A government-funded organisation launched to push forward the construction industry’s “Respect for People” agenda has been threatened with employment tribunals over the way it has treated its staff.
Constructing Excellence (CE) is also expected to be scrutinised by the National Audit Office over the way it has spent £9m of taxpayers’ money over the past two years, reports Personnel Today’s sister publication Contract Journal.
Staff also claimed CE has under-invested in its regional centres, withdrawing necessary funding without warning.
The claims – denied by CE – have been made by several former employees of the company, some of whom are now considering action against the organisation after what they said was a “humiliating, abysmal dismissal”.
Many of the contract terminations involved a one-line e-mail late on a Friday night for an immediate contract termination, without a notice period.
One former employee reportedly received a “substantial” settlement from CE, after he claimed unfair dismissal.
A CE source told 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 IT server.
The source added that he believed that Dennis Lenard, CE’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 CE spokesman 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.”