British Gas employees instructed to agree new contracts or threat jobs

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Image copyright Getty Images British Gas-owner Centrica will inform hundreds of workers to simply accept new working situations, together with no further additional time pay, or threat their jobs.The agency stated if staff do not signal the contract, there will probably be a recent wave of redundancies, though it insists that could be a “last resort”.Centrica has already outlined 5,000 job cuts as buyer numbers tumble.The agency stated it had “been open about the changes” wanted to win again clients.The proposals are all topic to a session interval with unions, the corporate pressured.”Our employees’ base pay and pensions will be protected, but simplifying and modernising their terms is essential if we’re to become more flexible and price competitive,” stated Centrica.”We have over 80 different employee contracts with 7,000 variations of terms, many of which are outdated and stop us delivering for customers.”Unions and employees stated they have been involved in regards to the move and criticised the timing amid lockdown.”They are using this as an excuse because they know we can’t even have discussions and meetings,” stated one British Gas engineer, who has labored for the agency for greater than 15 years and spoke to the BBC on situation of anonymity.”This really is a divide-and-conquer moment.”The firm says it should turn into extra aggressive to guard jobs in the long run.Centrica proposes to repair additional time pay on the identical charge as common hours, based on a presentation seen by the BBC.Previously, additional time may appeal to double the hourly charge, relying on a employee’s contract.Engineers who may beforehand have been requested to work shifts between 08:00 and 20:00 within the busier winter interval might be allotted hours any time between 06:00 and 23:00. Image copyright Getty Images Centrica follows British Airways in combining proposed layoffs with new contracts which unions describe as unfavourable. Both firms insist the deal supplied is truthful.’Huge slap within the face'”What is really painful is that when this coronavirus kicked off, we all rose to the challenge,” stated the engineer.He and different British Gas employees volunteered to ship meals for susceptible folks for the Trussell Trust. This gave him and his colleagues a way of goal, he stated, along with persevering with to restore damaged heating programs throughout lockdown.”We were going into houses. We were feeling proud, as we were key workers,” he stated. “It’s a huge slap in the face.”Centrica stated a so-called Section 188 discover, which employers are obliged to present to employees’ representatives if they’re contemplating large-scale redundancies, was a final resort if employees didn’t agree the brand new phrases.”We’ve been open about the changes we need to make to win back customers, grow our company and protect jobs in the long run,” the corporate stated in a press release.Winter deadlineThe GMB union stated it had began talks with the corporate on deliberate modifications, as Centrica has set a deadline of agreeing a cope with staff earlier than winter. Assistant common secretary Christina McAnea of the Unison union branded the move “disgraceful behaviour”.”Employees have worked hard throughout the past few months to ensure customers are well-served, despite the pandemic,” she stated. “This is no way for company directors to repay them.” The firm is scrambling to stem the stream of shoppers from its vitality provide enterprise.Last month, it started trialling a less expensive, digital-only model below the title British Gas X.It additionally already plans job cuts at its head workplace.New boss Chris O’Shea stated many of the cuts would fall within the UK because the vitality big seeks to slim down its enterprise.About half of the roles to go will probably be among the many firm’s management, administration and company workers. This will embody half of the senior management workforce of 40, who will go away by the top of August.Centrica has about 27,000 staff, with 20,000 of those based mostly within the UK.

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