Builders Bill heading for the LA

| 30/07/2015 | 0 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS Business): The long debated Builders Bill, which would create more accountability in Cayman’s construction industry and protect those who hire contractors, will make its way to the Legislative Assembly when parliamentary meetings continue next month. The bill, which is on government’s agenda for 12 August, is an update to the law passed in May 2007 but never brought into force. The proposed bill aims to introduce a new regulatory regime, with hopes to help improve standards in the construction industry and protect Caymanian jobs.

Industry leaders have stressed that the motivation behind this push is to crack down on the number of construction companies who are said to be operating outside of various laws and cutting corners to save costs, such as not paying pensions, health insurance or other benefits, as well as hiring employees who are not qualified for their positions. The proposed Builders Bill plans to reduce the number of unqualified, unskilled contractors in the market and any kind of abuse of work permits.

Rogue contractors who do not have qualified personnel or fail to pay pension and insurance contributions to their employees will be unable to get Trade and Business Licences under the new framework. The bill will require builders and trades people to demonstrate their skills and carry licences within their specific area of expertise, while leveling the playing field between contractors.

Under the new bill, five registration categories will be created starting at the top with general contractors, civil contractor, building contractor, residential contractor and sub-trades contractor. Construction companies will be required to prove they have the necessary number of qualified individuals on staff to be eligible in the category for which they are applying to be registered. Bill supporters stated registration of builders and their employees would provide the public with a clear indication of the skills and competency level and would enable people to make informed decisions when selecting their contractor.

The bill will provide the framework for punishments for businesses and or individuals who are not registered as a builder and hold themselves as so, as well as those who carry out work in a particular category that they do not have the skill-sets for.

The new bill also takes into account construction woes faced by a considerable number of the islands’ residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan that hit the Islands with devastating force in September 2004.

Heber Arch, president of the Cayman Contractors Association, told CNS Business the CCA is in full support of this legislation.

The bill, if passed, will establish a Builders Board of up to twelve members, who will be responsible for maintaining a register of business entities and qualified individuals in the construction field. The board will be administered through the planning department.


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Category: Construction, Local Business

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