Helpline established for Scottish workers affected by Carillion liquidation

Helplines have been set up for those in Scotland who may be affected by the liquidation of construction giant Carillion.

Scottish Government ministers held a meeting where they decided to help provide more information to those caught up in the collapse of the company amid fears of redundancies in the coming days.

Scottish Enterprise has now set up an advice line for companies affected while support for apprentices is also available through Skills Development Scotland.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: "We recognise this is a very worrying time for employees and companies who will be concerned for their jobs and livelihoods, and have set up these support lines to ensure people can get the advice they need, and so we can understand the extent of this situation as we know this will affect the wider supply chain.

"The Scottish Government and our agencies are working closely with the liquidators and the UK Government regarding the measures they intend to put in place regarding private sector, Network Rail and UK Government-backed contracts, and to secure the completion of these contracts."

High-profile contracts in Scotland include the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route but Mr Brown said there was "nothing in the nature" of the group's announcement which would mean delays to the project.

Carillion has public sector or public-private partnership contracts worth £1.7 billion, including providing school dinners, cleaning and catering at NHS hospitals, construction work on rail projects such as HS2 and maintaining 50,000 Army base homes for the Ministry of Defence.

Its shares price has plunged more than 70% in the past six months after a string of profit warnings and breached its financial rules.

The group, which employs about 20,000 British workers, has been struggling under £900 million of debt and a £587 million pension deficit.

Anger is growing over bumper payouts received by Carillion's former chief executive Richard Howson.

He pocketed £1.5 million in salary, bonuses and pension payments during 2016 and, as part of his departure deal, Carillion agreed to keep paying him a £660,000 salary and £28,000 benefits until October.

Scottish companies affected by the Carillion insolvency can call Scottish Enterprise on 0300 013 3385. The redundancy helpline operated by Skills Development Scotland is 0800 917 8000.

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