HR jobs at risk as British Gas prepares to axe 800 more back-office roles

Hundreds of HR jobs are under threat at British Gas after its owners announced plans to slash another 800 back-office roles by the end of the year.

Parent company Centrica said in its half-year report that it would cut an extra 300 jobs at British Gas over the next four months – on top of the 500 it already had planned.

All 800 jobs will be from back-office functions as Centrica continues its drive to streamline the utility.

“These will be from back-office departments such as information services and HR,” said a spokesman. “They will all be UK jobs, but some will be natural attrition.”

Centrica has introduced a £430m computer billing system at British Gas in a bid to increase efficiency. About 1,000 jobs have already been shed this year. The total for 2007 is expected to be 1,800.

“In the first half [of 2007], management’s rigorous approach to efficiency and cost control continued,” said Centrica chairman Roger Carr in the report.

“Headcount in the UK has been reduced by more than 1,000 and British Gas is part way through its restructuring programme designed to increase control and accountability, and deliver a significant reduction in its operating cost base.”

British Gas made a £533m operating profit in the first half of 2007 due to a sharp drop in the price it paid for energy. This compared with a £143m loss last year.

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