A major Scottish house-building company based in Aberdeenshire has confirmed it is considering firing staff just weeks before Christmas.
Scotia Homes, based in Ellon, has announced a “review of its business” amid “continuing challenges” brought on by the oil and gas downturn and the “heightening uncertainties” caused by Brexit.
The company has said the review will “include consideration of staffing levels with potential for some redundancies”.
A spokeswoman for Scotia Homes would not confirm how many employees are at risk.
The company, which sells homes all throughout Scotland, employs staff across the country.
Scotia Homes managing director Martin Bruce said: “The decision to undertake this review has not been taken lightly.
“It was only decided following very thorough consideration of the impact of improving efficiencies, market conditions and delivery timelines for forthcoming projects.
“Despite some promising signs over the summer of a potential recovery to the property market, the uncertainties presented by Brexit confusion are causing continuing challenges to trading and this is compounded by third party delays affecting new start sites.
“This re-organisation process will be undertaken over the next few months and is likely to result in some redundancies.”
He said the business was “well-placed” with a “strong order book of advanced sales”, but stressed “it is important to position the business to ensure long-term stability”.
North-east regional conservative MSP Tom Mason said: “I’m deeply concerned at these possible redundancies just weeks before Christmas.
“Towns, such as Ellon, rely on the employment of companies such as Scotia and a local firm making cutbacks is a huge blow to the area.
“I will be contacting Scotia to see what actions can be taken to mitigate the decision.”
Vaughan Hart, managing director of the Scottish Building Federation, said the announcement was “worrying news from a successful Scottish house-builder”.
“What this does show, however, is the correlation between the funding of services such as planning, and the success of the Scottish economy,” he said.
“Delays in the planning process mean that companies – even those with strong order books, skills and finance – can struggle to deliver for local economies due to forces outwith their control.”
Aberdeenshire East SNP MSP Gillian Martin added: “I am disappointed to hear that Scotia Homes Limited plan to review the current business structure which is likely to lead to redundancies.
“I have made it clear to them that I am keen to help in any way I can and have offered my support.”