BT doubles job cuts to 30,000

One of the biggest job cuts of the current recession was announced today when telecoms giant BT revealed plans to axe up to 15,000 posts in the coming year - 10 per cent of its workforce.

The firm said it had already slashed 15,000 jobs in the last 12 months, 5,000 more than expected, as it unveiled pre-tax losses of £134 million for the year to March 31.

BT said it was aiming to cut the jobs through natural wastage, non replacement and voluntary redundancy and had no plans for compulsory lay-offs, but the scale of the losses was grim news for the economy, coming just days after unemployment jumped by almost a quarter of a million to 2.2 million.

Chief executive Ian Livingston said BT would do all it could to protect the jobs of its permanent staff despite the scale of the cuts, pledging that some workers would be redeployed and retrained and could even take up a BT apprenticeship.

There will be a "substantial" reduction in recruitment this year and fewer apprentices will be taken on, said Mr Livingstone, revealing that 2,000 jobs came back from India in the last year in a reverse of the outsourcing drive followed by many British companies.

Mr Livingston said there will also be more flexible work patterns introduced, including call centre staff based at home rather than in an office.

The pre-tax losses follow a mammoth £1.9 billion hit from BT's global services arm, which provides IT networks to multinational businesses.

BT announced £340 million of provisions in February but added another £1.2 billion today because of a more cautious view on the progress of cost savings and the performance of the division's two biggest contracts, thought to include its work on the £12.7 billion overhaul of the NHS's computer system.

The division also booked £280 million of restructuring charges and warned of a further £420 million of costs over the next two financial years.

While its other businesses have been performing well, BT signalled the problems at the global services division last October, sending its shares below their flotation price more than 20 years ago.

BT dealt a further blow to shareholders today by announcing a 59% cut in the company's full-year dividend to 6.5p a share, while saying it will be increasing its pensions payments from £280 million to £525 million a year, although there was no new figure for the size of its deficit.

Mr Livingston said: "Three out of four of BT's lines of business have performed well in spite of fierce competition and the global economic downturn.

"However this achievement has been overshadowed by the unacceptable performance of BT Global Services and the resulting charges we have taken."

He said there were signs that a new leadership team at BT Global Services was starting to turn the division around.

BT's revenues rose 3% to £21.39 billion in the year to March 31, but the company said economic conditions and the restructuring of global services meant it was braced for a fall of between 4% and 5% in the current financial year.

At BT Retail, revenues were down 3% in the final three months of the year, driven by a 7% decline in consumer revenues as weaker calls activity was only partly offset by growth in broadband and TV-on-demand service BT Vision.

BT said its workforce fell from 162,000 to 147,000 in the year to March, 5,000 more than predicted, with the extra cuts largely among agency staff.

The company said it had worked very closely with its unions to ensure that alternative work is found for any members of staff who didn't volunteer for redundancy but whose position has gone, adding that more than 2,000 staff have been found alternative work within BT.

Andy Kerr, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said: "Fifteen thousand is a very challenging level of job losses, especially on the back of last year's reductions.

"We expect the majority of job losses to be third party - contractors and agency staff - as they were last year with many jobs being lost outside of the UK. However this is a serious day for staff at BT.

"We're working closely with the company to ensure any losses are voluntary and we're looking at new ways of finding new work and retaining permanent employees, including secondment agreements."

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home