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Last edited 16 Feb 2021
Daywork is a means by which a contractor is paid for instructed work based on the cost of labour, materials and plant plus a markup for overheads and profit. It is generally used when work cannot be valued in the normal way. For example, daywork might be instructed when there are no comparative rates in a bill of quantities and a pro-rata method of pricing cannot be used. This method of pricing can be open to exploitation, so it is advisable to put monitoring and controlling procedures in place.
 Recording dayworks
Contractors will usually have a template or daywork sheet to capture labour hours, materials and plant. Dayworks can either be, percentage addition or all-inclusive rates. With all-inclusive dayworks a pre-established schedule of rates submitted at tender is used to price the daywork.
A typical daywork sheet might contain the following:
- Project details.
- Instructions issued by the client or site instructions.
- Date (some contractors capture a week's work on a daywork sheet).
- Description of the dayworks.
- Details of labour, including workers' names and hours worked.
- Details of all materials used.
- Details of all plant used.
- Add on costs – profit and overhead.
- Signature area for the contractor’s representative.
- Signature area for the client’s representative.
The client’s team on-site should monitor the daywork. If a clerk of works is part of the client team, monitoring dayworks will typically be their duty. They will verify the hours captured and plant and materials used and sign off the daywork sheet. Their signature will only verify the data captured on-site and not that the daywork sheet is a valid claim for the final account.
Daywork instructions can be a contentious issue in the industry, and programme pressures can affect the clarity of works instructed. Clear communication between the contractor and the client’s team is vital to minimise disputes, including clear instructions relating to time scales and procedures that must be followed.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Abortive work in building design and construction.
- Architect's instruction.
- Change order for construction contracts.
- Construction contract.
- Change control procedure for building design and construction.
- Compensation event.
- Bill of quantities BOQ.
- Confirmation of verbal instruction.
- Dayworks in construction.
- Payment for extra work.
- Valuation of interim payments.
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