NEC Contracts: Force Majeure - Corona Virus?

This is a general question, not related to a specific option under the NEC contract.

Our construction industry is diverse workforce which is multi-cultural and European/International and pulls in individuals from all over the globe.

Should the Government bring in travel restrictions or “City shut-downs” I anticipate that this will hit our industry hard and I am assuming this would fall under the NEC Force Majeure equivalent clause 19.1?

As a Project Manager I expect would be required to instruct the Contractor stating how he is to deal with the event?

Should Early Warning be raised now on all NEC contracts?

Any general guidance/direction from a contract administration point of view would be gratefully received.



It sounds like a good idea to raise an early warning so all parties can start thinking about the consequences and what to do. Larger contractors and clients can probably reach back into their HO for guidance.

If it was to happen, then it would almost certainly be a compensation event under 60.1(19) especially under NEC4 where the Contractor maintains its terminal float, where as under NEC3 the normal legal interpretation was it had to use it up before the compensation event cut-in.

Apologies for being general in this, the information is considerably detailed and I think we are all still finding our way through this, but I understand that the NEC has issued guidance on COVID 19 and the NEC4 in summary saying that it is dealt with under Clause 19 Prevention and that the Project Manager should take control of dealing with the matter, possibly instructing suspension or changing the scope in some way, There seems to be some very specific advise on the relevance and test for clause 19.
However, there is no mention of it being a CE under 60.1(19)!
I was wondering how this is under the NEC3, and how the Prevention clause and the Compensation Events tie together and thus would the contractor have a claim for time and/or costs?

John, what’s the basis of your comment at the end of your answer above re: NEC3. Why is terminal float up for grabs?