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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

The Scheme: construction operations: fencing

CISR14600 Action guide contents

The erection of fencing may potentially be seen as

  • ‘construction … of … structures’ (FA04/S74 (2)(a)), or
  • ‘construction of … any works forming … part of the land’ (FA04/S74 (2)(b)), or
  • ‘operations which … are for rendering complete (other construction operations)’ (FA04/S74 (2)(f)).

Deciding whether a fencing project is within the scope of CIS can be difficult because it may range from a superficial wooden structure enclosing agricultural land, for instance, to a substantial construction involving foundations and a heavy-duty main structure. In addition, the conclusion is influenced by whether the work is done as an isolated job or as part of a wider project of construction in which the erection of fencing represents a finishing operation.

In practice, you should base your decision on the following considerations.

Within CIS

  • If the fencing is erected as part of a wider project of construction, for example, to enclose gardens on a newly-constructed housing estate, the operation is caught by CIS (this applies whether the fencing is a light or heavy duty structure).
  • If the fencing is erected as an isolated operation and is a heavy duty structure, that is, the main supporting posts are installed in a concrete foundation, the operation is caught by CIS.

Excluded from CIS

  • If the fencing is erected as an isolated operation and is a light duty structure, that is the supporting posts are simply driven into the ground, the operation is not caught by CIS.

Security fencing

You may encounter claims by fencing concerns that ‘security fencing’ represents a ‘security system’ within the meaning of FA04/S74 (3). Such claims should be rejected on the basis that although fencing may fulfil a security purpose, it is a normal feature of a building and its surrounds. It is not a ‘system’. For more information, see CISR14290.