30% of site-based inspectors to be made redundant as construction rates continue to plummet

The body that registers new homes and insures buyers against poor building standards is to lay off more than one in 10 staff because of the housing slump.

The NHBC said that about 150 people – 30% of site-based inspection staff – would be made redundant. The company employs about 1,200 people.

The NHBC has been hit by the slump in housebuilding, which is running at 40% of the level it was last year.

The firm, which helps to set construction standards for new homes in the UK, runs the Buildmark scheme that protects new buyers from shoddy construction and helps resolve buyers’ disputes with housebuilders.

Imtiaz Farookhi, the NHBC’s chief executive, said: “Our site work – inspection of new homes and surveying – is dependent on construction volumes, so clearly as a result of the current market conditions we’ve had to review our business.”

About £50m of its £146m annual turnover is linked to construction volumes, so a halving of construction rates will translate to a 50% fall in revenue in this area.

However, Farookhi stressed that the NHBC’s work in resolving disputes between buyers and builders was likely to expand in the coming months, creating up to 25 new posts in this part of the business. In addition he said the firm’s consultancy business was continuing to grow.

NHBC managers opened a consultation with staff on possible redundancies last Friday. The redundancies show how the downturn is affecting ancillary services that rely on housebuilding. Two weeks ago, scaffolding firm Systems Scaffolding announced that it was closing with the loss of 23 jobs.