The government has announced a landmark moment in the liquidation of former industry giant Carillion after it revealed the last of its 278 contracts has today been taken over by another company.
The latest move in the seven-month saga signals the end of the trading phase of the liquidation which began on 15 January and means 13,945 jobs (76% of the workforce) have transferred to new contract providers. However, 2,787 employees have been made redundant and a further 1,272 employees have left the business ever since the firm went under after finding new work, retiring or other reasons.
Around 240 core employees are still retained, mainly at the company’s original Wolverhampton base, to help the Official Receiver and its special managers from PwC close out the remaining activities.
The Official Receiver called in accountants PwC to act as special managers and help find new companies to take over hundreds of Carillion contracts, including 450 with government departments. These contracts were kept running to ensure essential public services across hospitals, schools, roads, rail and elsewhere were maintained.
Commenting on this milestone, the Official Receiver, Dave Chapman, said the focus of the liquidation will now “shift to the provision of limited transitional services for some suppliers and finalising Carillion’s trading accounts”.
“Carillion is the largest ever trading liquidation in the UK, Chapman said. “The continued uninterrupted delivery of essential public services since the company’s collapse in January reflects the significant effort put in by its employees, supported by my team and those employed by the special managers. During this period 83% of the original workforce have either transferred with the contracts or resigned with another job to go to. Staff have been very professional throughout the liquidation and I want to thank them for their support as we worked to find new suppliers.” Chapman also confirmed that an investigation will now get underway to conclude the cause of the company’s failure, including the conduct of its directors.
The latest announcement just a week after it was revealed that the latest redundancies at Carillion involved 340 construction apprentices. The revelation sparked anger by the Unite union which said that 340 of the total 356 job losses, were “an act of crass stupidity”.