Rok to Lay Off 268 Employees – PwC

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
November 12, 2010 /

PwC confirmed yesterday the plan of Rok, a building services firm, to lay off another 268 of its staff in Scotland, following a failed deal that aimed to save its business.

On Wednesday, Rok have also laid off another 711 employees and another 69 at its East Kilbride arm. The lay off covers the company’s plumbing, heating and electrical divisions. This mass lay off will see 74 losses in Dundee, 130 in Inverness, 28 in Elgin, 19 in Thurso and 17 in Fort William, the PwC reported.

The lay off has put the future of several major projects, including the £7m development of a European Marine Science Park, the upgrading of Arnish Point in Stornoway, and a £3m contract awarded in 2008 to revamp Raasay House, in question.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Cameron expressed her worries over the lay off issue as it would affect the construction industry, including Highlands and Islands. Cameron said she would bring up the job cuts issue to Finance Secretary John Swinney.

“I shall be writing to John Swinney to raise these issues. I want to know whether Rok employees have been paid for their work on public building schemes in the Highlands and Islands and what guarantees Mr Swinney can give on these schemes being completed,” Cameron added.

Highlands and Islands awarded last month a £32 million four-year contract to Rok Building Limited, but the latter has just appointed administrators on Monday after facing trouble in meeting its financial obligations.

“Many important local and central government schemes have been or are being carried out by Rok,” Stewart added.

PwC, which was appointed to take control on Monday, reported that there would be 558 cases of lay off in its maintenance and improvements business, 82 redundancies in construction, and two in its Exeter head office.

Alan Brown, director of business recovery services at PwC, ensured to pay close attention to the employees affected by the lay off, especially their claims for redundancy and other compensatory payments. Brown added that there is an ongoing discussion with an interested buyer for the rest of the PHE business.


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