Welcome to the RIFT Traffic Report, a monthly round-up of key news and events from across the UK construction industry. With the new tax year already rolling, it’s time to get the wheels turning on your next tax refund claim.

97% of RIFT’s returning customers have been finding out that they’re owed another tax refund this year. What’s more, with average refund amounts going up by 9% over last year, there’s more at stake than ever. You should be getting a text or email from one of our reps soon, so just fire back a reply or set up a time to meet on-site to get things moving.

Also, while we’re in the New Tax Year spirit, a quick word of caution. If you haven’t completed your CIS registration yet you need to get it done fast. If you end up unregistered, you’ll be looking at losing a whopping 30% from your pay to the taxman!

Most Considerate Site 2019 winners announced

The Considerate Constructors Scheme’s National Site Awards are about recognising when firms have really gone the extra mile. The scheme rates how much care and thought have been given to local communities, their workforces and the environment as a whole. All told, 764 awards were presented – spread across a total of over 6,700 eligible sites. 152 sites were presented with Gold awards, 252 with Silver and 336 with Bronze. As for the Most Considerate Site 2019 titles, the winners were:

  • Carlisle Gas Holder Demolition Project – Northern Gas Networks (project value under £500k)
  • Columbia Threadneedle Property Investments – Overbury plc (project value £500k to <£1m)
  • Camden FRA Works – Mulalley (project value £1m to <£5m)
  • University Centre, Rotherham – Willmott Dixon Construction (project value £5m to <£10m)
  • Woodmansterne Secondary School – Willmott Dixon Construction (project value £10m to <£50m)
  • One Blackfriars – St George City Ltd (project value £50m and over)  

Major clients push for safety improvements

Construction can be a dangerous business, and some of the industry’s biggest clients, contractors and supply chain members are working together for change. Following the lead of the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG), this initiative is looking to tackle the causes of injury and illness in major UK infrastructure projects. Areas to be covered include:

  • Mental health.
  • People & Mobile plant.
  • Striking buried services.
  • Lifting operations.
  • Heavy goods vehicles operations.
  • Hand-arm vibration related disease.
  • Public safety.

Members of the ICG include heavyweights like EDF Energy, Sellafield Ltd and Transport for London. Together, they’re aiming to get the whole industry onboard with game-changing improvements, reducing risk and promoting health, safety and wellbeing.

£75 million from Goldman Sachs for modular housing business

Modular housing firm TopHat has secured the backing of one of the biggest names in investment banking – to the tune of a cool £75 million. TopHat has gone into full production on Kent’s Kitchener Barracks redevelopment, and is set to start welcoming residents in the summer. CEO Jordan Rosenhaus has this to say:

“We are incredibly excited to have Goldman Sachs as an investor in TopHat. This transaction is a sign of the tremendous progress TopHat has made since it was established and the significant market opportunity in the housing and digital construction sectors in the UK.”

Modular housing and off-site construction have incredible potential at a time when the construction skills shortage is really starting to bite. An investment announcement like this is a good sign that things are moving in the right direction.

UK Construction output up by 0.4% in February

Despite a general slowdown, the monthly growth of construction showed a little promise in February, spurred on by a 1.1% bump in new work. Private housing and infrastructure were looking relatively strong – but it’s worth remembering that there’s been an overall shrinkage of 0.6% according to the latest 3-month report. Obviously, Brexit’s still looming large in the industry’s mind, which is making lenders and investors a little twitchy. However, some are saying that the fairly long extension offered by the EU could calm a few frayed nerves and cause a spring rebound.

Question of the month: How do I know if my tax code has changed?

Checking your tax code is something most people never even think about. However, if you’re claiming tax refunds each year, it’s incredibly important to keep a close eye on your code. HMRC, for example, will sometimes change your tax code to account for the expenses you’ve claimed. However, those expenses will often change from year to year, leaving you in a tricky position.

If you’ve already had your P2 notice of coding from HMRC, you can check your tax code and what it means there. Otherwise, you can find it on any of your payslips, your P60s, P45s or pension advice slips (depending on your situation).

The main thing to do if you notice an unexplained change in your tax code or pay is to get in touch with RIFT as soon as possible. If there’s a good reason why the change has happened, we’ll be able to talk you through it. If it’s an HMRC or employer mistake, we’ll get it fixed. Either way, you’re better off with RIFT.

Look out for our reps on site, or answer 4 simple questions to see if you're due a tax refund today.