Npower has announced shock cuts to its workforce this week, setting out plans to cut 2,500 jobs in total – a fifth of its UK workforce, which at the time of writing stands at around 11,500 people.
The announcement comes on the back of the energy giant losing 200,000 UK customers over the last few years, and also receiving the worst customer service record among all energy suppliers in the UK in 2015. In addition to this, Npower were recently fined a record-breaking £26 million by Ofgem for inaccurate billing and lacklustre complaints handling.
The latest round of job cuts are the result of all these factors combined.
Npower’s UK headquarters are in Swindon and the company employs thousands of people in central and northern England. It is thought that Npower’s job cuts in the UK will result in more of their operations being outsourced abroad, which isn’t likely to please Ofgem, who are already concerned about Npower’s cutomer service quality.
Workers unions, the Labour party and the British Government have been quick to condemn Npower’s plans, with Unison general secretary Dave Prentis saying, “These huge job losses will come as a devastating blow to the workforce.” While The Unite union’s Kevin Coyne said, “It is an inexcusable way for the company to treat a loyal workforce which has worked hard to turn Npower’s record on customer service around in the last year.”
Meanwhile, one Npower worker has told the BBC that he has been told to look for another job since December, ever since Ofgem’s £26 million fine was announced.