Compliance and Competency

Compliance and Competency

FIS Technical Director Joe Cilia will deliver a seminar as part of UK Construction Week on 9 March to discuss Compliance and Comptetency.

Specifiers who choose to use companies that are ‘Code Compliant’ can be assured that the claims made about a product are clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous, and that where manufacturers work to the recommendations in the recent report ‘Raising the Bar’ have something to measure the competency of everyone in the supply chain in setting the specification and importantly addressing the risk point in procurement when products can get substituted in isolation of the system or where they interface with other elements.

The seminar will take place on 9 March at midday. To register visit

Reverse VAT Early Day Motion

Reverse VAT Early Day Motion

RThe #StopReverseVAT campaign is off to a great start reaching more than 1.2 million social media users in its first week.

Whilst the Treasury’s position is still to introduce Reverse VAT on 1 March, the campaign is gathering pace and traction with an Early Day Motion being tabled by Kirsten Oswald MP calling for the Government to reconsider the implementation of Reverse VAT. Early Day Motions are a great way of drawing attention to subjects and increasing support for this motion is an excellent way of raising the profile of Reverse VAT within parliament. Kirsten has also contacted Build UK offering her support for the campaign.

Build UK has issued a press release in response to the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs and Andy Steele, Vice Chairman of Build UK, spoke directly to the Construction Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, urging her to raise the issue of Reverse VAT with her colleagues in the Treasury and make sure that they fully understand its impact on the industry and the supply chain.

Keep up the pressure

With the amount of interest already being shown, we want to keep up the pressure on the Government to withdraw the Reverse VAT legislation. You can really help by:

  1. Writing to your Member of Parliament:
    1. highlighting the damaging impact Reverse VAT will have on your business, sector and the construction industry
    2. including the Reverse VAT Factsheet
    3. asking them to support Early Day Motion (EDM) 1466
  2. Sharing more postcards using your Trade Association branding to show the range of sectors supporting the campaign
  3. Liking, retweeting and commenting on social media postings that have used #StopReverseVAT
  4. Include @HMTreasury @Jesse_Norman @RishiSunak @Annietrev #PlanforJobs in your postings on social media.

Read more on how the campaign to stop Reverse VAT is gaining momentum.

FIS launches revised site guide for suspended ceilings

FIS launches revised site guide for suspended ceilings

FIS has launched a revised and updated Site Guide for Suspended Ceilings to help a project team fully understand the requirements of the suspended ceiling contractor.

The Site Guide for Suspended Ceilings was produced by the FIS Ceilings and Absorbers working group which comprises representation from manufacturers, suppliers and contractors involved in the design, supply and construction of ceiling systems. The site guide is intended to help main contractors, designers and project managers to understand the terminology, descriptors and different ceiling systems used, and the process of delivery, handling and planning the installation. It also provides an understanding of the site conditions, the plant and access equipment needed as well as highlighting the key health and safety points and requirements from the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM).

“In publishing this guide,  FIS’s aim is to help the project team achieve a completed building that looks and functions to its full design potential.  It is not intended as a definitive technical manual, but rather a framework that will support main contractors, site managers/supervisors, designers, engineers and others involved through the building process.”

Iain McIlwee, FIS Chief Executive

The early appointment of a specialist suspended ceiling contractor who has the necessary experience and resources to achieve satisfactory completion is of major importance whilst contractor membership of FIS will be a significant indicator of a contractor’s suitability.

The guide sits alongside other FIS best practice guides that relate to ceilings:

Installation of suspended ceilings

Selection and installation of top fixings for suspended ceilings

Maintenance and access into suspended ceilings

Recommendations for the Safe Ingress of Plasterboard

Health and safety handbook

In addition, the new specifiers guide to suspended ceilings will be available in Spring 2021.

These guides work well when they are included in proposals and project plans to demonstrate how to best approach a project. They are also good indicators if a contractor puts the guide forward as part of a submission of a contractor’s ability to deliver the ceiling installation to the required standard and are an excellent introduction to new members of the team and any trainees and apprentices.

You can download the Site Guide for Suspended Ceilings here.

VAT deferral

VAT deferral

Companies that deferred VAT between 20 March and 30 June 2020 can either make payment in full by 31 March 2021 or opt in to the VAT deferral payment scheme when it launches shortly. The new scheme will allow companies to repay their VAT in up to 11 interest‐free monthly instalments until March 2022, rather than in one lump sum.

Labour shortages, the number one concern for FIS

Labour shortages, the number one concern for FIS

In a report on CNews today, FIS has continued to raise concerns about potential labour shortages.

Iain McIlwee, FIS CEO commented: As the article in CN news reflets, the extent of the immigration issue is still very much unknown, but it is concerning, especially in our sector where over 40% of the workforce is from the EU.  What we do know is that over 40% of our members are currently reporting a shortage and 60% are expecting one, how bad it will get we don’t fully know right now, but we anticipate that it will impact rates and programmes.   The problem has two parts, the immediate concern over who will stay and settle, we are trying to understand the cliff ledge post-Christmas and there is potentially another one coming in the summer when the Right to Works checks kick in.  But, that is only part of the problem – even if all the EU workers return and stay, our annual recruitment and training target has doubled over night, because many trades do not make it on the skilled or shortage occupation list and so the EU tap is well and truly off.  If just 5-10% opt to ply their trade within the EU instead, this target triples, quadruples and so on.  This is the number one concern for the FIS as we move into 2021 – the infrastructure and time just isn’t in place to solve this – realistically we need to see some relaxation of the rules to give us time to transition.

Read the full article here: Labour shortages could raise rates ‘at least 10%’

#StopReverseVAT Campaign

#StopReverseVAT Campaign

FIS, alongside Build UK, is part of a coalition of industry trade bodies calling on the Chancellor to withdraw the VAT Reverse Charge which is due to be introduced on 1 March.

The new legislation will restrict the cash flow of companies throughout the construction supply chain, and Build UK is launching a campaign #StopReverseVAT on Monday 1 February to ensure that the Treasury and HMRC fully understand the impact of Reverse VAT. We are keen to involve all our members and you can feature your company on Build UK social media postcards by emailing Build UK the following:

  • a hi‐res headshot of your Chief Executive or Chairman/President
  • their name, job title and company
  • a quote (50 ‐ 75 words) that sums up the impact that Reverse VAT will have on your business or sector.

You can also help us to raise the profile of this issue by sharing the postcards on Twitter and LinkedIn using the hashtag #StopReverseVAT and tagging in @hmtreasury and @HMRCgovuk. By working together, we can demonstrate the significant impact Reverse VAT will have on the industry at a time when we have been singled out as vital to the economic recovery.