Southern Water redundancies: More information uncovered about Worthing job losses

The Southern Water headquarters in Worthing. Picture: Eddie Mitchell
The Southern Water headquarters in Worthing. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

More information has been uncovered about the redundancies being made at Southern Water's headquarters in Worthing.

It had previously been revealed by the trade union Unison that around 220 customer service roles at Southern Water would be affected by jobs being transferred to Capita on August 1.

Southern Water's headquarters are in Durrington, Worthing, and it is a major employer in the area.

According to Caroline Fife, regional organiser for Unison, around 160 jobs would transfer to Capita's centres in Rotherham and Bangalore, India, and around 50 jobs would be retained under a new structure.

She said that yesterday, the company met with the staff members whose jobs were being transferred to Rotherham and those staff now know who they are.

However, as the work will progressively be learned by Capita staff until the end of October, they will be made redundant progressively, she said.

She said 'it was clear from what the company said that they have been planning this for at least a year' and that the contract with Capita was signed the day before telling staff on Wednesday.

She said: "People broke down in tears saying they have been treated disgracefully.

"Staff are very angry, very upset and very anxious for the future."

The staff members whose jobs were being transferred to India and the people whose jobs will be retained still do not know who they are.

Staff were told they would be given more information in the next week, Caroline said.

She added that Unison had been asking Southern Water to explain why they had made this decision and it was unfortunate that the jobs were moving out of the area, but their focus now was on supporting affected staff members.

Southern Water previously issued this statement: "We are making good progress and have delivered our best ever customer service score in the water industry league table. We’ve created more than 100 jobs in our IT department by bringing the service in house.

"These positive improvements have been recognised by our regulators.

"However, there is more to do and the changes we are making will ensure our customer service remains fit for the future and meets our customers’ expectations, while keeping bills affordable and meeting the efficiency challenge set out by our regulator, Ofwat."