Fluctuation clauses go online in new JCT Minor Works family

The latest edition of the Joint Contract Tribunal’s (JCT’s) Minor Works Building Contract family has moved its optional fluctuation clause online.

Minor Works is designed for use on short-lasting, small and simple construction projects in the public and private sector, according to the JCT. The same form can be used for both private employers and local authorities.

The latest set of seven documents, released yesterday (15 May), also stipulates that the client “must provide drawings, a specification, or work schedules to define the quantity and quality of work”.

In addition, the price and payment structure of the contract is based on a lump sum with monthly interim payments.

The fluctuation clause (called the JCT Fluctuations Option) was included in the main Minor Works Building Contract document in the 2016 edition, but is now online only “as a streamlining measure”, according to a JCT representative.

“There have always been fluctuation options in our contracts generally,” the spokesperson told Construction News. Fluctuation options feature in the main contract and subcontract documents for Design and Build, for instance.

A fluctuation option essentially allows alterations to the sum expected by the contractor – for example, if a significant shortage of a certain type of material causes the project cost to go above the initial estimate.

“Fluctuations essentially allow a way for the contracting parties to make provisions for those kinds of variations,” the JCT representative said, adding that inflation and interest rate increases are other examples where fluctuation provisions may apply.

They added: “It’s very rare that a project making use of the Minor Works form would use these types of provisions anyway.”

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