Thames Water has plans to cut its staff count by 650 as it seeks to reduce operational costs. Thames is currently the largest water company in the United Kingdom, and it has been the center of much criticism for leaks.
The company informed 350 of its staff members of its plans to make them redundant. The other 300 positions are expected to be eliminated by bringing contractor roles to an end. The roles being cut are mostly support positions served in the Thames Valley and in London.
Thames is adamant that customers need not expect any degradation in service. In fact, the company implied that the move could result in better service as it allows for the capacity to increase spending on priorities such as customer complaint and leakage reduction.
The announcement was made on the same day that the utilities regulator Ofwat issued a warning to Thames Water about concerns about its current five-year business plan.
Thames wasn’t the only firm that received the warning as Ofwat explained similar sentiments to three others, which requires them to look over their proposals. According to the regulator, the proposals grossly exaggerated maintenance costs.
Other water suppliers are also reportedly in hot water with Ofwat has other water suppliers have attracted the regulator’s attention. These firms are SES Water, Yorkshire Water, and Anglian Water.
Though Thames Water has already advised staff members of the redundancy plans, there is a ray of hope as the company stated it intends to minimize redundancies once possible. The idea is to do so by considering redeployment for affected groups and by prioritizing voluntary redundancies.
Thames realizes the impact that this has on the employees as it has stated that it is aware that this is tough news for the employees on the chopping block. In fact, the water supplier has committed to providing practical help so these people can find new roles.