Wates to axe 300 staff in covid-19 downsize

Aaron Morby 2 weeks ago
Share

Private builder Wates has become the first national contractor to unveil large-scale redundancy plans in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

Consultation starts to downsize the business to meet forecast activity levels
Consultation starts to downsize the business to meet forecast activity levels

The firm, which had previously furloughed a third of staff, said it had to act to protect the business in the face of falling revenue.

Its planned downsize will cut the workforce by around 8%.  The cuts will be across the board hitting surveyors, planners and bid teams.

In recent weeks around 200 agency workers have also been released.

Chief Executive David Allen said: “The Coronavirus has changed our lives in ways that were unimaginable at the beginning of the year.

“While other sectors closed as a result of the lockdown, ours was asked by government to continue working and to adopt new operating procedures.

“I would like to pay tribute to all of my colleagues who have continued to perform a range of essential public services and who have kept our projects progressing safely. They have been extraordinary.

“By furloughing a third of our staff and implementing pay reductions nearly seven weeks ago, we acted quickly to protect our people’s jobs. However, we cannot escape the economic consequences of the pandemic.

“So, this week, we have begun a process through which we will reduce the number of staff we employ by approximately 300.

“In taking this difficult step, we will match the size of our business to our forecasted levels of activity, ensuring we continue to offer services of the highest quality and best value to our customers, and remain one of the most financially resilient and sustainable businesses in our sector.”

One worker told the Enquirer: “It has been a grim day with people getting the dreaded invite to join a video conference call about their futures.”

Latest news

SES Engineering Services MD steps down

Jason Knights to leave Wates, once successor found
17 hours ago

Government protects trade credit insurance cover

£10bn guarantee to stop the market seizing up
14 hours ago

Leeds civil engineering contractor collapses

Athena Civil Engineering placed into administration
22 hours ago

Buyers report downturn easing after April Covid carnage

Supply chain disruptions still hampering reopened sites
19 hours ago

Barhale back in profit after problem contracts loss

Civils giant bounces back after tunnelling issues on aqueduct scheme contribute to £15m loss
22 hours ago

Coronavirus disruption tips Van Elle into the red

Former Galliford Try finance director to become chairman of piling specialist
22 hours ago

£300m to kick-start three major London schemes

Infrastructure funding for 20,0000 homes at Brent Cross, Silvertown and Barking Riverside
22 hours ago

JRL Group names new civils MD

Matt Love to lead £18m specialist piling business
1 day ago

HB Reavis acquires prime Shoreditch site

Construction to start next year on latest workplace scheme
22 hours ago

Premier Inn restarts construction work on 35 sites

Hotel giant committed to long term expansion plans
2 days ago

London £130m Old Kent Road scheme approved

Work to start early next year at former Carpetright warehouse
1 day ago

Plans go in for 42 acre London food market

Billingsgate, Spitalfields and Smithfield to get a new home in Dagenham
2 days ago

Kier Highways and Seddon reinstated to Prompt Payment Code

Contractors now keeping to pledge to pay 95% of suppliers within 60 days
2 days ago

Leading brick makers to axe 600 jobs

Ibstock and Forterra restructure businesses to meet forecast fall in demand
2 days ago

London fit-out firm Square Metre in administration

Fifty jobs cut as lockdown tips £32m fit-out firm over the edge
2 days ago

Last webinar for contractors interested in £600m plant

Final procurement information event before OJEU notice next month
2 days ago

Offsite system to cut staircase construction times by 80%

New integrated balustrade system added before precast stairs lifted into place on site
3 days ago

Arup bags job to re-open Cardiff city centre

Arup plans to improve public spaces, repurposed streets and digital infrastructure
3 days ago

Hard-hat mounted cough guard will help protect site workers

New product from JSP will help keep sites safe
3 days ago
JSP Ltd

Keep the industry updated by joining the Enquirer Directory

Membership lets construction know you are open for business now or in the future
2 years ago

Balfour Beatty to start £355m Hull A63 scheme

All systems go for delayed Castle Street upgrade to transform Hull
3 days ago

Contractors face data danger fighting covid contract disputes

Redundancies could see project knowledge lost
3 days ago

Mace bags role on £39bn Northern Powerhouse Rail plan

Firm takes lead on project controls, project, stakeholder and commercial management
4 days ago

Cash flow fears spark call for another delay to VAT changes

Thousands of firms unaware tax change could cut cash flow by 20%
4 days ago

Driver unveils changes at the top

Mark Wheeler takes helm as Gordon Wilkinson steps down as CEO
3 days ago

ISG mobilises for £17m north London town hall fit-out

First phase of £150m Waltham Forest Town Hall redevelopment starts
3 days ago

Morrison wins £42m Scottish factory of the future

Work to start this summer on National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.
3 days ago

London mayor loans Mount Anvil £50m to boost building

New partnership to boost housing and construction in the capital
4 days ago

Henley Construct lands £12m Croydon housing contract

Demolition to start imminently to revamp street market site
3 days ago

Piling problems force BAM to tear down building frame

Major construction issues delay new £65m Sheffield University faculty building
4 days ago

Contractor services