Consultation opens on Carillion staff layoffs

Aaron Morby 11 months ago
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Carillion liquidator PwC has started full-scale consultations with staff over planned redundancies and transfers to new contractors.

A letter sent to unions and staff by accountants assisting with the liquidation warns that TUPE regulations will not apply if workforces are transferred to new contractors because the businesses are in liquidation.

It also suggests liquidators are aiming to transfer as many staff as possible before the end of the month.

Now unions are calling on Government to ensure that Carillion staff are not switched to vastly inferior rates of pay and poorer conditions.

The PwC letter, states: “In this situation staff will not automatically transfer under TUPE because a winding up order has been made against each of the Carillion companies.”

“Consequently we are seeking agreement from any new providers that they will take on as many affected staff as they can on appropriate terms.

“Where there is an opportunity for contracts or projects to continue with a new employer (under TUPE or otherwise), transfers may need to happen very quickly to facilitate securing roles for Carillion employees with new employers.

“It is quite possible that moves may need to be completed within a matter of days – perhaps less. We cannot confirm any specific transfer today but such transfers could happen before 31 January in some cases.”

One Carillion staffer told the Enquirer:  “The client terminated the contract with Carillion that I am based on. We have moved out of the office today and have been told to stay at home and await further news.

“We have been told that the consultation process for redundancy will commence today and that if anyone wants to resign with immediate effect they can.

“It seems crazy that PwC are holding on to staff that are not needed, people are being left in limbo and almost being forced into resigning.”

A spokesperson for the Official Receiver said: “As required by law, we have started our consultation process with the workforce in respect of potential redundancy.

“This includes consultation with people who are likely to transfer to a new employer, and the Liquidator and Special Managers are in extensive discussions with organisations in relation to such possible transfers.

“The company continues to service all its existing facilities management contracts which it has done since the date of liquidation and will continue to do so with the support of its customers, employees and suppliers.”

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “Even if the jobs of workers are preserved they now face the prospect of being transferred to new companies without warning with potentially far lower rates of pay and poorer conditions.

“The government and its taskforce needs to immediately get a grip of this issue and to ensure that companies taking on Carillion workers respect their existing pay, conditions, pensions and length of service.

“A situation where other companies were able to enrich themselves by picking up contracts and slashing workers’ pay is absolutely intolerable.”

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