Early warning notices are not a pre-empt to claims

Navigating the-inner workings of construction contracts can be a daunting task. One common misconception that often circulates in the industry is the belief that early warning notices are a precursor to claims. In this blog, we aim to dismiss this myth and shed light on the true purpose of early warnings in the NEC4 contracts.



Understanding NEC4 Contracts

The NEC4 is a suite of standard form construction contracts, one of its distinguishing features is the emphasis on collaboration, risk management, and flexibility in dealing with changes during the project lifecycle.

One of the key tools in NEC4 contracts is the early warning notice. Contrary to common misconceptions, an early warning is not intended to be a pre-emptive move towards making a claim. Instead, it serves as a protection to the Client to make sure that their objectives aren’t compromised.


The purpose of early warning notices


Risk identification:

Early warnings provide a platform for the Project Manager or Contractor to identify and communicate potential issues or risks that could impact the project’s successful delivery. It includes a description of the matter and the way in which the effects of the matter are to be avoided or reduced.


Creating a collaborative approach:

The NEC4 contract promotes a spirit of mutual trust and a collaborative approach to project management. The issuing of an early warning encourages open communication among the Parties involved, fostering an environment where problems can be addressed collectively.

By highlighting potential issues early on, the Parties can work together to explore mitigation strategies and find solutions before the problems escalate or ends up in dispute. This proactive approach aligns with the NEC4 contract’s purpose of preventing issues rather than the Client being surprised the project has gone over time or budget.


Improved Decision-Making: 

Early warnings contribute to better decision-making by providing timely information about potential risks. This allows the Parties involved to make informed choices and adapt the programme to keep the project on track.


Dispelling the Myth

The myth that early warnings are a pre-empt to claims have been raised from a misunderstanding of the collaborative nature of NEC4 contracts. Early warnings are not a signal that a party is gearing up for a dispute or a claim. Instead, they are a constructive tool for managing risk and collaborative problem-solving.


Our Recommendations

We recommend using Sypro Contract Manager to facilitate any early warnings on your projects. Our platform allows you to raise an early warning compliantly and with a risk score to help determine the severity of the warning. There is also a chat function that allows open communication to take place between the Parties involved to help promote a collaborative approach to your project.

For more information on Sypro Contract Manager, speak to a member of our sales team who can walk you through the platform.