NEC3 ECC Period of reply

Does the period of reply apply to EWNs? And if the contract states the reply period is 2wks is the delay recoverable for an event which is employers risk?

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Hi Emma good question. In the NEC3 ECC the requirement to reply to communications within the period for reply is set out in clause 13.3. The period for reply is only used where the PM, Supervisor or Contractor are “required by the contract to reply”.

The early warning process doesn’t expressly require a reply as all early warnings are added to the register although logically there could be a discussion around organising a risk reduction meeting.

I think you could argue that there isn’t a contractual requirement to reply but a more pragmatic and sensible approach would be to follow the spirit of contact which trying to install prompt decision making.

I know most of the software products on the market provide the ability to reply to early warning (or mark no reply being required) and flag notice after the period for reply has lapsed which is a sensible compromise.

Was recently debating this point with @stevencevans and @Glenn_Hide.


Probably also worth noting that, in any event, the period for reply is a maximum not a minimum or expected period. Where something is more urgent it should be flagged as such and dealt with appropriately. The contract is there to help, guide and track good project management not get in the way of it.

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Emma Rob makes a good point and it’s often overlooks by clients how timely decision making is essential to successful project delivery. it got me thinking about your questions again. Not sure if you consider what decisions you need and whether you have shown them on the programme but this would be a good way to show when you need decision by and it doesn’t need to be linked to a EWN.

Your second part to your question is a bit vague but it’s not the EWN that would give you a right to compensation or set the rules on what’s recoverable. In fact it’s worth bearing in mind EWN are for events that haven’t happened. If it’s an employer risk and it’s happened it’s more than likely a CE already and you should notify it or it will be time barred. The rules on what is recoverable for CEs are set out in clause 63 mostly although there are other clauses that apply as well.

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