Outcry over OVO Energy shutdown in Cumbernauld increases in Holyrood

The decision to close the OVO Energy office in Cumbernauld with the potential loss of hundreds of jobs has been slammed by another politician who has spoken to staff under the axe and raised their concerns at Holyrood.

OVO Energy
OVO Energy

Scottish Nationalist MP Stuart McDonald and MSP Jamie Hepburn have asked bosses to think again, but now Central Scotland List MSP Graham Simpson has also raised the issue in the Scottish Parliament during a member's business debate last week.

The Scottish Conservative is demanding that bosses have a rethink about the closures which will also affect centres in Fife and Perth. The firm is seeking 1,700 voluntary redundancies in total.

The company, which employs 6,200 workers across the UK, had promised that there would be no redundancies when it acquired SSE’s retail arm back in January 2020. However, they intend to reduce their number of offices from 10 to three and will instead open an ‘OVO Academy’ in Glasgow. More employees will be supported to work from home following the closures, the provider has said.

However, Mr Simpson and other members from across the chamber argued that the actions taken by OVO have been completely inappropriate – with some staff reporting that they were warned by the company not to speak to anyone about it

As we reported, some had learned their fate when the news was leaked to an evening news bulletin and flagged up on social media, meaning that the company was forced into making an apology to staff the following morning.

With up to 600 jobs under threat at Cumbernauld, Mr Simpson has demanded that OVO rethink their decision to make cut-backs.

Mr Simpson said: "It’s a very worrying time for OVO staff in Cumbernauld. I have spoken to some and it is clear that for some there are real difficulties in moving their job to Glasgow. The debate in parliament highlighted a number of points. One of the important ones was that moving an online/app-based service does not serve customers well. It is easy for big companies like OVO to forget that they are only as good as their staff. They need to look after them, so I would urge them to think again.”