Anglian Water announces 42 job losses

Sam WilliamsAnglian Water has confirmed 42 redundancies as part of a shake-up of working arrangements after being ordered to cut bills.Sam Williams

Anglian Water has confirmed 42 redundancies as part of a shake-up of working arrangements after being ordered to cut bills.

The company, which is required to reduce average bills by �28 by 2015 by regulator Ofwat, is introducing changes to working arrangements for 650 of its 'field-based' staff across the region to improve efficiency.

The shake-up includes a shift to 'single crewing', in which one rather than two employees attend call-outs to jobs where appropriate, which has led to the redundancies, almost half of which were voluntary.

While the changes have been criticised by union officials, AW has warned they are necessary protect jobs and avoid outsourcing work to external contractors.

Proposed changes under the AW's Shaping the Future programme could also see some employees move to four-day weeks, retaining the same number of hours, but including Saturday shifts to provide services to customers at convenient times.

The company has also been in 'detailed discussions' with unions about modernising working practices in other parts of the business, which has not resulted in any job losses for the remainder of AW's 3,800 employees.

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Bosses say the changes will ensure a high level of service to customers while lowering costs. Staff who move to the new working arrangements will be offered at least �5,300.

Managing director Peter Simpson, said: 'Along with many other businesses, we are facing financial challenges.'

Michael Ainsley, GMB organiser, said the union was consulting with its members over the proposals, which he described as 'a comprehensive attack' on pay and conditions.

He added: 'What will be put to our members will be the least worst option, but it is for them to decide whether they will accept them or not.'

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