Thomas Cook customer services employees who work for Webhelp UK will be offered the option of redundancy as the firm carries out a “strategic business review”.
Back in August the 120 staff based at the call centre in Central Boulevard, Larbert, were told they would no longer be employed by Thomas Cook and their jobs were then transferred to customer experience outsourcing firm Webhelp from October, without even an offer of redundancy being put on the table.
Now Webhelp confirmed this week, as part of a strategic business review, it has entered into a consultation process with employees who work on Thomas Cook customer services, and unions, over proposed changes which could see staff given the option to move to another part of the Webhelp business or even offered a redundancy package.
A Webhelp spokesperson said: “Strategic reviews happen on an ongoing basis across all our UK sites in order to remain competitive so we can continue to deliver high levels of service for our clients and their customers.
“Thomas Cook customers will continue to benefit from support from Webhelp, whose teams have a wealth of experience working with some of the UK’s leading travel brands. Employees were informed of the proposed changes on December 3 and we will continue to keep them informed throughout the process.
“The TSSA Union, which represents some of our employees, has been informed and will be part of the consultation process, in addition to employee representatives from across the workforce.”
The firm stated there are 240 employees on the site and potentially half of them may be impacted by the proposed changes, which come into effect from April 2019.
The spokesperson added: “Should the proposals – which are still subject to full consultation – progress, we are very hopeful through understanding personal preferences and exploring the many other job opportunities in Webhelp, the number of potential compulsory redundancies as a result of the proposals will be minimal through 2019.
“Our focus now is to consult on the proposals and have meaningful conversations with our team. This will involve exploring the options available to each employee and understanding their personal preferences with regard to their future status.
“As we progress through the consultation process, we will be sensitive to our employees’ concerns and act with due care and professionalism.”
Earlier this year employees revealed their frustration over the way the transfer from Thomas Cook to Webhelp was handled.
A former worker stated: “It’s ridiculous how the whole thing came about, there were people in tears. Some managers wanted staff to go back on to take calls after being told. It’s just out of order.”
A member of staff added: “Lots of people have walked out and are very angry. No redundancies have been offered even though most staff would take this option as it has not been confirmed what we will be doing.”
Back in August Thomas Cook confirmed at that time redundancies would not be offered as the “existing set-up” will remain at its Central Boulevard premises.