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Daily Archives: August 18, 2021

Renewal race for Scape £750m Eastern region framework

Scape has started the renewal race for places on its East Midlands and the East of England framework for projects worth up to £7.5m.

The next-generation framework, worth £750m over four years, introduces a parallel lotting structure to give clients the option to engage early with two contractors before awarding a project.

Scape’s existing regional construction framework has successfully delivered 362 projects and is due to expire in Summer 2022.  Current framework incumbents include: Ashe, Clegg, Conamar, R G Carter, Lindum, Seddon and G F Tomlinson.

In response to additional feedback from clients, this framework will provide further flexibility by offering a ‘commercial choice’ option in addition to a direct award procurement pathway, as part of the contractor selection process.

The new framework will be structured into 4 regions:

John Simons, acting group procurement director at Scape, said: “By evolving this framework offer, we will provide a simplified and high-quality route to market that will enable clients to get projects off the ground quickly through delivery partners who have the expertise to help them achieve their ambitions.”

Firms have until 24 September to submit prequals for the framework which will go live in August 2022.

Click here for tender notice.



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Former Harry Fairclough staff win pay battle after collapse

More than 60 Harry Fairclough employees made redundant when the contractor collapsed have won their legal battle against the business and secured a payout totalling just over £180,000.

A tribunal judged that the company had failed in its duty to its staff after the contractor ceased trading last year.

The Warrington firm was founded in 1898 and closed closed its doors for the final time in February 2020 resulting in more than 150 job losses.

Now 61 former employees represented by legal firm Simpson Millar are due to receive a pay-out totalling £183,056 after an employment law tribunal found that Harry Fairclough had failed in its legal obligation to formally consult with its staff during the ‘redundancy consultation period’.

The pay-out comes in the form of protective awards which have been claimed from the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS), which is part of the Governments Insolvency Service.

Damian Kelly, an employment law expert at Simpson Millar, said: “The collapse of Harry Fairclough had a devastating impact on the many employees who were left out of work with very little notice.

“We are delighted to have now secured a Protective Award for those affected, which will provide much needed peace of mind following what has been an incredibly tough year for anyone looking for work within the construction industry.”

A Protective Award is an award of compensation of up to 90 days’ gross pay that can be awarded by an Employment Tribunal for failure by an employer to follow the correct procedure when making redundancies.

Kelly said: “While many people assume that job losses are simply inevitable if a business enters into administration, not least in the construction industry given the uncertainties around lockdown regulations during the past year, employers do still have a duty under current employment law legislation to carry out a proper consultation with staff at risk of redundancies.

“When that law is disregarded, it is possible, as Simpson Millar has demonstrated, to hold the company to account through the Employment Tribunals.

“Sadly we are working on behalf of several thousand clients whose livelihoods have been affected by the turbulence caused by the pandemic over the past year or so.

“Of course, the process to claim for a Protective Award does not result in an influx of cash immediately, and this has been exacerbated by the lengthy delays in the Employment Tribunals nationwide which are also still suffering from the outfall of Covid with a 60% increase in employment law claims as a result of Covid.

“Nevertheless, legal protection remains in place to support people who are made redundant without being taken through the correct consultation process, and the money recovered in successful claims will provide some longer-term security for those affected.”

The RPS is a government funded scheme set up to pay up employees up to a maximum of 8 weeks’ pay in the form of a protective award where an employer has become insolvent and has therefore decided not to properly consult with its employees over inevitable redundancies.

Kier road workers stage sick pay protest

Highways workers at Kier are planning a protest on Wednesday following a row over sick pay.

Construction union Unite is backing the demonstration at Kier’s Basingstoke office following a dispute on its Highways England Area 3 contract which covers Hampshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and parts of Buckinghamshire.

Unite officials said the workers – who have provided a seven day, 24 hour service throughout the pandemic – only receive statutory sick pay (SSP) worth just £96.35 a week when off work.

Office based Kier staff  and workers directly employed by client Highways England receive full sick pay for up to three months.

Unite regional officer Malcom Bonnett said: “Kier’s workers who operate in all weathers to keep the South East’s motorway network fully operational deserve full sick pay, when they are ill.

“The pandemic has exposed the fact that workers simply can’t survive on SSP which is less than £100 a week.

“The lack of sick pay results in workers continuing to come to work when they are ill. In normal times, due to the safety critical work they undertake. this could have tragic consequences. During the Covid pandemic it leads to unnecessary risk of exposure to infection.

“It is simply unjustifiable that office based workers receive full sick pay while those working on the motorway network only receive SSP.”

A Kier spokesperson said: “The terms and conditions of our operational workforce in Highways, including those employed in Area 3, are aligned with the Construction Industry Joint Council, which is a union-supported national agreement.

“The welfare of our employees is a key priority for us and we are therefore committed to working through this matter in collaboration with Unite.”