Carillion collapse: Government sets up taskforce to support businesses and workers

The Government is setting up a national task force to support businesses and workers affected by the collapse of construction and outsourcing giant Carillion earlier this week.

Carillion, which employed 46,000 people worldwide, including 20,000 in the UK, announced that it was going into liquidation on Monday, saddled with debt and liabilities of around £1.5bn and a gaping pensions deficit.

The taskforce will include representatives from business, construction trade associations, trade unions, lenders and the Government. The first meeting was due to be chaired by Business Secretary Clark Gregg on Thursday.

A business department spokesperson said the taskforce had been created to “support and monitor the impact on small businesses and employees who have been affected by Carillion’s insolvency”.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady welcomed the news.

“We are pleased the Government has agreed to union calls for a national taskforce to deal with the collapse of Carillion,” Ms O’Grady said.

“Time is of the essence in dealing with this crisis. We need urgent action to protect jobs, pay and pensions. This cannot be a talking shop,” she added.

The TUC said it is pressing for the transfer of private sector contracts, including pay and pensions, to alternative providers. It is also demanding a comprehensive support package from the Government for at-risk workers, apprentices and small firms.

The TUC also said that it wanted Carillion’s public-service contracts to be brought back in-house, the Government to conduct an urgent risk assessment on other large outsourcing firms, and a moratorium to be introduced on future outsourcing.

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