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tough months ahead

Personal insolvency? It’s still tough out there!

Authored by Phil Meekin

Phil Meekin

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Approximate read time: 3 minutes

After a few years, I moved onto a career in insolvency but my husband stayed in the same industry he had been in since leaving school.

I used to work in the construction industry about 10 years ago and that’s where I met my husband.

My husband and I used to work for a big construction company. They had work coming out of their ears and were tendering shop fitting works for blue chip companies on a regular basis.

After a few years, I moved onto a career in insolvency but my husband stayed in the same industry he had been in since leaving school.

Over the years my husband had worked himself up within companies to become senior management. Up until a couple of years ago, my husband used to get head hunted to run certain projects for big construction companies. This was as a result of the good relationship he has with the clients, standards etc. He would attend interviews and he could name his price. So basically if that company wanted him, he could pick a package he wanted.

Oh how the times have changed. The number of re-fits of stores has reduced drastically and any work out there to be tendered is bought by construction companies to keep their companies a float. Also, with a hope they make profits along the way and this doesn’t always work.

My husband is currently on a site where the above seems to have happened. They even went the extra mile and reduced programme times to be very attractive to the potential client. Now his company is losing a large amount of money due to the initial decisions when tendering the project. This is something that is causing all sorts of extra costs and problems. The problems caused include sub-contractors walking off site because my husband’s company hasn’t paid them. Also, some trades are not turning up because their company have entered a form of insolvency and cannot continue the project. The programme of works was unrealistic so now the client is charging for addition time on site. As with Many projects these days this was a competitive tender to which they had to stand by their price.

Moving forward from this, the sub contractors have had to stand by their price too. The contacts are so onerous in the clients favour that there is no room for error or re course.

Due to the conditions of the contract, my husband’s company has survived due to size but it has taken its toll on a smaller sub-contractor. They have entered forms of insolvency and been unable to continue this project and their other commitments.

My husband works away from home at the moment but we talk daily. We normally chat about what we have been up to in the day or what our 2 year old daughter has done new today but today’s call was very different. My husband explained his employer hasn’t got any live sites for him or his site team when he completes this project. He may be facing redundancy. This was not the call I wanted to receive but the way the site and his company have been running, it was expected.

My husband’s company is obviously not the first construction company to be affected in this current climate but everything has a knock on effect:

  • Big retail stores lose money, they try and save money by reducing refurbishment, new builds and upgrades
  • Construction companies have work load reduced causing staff redundancies
  • Smaller trades such as painters, decorators, plumbers have work reduced or payment delayed. So this could resort to insolvency proceedings for them.

It’s very tough out there, everybody seems to be cutting back including huge companies and it affects a lot of people.

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