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
newsNew images splice vintage WWII photos with modern-day setting
Arts and Entertainment
The star dances on a balcony in the video
music
News
Official estimates of the level of sham marriages range between 4,000 and 10,000 every year
science
News
Damon Gameua took on a low-fat, high-sugar health food diet for 60 days
peopleAustralian director Damon Gameua was given warning by his GP
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Voices
Ukip leader Nigel Farage arrives at the Rochester by-election count
voicesIs it any wonder that Thornberry, Miliband, and Cameron have no idea about ordinary everyday life?
Sport
sportComment: Win or lose Hamilton represents the best of Britain
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsene Wenger reacts during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Swansea
footballMan United and Arsenal meet on Saturday with both clubs this time languishing outside the top four
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

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines