Employer’s agent

Employer's agent in design and build contracts.

When an employer wishes to procure a building project via a ‘design and build’ contract (specifically a JCT contract) he needs to appoint an ‘Employers Agent’ to act on his behalf. The ‘Employers Agent’ will be a named individual that the employer entrusts with his or her authority to manage the project. If that individual is employed then his firm will also be named.

The role is often filled by a quantity surveyor although the role of QS is not mentioned in the JCT design and build contract. Our quantity surveyors and building surveyors have considerable experience in design and build contracts and frequently act as ‘Employer’s Agent’.

The ‘Employers Agent’ acts on behalf of the employer in all aspects of the contract unless the employer expressly states to the contrary. The duties of the ‘Employer’s Agent’ are defined in the JCT contract but include the ability to receive and issue applications, consents, instructions, notices, requests and statements; and, to otherwise act for the employer under any of the contract conditions.

The employer remains responsible under the contract for giving possession of the site; making payments to the contractor; and for issuing certain notices. In these circumstances the ‘Employer’s Agent’ will usually give advice and support.

The ‘Employer’s Agent’ will issue payment notices as the work progresses. The Agent cannot deduct liquidated damages but will advise the employer of their right to do so.
Apart from the above the ‘Employer’s Agent’ is often called upon to lead the project team and may undertake some architectural functions. The Agent will often draft the ‘employer’s requirements’ and will frequently undertake pre-contract cost planning and contractor selection roles as well as invite tenders from an agreed list. The ‘Employer’s Agent’ will scrutinise the contractor’s tender proposals and advise the employer on the competing offers.

See how we measure up

Please contact us if you would like more information on our services or a fee quotation.

Featured Projects

  • Employers Agent

    Windsor – eleven superior apartments

    Our client acquired this site with the benefit of planning consent and a contractor who had started preliminary works. We suggested negotiating with the contractor on the basis of a design and build contract.
  • Employers Agent

    Wantage – Mixed Use Development

    Our client for this project owns the nearby shopping precinct and had looked at various options to develop the vacant site. Financial viability and local authority pressure eventually culminated in planning consent for a mixed use, shop, office and residential scheme.
  • Employers Agent

    Kingsclere – Tyre Depot

    Our client owned and operated their business from this site, part of which was sold for residential development. To free up the residential site the redevelopment scheme including building a new depot in a corner of the site. We suggested tendering on the basis of a design and build contract.
  • Employers Agent

    Slough – nine house residential development

    Our client acquired this site with the benefit of planning consent and wanted to build out the scheme as quickly as possible. We suggested tendering on the basis of a design and build contract.
  • Employers Agent

    Amesbury – School Extension

    Our client for this project was a consortium consisting of a major house builder and local authority. The house builder agreed to finance an eight classroom extension to a local school as part of a ‘planning gain’ agreement. Planning consent had already been obtained so we suggested tendering on the basis of a design and build contract.