Ethical construction body faces tribunal threat

A government-funded body launched to oversee the construction industry’s ‘Respect for People’ campaign has itself been threatened with employment tribunals over the way it has treated its staff.

Constructing Excellence (CE), which has spent £9m of taxpayers’ money over the past two years, has been criticised by several former regional managers over the lack of respect shown in the handling of their recent contract terminations.

They are now considering action against the organisation after what they said was a “humiliating, abysmal dismissal”.

Many of the dismissals involved a one-line e-mail late on a Friday night for an immediate contract termination, without a notice period, according to those managers involved.

A Constructing Excellence source told Personnel Today’s sister publication Contract Journal that one staff member whose employment had been terminated had come into the office to find his belongings strewn across the top of a cupboard and that he had been barred from the company’s IT server.

The source said that he believed that Dennis Lenard, Constructing Excellence’s chief executive, had asked for the immediate termination of the employee’s contract while he was out of the office. The employee was then marched out of the building.

A spokesman for CE denied the claims. He said: “Regional managers are consultants employed for a specific purpose. In some instances those contracts have come to an end when work has been completed.”

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