Wage cuts and shutdowns, but Kier cracks on

02/04/2020
Dominic Browne

While staff in the wider Kier Group have taken wage cuts, and parts of its operations have been put on ice, Kier Highways reached a major milestone on its M20 and M23 smart motorway schemes.

Kier Group has announced a range of measures in response to the coronavirus crisis, including the closure of its Tempsford Hall estate headquarters, which it put up for sale last year, and a three-month reduction in the base salary of its executive committee.

It subsequently announced that further groups of employees will take a three-month salary reduction, ranging from 7.5% to 20% dependent on their grade and executive directors would take a 25% salary reduction during this period.

However, a spokeswoman said: 'All operative employees whose work is essential in delivering vital infrastructure and services to our clients and customers, including maintaining the UK’s highways, providing FM services to the NHS and delivering works in the water, gas, power, telecoms and rail sectors, are exempt from this measure, which has been taken to ensure the Group is able to operate as efficiently as possible in these unprecedented circumstances.'

Kier Living, which has also been put up for sale, has been temporarily closed as has Kier's Regional Building office in Reading. This regional centre does not employ any Kier Highways staff.

Following a 24-hour pause to operations last week to ensure it could comply with the Construction Leadership Council’s site operating procedures, Kier said it would continue but 'where we are unable to comply, operations have been stopped'.

In highways, the company has announced major achievements on two smart motorway projects.

Working on behalf of Highways England, Kier Highways has opened a fourth lane in each direction on the M20 between junction 3 and junction 5 near Maidstone in Kent and on the M23 in Surrey and Sussex between junction 8 and junction 10.

The works on the M20 are expected to complete in spring and the M23 is due to complete in the summer. Kier continues to install, test and commission new technology along the routes. 

Joe Incutti, acting group managing director at Kier Highways, said: 'I am hugely proud of our teams on both the M20 and M23 smart motorway projects for achieving this key milestone. They have shown exemplary enthusiasm and commitment throughout the entire duration of these projects and have worked collaboratively with Highways England and supply chain partners to drive innovation, customer orientation, and above all safe delivery.

'This is an extraordinary achievement, and we look forward to completing both projects to provide much-needed motorway capacity in the coming months.'

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