Force Majeure - Special Conditions for ABIC SW 2018

26 March 2020

Special conditions for the ABIC small works contracts introduce the concept of Force Majeure, including pandemics. 

Moray and Agnew has developed the following special conditions for ABIC SW-2018 contracts on behalf of the ACA. In their unamended forms, these contracts have no provisions addressing risk for, among other things, pandemics such as Covid-19. The harsh result in the unamended contracts is that the contractor bears the risk for delay caused by the pandemic.

Once incorporated into the ABIC SW-2018 contracts, the Special Conditions will:

  • introduce the concept of a Force Majeure Event, which includes pandemics
  • allow for the owner or the contractor to, in effect, suspend the operation of the contract if a Force Majeure Event causes that party to be unable to carry out its obligations under the contract
  • allow the contractor to claim for time (but no money) where this occurs
  • obliges the contractor to make the site safe for the duration of the suspension
  • allow for the architect to assess the contractor’s claim for time, and
  • allow for either party to terminate the contract if the Force Majeure Event goes on for an extended period.


These Force Majeure Special Conditions work with the following forms of the ABIC SW 2018 contract:

  • The single non-residential form, referred to as ABIC SW 2018
  • The eight jurisdiction-specific residential forms, referred to as ABIC SW 2018 H ACT, ABIC SW 2018 H NSW, ABIC SW 2018 H NT, ABIC SW 2018 H Qld, ABIC SW 2018 H SA, ABIC SW 2018 H Tas, ABIC SW 2018 H Vic, and ABIC SW 2018 H WA.


Notes: These Special Conditions are designed to be incorporated into Schedule 2a of ABIC SW-2018 contracts. They may not be used with any other form of contract.



The Special Conditions for ABIC SW 2018 is available to all ACA members – log in to download below. If you aren't a member, find out more about the benefits of ACA membership here

NOTE: Member Only Content

 These Special Conditions were initiated and funded by ACA – NSW.