Britain’s biggest energy supplier has placed 3,800 workers on government-paid furlough as it reduces operations during the Covid-19 outbreak. Centrica said that it had refocused most of its staff towards emergency work and to looking after vulnerable customers, but some could not be redeployed. These affected employees will receive 100 per cent of their salaries, with the company topping up the 80 per cent provided by the government through its coronavirus job retention scheme. Last week the British Gas owner suspended its proposed final dividend and unveiled a series of cost-cutting measures to shore up its finances. It is one of several energy companies to have approached the government over financial support to help them to cope with customers who cannot pay bills. Eon, the German group that is Britain’s second biggest supplier, has placed about 4,000 of its staff in Britain on leave, including 3,000 at its Eon UK supply division and 1,000 at Npower, which it recently acquired. Ovo, the third biggest supplier in Britain, which recently acquired the domestic supply business of SSE, has put 3,400 of its employees on furlough.
Times 8th April 2020 read more »