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Workers Bill could hold key for Carillion subcontractors
by Susie Hughes at 11:18 06/02/18 (News on Business)
A new piece of legislation currently before Parliament should be considered to ensure Carillion's subcontractors are paid any outstanding amounts they are owed.
Since the failure of the construction giant, it is thought that up to 30,000 subcontractors and independent contractors directly and indirectly engaged by Carillion were owed money at the time of its liquidation.

SNP MP Chris Stephens made the case to the House of Commons that the ‘visionary' Workers Bill, which was published a fortnight ago, could solve any disputes around payments to subcontractors.

He said: "I think there is a sensible solution to the current Carillion crisis that would help the existing workforce. It can be found in the Workers (Definition and Rights) Bill, which was published last week and is available in all good Vote Offices.

"It is a visionary Bill, if I may say so, because we need to have the principle that where a subcontractor absconds or ceases trading, the principal contractor is then responsible for the wages of the subcontractor's workers, including:

  • any fee, bonus, commission, sick pay, maternity pay, holiday pay, redundancy pay" or any other payment.

"I hope the Government will look carefully at clause 3 of the Bill, and introduce emergency legislation to protect the workers of Carillion and to ensure that when subcontractors are caught up in such a situation, the principal contractor must pick up the tab."

Seb Maley from tax specialists Qdos Contractor highlighted the importance of paying each subcontractor engaged by Carillion. He said: "While the Government has provided funds to ensure Carillion's public sector projects continue, uncertainty still surrounds the future of private sector work and outstanding payments to subcontractors.

"The Workers Bill could be pivotal should legislation need to be relied on to ensure each subcontractor and independent worker is paid the amount they are owed by Carillion.

"It's vital that every subcontractor is paid for the work completed, so that they themselves can afford to pay the independent contractors they engage."

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2018

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