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Another 452 jobs to go at collapsed UK builder Carillion

[LONDON] Another 452 jobs are to be cut at Carillion, the British government said on Monday, meaning about 5 per cent of the collapsed construction and support services company's domestic workforce has been put out of a job so far.

Carillion, which employed around 18,000 people in the United Kingdom, collapsed on Jan 15 when its banks halted funding, triggering Britain's biggest corporate failure in a decade and forcing the government to step in to guarantee public services from school meals to roadworks.

The Official Receiver, which manages insolvencies for the British government, has since been looking through the about 450 contracts that Carillion was managing when it collapsed, seeking alternative contractors to complete the tasks.

The organisation said the job cuts announced on Monday were across the country and related to private and public contracts that were being managed by Carillion, as well as some back-office functions.

About 16,000 jobs still hang in the balance. So far, about 1,019 have been saved, while 829 redundancies have been made.

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A government spokesman said the jobs saved had been transferred to other contracting companies.

He said the Official Receiver did not have an estimated time for when it would finish reviewing the contracts, adding they were being reviewed in the order that most supported the extraction of "business value" for Carillion creditors.

"These are obviously decisions that the receiver is taking, but we appreciate these are very difficult times for those people working at Carillion, and where the government can provide support we will, of course, do so," Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said.

The government, as well as private partners and lenders to the company, have announced measures to assist its employees and its suppliers, most of whom were not insured against losses.

Most recently, British Business Bank has agreed to provide up to £100 million (S$185.7 million) of lending to small businesses and workers affected by Carillion's liquidation.

Britain's biggest banks have also announced a range of measures to support firms and contractors hit by Carillion, while some joint venture partners, including Kier, have brought on board some of its former staff.

The Official Receiver said on Monday that people who had lost their job would be entitled to claim redundancy payments.

The organisation is part of Britain's Insolvency Service, an executive agency of the government's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.


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