Housebuilder makes payment to 200 UCATT members after allegations that it broke employment regulations.
Persimmon has agreed to pay £220,000 to former Beazer staff after allegedly failing to comply with its legal obligations on redundancies when it took over the company last January.

George Brumwell, general secretary of construction union UCATT, said the payment would be made to more than 200 of its members. UCATT had begun legal proceedings against Persimmon over the issue.

Brumwell said: “It’s a very good offer and hopefully it will teach Persimmon to consult with unions when making changes to the employment conditions of workers.”

He added that the union had recommended that each employee receive at least £1000 compensation.

John White, chief executive of Persimmon Homes, said: “The company is pleased to have reached an amicable settlement."

The Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations of 1981 put in place safeguards over employees’ rights when businesses change hands. One regulation stipulates that if a company makes more than 20 employees redundant, union officials must be consulted.

Persimmon faced claims from up to 25 former Beazer regional directors and senior managers who were unhappy with their severance packages.

White denied that Persimmon had been ill-prepared for the takeover and had treated Beazer staff badly.

He said: “We’ve been intent on being straight with people and fair.

“A number of Beazer people who remain employed with us have commented on how fairly they have been treated.”

The disputes between Beazer directors and Persimmon centred on back-pay and pension contributions: the directors claimed they were owed nine months’ salary.

The directors had been offered an average payment of £25,000, but argued that they were each entitled to a further £20,000.

Persimmon cut 660 jobs and closed 12 offices after the takeover. About 65 of the 100 directors lost their jobs and about one in three was involved in a dispute with the firm.