NEC ECC: Option B Prelims over Xmas break

A CE has resulted in the planned completion spanning over the Xmas break - from Late Dec to Early Jan 2020 on an option B contract.

Is the Contractor entitled to the full amount for the agreed prelims to be paid over the Xmas break - resulting in the CEQ cost doubling?

The simple answer is ‘yes’ provided that such costs are Defined Cost under the SSCC.

I am assuming that no, or limited, actual works will be taking place during the Christmas break period, hence the reason for your question.

The cost of Equipment for site accommodation and set up is straightforward, which also includes the cost of maintaining this, including likely costs for cleaning, security (People or Subcontractor) etc

For People, however, it would be a different assessment. Although employed People will likely take time off and get paid, if you have People rates these should factor in holidays and other leave days to provide a daily/hourly rate which accounts for time while not working.

Although s11 of the shorter schedule (SSCC) is differently worded to the full schedule (SCC), and does not state ’ … while they are within the Working Areas.’, (NEC3) the intention is clearly the same under both in that a cost is incurred in order to Provide the Works, so the People would have to be engaged in activities which fall under the definition of To Provide the Works for that time to be treated as Defined Cost.

The same principle applies to NEC4, with the change to the wording of ’ … according to the time working on the contract’, whereby People do not have to physically be in the Working Areas for their cost to be treated as Defined Cost, although they would still have to be engaged in activities to Provide the Works.