Reassurrance over Webhelp jobs following Thomas Cook collapse

Staff at a Larbert call centre which dealt with work for travel agents Thomas Cook have been told their jobs are safe for now.

Webhelp took over the call centre in August last year, along with the 300 members of staff.

However, there were fears for jobs when early yesterday morning it was announced that the beleaguered firm had ceased trading.

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Around 9000 jobs linked to Thomas Cook were said to be at risk in the UK and 22,000 worldwide.

But today Webhelp eased the fears of those employed at the Larbert centre by saying they would try to redeploy as many as possible.

There has been no talk of job losses.

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A spokesperson for Webhelp said: “The situation that all Thomas Cook companies have ceased trading is an understandably worrying time for Thomas Cook’s employees, customers and partners.

“It is also unsettling for Webhelp employees, particularly those who worked on our Thomas Cook business. We greatly appreciate the ongoing hard work of our dedicated employees during this period of transition.

“As we are no longer providing services to Thomas Cook, we are considering the impact on our business – with a particular focus on our people. Our priority is to seek suitable alternative roles within Webhelp wherever possible and provide support to our colleagues as we work through this process.”

Following the collapse of the tour operator the government launched an operation to repatriate around 150,000 stranded holidaymakers who were booked with Thomas Cook.

Yesterday, Falkirk MP John McNally said: “Devastating news about the sudden collapse of Thomas Cook this morning. Workers today face job losses and possible uncertainty and hardship to their families.

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“The closure will have profound effect on both the store on our High Street in Falkirk, and at the call centre in Larbert. The blow to the workers there is terrible.

“I will write to the UK Government to seek that employees are fully supported by government agencies throughout the fallout of the collapse. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this.”

Meanwhile, Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “The collapse of Thomas Cook has obviously caused major inconvenience for the thousands of holidaymakers left stranded abroad or who have had their upcoming travel plans thrown into disarray, and I fully understand the distress this may cause.

“Fortunately, many of these travellers will be covered by the ATOL scheme and I urge any constituents who have been affected to get the most up-to-date information and advice from the dedicated website and helplines that have been set up by the Civil Aviation Authority.

“In the longer term, my biggest concern is for the thousands of Thomas Cook employees and their families who will have been left devastated by this news – and especially those who worked at the Thomas Cook store in Falkirk and any of the outsourced staff at the call centre in Larbert who may be affected.”