Software giant set to shed jobs in Capital

Share this article

MORE jobs are set to go at a controversial mobile communications company in the Capital.

Troubled billing software giant Convergys has told 150 staff at its Edinburgh Park offices to be ready for bad news in the new year as it prepares for a major corporate restructuring.

The job losses come as the United States-based firm faces the largest employment lawsuit in Scottish legal history over the way it handled the takeover of TelesensKSCL.

Around 220 people lost their jobs when Convergys bought over the Edinburgh arm of TelesensKSCL after it went into receivership earlier this year.

The latest affected employees have been warned by letter not to talk to the press, but one insider told the Evening News: "We’ve been told there will be an additional 50 redundancies in the UK and some of them will be in Edinburgh.

"This isn’t as hard-hitting as when the takeover happened, but nobody seems to be doing much about it. It seems people feel there’s no point. I think they feel a list has already been drawn up and there will be nothing they can do if their name is on it."

A spokeswoman for Convergys said: "There is a forecast for 90 redundancies in the billing offices across Europe but we don’t know where they will be yet. We have offices in France, Spain and Germany, and Edinburgh will be considered along with these."

In June, Convergys bought the Edinburgh arm of TelesensKSCL from the official receiver, Deloitte & Touche, who had made 220 of the employees redundant just two days before the sale.

The affected staff received no salary for the month of June, no redundancy payment, and no payment for their notice or for a statutory consultation period. Even though the American company in charge has told staff it will follow proper redundancy procedures, the insider said the latest announcement had caused a further drop in morale.

"The day after announcing the redundancies, it was announced those who are left would be getting a pay rise - probably to stop the rest of the Edinburgh staff walking out - but that doesn’t really make a difference.

"Everybody here has friends who are facing Christmas without a job, so nobody is going to be jumping for joy."

Edinburgh West MP John Barrett has been involved in trying to get a fair deal for the former TelesensKSCL employees.

He said: "There was such a bad feeling after the TelesensKSCL redundancies that the company hadn’t played by the rules and nobody got a fair crack of the whip.

"Companies have to go through proper procedures and the selection that was followed was allegedly not very fair. I am assuming the new firm is well aware of the rules and we’ll be watching to make sure."

In September, almost 200 of the workers who were previously employed by TelesensKSCL launched Scotland’s biggest-ever employment lawsuit against both Deloitte & Touche and Convergys. If successful, it will be worth 8.7 million.

And the final bill could end up even higher because of a bid for unspecified damages over claims of sexual discrimination as three women on maternity leave and five who were pregnant were among those sacked.

According to Manchester-based employment solicitor David Royden, who is acting for the former employees, this made the selection process illegal.

Mr Royden said: "We believe our chances of winning the case are very high. There’s been legislation in place for years which makes it illegal to make employees redundant on the basis of a transfer of business, or to make a sale more attractive."