Our Option B Subcontract WI includes clauses relating to welfare provisions, site access arrangements etc (albeit in fairly generic terms). The main Contractor has had to make wholesale changes as a result of CV-19. These will significantly impact on our site productivity on site. Would we have any grounds for a compensation event on the basis of changes in the WI?
Yes, it sounds like you may have a compensation event under clause 60.1(1) which will cover delay and disruption costs and time due to the changed welfare provisions, however you may also have one under clause 60.1(19) which would cover delay and disruption caused by other things such as your employees self isolating and your suppliers shutting up shop.
The only compensation event for changes in the WI is one that arises from the Project Manager’s instruction. Accordingly, if the PM has issued an instruction to make the wholesale changes then that would be a compensation event under 60.1(1).
If the PM has not issued an instruction, then it may still be a compensation event under 60.1(19) if it satisfies all the conditions which, broadly, are that it is an event that stops the Contractor completing the works at all or by planned Completion and at the Contract Date had such a small chance of occurring that it would be unreasonable to have allowed for it.
A compensation event under 60.1(1) is notifiable by the PM and one under 60.1(19) is notifiable by the Contractor and the time bar applies.