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Concern for workers' wellbeing after construction group's collapse

Concern for workers' wellbeing after construction group's collapse

Tuesday 04 April 2023

Concern for workers' wellbeing after construction group's collapse

Tuesday 04 April 2023


The construction industry’s trade body is concerned about the mental wellbeing of members who may be put under severe pressure caused by the collapse of Camerons and its parent company, the Garenne Group.

The Jersey Construction Council said it would be holding a ‘drop-in support day’, where representatives of different organisations, including the Government, charities and the private sector, will be available to talk with affected individuals.

It added that it will issue a ‘guidance document’ that will provide advice and support on where to go if organisations or staff require help. It said it would include support for both operational matters as well as those relating to emotional wellbeing of employees. 

Commenting on the initiative, Interim Chair Simon Matthews said “The JeCC is the voice of the Jersey construction industry.

"As such, we are concerned that a series of unexpected events, including the outfall from both the Camerons and Garenne decisions, may be stretching several organisations that work in the industry now and in the future.

He added: “It is vital that organisations in Jersey’s construction industry share and talk openly with the relevant persons about their worries and anxieties as early as possible. 

“By making available and sign-posting the support that is available to them, they will be able to work with dedicated people to manage and resolve these issues, with the key aim of supporting companies through challenging time.”

Cyril Le Marquand Court Andium.jpg

Pictured: Camerons was working on the Andium Homes' development Cyril Le Marquand Court when it collapsed.

Construction firm Camerons ceased trading on Tuesday 28 February.

In early March, Julian Winser, who is Chair of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, stepped down as Chair of the Garenne Group, Camerons' parent company.

On Friday, it was announced that Garenne Construction Group was also going into administration.

Accounts shared with firms owed money by Camerons show that it is unlikely that any will get paid – despite the contractor having £5.7m on its books.

Collapsing suddenly, it cited spiralling material and labour costs, strains in the supply chain and problematic contracts, as well as the impact of the pandemic and Brexit.

45 employees were immediately made redundant.

At a creditors’ meeting held on 13 March, Camerons’ directors handed out a ‘statement of affairs’ which showed that the firm has £7,635m of liabilities but only £163,000 available to pay secured creditors, which include staff, Social Security and the Tax Office, and no money to pay unsecured creditors, such as sub-contractors.

It also was owed £2.25m from its parent Garenne Group but that company itself went into liquidation on Friday. 

Sub-contractors working for Camerons are owed £1.4m in wages and £1.7m in money retained by Camerons pending job completion. 

Camerons also had a £2.5m overdraft with the bank, and another £1.7m of ‘accruals’ – which is money owed from in one accounting period but is due in another.

In total, when it comes to overall proceeds that the directors estimate they can realise versus the money owed to creditors, there is a £7,635m deficit.

On Friday, Garenne Construction Group collapsed

A statement from the joint liquidators, issued that evening, said: “Following the liquidation of Camerons Ltd (a subsidiary entity), a number of significant cross guarantee claims have crystallised due to strained trading conditions across the wider GCGL group, which, given the quantum of the claims, has rendered GCGL insolvent.

“The directors determined that GCGL was unable to continue to trade given its financial position.

“Thereafter, shareholder resolutions were passed by GCGL’s shareholder to place the company into voluntary winding up and to appoint the joint liquidators to realise GCGL’s assets (comprising shares in its subsidiaries) and attend to the winding up in an orderly manner.”

READ MORE...

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