Following news of Unite’s decision to report companies involved in BESNA on account of anti-competition law, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, one of the largest parties involved, have now pulled out of the deal.
The decision leaves six companies – NG Bailey, Shepherd Engineering Services, Spie Matthew Hall, T Clarke, Crown House and Gratte Brothers – who are currently in disagreement over strategy, in a situation which may mark the end of the BESNA proposal altogether.
A source closely involved with the deal told the Construction Enquirer: “One thing is definite, BESNA is finished. Some of the firms will instantly follow Balfour’s lead and pull out of the deal. But others are standing back with a watching brief.”
Despite their withdrawal from BESNA, Balfour Beatty are still committed to modernising the M&E sector and Unite has agreed to “wide-ranging talks on modernising the industry” via the trade associations.
What is BESNA?
According to Unite, the Building Engineering Services National Agreement (BESNA) is a set of contractual changes that many of the UK’s largest construction companies are attempting to impose upon workers. Aspects of the agreement include the removal of certain breaks and revision of current pay grades. If incepted, it could “have critical implications for both workers and the wider industry.”