Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Culture | By Wayne Carr

Mass BT jobs cull 'will impact its ability to innovate'

Mass BT jobs cull 'will impact its ability to innovate'

Patterson, in the role since 2013, yesterday said the restructuring, which comes after a tough year last year, would focus on the essential services needed by consumers and businesses.

The company said the job losses would mainly affect back office and middle management roles, with two thirds of the cuts set fall on United Kingdom staff.

BT said on Thursday, along with its annual results, that it would shed the jobs over the next three years as it looks to slice off an extra £1.5bn in costs.

The British company said that about two-thirds of the job cuts will fall on its British workforce of about 80,000, with the remainder coming from the 18,000 staff it employs internationally.

"Our integration and restructuring activities remain on track", said chief executive Gavin Patterson.

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Plans also include focusing on 30 modern, strategic sites which will include plans to exit its headquarters in central London to find smaller offices.

More than half of these new jobs had already been announced by Openreach, BT's broadband infrastructure standalone subsidiary.

"It is particularly disappointing as Prospect has been working closely with BT to ensure that the impact of organisational changes including restructuring and re-organisation have been thoroughly examined but this number sounds unrealistic". If we are compared with our peers we are frankly too complex and overweight.

It will however seek to hire around 6,000 new employees for customer services and network deployment.

The FTSE 100-listed firm is maintaining its dividend - despite worries over a possible cut - and has agreed a new pension funding plan to provide confidence about the long-term outlook. This will entail payments of £2.1bn over three years with a further £2bn to be raised from a bond issue.

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The final salary scheme, closed to new members in 2001, had been the UK's largest private sector pension with a total of more than 300,000 members including retirees and ex-employees.

The strategy comes after the group reported a 3% drop in fourth-quarter revenue to £5.967 billion, just missing analysts' expectations, while core earnings came in at £2.083 billion, up 1%.

BT said that the majority of the redundancies will come from back-end roles and mid-management, adding that simplifying its structure will result in "fewer, bigger, more accountable leadership roles".

BT was also a year ago hit by a £42 million fine from regulator Ofcom, plus a £300 million compensation bill, for its failings around "deemed consent" in its Openreach division.

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