Chief Executive David Allen confirmed today that around a quarter of the company’s 4,000 workforce will be furloughed from next week.
Allen said that “tough short-term decisions had been made to ensure the future success of the group.”
Furloughed staff are expected to be out of the business for around three months.
Temporary pay cuts have also been announced for most of the remaining staff
The Group Board will be taking a 35% reduction in pay but those on the lowest salaries and those continuing to work on live sites and projects will be exempt from any reductions.
Allen said: “We are a strong business that has overcome many challenges during our 123-year history, and we will come through the unprecedented challenges created by Covid-19.
“Our financial results for 2019 were excellent. We arrived at the start of this global crisis in a position of financial strength and will emerge from it ready and able to thrive once again because we are making hard choices now.
“We recognise the additional pressures currently being faced by the majority of our colleagues who simply cannot work from home and who continue to be based on our sites and projects.
“Their pay and the pay of our most junior staff will not be adjusted.
“Everyone else, from the Group Board down, will be and it is right that the most senior members of the team will make the biggest contributions. We are all in this together.
“No one can foresee how long this crisis will continue, and other adjustments may need to be made, but we are determined to get through it, to emerge stronger, and for our people to keep their jobs.”