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‘Attendances’ are items/services that the Main Contractor will provide to the sub-contractor during the course of their sub-contract works. The term used to describe these may vary in different forms of subcontract (for example, attendances isn’t a defined term in NEC) but anything you are expecting to be provided should be clearly documented.

It is often not practical or economical for all sub-contractors on a project to be entirely self-sufficient. Anything that the sub-contractor needs to provide will ultimately be factored into their price for undertaking the work. Therefore, if there are any common items that the Main Contractor will already have on site, it may make more sense for them to provide this to the sub-contractors to minimise costs and prevent unnecessary duplication of plant.

Typical things that the Main Contractor will often provide are site welfare facilities, temporary lighting, security, waste disposal, traffic management, laydown areas, water etc.

The sub-contractor may also require more specific items such as craneage, working platforms, special access requirements or builders work in connection with their scope.

It is important to check that anything you require in terms of attendances are clearly defined in the contract. It is not sufficient to identify these on your quotation. Unless they have referred to your quotation in the contract, everything the main contractor is responsible for providing should be listed.

Furthermore, any conditions regarding when these items will be provided should be clear. For example, if you require craneage at specific times in your programme, the contract should refer to this. It is beneficial to include milestones on your programme that show points in time where the contractor is due to provide you with something to prevent delaying your works. That way, it will be easy to compare when something ought to have been provided and when it was provided for assessing a variation and/or extension of time.

Additionally, identify any restrictions that the contractor may place on the provision of these attendances. Have they indicated that the attendances will only be provided for the agreed subcontract duration? Should you be late in completing your works, they may seek to ‘contra-charge’ you for attendances provided during the delay period, unless you have valid grounds for an extension of time. If there are also delay damages in the contract, late completion could prove to be costly.

Have you been involved in disputes regarding the provision of attendances? Could it have been avoided if they were better defined?

Please share your thoughts and comments.

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