Employees at construction SMEs to receive 2.75% pay rise


Construction employees who are members of the trade union Unite and who work at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive a one-year pay deal, including an increase of 2.75%.

The deal, which will come into effect on 24 June 2019, has been agreed as a result of negotiations between The Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC), trade association the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which acts on behalf of SME construction employers, and Unite, representing the affected employees.

The confirmed pay deal, which is also applicable for apprentices and trainees, will see pay for adult general operatives increase by 26p an hour, to £9.78, while the national vocational qualification level three (NVQ3) advanced craft rate will rise by 34p an hour to £12.79.

The BATJIC has further secured a tax dispensation from HM Revenue and Customs for travel and lodging allowances, by adding the BATJIC agreement on to the Working Rule Agreement list; this defines the terms of employment agreed between trade unions and employer representatives.

Brian Berry, chief executive officer at FMB, said: “I am pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that recognises the hard work that employees are putting into their projects at the moment, but at the same time, one that takes into account the uncertainty that many construction [organisations] are facing.

“This increase is above last year’s inflation rate, according to all three of the leading indexes, so I hope it sends out a strong message to tradespeople that, with employment levels so high, the industry needs to retain more than ever.

“It’s no secret that economic forecasts are quite conservative for the years ahead, given the unknown impact of Brexit, but I feel that this is a good compromise as we move forward.”

Jerry Swain, national officer for construction at Unite, added: “Unite welcomes this agreement, which recognises inflation levels from last year and the high employment levels that we have at present.

“With construction skills shortages impacting on the industry, a 2.75% pay rise will help encourage tradespeople to remain in the industry at a time that the current political uncertainty and drops in construction output are affecting confidence in the industry.

“I’m pleased that BATJIC has been further strengthened this year by successfully lobbying for tax dispensation on key employee expenses.”