Gentoo Group, who own and manage approximately 30,000 homes, is one of the biggest employers in the North East with more than 1,900 staff. However, with 1,200 now fearing for their jobs in a spate of redundancies, Gentoo have issued a statement pointing an accusatory finger at the government for the job cuts.
The shock announcement of large-scale redundancies was made to staff by Gentoo Group Chief Executive Peter Walls at a specially-convened meeting held at Rainton Meadows Arena at Houghton-le-Spring.
He revealed that savings of up to £18m will have to be made following government announcements in the Budget which cut social housing rents and stepped up welfare reform.
Read the full statement given below:
“The Government’s recent summer Budget announced reductions in social housing rents and other welfare reforms. We are currently analysing the implications of this on our business. Unfortunately, current estimates are showing that we will need to make savings in the region of £18 million per year, over four years.”
“It is with great regret that a significant proportion of these savings will need to come from our employee costs and this will inevitably result in staff redundancies. Being a responsible business is important to us and our staff are the heart of the Group. We really value our workforce and their input and as such want to inform and involve them in this process as early as possible.”
“We are currently working through what the extent of this looks like and over what timeframe. Our final plan needs to be agreed by our Board during October as we are required by our Regulator to submit a revised Group Business Plan to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) by 30 October 2015.”
“This is a very difficult time, however we will work with staff and our Union colleagues to mitigate the impact of this as much as possible.”
“Delivering a quality service to our customers remains our priority and we will ensure Gentoo remains fit for the future and that our service continues to be centred on our customers and their needs.”