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Elektron Instruments: Redundancy

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assistance her Department is giving to employees at risk of redundancy at Elektron Instruments Limited in Torquay. (298055)

On 28 January 2009 Elektron Instruments notified Jobcentre Plus that they were planning to make 35 of their 136 employees in Torquay redundant. These were mainly semi-skilled print setters who had been with the company for a long time. They would be going in two ‘waves’, the first on 27 February 2009 and the second on 27 March 2009. This number was later reduced to 25.

We contacted the company the same day, and offered to give redundancy talks to those employees affected under the Rapid Response Scheme. The talks would cover an overview of how to claim benefit, the work we do with partner organisations and help jobseekers find work. They also signpost the Learning and Skills Council provision and make information and leaflets available. The aim is to help minimise some of the apprehension and prepare people for their first contact with Jobcentre Plus, especially if they have not claimed benefit for some time.

The Rapid Response Manager arranged to talk to 11 employees on 19 February 2009, supported by the Jobcentre Manager and a financial adviser.

We have established an excellent relationship with the company. They have been reducing gradually over the year, and they have contacted us each time they have been planning on making further reductions in staff to ask for the Rapid Response Scheme talks for the employees affected.

The company last contacted us on 26 October 2009 to notify that 12 more people had been put under notice. Our Rapid Response Scheme manager has arranged to talk to the outgoing employees on 18 November 2009.