APS like to keep you up to date with the important issues affecting our members. Following the collapse of Carillion there will undoubtedly be questions that our members and members of our partner organisations will have. FMB has put together a quick Q&A that you may find useful. Please see below.
Are you interested in taking on a Carillion apprentice?
The CITB has outlined its strategy for finding alternative placements for Carillion apprentices to complete their training. We have been informed that around 1,400 young people are affected by the liquidation, of which 1,200 are apprentices and 200 are other types of learners. The apprentices are largely in bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, and painting and decorating – three of the key trades in our industry.
All small firms that are looking to take on an apprentice, and can step in to take on a former Carillion apprentice, are eligible to receive a payment of £500 from CITB now a further £500 if the apprentice is still with the firm in six months. This is over and above normal CITB grant funding for apprentices. The CITB has set up a hotline for construction employers who are interested in taking on these apprentices. Please call 0344 994 4010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like further information on taking on a Carillion apprentice.
Are you struggling to hire skilled workers?
The FMB is also working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help match-make skilled workers, who may now find themselves out of work, with employers who are actively seeking skilled workers. We know from our research that FMB members are experiencing significant skills shortages so this is an ideal opportunity to make use of a rich pool of site-ready construction workers. If you are looking to hire, please email email@example.com with details of the post.
Payments and ongoing arrangements for Carillion supply chain
PwC, which is handling Carillion’s liquidation, has set up a website to support employees, suppliers and clients. PwC has made clear to the FMB and other industry bodies that any firms owed for services or goods provided before Monday 15th January 2018 will be classed as an unsecured creditors claim. The reality is that this money is very unlikely to be recovered. However, for those still working on these projects, all work requested and billed for going forwards will be guaranteed payment as this as will count as an ongoing expense of the liquidation process.
With respect to this, all suppliers must continue to provide invoices and all normal documentary proof of services in order to be paid. Firms affected should continue to communicate via their normal contacts at Carillion, but for special cases requiring urgent attention they should email firstname.lastname@example.org. The FMB understands that work on all Carillion construction sites, including public sector projects, has been temporarily halted and these sites locked up. PwC has reassured the industry that they are looking to establish ownership of plant, equipment and tools as quickly as possible.
Banks and HMRC agree supportive arrangements for those affected
The FMB has attended a number of meetings this week with Greg Clark MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in order to feedback the experiences of FMB members and influence the Government and industry response. Following encouragement by the FMB and the Government, the major banks have agreed to implement special arrangements for creditors and supply chain partners of Carillion. As such, the banks will put in place overdraft extensions, payment holidays and fee waivers, making a difference to the thousands of firms in Carillion’s supply chain. In addition, HMRC has agreed to put in place flexible arrangements on tax bills for those working in Carillion’s supply chain.
FMB’s legal helpline
For those members directly affected, please remember that you can seek advice free-of-charge via the FMB’s legal helpline. Our legal advisors operate 24/7 and can be reached on 03444 932859. The team is ready and waiting for your call.
Are you an FMB member?
The FMB needs to hear from any members whose firms are currently working on Carillion contracts, or which have previously worked for the company. The Secretary of State has asked for this information from the FMB directly and ideally we need this as soon as possible. This will help to inform the Government’s response to the Carillion crisis and ensure Ministers are taking action to prevent the negative impact on construction SMEs. Please email the FMB's External Affairs team on email@example.com or call 020 7025 2947.