E.On staff got grim news just weeks before Christmas, when the power company announced it would cut nearly 700 jobs over the next two years.
The company plans to cut back, mainly in support and management roles, as part of what it says, migrate customers to a new platform.
A total of 695 jobs will be affected, out of 3,500.
Union leaders have described the news as “devastating.”
Most of the jobs affected will come from the company’s non-customer-facing residential and smaller businesses (SMBs), the company says.
A spokesperson for E.On said: “We informed our colleagues today of plans to continue the transformation of a number of areas in our UK business, mainly our residential and SME supply businesses with a small number of roles from our industrial and commercial activities.
“This is not a new announcement – it is the next level of detail from proposals previously presented to colleagues.
“We are migrating npower and E.On customers to our new E.On Next platform and with the efficiencies, our residential and SMB business will eventually shrink in the future.
“We will continue full consultation with the unions and any job reductions will be achieved over the next two years, as much as possible on a voluntary basis.
“As always, we work with our colleagues to provide help and support, including guiding people to other opportunities within E.On.”
The new E.On Next platform should be ready in 2022.
Germany’s E.On is the UK’s second largest energy supplier.
It employs a total of 9,400 employees.
Unite regional officer Matt Jones said, “This is terrible news for E. On employees and their families in the run-up to Christmas, but was not unexpected given that recent talks have taken place against the background of harmonization of the services that are being used. offered by E Since it has acquired Npower.
“The restructuring process has also been accelerated by the impact of Covid-19 on its business model.
“Unite remains committed to working constructively with E.On management at this difficult time for the energy sector in particular and the country in general, and to provide maximum support to our members.”
He added, “During the consultation period, we will examine the business case for the job losses and explore options such as improved voluntary layoffs, redeployment and early retirement to mitigate the impact on the livelihoods and jobs of our members.
“We will strongly oppose redundancies.
“However, we will not tolerate measures that use the pandemic as an excuse to undermine the wages and conditions of our members – such moves will be vigorously opposed.”
The news comes just minutes after it was announced that Peacocks and Jaeger were entering the board.
The UK economy is gearing up for another recession after the government imposed a second lockdown.
Most economists brace themselves to allow unemployment to rise for the rest of the year, if not longer.
Recent figures put the UK’s overall unemployment rate at 1.62 million people, and restrictions on businesses operating place huge limits on how much businesses can do to make money.