Compensation due to works
We recognise that our works may cause disruption to businesses in the area. We always do what we can to keep disruption to a minimum and work closely with the Highways Authority to reduce the impact on your business.
Entitlement to compensation
The provisions relating to compensation are contained in Schedule 12.1 (2) of the Water Industry Act 1991. In order for there to be an entitlement to compensation there must be a strong causal link between carrying out the works and the business, and any loss must be significantly different and more than that of general inconvenience.
We will assess each claim for compensation on its facts. The criteria we use to assess whether or not compensation is payable to a business includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- The nature and impact of the works, immediate and throughout the duration.
- Duration of the works.
- Proximity of the works to the business (this is assessing the location of the works and the routes available to access the premises).
- Other works taking place in the vicinity or other traffic restrictions or route changes not caused by the works.
- Recovery after cessation of the works.
We do not normally pay compensation if the only impact of our works is that potential customers had to follow a diverted route to get to a claimant’s business or if customers are temporarily unable to park near a business on a street that normally has parking restrictions.
How to make a claim
You will need to complete a loss of business claim form, which is available at the bottom of this page.
The claim form asks for:
- Your business details.
- A statement of the losses incurred by the business, together with a calculation showing how this figure has been determined.
- Information on the nature of the works (including plans and photographs).
- How it has impacted your business (e.g. traffic restrictions, environmental impact).
- Audited trading accounts, and associated balance sheets, for the two years preceding the claim period. (Please note that the accounts must be agreed with the Inland Revenue and certified by your accountant.)
- A breakdown of the net weekly sales for the 20 weeks preceding the works, and for the period of the works themselves, with comparative figures covering these two periods in the previous year.
- The claim for must be signed by you as the claimant.
We are aware that, in certain cases, it may not be possible to provide all the details listed above, for example where the business has only recently started trading and therefore has limited financial information available. In these circumstances we would expect weekly sales from the start of the business, together with the projected takings contained within the business plan.
Settling your claim
It is our intention to settle claims as quickly as possible. Subject to the provision of all the relevant information from the business or their representative, we will endeavour to meet the following timescales:
- Upon receipt of the required documentation we will undertake our investigations and provide a decision on the claim within four weeks.
- If the claim is accepted an offer will be made.
- Upon receipt of your written acceptance of the offer, payment will be made within two weeks.
We do not pay VAT on compensation payments. If you engage the services of a claims agent to represent you and you are registered for VAT, your claims agent will ask you to pay the VAT (if any) on their professional fees. You may then be able to recover these charges from HMRC.
You may wish to employ an agent to submit the claim on your behalf. Your claim will be assessed in exactly the same way, whether submitted through an agent or not.
We are not able to offer advice on the suitability of any particular agent. However, if you do employ an agent, all further contact should be made via them and not directly to South Staffs Water.
In the vast majority of cases, our customers are satisfied with the compensation offer that we make. However, where this is not the case, you are entitled to request that your claim is referred to an arbitrator to resolve the dispute.
These would be appointed by agreement between you (the claimant) and South Staffs Water or, where agreement cannot be made, this would be as appointed by Ofwat.
We reserve the right to request additional financial information and to appoint independent external advisors to act on your behalf if and when we consider it is necessary.