, and all your hard work into decent profits. But with profit margins for the top 25 firms dipping below 1.5 per cent, you can be sure that the Contractors aren’t going to make your life any easier just yet!

What we are going to share together is the expertise you need to turn all your hard work into better and worthwhile profits, whilst protecting your contractual interests.

Gain access today to “Win Work-Get Paid-Make-Money” recorded live at the exclusive StreetwiseSubbie Conference July 2015.

Simply click this link;

And Watch At Your Leisure As Many Times As You Like!

Best regards


P. S. The presentations were eloquently summed up in three words by one of our Gold Buddies “Enjoyable, useful, informative!” Trevor Kirby – Anglian Architectural

Are UK Trade Associations Failing Their Members?

Trade Associations, are by definition “organisations that represent the interests of the member firms of an industry”.

But when I look at what some of the trade associations in the UK construction industry are doing, or rather not doing, I begin to question the extent to which they are matching up to this definition.

Take for example this quote from one of their leading lights;

“Subbies are up in arms over [late payment] and are calling for the government to act. The public sector has an opportunity to play a very important role in making sure fair payment performance goes right the way down the line. This surely is an area where the industry has to perform well.”

What’s wrong with that I hear you say?

What’s wrong with it, is that it’s a quote from August 2002. That’s right 12 long years ago!

The report went on to quote them as saying “The cash flow problems caused by slow payment and retentions make it harder for specialists to fund the improvements the government and industry want to see. It also leaves them at greater financial risk of upstream insolvencies.”

Sadly, thousands of firms (and trade association members), have gone to the wall in those 12 years.

For all the talk, the payment situation is even worse now than it was then.

As Albert Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We need a new and radically different approach!

The ‘Construction Supply Chain Fair Payment Charter’ launched in April this year, sets out an aim to reduce standard payment terms in construction to 30 days by 2018. “It’s a work in progress” says Suzannah Nichol of the NSCC.

Sorry for being cynical, but if the last 12 years are anything to go by “work in progress” is the last thing Specialist Contractors want to hear. And I’m not the only one who feels short changed by the Charter, judging by the responses in our recent survey of 216 Specialist Contractors;

“Worthless piece of paper that all the major main contractor payment abusers have ignored.”

“…in reality hardly ever works the way it’s intended to.”

“Supply chains are rarely monitored and clients that may question it are normally fobbed off with meaningless guarantees from main contractors.”

Indeed other industry bodies have also been critical of the Charter;

“Only a supreme, and poorly informed, optimist would take the view that the Charter is the panacea of all payment ills within the industry. It is not.”

Needless to say our 3rd annual survey also revealed that despite all the fine words, the late payment culture is worse than ever before, and 95% of Specialist Contractors are still waiting well in excess of 30 days on tax-payer funded projects!

So come on trade associations come and talk to us, our door is always open.

And if you are one of the 78% of Specialist Contractors who said your Trade Association wasn’t doing enough to support you on the issue of late payment and retention, then maybe you should talk to us too!

You can find us on Twitter, LinkedIn and at, or just call us on 01773 712116.

London Underground’s Geoff Gilbert Keynote Speaker To Reveal Why LUL Are Working Directly With Specialist Contractors On £330 Million Upgrade Project!

Have you heard the exciting news yet?!

Geoff Gilbert, Head of Commercial Infrastructure for London Underground is the newly announced keynote speaker for our upcoming conference,

“Breakthrough Construction 2014” 10 June 2014 The Belfry Hotel Nottingham

Exclusive Conference For Specialist Contractors

We already had a fantastic line up of speakers, but now we have an amazing line up!

Come and hear Geoff talk exclusively about the huge step taken by LUL on their future Tube stations revamp work, which involves working directly with, the Specialist Contractors on £330 million project!

This is a not to be missed opportunity…

Want to know what this colossal breakthrough could mean for YOU and the future of the UK construction industry?

As a Specialist Contractor you need to Join us on 10th June 2014 at The Belfry Hotel in Nottingham to hear Geoff talk and to have the unique opportunity to pitch your questions to the man who is making change happen in your industry!

This could be the beginning of a revolution, but change can’t happen without your backing.

Join us for what promises to be a game changer of an event, where Geoff and our fantastic line up of speakers will equip you with the knowledge and inspiration to go out there and make positive change happen in your business.

London Underground have taken a risk by choosing to manage their seven year £330m project themselves, but when they pull it off and demonstrate how they saved money, worked fairly and improved the overall quality and timescale of the project, it will have huge implications for the industry.

Come and find out more about why London Underground decided to make such a game changing decision and shake up the Construction contracting world as we know it.

Make sure you don’t miss out, and join us on 10th June in Nottingham.

All you need to do to grab your place(s) is to  Email or call 01773 712116 now to reserve your seat at what promises to be the most exciting and revolutionary event of the year!