Up to 400 workers will be made redundant at Heathrow Terminal 5 after Christmas

Airport operator BAA disclosed last week that T5 was exceeding its original M&E budget by about £56,000 an hour and has launched a productivity drive. Between 300 and 400 workers are expected to be axed over the next six weeks as a result.

A BAA spokesperson said the number of workers was being scaled down ahead of its anticipated completion in September. Staff would be redeployed “wherever possible”.

Meanwhile, it emerged this week that BAA is investigating invoices submitted by Sepam, an electrical subcontractor. It is understood there are discrepancies over the calculation of the hours the contractor has worked.

A BAA spokesperson said: “We undertake regular audit activities with our suppliers to ensure they are operating in line with the T5 agreement. Audits are carried out in a mutually co-operative way.”

A Sepam spokesman said: “We are totally supportive of BAA and its auditing procedures.”

An inquiry into BAA by the Competition Commission, the investigatory arm of the Office of Fair Trading, could lead to the break-up of the airports group. The OFT has asked the commission to examine the airport services group after its own study brought to light some causes for concern. Any break-up would be a blow for Ferrovial, BAA’s Spanish owner, which bought the group for about 10bn this year.

  • The Public Sector Construction Clients Forum fair payment task group has reported its findings to the government body. The group has recommended that a fair payment Charter and project bank accounts form part of government procurement policy.