Big construction names vow to not use umbrella companies

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Nationaltradesmen.co.uk has learnt that some of the biggest names in construction are vowing to drive out unscrupulous umbrella companies who exploit workers by charging high fees and denying them holiday and sick pay.

The bold move is part of the People Matter Charter launched by the Supply Chain Sustainability School on Tuesday.

The brand new charter outlines eight commitments designed to promote equality and diversity in construction and end exploitation.

A raft of big industry names have already signed-up including Balfour Beatty, Murphy, Skanska, McAlpine and Vinci.

The payments commitment requires contractors to ensure that “employees directly employed or through the supply chain are not subjected to hidden payments and have access to all benefits such as sick,holiday and paternity pay.”

Unscrupulous umbrella companies have constantly come under fire from unions for their fees and denial of employment rights to workers.

Graham Edgell, Director of Sustainability and Procurement at Morgan Sindall said: “As a tier one contractor it is incumbent that we engage with our work force openly and transparently at all times irrespective of how they are engaged.

“The process is required to be thorough so that all of the stakeholders have confidence that, legislation & compliance are fully adhered too, and as given they can expect full support that is freely available in terms of health, safety, learning opportunities etc.

“In return our supply chain partners are required to meet these standards and openly provide transparency that allows the worker, the hirer absolute clarity that will evidence the rights of our workforce are upheld and can be challenged at anytime, by taking this stance it is our wish that we become the contractor of choice.”

Neil Mant, Supply Chain and Procurement Director, VINCI Construction said: “The People Matter Charter is an excellent way to formalise our commitment to how we engage with people at all levels.

“It gives us a framework that we can adopt and filter through our supply chain, demonstrating our intent as well as setting out some formal requirements.

“This is a movement that will commit businesses to behave responsibly and value all people that work in our industry.”