Carillion liquidation – what UNISON is doing for members

The private contractor Carillion has gone into liquidation. Many UNISON members work for Carillion, delivering vital services across the public sector, including in hospitals, schools and libraries.

This webpage will be kept updated with information for Carillion members, as it becomes available.

Liquidation means that the company has effectively run out of funds to pays it outstanding bills and is being dissolved. The sudden collapse of Carillion sent shockwaves across UNISON, with hundreds of members suddenly fearful for their jobs, their pensions and their livelihoods. Since receiving the news, we have taken decisive action to reassure members and push the government for decisions to secure their future.

Key advice for members is outlined on this webpage and further detail can be found in the FAQs at the bottom of this page. Please continue to check this page – the situation is developing quickly and we will continue to post updates here.

Redundancy

Everyone who worked for Carillion will technically be made redundant as the company will cease to exist. This will happen regardless of whether you are in-sourced or moved to another employer.

You will be legally entitled to a redundancy payment if you have worked for Carillion for at least 2 years. This will be calculated as a statutory redundancy payment and it is calculated on the basis of the employee’s age, length of service and weekly pay.

UNISON will support all members to claim the redundancy payment they are entitled to. Carillion and the Official Receiver are in the process of contacting all employees with the code that they need to claim, and details of how they apply for their payment.

Where people are continuing in their roles we are actively working with commissioning bodies and new employers to ask that they honour terms, conditions and continuity of service. Some people may not be moved onto new contracts and in this case UNISON will do all they can to support these members. The government has instructed the Job Centre Plus rapid response team to be available to any Carillion workers who are not part of a transfer to new employers.

The circumstances of this type of liquidation mean that many parts of TUPE do not apply. The trade unions asked the government to enact something called COSOP that would have mean that TUPE would have applied. However the government has now confirmed that this will not happen.

New contracts

If you are approached by another employer, who tell they are taking over your contract and ask you to urgently sign a new contract – it is important that you do not sign anything with another company until you have your official redundancy notice from Carillion or you are instructed by Carillion or the Official receiver to do so. If you do it may mean you are unable to claim your redundancy payment as you may be deemed to have left voluntarily. If you are unsure please take advice from your branch or regional official.

UNISON are reaching out to new employers and we will use the law where we need to ensure we are involved in consultations. Wherever we have members transferring to a new company, UNSION will reach out to build a relationship, with the aim of securing protection of conditions for our members.

Pensions

All Carillion pension schemes will at some point move into something called the Pension Protection Fund. This is a scheme that is set up by the government to help protect the pensions of members of private sector pension funds.
Our pension officers are working with their equivalents in the other trade unions to put pressure on the government to give assurances on the future of pensions for Carillion employees. We have also asked to meet with the pensions expert at insolvency service, and the Pensions Regulator. We are still waiting to hear the detail of what will happen next but keep an eye on this webpage as we will update it as soon as we have more information.

If you have an NHS pension or local government pension scheme (LGPS) because many areas of TUPE don’t apply in the case of Carillion’s liquidation we don’t yet know whether all our members who currently pay into these schemes will be able to continue. A lot will depend on where they are transferring to and will be a decision for the new employer. UNISON is actively engaging with new employers to open up discussions on what will happen going forward.

Key things UNISON have done:

  • Pushing for an urgent meeting with Carillion national management.
  • Calling for the government to set up a task force to deal with the fall out, emphasising that this group must include trade unions;
  • Calling for Carillion’s public sector contracts to immediately be brought back in house;
  • Approaching commissioning bodies to ask what steps they are taking to keep services running and what they plan to do with the contracts;
  • Pushing for greater clarification on the Cabinet Office’s statement that staff on public sector contracts would continue to be paid.  We are asking for greater detail on how public and private work is defined and for more information about the mechanics of continuing to pay wages;
  • Pressing the government for guarantees on pensions and pension protection.  We have agreed with other trade unions to convene a joint meeting of our pensions officers to look at the issues in detail and to provide some urgent advice;
  • Using the media to highlight the damaging impact of Carillion’s collapse and the affect it is having on our members.
  • Working with Labour Party and other trade unions in coordinate way to keep up the pressure on the government to fulfil their promised to Carillion workers and guarantee their futures.

If you work for Carillion you should have received two letters from our General Secretary, Dave Prentis – both are in the resources below. We will continue to update this page and communicate directly with Carillion UNISON members.

FAQs

UNISON Carillion FAQs

  • I want to help UNISON with their media on Carillion’s collapse. How do I get involved?

    Please contact the press team on press@unison.co.uk

    —————————————————————————-

    For all enquiries about the collapse of Carillion and how it might affect you please contact the Private Contractors Unit at private.contractors@unison.co.uk

  • Will I still be able to pay my union membership by DOCAS when I move to my new employer?

    Whether you can continue to pay by DOCAS in your new employer will depend on what agreement they have or are willing to sign with UNISON.

    If your new employer does allow union payments through DOCAS the payroll information will need to be passed onto them by Carillion.  There shouldn’t be any problems with this, but there can sometimes be a delay.  UNISON will make sure that no one has their membership lapsed if this is the reason for a missing payment and they will work with Carillion and the new employer to make sure the issue is resolved as soon as possible.

    If your new employer does not allow DOCAS then you will be able to switch over to paying by direct debit.

  • I am worried about how this will affect my Universal Credit

    We are aware that a gap or change in the frequency of payments to you might affect how your universal credit is calculated.  If you have any worries about how this will affect you financially please phone UNISON Direct on 0800 0 857 857.

    We are also looking for case studies on the impact Carillion’s liquidation is having on Universal Credit recipients.  If you are affected please also contact us at private.contractors@unison.co.uk to let us know.

  • I am worried about how the collapse of Carillion will impact me financially

    UNISON There for You, our welfare service, is fully briefed on the situation with Carillion and are ready to help our members.  If you are worried about your finances then please call UNISON Direct on 0800 0 857 857. Further information can also be found below under resources.

  • We are being told locally that UNISON does not have recognition with Carillion so we don’t need to be consulted

    UNISON has national recognition with Carillion across the whole of the health business and where contracts have been transferred from the public sector in the past we are still recognised if there has never been any formal notice to rescind this.  We have had confirmation from Carillion nationally that UNISON has the right to be consulted with.

    PWC are sending over to us the list of all upcoming transfers.  As we get this we are sending this out to regions so that we can insert ourselves into, what at times may be quite fast, consultations.

  • I’ve been told that I’m moving to a new employer and that they cannot guarantee my terms and conditions. What should I do?

    The first thing to do is to contact your branch and to not sign anything until you have had official confirmation from Carillion and the Official Receiver that this what is happen to your contract.  The Private Contractors Unit will support branches to reach out to these new employers and we will use the law where we need to ensure we are involved in consultations.

  • I’ve been told that Serco will be taking over my contract. What do I need to know?

    UNISON has a national relationship and national recognition with Serco and has already met with them to discuss how the contracts will be transferred over.  We have made it clear that we want Carillion staff to move over to Serco with no detriment.   Further talks on this will be held over the coming weeks.

    We are also seeking a meeting with Brookfields/BGIS, the Canadian company who may be buying another part of Carillon’s business.   Wherever we have members transferring to a new company UNSION will be reaching out to build a relationship with them with the aim of securing protection of conditions for our members

  • I have an NHS/LGPS pension? What will happen to my pension?

    Because many areas of TUPE don’t apply in the case of Carillion’s liquidation we don’t yet know whether all our members who currently pay into these schemes will be able to continue.   A lot will depend on where they are transferring to and will be a decision for the new employer.  UNISON is actively engaging with new employers to open up discussions on what will happen going forward.

    If you are in the NHS or Local Government Pension Scheme then the design of these schemes mean that all the pension that you have accrued to this date is secure and protected.

  • I have a Carillion pension plan. What will happen to my pension?

    All Carillion pensions schemes will at some point move into something called the Pension Protection Fund.   This is a scheme that is set up by the government to help protect the pensions of members of private sector pension funds.

    Our pension officers are working with their equivalents in the other trade unions to put pressure on the government to give assurances on the future of pensions for Carillion employees.  We have also asked to meet with the pensions expert at insolvency service, and the Pensions Regulator.

    We are still waiting to hear the detail of what will happen next but keep an eye on this section of the FAQs as we will update them as soon as we have any more information.

  • Am I entitled to a redundancy payment and how do I claim this and what do I claim?

    Dave Prentis’ most recent letter had some incorrect information about what employees would be entitled to, which we apologise for as it has caused some confusion. The correct information is:

    Statutory redundancy payment

    Any employee who is made redundant and, at that point, has at least two years’ continuous employment is entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.

    The amount of the statutory redundancy payment is calculated on the basis of the employee’s age, length of service and weekly pay in the following way:

    • One and a half week’s pay for each complete year of service aged 41 and over.
    • One week’s pay for each complete year of service between ages 22 and 40.
    • Half a week’s pay for each complete year of service under the age of 22.

    The amount of a “week’s pay” is subject to a statutory limit (currently £489) and the payments that can be taken into account when calculating an employee’s weekly pay are set down in the relevant legislation.

    A maximum of 20 years’ service can be taken into account.

     

    You will be legally entitled to a redundancy payment if you have worked for Carillion for at least 2 years.   This will be calculated as a statutory redundancy payment and it is calculated on the basis of the employee’s age, length of service and weekly pay.

    UNISON will support all members to claim the redundancy payment they are entitled to.  Carillion and the Official Receiver are in the process of contacting all employees with the code that they need to claim, and details of how they apply for their payment

  • I’ve been approached by another employer who tell me they are taking over my contract. They have asked me to urgently sign a new contract. What should I do?

    It is important that you do not sign a contract with another company until you have your official redundancy notice from Carillion or you are instructed to by Carillion or the Official receiver to do so.  If you do it may mean you are unable to claim your redundancy payment as you may be deemed to have left voluntarily.  If you are unsure please take advice from your branch or regional official.

  • I’ve been told that I’ve been made redundant from Carillion, what does this mean?

    Everyone who worked for Carillion will technically be made redundant as the company will cease to exist.  This will happen regardless of whether you are in-sourced or moved to another employer.   The circumstances of this type of liquidation mean that many parts of TUPE do not apply.  The trade unions asked the government to enact something called COSOP that would have mean that TUPE would have applied.  However the government has now confirmed that this will not happen.

    Where people are continuing in their roles we are actively working with commissioning bodies and new employers to ask that they honour terms, conditions and continuity of service.  Some people may not be moved onto new contracts and in this case UNISON will do all they can to support these members.  The government has instructed the Job Centre Plus rapid response team to be available to any Carillion workers who are not part of a transfer to new employers.

Resources