I attended Geoff Hardy’s builder breakfast recently on the topic of retentions. Consensus was, they are a good thing to avoid (retentions, not the breakfasts), but in many commercial situations you can’t avoid them. Apart from having to wait months to earn your profit in the job in some case many sub-contractors are left with retentions unpaid when the main contractor goes under. This is caused by the retentions not being held in trust and are used to pay others (which is illegal).
Despite directors and senior management breaking the law in this matter, MBIE seem reluctant to bring criminal charges against head contractors. Perhaps because intent is difficult to prove. So what can you do as a sub-contractor to protect your self? Read on….