FEWER complusory redundancies are being made by a power company than had been feared after a large number of workers opted to take voluntary pay-offs, it has emerged.   

As part of a major restructure announced in November by npower, about 430 people at its headquarters in Rainton Bridge, Houghton le Spring faced redundancy.

The firm's offices in Thornaby and Peterlee as well as sites across the UK were affected by the cost-cutting drive which has also resulted in hundreds of jobs being shifted to India. 

Loading article content

npower had warned that about 430 back office roles at Rainton would be made redundant. Following consultation with staff, the gas and electricity supplier said it now hoped there would be "minimal compulsory redundancies" as numbers of people opting for voluntary redundancy at npower's Thornaby offices had been higher than anticipated.

All employees based in Thornaby were offered roles in Rainton, however the majority of staff have opted for voluntary redundancy.

About 100 employees will remain with the company and move to Rainton, with the company providing a shuttle bus service for affected staff for the next three years. 

The Rainton offices will continue to be npower’s flagship call centre, employing 2,200 people.

In addition, about 400 npower staff had their contracts moved to outsourcing company Capita in Peterlee, as part of a TUPE transfer of employment arrangement. 

npower has 1250 employees in Peterlee divided between three offices. It said there would be no compulsory redundancies among these employees, but confiemd that 100 people had transferred to Capita under TUPE.