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Jobs could go at United Utilities

January 29, 2010 at 4:02 am

United Utilities, one of the major water firms in the country, has announced that it could be getting rid of between 10% and 20% of its workforce in the near future. This would lead to up to 1,800 job cuts, as reported by The Sunday Telegraph.

This news comes following new pricing guidelines that have been introduced by the regulator, Ofwat. It has decided that water companies must reduce their customer bills by 0.4% between 2011 and 2015, leading United Utilities to consider a cost-cutting programme.

The Warrington-based company currently employs 9,000 staff, but if it needs to cut costs then it is not afraid to reduce its workforce in order to meet its targets. It had previously asked Ofwat for an investment programme of £4 billion, but the regulator only agreed to £3.6 billion in the end.

Ofwat says that its plans will see average bills of 10% lower than those proposed by the water companies, which is certainly good news for customers but will unfortunately lead to job cuts.

It is not the first time that the water company has been linked with job cuts in recent months. Last year, unions claimed that it was going to cut up to 260 jobs from the water pipes staff sector.

The Sunday Telegraph quotes Barry Clarke from Water UK as saying that the Ofwat report was a “tough settlement”, even though it was more lenient than originally thought. He said that the plan would lead to companies taking “tough choices”.

United Utilities is expected to agree to Ofwat’s terms very shortly.

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