18/08/2021 – Kier motorway workers based in Basingstoke to protest over the denial of sick pay (Unite)
Kier highways crew in dispute over sick pay discrepancies (The Construction Index).
It appears the inflated figures Kier Highways charge Third Parties (drivers, fleets, hauliers or their insurers) for operatives were not, as we have previously reported, paid to Kier motorway workers. Despite demanding over £100/hour on occasions for these workers they ‘only receive statutory sick pay (SSP), worth just £96.35 a week’ (source – Unite).
Between 10/2015 and 2020, Kier applied uplifts on many motorway operatives hourly rates claiming they worked 8am to 5pm weekdays after which they received a 1.5x uplift and were paid 2x of a weekend. For example, an ‘Asset Incident Watchman’ (AIW) who may cut grass, fill potholes, pick litter or attend an emergency resulting in damage to Crown property (DCP), would be charged to a Third Party at £70+/hour from 8am to 5pm and £105+ after 5pm of a weekday.
Kier provided a breakdown of the £70+/hour explaining £58.32/hour was ‘cost’, the remainder (about £12) their uplift for profit and the like. Within the £58.32/hour was almost £1/hour for ‘absence due to sickness and holiday’, the full breakdown can be read here. This £1/hour became £1.50/hour after 5pm and £2/hour of weekend. Where did this money go?
More recently, Kier use their KSoR rates which also see higher prices to Third Parties with the associated Public Authorities such as Highways England, TfL, Surrey and Birmingham councils seemingly unwilling to confirm there is a difference which would be contrary to HHJ Godsmark – para 25.