Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Housing Group Gentoo to Lose 330 Jobs after Budget Change

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Housing Group Gentoo to Lose 330 Jobs after Budget Change

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Keighley Business reporter tom.keighley@ncjmedia.co.uk

SOCIAL housing provider Gentoo has confirmed it will make 330 redundancies in the wake of Government reductions in social housing rents and welfare reforms.

In the summer, the Sunderlandbased organisation signalled it would need to reduce controllable costs by PS18.25m by March 2018.

Gentoo is one of Sunderland's largest employers and the job losses - which will take effect after April 2016 - represent 18% of the total workforce.

The group encouraged staff seeking voluntary redundancy and early retirement to come forward.

Workers at the social enterprise were briefed yesterday by acting chief executive John Craggs.

Mr Craggs said: "It is never easy to make announcements like this, especially when you have such a passionate and dedicated workforce like we have here at Gentoo.

"The unfortunate reality is that our sector is facing a huge period of change and a range of financial pressures and we have to act now to ensure the Group remains fit for the future.

"We pride ourselves on being a responsible business and this starts with treating our people well and fairly. This is a very difficult time, however we will work with staff and our union colleagues to mitigate the impact of this as much as possible and keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum.

"An overview and timeline was outlined to all staff today and they will continue to be fully informed at every stage. We have also set up a dedicated internal team to support staff.

"Continuing to deliver a quality service for our customers remains our priority."

Gentoo says the move is in response to measures introduced by George Osborne in July's Budget.

The Chancellor changed the social housing rent formula which allowed housing associations to raise rents in line with the consumer prices index (CPI), plus 1%. …

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