THE NUMBER OF people who have lost their jobs as a result of the Carillion collapse is creeping up towards 1,000. Carillion went into liquidation on 15th January, revealing that the company had been juggling debt for a very long time.
Days after the collapse was confirmed, the Official Receiver (who is now in charge of winding up the company) announced that there would be 377 redundancies. The majority of this round of redundancies (329) are in England, with 29 in Scotland and 19 in Wales.
Today it has been revealed that a further 452 redundancies are to be made – mostly office jobs, many of which were working on acquiring new business. The jobs are in several locations, including London and the workers will now have to go through applying for statutory redundancy payments and have been offered a Rapid Response from Jobcentre Plus in finding new employment.
It has also been announced that just over 1,000 jobs will be safeguarded – which will be a relief to those in them. These jobs are in public sector infrastructure contracts and construction projects which will be taken over by other companies.
Nearly half – 20,000 – of Carillion’s 43,000 workforce is in the UK. It is estimated that Carillion’s debts could be up to £5 billion. Half of the debt is a shortfall in the company pension fund, which is double what it was initially thought to be.
An anodyne statement has been made on behalf of the Prime Minister, which is: “These are obviously decisions that the Receiver is taking, but we appreciate these are very difficult times for the people working at Carillion. Where the Government can provide support, we will of course do so.”
Many people will be looking to the Government to provide rather more in the way of sympathy and support – and legislating to prevent any repeat of a situation in which a directors can continue to draw bonuses and shareholders continue to receive dividends while the company racks up unmanageable debt.