Wednesday 19 June 2019 3:43 pm

British Gas owner Centrica to axe 700 management jobs in UK

British Gas owner Centrica has confirmed it will slash up to 700 management and back office roles in the UK as part of a previously announced wave of job cuts.

The latest losses will count towards the 4,000 job cuts figure announced in February 2018, which Centrica intends to complete by 2020.

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“The roles potentially affected are in management layers and back office functions,” a spokesperson said.

“This difficult decision was made because we need to respond to the growing challenges we face.

“The energy market is going through continued rapid change, competition is fierce, our energy customers are leaving us and we’re operating under a price cap.”

Centrica will now embark on a 45-day staff consultation process over the job losses, which will occur nationwide.

Centrica warned in May that it could cut its dividend after a challenging start to its latest financial year.

The energy giant has shedded 234,000 customers in the UK in its opening quarter, while energy regulator Ofgem’s energy price cap led to a £70m one-off hit to its bottom line.

The decision to cut 4,000 jobs followed a weak end to 2017 in which British Gas lost 750,000 domestic customers.

It forms part of a cost-cutting programme that Centrica hopes will realise savings of £1.25bn a year by 2020.

It has already cut 2,200 jobs in 2018 and in April proposed another 500 job cuts.

Justin Bowden, GMB national secretary, said: “Centrica’s still falling share price tells you everything you need to know about the state of the company and how it has been run over the past few years.

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“British Gas cannot just cut its way out of a crisis, largely of its own making, simply by slashing jobs and trying to offshore.

“There has to be investment, innovation and a proper plan and vision for the future that reverses customer losses, produces growth and puts right some deep-seated cultural issues.