The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) is advising contractors to review their contracts so supply chains can work together to manage inevitable delays to projects during the coronavirus crisis.

Many sites are being shut down in response to government calls for non-essential work to be paused and the association praised the way firms were working together to manage this unprecedented interruption to business.

BESA’s Legal and Commercial Director Debbie Petford said firms should confirm the correct method for notifying delays under the terms of their contract. She added that many contractors were now entering into deeds of suspension with their clients where both parties agree to suspend their obligations and work out how to apportion risk.

“This is a really sensible approach,” she said during BESA’s daily Covid-19 update webinar. “There is no one-size-fits-all remedy here, but if you contact my department at BESA we will be happy to advise you.”

There have been some reports of sub-contractors facing threats of fines and penalties if they don’t turn up for work and BESA Chief Executive David Frise also called for that to stop.

“We are bound to see some examples of bad behaviour, but overwhelmingly we are seeing the best of people during this crisis,” he said. “Supply chains are working together to get through it and to ensure that projects can quickly get back up to speed when the crisis is over.”

For more information about BESA’s daily Covid-19 update webinars go to