NEC ECS: Verbal Instruction under Option A

Contractor verbally instructs the Subcontractor on site to carry out additional works as well as amending certain elements of existing subcontract works information.

Neither the Contractor or Subcontractor followed up with formal communications to raise the compensation event and any early warnings this may present in the future.

What is the Subcontractor’s position now that time is beyond contractual notification periods under the subcontract and likewise for the Contractor under the ECC.

First of all a Subcontractor should not act or need to act on a verbal instruction. 13.1 obligates an instruction to be in writing, and 13.7 separately from other communications. What would have happened if you had refused until it was in writing? They might have grumbled about why don’t you trust them but to put it in writing should be a five minute job and you both know where you stand. What if they now say what you have done is not quite what they asked? You have a potential defect that you would have to correct at your own cost.

Not withstanding this, the time bar for a notification of a compensation event is seven weeks, but only for events that the Subcontractor is obliged to raise. Here it sounds like this is a change to the Works Information which the Contractor is obliged to notify, so the time bar would not be applicable.