Thursday 16 July 2020 4:58 pm

Centrica staff may have to sign new contracts or risk more redundancies

Workers at British Gas owner Centrica have been told they may have to accept new employment conditions or risk having their jobs cut.

It was reported that the services firm has told employees to sign new contracts or risk a second wave of redundancies.

Read more: British Gas owner Centrica plans new digital-only energy brand

Last month Centrica announced that it would slash 5,000 jobs in a bid to restructure its business model after coronavirus.

The firm insisted that the use of the controversial section 188 measures – so-called “fire and rehire” tactics – was a “last resort”.

Airline British Airways has come under fire from lawmakers for using the tactics, with one report labelling the carrier a “national disgrace”.

Justin Bowden, national secretary of union GMB hit out at the plan, saying:

“On top of the 5,000 job losses announced in June, Centrica now wants to make cuts to pay and terms and conditions.”

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“GMB members have worked throughout the coronavirus crisis to maintain services to customers and delivered millions of meals to the elderly and vulnerable.

“It now appears Centrica have used this period planning cuts to the earnings of loyal staff”. 

The company said that the new conditions would not affect pay or pensions. A spokesperson said:

 “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.”

Centrica, which was recently demoted from the FTSE 100 premier share index, was undergoing a torrid time even before the coronavirus pandemic began.

Read more: British Gas owner Centrica to cut 5,000 jobs

In recent years, the firm has been hit hard by the imposition of a price cap for energy suppliers, which has damaged its margins.

The current pandemic has further battered it, which earlier this year cancelled its dividend and warned it would take a £100m hit due to the virus.