Unite ‘misinterpreted’ claim of umbrella company ban says Balfour Beatty

Recent report of a North West ban on umbrella companies agreed by Balfour Beatty has been clarified according to Construction Manager Magazine.

According to the article, Balfour Beatty said the news was based on a “misinterpretation” though agreed that the issue had been under discussion.

The company said, “Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald regularly talk to union representatives as part of our workforce engagement practices.

“We note Unite’s recent news release regarding our Highways England Area 10 contract. We are speaking to Unite to correct a misinterpretation of our recent dialogue.

“The vast majority of the Balfour Beatty Mott Macdonald workforce are PAYE.

“We can confirm that agency operatives engaged by Balfour Beatty within the Area 10 contract are usually offered permanent employment following three months’ work.”

Following Unite’s news of the alleged ban, Julia Kermode, chief executive of the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association said, “As the professional membership body for umbrella employers, FCSA is committed to compliance and to protecting the workforce from exploitation by unscrupulous firms. Compliant umbrella firms employ workers, ensuring that they are entitled to all 84 statutory benefits and rights of employment, whilst also giving them the freedom to undertake short-term assignments for a variety of end-clients. In short, it is the best of both worlds, all the flexibility of contracting plus all the benefits of employment. Because umbrella employment is so innovative, firms that engage large numbers of contingent workers, must not be misled by Unite’s campaign and make rash decisions which would be to the detriment of its workforce.”

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