Wednesday, June 22, 2022

BESA publishes 2022 updated National Agreement handbook

The industry’s National Agreement covering pay rates and employment terms and conditions is playing a vital role in maintaining good relations between employers and workers across the building services sector, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA). 

To help maintain the current stable and harmonious situation, BESA has updated the handbook that accompanies the Agreement and launched a survey asking all interested parties to provide their feedback about its usefulness and effectiveness. The survey also calls for ideas about how the Agreement can be refined and improved to keep pace with changing circumstances. 

The Agreement creates a level playing field for pay and for terms and conditions of employment,” said Paula Samuels, BESA’s head of employment affairs. “Its existence allows contractors to focus fully on competing on quality of service, technical excellence, efficiency and delivering client satisfactionrather than continually having to look over their shoulders to see what is happening in the market on rates of pay and changing conditions. 

As the industry standard, using the agreement helps promote long-term labour price and industrial relations stability, avoiding the need for individual company negotiations,” she said. “We regularly review the agreement to make sure it continues to offer employees the most attractive terms and conditions, including welfare benefits provided by the preferred industry supplier Welplan.” 

The Agreement also provides other benefits including enabling employers to pay workers’ travel and accommodation costs tax-free, by agreement with HMRC, avoiding any administrative complications and bureaucracy. 

The 2022 revision led to the addition of guidance notes for each clause of the agreement as a further aid to users. The terminology covering training was also updated to reflect the different arrangements for each of the devolved UK nations; and the holiday and pension clauses have been adjusted to reflect new legal requirements. 

This work was carried out by BESA’s Employment Policy Committee, which comprises several industry employers, who were also praised for maintaining the close working relationship with the unions that has allowed the Agreement to survive and thrive. 

To take part in the National Agreement survey please click here.

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