Kier Group (Kier Eastern)

Advice on employment law and human resources during a reorganisation of regional offices.

Kier Group is a leading construction, services and property group specialising in building and civil engineering, support services, commercial property development, structured property financing and private and affordable housing.

It is quoted on the London Stock Exchange, employs more than 16,000 people worldwide, and has annual revenues of £2.8bn. In the UK, Kier operates through a large network of regional offices.

In East Anglia, Kier was contemplating a major change to the configuration of its local offices which was bound to have a considerable impact on the staff.

The project involved the closure of one substantial regional office in Wisbech, the reorganisation of the operational centres in Witham and Norwich, and the relocation of ‘non-operational’ functions, such as pre-construction, procurement and administration, to a new regional head office just outside Cambridge. Parallel, limited organisational restructuring meant a reduction of about 40 in the overall number of jobs required and a change in the nature of some. Because of the distances involved and the type of roles available in Cambridge, the total number of departures through redundancy was almost 60.

We began work during the planning stage, more than two months before the changes were announced to the staff. We encouraged Kier Construction Eastern’s directors both to make specific individuals accountable, thus avoiding ‘management by committee’, and to ensure that collective consultation was led by a manager who, while occasionally ‘reserving position’ and responding later, could generally take decisions and give answers on the spot. We continued to advise the directors on collective and individual consultation and on internal selection and external recruitment.

The move, which potentially created savings of nearly £1m, was completed by early September and there were no reported claims to the employment tribunal by those who left as redundant or by their representatives.

Graham Howe, Managing Director of Kier Construction Eastern, said:

“We had a vision of the master plan we wished to achieve and a timescale into which it would fit. The assistance of Collinson Grant in putting the detail into the plan and then developing a delivery timeline was invaluable. Their attention to detail and timely reminders of essential and non-essential actions were invaluable to the board of directors who, while the programme was being implemented, carried on with their day jobs. I would have no hesitation recommending the services of Collinson Grant to others who are facing similar challenges in their organisations.”


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