THURSDAY, SEPT. 20: Construction supplies firm SAL has been forced to temporarily lay off 11 members of staff.

The company’s chief executive officer, Bill Morrison, told the Bermuda Sun that tough economic times and a downturn in the construction industry were at the root of the decision.

He said: “This is one of the most difficult decisions a company can make. We are very much a family-orientated company and it is not a decision we take lightly.”

The 11 men and women, who work in different departments across the company were informed of the temporary layoffs on Wednesday.

They will be off work for 45 working days, after which time a decision will be taken about their future at the company.

Mr Morrison added: “The temporary layoff period for the staff affected will be 45 working days.

“There after we will reassess the situation and hope it has improved.

“If it fails to improve then it could lead to severance.

“In the meantime the staff affected will continue to receive health insurance because we want to try and look after those employees.”

A statement from SAL said: “S.A.L. Trading Limited regrettably had to inform a number of our employees that the effect of the large downturn in trading throughout all departments of the Company, in the difficult economic times of today, is the necessary decision to downsize the Company.

“This difficult decision follows other cost-cutting measures, previously implemented, that alone proved insufficient to offset the decline in business.

“The number of employees who are affected is 11, including management. The company also advised everyone on the layoff list that their health coverage will be continued throughout the layoff period.”

Earlier this week Jonathan Brewin, CEO of the HWP Group, announced the car dealership had to make eight staff members redundant because of a decline in sales.