I would like to confirm and clarify the arrangements for annual leave and the special circumstances brought about by COVID 19.

As you all know our leave year runs from 1st February until the following January 31st. At present we are approximately one third of the way through our leave year. Because of COVID 19 I am aware that many of you have not been able to take any leave at all in this period and many more will have had your holidays postponed or cancelled.

As we move through this crisis period we are planning the future success of the group and to resume trading as soon as we are able. Currently most of our businesses are active but it may be a while before we are fully operational in the “New Normal”.

As we move into the summer period many of you will be thinking about holidays, although foreign travel may be impossible for the next few weeks. At the same time we are trying very hard to resume activities on our sites and in our offices. Clearly as we ramp up our activities we must avoid too many absences because of annual leave.

All of you have an employment contract with clear guidelines regarding leave. I would ask you to follow those guidelines and in particular the approval of leave arrangements with your line manager. This is to avoid clashes with other staff. Key personnel being absent at the same time may be damaging to the business. I need you to agree dates with your line manager before committing to any holiday.

At present many of you remain on furlough or are working from home. Others are on site or in the office. I would like you all to take 5 days annual leave before the end of August to minimise the effects of absence later in the year. These 5 days to be authorised by your line manager.

If you are on furlough leave or on a reduced salary your pay will be topped up to your full amount during annual leave periods.

Over the Christmas period we usually ask all employees to take 3 days annual leave. For 2020 only we will ask you all to take a further 4 days bringing the total Christmas Shutdown to the 2 weeks between Monday 21st December 2020 and Monday 4th January 2021. This period will coincide with the usual construction industry closedown. Individual arrangements with key staff and staff in our smaller businesses may be necessary on certain projects and in some offices. In our Scottish region separate local arrangements will be necessary.

Our current leave arrangements do not allow a carry forward. However at the end of January 2021 and in accordance with government guidelines you will be allowed to carry forward any unused annual leave days. These days must be used by 31st January 2023. The arrangements to take this brought forward leave will still be subject to approval of dates by your line manager.

Any staff who work part time have a pro rata leave arrangement and therefore your leave will be granted accordingly.

I hope this is clear to you all. If you have any questions please ask HR or your line manager.

We are all trying very hard to get the group back to normal trading and to properly service the needs of our clients. It will be very beneficial if you fully comply with these leave requirements.

Tony Rimoldi
Group Chief Executive