NFRC backs Conflict Avoidance Pledge and urges others to do the same

NFRC has signed the Conflict Avoidance Pledge to help drive behavioural change in the construction industry.

The pledge commits organisations to:

  • Work proactively to avoid conflict and facilitate early resolution of any potential disputes
  • Develop their capability in the early identification of potential disputes in the use of conflict avoidance measures
  • Promote the value of collaborative working to prevent issues from developing into disputes
  • Work with industry partners to identify, promote and utilise conflict avoidance mechanisms.

Commenting on the Conflict Avoidance Pledge, James Talman, chief executive of the NFRC, said: “With many sites having temporarily closed during lockdown, there have been widespread delays to projects across the industry. Understandably there is now pressure to get projects back on track and there will be extra costs, but the question will be, who pays? We are urging all parties to work collaboratively through this period, engage early on any potential contractual issues and resolve any differences of opinion before they become full-blown disputes. There has been so much talk about the need for behavioural change in the construction industry and if we can’t harness this opportunity to tangibly change working practices, we never will.”

He added: “NFRC has signed the Conflict Avoidance Pledge to encourage the industry to adopt a more collaborative and conciliatory approach to managing any potential conflict. Disputes cost the construction industry billions of pounds and can cause reputational damage and break down business relationships. There has to be a better way forward. We are pleased to see some big names in the industry already signed up to the Pledge and we encourage other leading bodies to follow suit. The question will now be whether firms practice what they preach, and it will be important to monitor this.”

James concluded: “We urge all NFRC members to join us in signing this pledge to send a message to the rest of the industry that roofing contractors are committed to working proactively to avoid potential conflicts. Let’s show our commitment to working with industry partners to find early resolutions to disputes.”