Suspending Work Under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (“SOP Act”)
Under the SOP Act, if you are not paid you have a protected right to suspend work on a project. This right is separate to any right you have under your contract.
Your protected right to suspend work under the SOP Act means if you do suspend work and your Head Contractor/Principal attempts to remove any work from your contract due to that suspension, you are entitled to claim for any loss or expense suffered as a result of the removal.
In addition, you will not be liable for any costs or losses suffered by your Head Contractor/Principal arising from your suspension If you suspend work under the SOP Act.
When can you suspend work?
You can suspend work in 3 scenarios, all related to your Head Contractor/Principal failing to pay you. Those scenarios are:
- You issue a payment claim and your Head Contractor/Principal does not issue you with a payment schedule, then fails to pay you the full amount of your payment claim by the due date (section 15(1)); or
- You issue a payment claim and your Head Contractor/Principal does issue you with a payment schedule, then fails to pay you the scheduled amount by the due date (section 16(1)); or
- You file an adjudication application which results in an adjudication determination that you are entitled to be paid the adjudicated amount and the Head Contractor/Principal does not pay you the adjudicated amount by the due date (section 23(2)).
How do you suspend work?
Before you can suspend work, you must give your Head Contractor/Principal at least 2 business days’ notice that you intend to suspend work. That notice must specify which section of the SOP Act you are relying upon.
An interactive template draft suspension notice is included in this pack on the following page.
When do I have to go back to work?
After suspending work, you are required to recommence work within 3 business days of receiving payment in full from your Head Contractor/Principal.
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