Ovo staff are ‘devastated’ by plan to chop one in 4 jobs as 1,700 workers face axe at Britain’s third-biggest power agency

  • Ovo is about to axe 1,700 jobs in a cost-cutting train to attempt to assist the agency
  • Unions have savaged the transfer and criticised the Authorities for little assist
  • It’s days after Ovo was slammed over recommendation to prospects on protecting payments low
  • Suggestions included cuddling pets and performing star jumps inside the home 

A minimum of 1,700 jobs are set to be lower by the power agency Ovo, simply days after it was savaged for giving recommendation to ‘cuddle pets’ to maintain heating payments low.

Employees got particulars of plans on Thursday, which embrace decreasing the variety of places of work from 10 to a few.

Unions stated they may oppose the job cuts, and criticised the Authorities for ‘doing nothing’ to sort out the power disaster.

The cuts symbolize 1 / 4 of the variety of workers at Ovo, which has round 4.5 million prospects.

Ovo stated it is usually growing its minimal wage by 15% to £12 an hour, giving a pay rise for 1,000 workers.

The corporate added it would reverse the coverage of offshoring from the earlier proprietor and create extra high-skilled jobs within the UK, and open a brand new Ovo Academy in Glasgow.

Round 1,000 name centre workers might be educated to turn out to be zero-carbon residing advisers, with specialist data of inexperienced house merchandise and applied sciences from tariffs to creating properties extra power environment friendly.

The three remaining places of work might be in Bristol, Glasgow and London, whereas extra workers might be supported to work flexibly from house ought to they need.

Founder of OVO Energy Stephen Fitzpatrick seen outside BBC late last year after an interview

Founding father of OVO Vitality Stephen Fitzpatrick seen outdoors BBC late final 12 months after an interview

The charming Cotswold Manor owned by the founder of OVO Energy Stephen Fitzpatrick

The charming Cotswold Manor owned by the founding father of OVO Vitality Stephen Fitzpatrick

The corporate needed to apologise earlier this week after an e-mail despatched to prospects suggested them to maintain their heating payments low by ‘having a cuddle together with your pets’ or consuming bowls of porridge.

The Unite union stated it warned in 2020 that Ovo was taking a threat when it took over the retail base of power large SSE.

Common secretary Sharon Graham stated: ‘We’ll do every thing in our energy to defend our members’ jobs.

‘All and each possibility might be on the desk. As a primary step the corporate should now open the books to union specialists.

‘We won’t sit by and watch our members being made to pay the worth of the pandemic.’

Unite nationwide officer for power Simon Coop added: ‘We warned the administrators about blundering into the SSE takeover.

‘Lately the identical administrators have plundered the accounts for quantities estimated to be touching £5 million.

‘Ovo have to be topic to extreme scrutiny earlier than the union decides on our subsequent strikes, but when they transfer to obligatory redundancies they are going to be totally opposed by the union.’

Ovo energy had been criticised over advice to keep warm that included cuddling pets

Ovo power had been criticised over recommendation to maintain heat that included cuddling pets 

GMB nationwide officer Gary Carter stated: ‘This can be a new 12 months kick within the enamel for workers who’ve seen the corporate by means of Covid and confronted elevated name volumes and stress brought on by the power disaster.

‘At a time when greater than 20 power firms have gone to the wall and prospects need to different suppliers for his or her power wants, this seems to be just like the unsuitable time to chop jobs.

‘Buyer numbers are growing in these firms left within the power retail sector.

‘The Authorities has stood again and accomplished nothing to handle the power disaster and we’re all paying the worth.’

Unison’s head of power Matt Lay stated: ‘Laborious-working workers throughout the corporate might be devastated as they anxiously await their destiny. Closing places of work will hit native economies exhausting too.

‘Employees have been dealt a merciless blow. As a substitute of worrying about star jumps, porridge and cat cuddles, Ovo bosses ought to have been spending time on the problems that matter. Axing so many public-facing roles could have a huge effect on prospects.

‘Unions might be pushing managers to carry on to workers and retrain them. These in at-risk roles should turn out to be a part of the large energy-efficiency drive that is mandatory if net-zero commitments are to be met.

‘The Authorities is not with out blame. Its hands-off method to power regulation has been disastrous. Ministers have to roll up their sleeves and become involved earlier than the UK’s total power sector goes below.’