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Shaylor workers 'were assured jobs were safe' on Father's Day

By Richard Guttridge | Walsall | Business | Published:

Workers at collapsed construction firm Shaylor were assured their jobs were safe days before they were told by email they were being made redundant, it has been claimed.

The Shaylor Group's headquarters in Aldridge

Around 200 jobs were lost when the Aldridge-based company ceased trading last week.

Workers said contractors had been refusing to work on Shaylor projects over delayed payments at the start of the year and claimed bosses continued to dismiss fears the company was in trouble as "speculation" until it went under.

Staff were informed by email on Father's Day they were losing their jobs after being called in to head office.

Shaylor was working on the revamp of Wolverhampton's Civic Hall and other large projects.

The city council has come under fire for signing off on the second phase of the Civic scheme in May. The authority says it sought assurances over the health of the company.

'We're going to get through it'

A site manager who worked for Shaylor for 14 years said: "Since before Christmas they were struggling to pay people on time.

"There were a lot of discussions going on in the background, there were some projects they were having difficulties with down in the London area.

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"No-one really knew the full extent until January-February time. Contractors were pulling off site because they weren't getting paid.

"We had a meeting and they said we weren't in trouble, it's a sticky patch and we're going to get through it."

The bombshell was delivered to staff on June 16, 10 days after Shaylor filed for notice to appoint an administrator.

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The worker, who is owed around £4,000 in unpaid wages, said: "We were all told we should come in to head office. Everybody in the office was saying 'what's happening, is someone going to make an announcement?'

"Then we had an email saying 'you are formally now made redundant, the company has ceased trading'.

"Considering the relationship 90 per cent of the workforce had with the two main brothers, to be dismissed in such a way is appalling."

A worker for engineering firm De Havilland, a contractor on the Gilders Yard project in Birmingham, said he attended a "crisis meeting" with Shaylor bosses around eight weeks ago, in which he claimed senior figures attempted to ease fears over stalled payments.

He said: "People were pulling off site and no-one was willing to work. They gave a lot of waffle to get people back on site.

"They said they had bad payers and were slowly getting money back in. They said everyone was getting paid, the rumours were pure speculation, it was all in hand and the money was coming in."

Administrator FRP Advisory said Shaylor "experienced severe cashflow pressures in recent weeks following several project delays".

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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