JCT contracts—time

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • JCT contracts—time
  • Commencement
  • Sectional completion
  • Proceeding regularly and diligently
  • Programme
  • Delay events/extensions of time
  • Relevant Events
  • Procedure
  • Overall review
  • Sectional completion
  • More...

JCT contracts—time

This Practice Note considers the Contractor’s obligations in relation to time under the JCT 2011 and 2016 contracts. It looks at commencement of work, the obligation to proceed regularly and diligently, the Contractor’s programme, events entitling the Contractor to an extension of time (known as Relevant Events), acceleration, and the obligation to complete by the Completion Date (including liability for liquidated damages for delay). It refers to clauses in the 2011 and 2016 editions of the JCT Standard Building Contract (SBC) With Quantities, but comparable provisions are found within the other JCT contracts.

The Contractor’s key obligations in relation to time (as set out in clause 2.4) are to:

  1. proceed regularly and diligently with the Works

  2. complete the Works (ie achieve practical completion) by the ‘Completion Date’

However, and as considered below, the ‘Completion Date’ can change during the course of the project:

  1. if the Contractor is granted an extension of time

  2. in the case of a Variation or acceleration, as a result of a ‘Pre-agreed Adjustment’

It is also possible for the contract to provide for sectional completion, in which case the Contractor must complete each Section by the Completion Date for that Section. For more on sectional completion generally, see Practice Note: Sectional completion.


Once the Contractor has been given possession of the site, it is required to begin construction of the Works (clause 2.4). Possession

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