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Future of Work

Construction giant Carillion is to go into liquidation, threatening thousands of jobs. The move came after talks between the firm, its lenders and the government failed to reach a deal to save the UK’s second biggest construction company.

Carillion ran into trouble after losing money on big contracts and running up huge debts. Its failure means the government will have to provide funding to maintain the public services run by Carillion.

“All employees should keep coming to work, you will continue to get paid. Staff that are engaged on public sector contracts still have important work to do,” said government minister David Lidington.

Carillion is involved in major projects such as the HS2 high-speed rail line, as well as managing schools and prisons.

It is the second biggest supplier of maintenance services to Network Rail, and it maintains 50,000 homes for the Ministry of Defence.

Carillion chairman Philip Green said it was a “very sad day” for the company’s workers, suppliers and customers. The company has 43,000 staff worldwide – 20,000 in the UK. It is not clear yet how those staff will be affected.

Many smaller firms who work for Carillion have contacted the BBC with concerns about whether they will be paid.

One company, which provided services for Carillion’s prisons contract, told the BBC that it might fail if it is not paid the £80,000 owed to it.

It is likely that Carillion’s contracts will be taken on by other firms and some could be taken back into the public sector, but it is not clear which ones or how long the process will take.

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