Consultant stops pension cash as senior Scott Wilson staff move to three-day week

Robinson Low Francis has become the latest consultant to reduce salaries in response to the recession, enforcing a 12.5% cut.

The firm is also stopping company contributions to staff pensions, which are worth 3-6% of salaries.

Lambhill Stables
RLF is QS on Lambhill Stables

Sources close to the company, which employs 140 people in London, Brighton, Manchester and Edinburgh, said staff were called to a meeting at 12.30pm on Monday to be told of the changes.

One source said the atmosphere at the firm “felt like a bereavement”. The news follows Gleeds’ decision to cut salaries by an “average” of 12.5%.

Steven Barker, senior partner at RLF, said the decision was difficult but prudent. “This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we plan to review salaries again as soon as the market picks up.”

At engineer Scott Wilson, some senior staff have agreed to work three- or four-day weeks, according to Jerome Monro-Lafon, its UK managing director. The move comes as the company announced this week that it would axe 10% of its 6,000 staff around the world.

And on Monday, Buro Happold put its 1,000-strong UK staff on notice of redundancy as part of a 90-day consultation designed to cope with a projected fall in workload of up to 20% by August.

Gavin Thompson, managing director, said: “Although none of us would choose to be in this position we must take carefully considered actions that will stand the practice in good stead for the future.”

Davis Langdon confirmed that 68 employees had left after a consultation with 134 staff that started in January. The consultation will be completed at the end of April.

Meanwhile, architect Assael has cut salaries 15% after giving staff the choice between pay cuts and further redundancies. Director John Assael said: “We’re in this storm together.”