Big name concrete firms miss out on major HS2 deal

Grant Prior 2 years ago

Some of the biggest names in the sector have missed out on a major reinforced concrete and formwork package on HS2.

The Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture (SCS) has awarded the deal to Kelly Formwork who faced competition from big name bidders including Byrne Bros, Keltbray, McGee and Morrisroe.

Kelly will now be delivering the RC package on the eastern section of HS2 around Euston in a deal the Enquirer understands could be worth up to £20m and employ 100 people.

The award has raised eyebrows among union officials who are keen for HS2 to stick to its direct employment pledges on the project.

A spokesperson for SCS said Kelly Formwork has provided assurances that its operatives are directly employed.

Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “This is not just about the named status of a worker – we need to know that companies are geared-up for a fully employed workforce in terms of proper HR departments so operatives get full PAYE benefits.”

A SCS spokesperson said: “Kelly Formwork provide labour supply to Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture HS2’s Tier 1 contractor and currently have over 30 people on site.

“They have provided assurance that operatives are directly employed and paid via PAYE and Class 1 NI contributions.

“They anticipate that this will increase to around 100 people in the coming months, who will also be employed in the same manner.”

A Kelly Formwork spokesperson said: “The labour we are providing to the SCS JV are all directly employed and paid via PAYE.

“We have also previously provided over 150 people for the Crossrail programme at Bond Street, who were all directly employed and paid via PAYE and are therefore keen to highlight that we do not consider ourselves to be a ‘micro account.’

“We are proud of the role we have been awarded on this prestigious scheme.”

An HS2 spokesperson added: “HS2 has a policy of direct employment as part of our voluntary Employee and Industrial Relations Code of Practice which has been agreed with our Tier 1 contractors.

“They are required to directly employ workers and first line supervisors on the project and ensure that subcontractors in their supply chain do the same.

“Direct employment means workers must have a contract of employment, with payment via PAYE with Class 1 National Insurance contributions. This is audited through the Tier 1 contractors directly.”

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