Contractor puts all staff in its construction services division on notice in major restructure

Balfour Beatty has put all 12,000 staff across its UK construction services division on notice that their jobs are at risk as part of a major restructuring exercise.

A Balfour Beatty spokeswoman said all staff in the firm’s construction services division had been notified that their jobs are at risk, which she said comprised around 12,000 employees.

The firm’s spokeswoman said she could not say how many jobs it expected to go as part of the restructure, but added: “We do not currently envisage that operational employees involved in project delivery will be affected.”

The contractor’s construction services arm includes contractor Mansell, Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services and Balfour Beatty Construction.

Balfour Beatty’s UK construction services division website states it has a turnover of £3.5bn.

The construction services arm employs around 18,000 people globally and turned over £7bn globally in 2011 but saw profit margin fall to 2.4% from 3% the previous year, with the firm expecting construction margins to fall further in 2012 and bottoming out at 2%.

Its order book was also down 8% at £8.5bn.

In a statement the firm said: “To align the resources of Balfour Beatty’s Construction Services UK business to current and future market conditions, a consultation period has commenced with its employees. 

“The dialogue is with potentially affected employees, therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment further during this period.”

Earlier this month Balfour Beatty chief executive Andrew McNaughton told Building a restructure at the firm was possible.

He said: “We’re inevitably looking at how we can drive more efficiencies. It’s hugely understandable that people are saying there’s a restructure going on. Well yeah, you know, it’s something we are always looking at.”

The move follows the firm’s statement in its annual results that it was seeking to find annual efficiency savings of £50m across the group by 2015.