On the 12th day of Christmas my contractor served on me………

…including time frames for serving Payment and Pay Less Notices over Christmas

Although much of the construction industry closes down over Christmas, for those lucky few who are still at work it is worth giving some thought to the time limits under the Construction Act (as amended) during the Christmas period.

When calculating time this Christmas, it is important to be aware that in relation to adjudication, the service of Payment Notices, Default Notices, Pay Less Notices and Withholding Notices – the Christmas period does count, at least in part.

Over the coming Christmas period, the following days are excluded:

  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • 1 January 2020

However, weekends and any other days during this period will still count.

For example, if a notice of adjudication was served on Christmas Eve, the maximum 7 day period for the service of the Referral would not expire until midnight on 3 January 2020.

Some general principles which are useful to remember are:

  • Weekends will count, unless otherwise excluded, for example if Christmas Day falls on a weekend.
  • The days that do not count will vary from year to year.


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