Resi specialist says confusion over new legislation has seen jobs delayed

Family-owned contractor Higgins has said job losses are looming under a restructure that will kick in at the beginning of August.

The Essex-based firm said the rejig will see a new group of the Higgins family move into top roles in a few weeks’ time.

The contractor said delays on jobs caused by the rules on second staircases for residential schemes 30m and above had played a role in the decision to pare back jobs. It declined to say how many were under threat.


Higgins said some scheme have been held up because of second staircase rules

In its last set of accounts, Higgins Group increased staff numbers from 230 to 318 in the year to July 2022.

Turnover was up 39% to £210m but the firm racked up a pre-tax loss of £5.4m after the cost of repairing historic defects to comply with current building regulations landed it with a £4.75m bill.

In a statement announcing the revamp, the firm said: “In addition to the implementation of our succession plan, the business has taken the decision to implement a restructure of the delivery element of the business. Moving forward the business will be restructured into regions. The restructuring will improve operational efficiencies and provide a platform for our growth targets.

“As a result of both the succession plan and restructuring the delivery element of the business, the business has commenced a consultation process. The consultation will be concluded as swiftly as possible.”

Group chairman Richard Higgins added: “The industry has experienced volatile market conditions in recent years and the new requirement for secondary staircases has resulted in a number of schemes being delayed. We are positioning ourselves to ensure we are both efficient and versatile to take advantage of future opportunities. We will support our staff through this period.”

Brothers Richard Higgins and Martin Higgins, group director, will retire next July ahead of which Richard’s sons Declan Higgins will become chief executive and Dominic Higgins become chief operating officer while Martin’s son William Higgins is appointed group executive director.