Employer’s requirements (“ER”) are typically used in design and build contracts or can be used in traditional contracts where the contractor has to design parts of the works. It outlines and defines the works in accordance with the employer’s concept of the works and usually contains details such as: quality, design, and performance criteria; location and perimeters of the site; purpose, scope and definition of works; proposed programme of work; specification and any special obligations etc. Ideally, once defined ER should not change over the course of the project as it could result in delay and disruption, however, sometimes employers introduce modifications and amendments in accordance with the contract.
A well-prepared Employer’s Requirements document is fundamental to the success of a project as it would assist the contractor to properly plan the execution of the project and price and procure the resources accordingly, thus resulting in fewer disputes. On the other hand, poor drafting would lead to various conflicts especially during the procurement, contract implementation and execution phase of the project. Most importantly, an underdeveloped ER could lead to additional costs and delays on the project as the scope and design may change continuously requiring change orders and instructions that would be charged by contractors.
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