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You’ve Signed My Dayworks Sheet, You Can’t Knock My Hours Down!

Many an argument has been had on site about dayworks. Contractors generally dislike them, but Sub-Contractors as you would expect are more much amenable to them.

Typically a Sub-Contractor (wanting to make a few extra quid on the project) will agree with the site agent, foreman or engineer that he is to record the work on a daywork basis. Problems then sometimes arise when it comes to payment and getting it past the QS!

Whether a Sub-Contractor uses a daywork sheet, allocation sheet or record of resource sheet, he will inevitably present a document to the Contractor that describes what work he has done, the hours that his plant and labour have spent on it, and what materials he has purchased, as well as any other costs that he has incurred in completing the work. He then presents it to the Contractor for signature.

The Contractor, if he is a good fella, will then sign it.

Contractors typically have a habit of stating “for record purposes only” or “FRPO” when signing, but in reality this has little or no effect on the Sub-Contractors rights. The Contractor is merely signing that the work was carried out, the resources as described were utilised and the hours claimed are correct. Nothing more and nothing less.

He is not agreeing to pay the Sub-Contractor on daywork, unless this has expressly been agreed beforehand, as it may be that the work carried out is already covered in the Contract or that contract rates may apply. So what effect does the signature have?

Put simply, the Contractor is agreeing that those resources were used on that operation, so  your favourite QS may argue it is not a variation, or it should be valued at contract rates, or it should be valued at pro-rata rates, or even it should be valued at new rates using the sheets to establish your costs, or any other excuse to avoid paying dayworks in principle! He cannot however (unless fraud is proven) once it has been agreed to be paid on a dayworks basis, alter or amend the hours duly authorised and signed off by the Contractor’s representative.

To be blunt, if the hours are excessive, amend them before signature or do not sign the sheets, because once signed it is very difficult to justifiably amend the sheets. Most Contractor’s incorporate into Sub-Contracts a “Daywork Procedures” which describe the procedure that should be taken when daywork arises, typically it involves some dialogue with the Contractors representative beforehand and his approval or signature afterwards – I have not seen any “Daywork Procedures” which gives the QS the right to hack at the hours, once duly authorised!

So, my advice is simple, if you have a “Daywork Procedures” in the Contract, make sure you understand and comply with them. Then if you come across any monkey business from the QS, stand your ground!

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