CSC outlines plans to trim UK headcount

IT provider CSC could lay off up to 640 UK staff, as discussions about its involvement in the future of the NHS IT project rumble on.

The company confirmed in a statement to IT Pro that it has entered into a 90-day consulting period with staff, and said compulsory redundancies will be avoided where possible.

"Through voluntary redundancies and redeploying people within other parts of the business, we hope to achieve a significant reduction without the need for compulsory redundancies," said the company in a statement.

"Where this is not possible, we will provide support to ensure that anyone leaving the business does so in the best possible position."

The firm said the move was a reaction to the changing IT services market. "Our customers want competitive, new services with different contract and delivery models," it added.

We owe it to our members to do everything in our power to support them and fight these job cuts

In a further statement, trade union Unite said news of the cuts had left CSC's staff "absolutely devastated". It also claimed the move would mean that a total of 1,100 jobs had been axed by the firm since February.

Unite members from CSC's Chesterfield, Chorley, Leeds and Solihull sites took part in lunchtime protests last week, claiming the firm had ignored the trade body's advice on how to avoid compulsory redundancies.

In a statement, Kevin O'Gallagher, Unite National Officer, claimed CSC was pursuing compulsory redundancies to appease its US shareholders.

"We put forward a detailed plan which will avoid any compulsory redundancies in the company. However, these plans have not been taken up and CSC is insistent on issuing redundancy notices, despite receiving a sufficient number of volunteer requests to leave the company," he said.

"We now owe it to our members to do everything in our power to support them during this very uncertain time and fight these job cuts."

Earlier this month, IT Pro reported that CSC was facing a time of uncertainty, after it confirmed no decision had been made about its continued involvement in the rollout of the NHS patient care records systems.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.