The firms are switching to a new Building Engineering Services National Agreement that will give firms more flexible working and a new industry pay grade.
Growing numbers of the contractors’ staff are signing new wage and conditions contracts ahead of today’s deadline.
At the end of last week, around half of Balfour Beatty Engineering Services workforce had signed new agreements.
N G Bailey, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, T Clarke, Crown House Technologies, Gratte Brothers, Shepherd Engineering Services and SPIE Matthew Hall are all leaving the JIB to work under BESNA.
The seven firms are working with the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association to introduce the new industry pay and conditions agreement in the last week of March and the first week of April.
Mechanical and electrical staff have until today to sign the new agreement. After that electricians will work through their individual contract notice periods before leaving employment, although contractors hope to sign up any remaining staff up in this period.
HVCA chief executive Blane Judd said: “The five relevant JIB agreements have not kept pace with construction industry changes concerning the development of multi-skilled mechanical, electrical and plumbing workforces that are required by many clients.
“The introduction of BESNA will provide contractors with significant benefits, including the ability to work more efficiently on-site and remain competitive when tendering for work against foreign and non-regulated firms. The achievement of these benefits will secure jobs and provide apprenticeship and training opportunities for many employees.”
“As the forty-year old JIB agreements do not meet the companies’ or their clients’ needs, the seven contractors decided to tender their resignations.”