Christmas is just around the corner, and as we approach the end of the year, it is important to remember the timing requirements for payment claims and payment schedules under the relevant security of payment (SOP) legislation for each State and Territory.
Here are our tips to ensure that presents are your only surprise this festive season.
Know when your payment schedule must be served
Click here to view the SOP Comparison table and calendar that sets out the non-business days for each State and Territory. This table will help you to time your payment schedules correctly in each jurisdiction as the meaning of ‘Business Day’ changes from State to State. It is crucial that you understand the different timing for each State so that you are not caught out and miss the correct date to serve a schedule.
Check the contract
It is important to note that your contract may provide that a progress certificate under the contract must be given within a shorter period than permitted by the SOP legislation for giving a payment schedule. In other words, the definition of business day in your contract may be different from the definition of business day as it is expressed in the SOP legislation. In most cases, an obligation to give a progress certificate under the contract will not affect the period in which you may give a payment schedule under the SOP legislation, however, we suggest that it is prudent to give a payment schedule within the period stated in the contract for giving a progress certificate.
Check your registered office
You should confirm that your registered office and principal place of business will be monitoring communications over the Christmas period – it is open to claimants to serve payment claims at your registered office or principal place of business in addition to any address in the contract.
If your contract permits service of payment claims to an email address, ensure that the inbox is monitored, or that emails will be forwarded to an appropriate person when they are received. In addition, it may be prudent to request that contractors provide their December claims before Christmas together with a direction for Christmas claims to be provided to a dedicated individual at a specific email address.
Be aware of the timeframes required for your payment schedules this Christmas period. Take note of the relevant blackout periods for each State and check your contracts to ensure that you do not run the risk of failing to deliver a payment schedule on time. If, over the Christmas period, you have concerns or require advice in relation to a payment claim or a document that you suspect might be a payment claim, please feel free to contact us.