Housebuilder Barratt cuts executive pay as 85% of employees furloughed

Cuts will continue until construction restarts

Photograph: iStock

The top brass at housebuilder Barratt Developments have agreed to take a 20 per cent pay cut and forgo next year's pay rises while protecting the salaries of furloughed staff for at least another two months.

The board, executive managers and chairman all agreed to the pay cut as the company said it was in the process of furloughing 85 per cent of its employees.

The cut to base salary and fees comes into force this month and will continue until Barratt is able to restart construction.

Under the Government’s jobs retention scheme, companies can claim 80 per cent of a furloughed worker’s pay cheque from the Treasury.


However, businesses can themselves decide whether to top up the remaining 20 per cent.

Late last month, Barratt closed the last of its construction sites, offices and sales centres in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, and as society went into lockdown.

The developer completed 1,349 homes between March 23rd and April 12th, taking the total for the year to April 12 to 11,713 — a 7 per cent rise on the year before.

Bosses are now expecting very few new reservations and not many homes are likely to be completed either.

As a result, they have saved £100 million by not paying a 9.8p dividend that shareholders were due to receive at the start of May.

The developer has also stopped buying any new land, frozen hiring, and postponed any capital spending that is not essential.

It said in a statement to shareholders on Thursday: “We will continue to assess further cost-saving opportunities available to us as the situation develops, whilst balancing the long-term requirements of our business.”

Barratt had £450 million in cash on April 14th, and has forward sales worth £2.9 billion.

Hundreds of building sites have closed across the UK since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country last month.

Many of Barratt's peers, including Persimmon and Bellway, have also shut down their sites. – PA