Balfour Beatty pays £137,000 to whistleblower

Grant Prior 9 months ago

Balfour Beatty has been ordered to pay £137,000 to a former regional pre-construction manager who accused the firm of under-estimating potential profits on a Welsh government job.

The Callaghan Square project was eventually cancelled by the Welsh government

Nigel McArthur had worked at the company for nearly ten years and had nearly 40 years’ experience in the construction industry.

Balfour Beatty tendered in 2014 for an £18.5m project at Callaghan Square in Cardiff which would be paid for out of public funds by the Welsh Government.

But McArthur believed Balfour would be making greater profits than declared to the client by not submitting the lowest quotes received by subcontractors to the Welsh government.

He raised concerns internally through the company’s whistleblowing procedures but claims he was subsequently bullied.

McArthur resigned in February 2015 and began a claim for constructive dismissal.

Balfour Beatty admitted his claim in November 2015 and the compensation judgement of £137,000 has now been handed down by the court.

Balfour Beatty said: “In the employment tribunal proceedings, Balfour Beatty did not contest Mr McArthur’s claim for unfair dismissal and is paying compensation to him as assessed by the Court.

“We accept that we failed to properly support our employee following concerns he raised, which resulted in him feeling it was necessary to resign.

“Balfour Beatty encourages its employees to report workplace concerns they may have and we have the tools in place to support them in doing so.

“We regret that on this occasion we fell short of the high standards we set for ourselves in this area. We will use the lessons learnt from this experience to provide better support to our employees in the future.

“Balfour Beatty did not behave illegally or fraudulently in relation to the Callaghan Square project.

“Once senior management were aware of the facts regarding the Callaghan Square project, we provided full disclosure to the Welsh Assembly.

“The Welsh Assembly later made a decision not to pursue the project for reasons of their own unrelated to this matter.”

Terry Falcão, employment lasw partner at Stephens Scown who represented McArthur, said: “Nigel has shown immense integrity throughout this case and has had the courage of his convictions to stand up for the truth.

“This case clearly underlines that even though many companies have whistleblowing hotlines and model policies and procedures in place, it remains very difficult for employees who speak out.”

Latest news

Profit slides at Osborne as legacy jobs settled

Operating margin slides to 1% but outlook remains strong
32 mins ago

Blaze destroys Renfrewshire timber homes site

Fire strikes at second timber frame building site in a week
34 mins ago

Costain poaches William Hare project director

Alex Smale joins Costain as construction director for Hinkley Point contract
44 mins ago

Construction plant skills card scheme under review

Future ownership of the CPCS under discussion
57 mins ago

Bidding starts on £70m Worcester Southern Link Road

Worcester's notorious Carrington Bridge will be widened to dual carriageway
37 mins ago

GRAHAM lands £150m Barnet major works deal

Leisure centre and school sites kick-off five-year partnership
3 days ago

Manchester 52-floor skyscraper approved

St John's Place tower at former Granada Studios site gets green light
3 days ago

Lendlease renews site access deal with HRS

Latest monitoring technology to be used at all contractor's sites
3 days ago

Michelmersh calls end to brick price rises

Increased competition sees prices remain flat
3 days ago

Pensioner killed at poorly managed roadworks

Tarmac hit with £1.3m safety fine
3 days ago

Cleveland Bridge recruits large buildings team

Steelwork contractor set sights on large building market
3 days ago

Murphy signs contract for £25m Blackpool outfall

Work to start on UK's longest and largest diameter outfall in March
3 days ago

Construction site gas leak causes chaos at King’s Cross

200 workers evacuated from North London site
4 days ago

£28m Dudley rail centre gets green light

Very Light Rail innovation centre and test-bed track approved
4 days ago

Wates confirms Paul Chandler as new construction boss

Former Skanska chief to take up the reins in January
4 days ago

Betting Spy: Contractors on a roll at awards night

Enquirer awards after party was a long night while favourites can land a 3/1 treble
3 days ago

£20m road schemes backed for 3,300 south west homes

Quartet of road improvements will unlock 3,300 new homes
4 days ago

Barratt boss arrested in contracts probe

London MD Alastair Baird suspended following major investigation
5 days ago

Laing O’Rourke to start St James Centre £1bn revamp

Demolition of old St James shopping centre in Edinburgh to take 18 months
4 days ago

Link Group names £280m Scottish new build partners

Keepmoat, Cruden, Graham and Esh secure places on central belt framewok
4 days ago

Dormant Scottish Tesco sites get £100m boost

London & Scottish Developments to start construction on ten sites
4 days ago

Civils firms slash carbon emissions in half over six years

Laing O'Rourke, Morgan Sindall and Carillion lead the low CO2 way in infrastructure
4 days ago

Plan unveiled for £48m resi tower in Liverpool

Latest 30-storey build-to-rent tower at Liverpool Waters
4 days ago

Clugston green light for £60m Sheffield IKEA

Project is the largest retail win in the region for Scunthorpe contractor
4 days ago

Travis Perkins to close over 30 branches

Builders' merchant in profit warning to the city
5 days ago

Mace tops September contracts league with London win

£450m One Crown Place project in Shoreditch lifts contractor
5 days ago

Costain tops best-paid Network Rail supplier rankings

Network Rail spending with Costain soars 75% to £377m
5 days ago

CH2M boss Roy Hill to lead HS2 construction

Consultant boss steps in while search continues to replace Simon Kirby
5 days ago

Search starts for construction’s best photographer

Enter your best pics now for Art of Building competition
5 days ago

Top Ten winners celebrate construction success

Industry enjoys top night out at inaugural Construction Enquirer awards
5 days ago