STAFF at one of Eastbourne’s biggest employers risk losing their jobs unless they relocate to Scotland.
The Herald understands Powerplay plans to move at least 60 of its 300-strong workforce 419 miles north to Perth by October in what will be a massive blow to the local economy.
The firm, based in Moy Avenue, provides a host of services, including managing household insurance claims for some of the world’s largest financial institutions.
And it is staff from that department which are being forced into making the difficult decision over whether or not to uproot north of the border in order to keep their jobs.
One worker, who said his job was not one of those at risk, said, “The way people have been treated is really, really bad.
“They were all given a piece of paper telling them about it – one woman was in tears.”
That call came after another local rang the Herald to complain about the way staff were being treated as an afterthought compared to cutting costs.
When quizzed about the move, a spokesman for Powerplay said only, “The Powerplay and Be Group provide specialist insurance claims handling services to many clients.
“We have been working closely with one of our clients on how we can streamline and improve their customer claims process, which is proving successful.
“This has resulted in us undertaking a review of the staffing required within that area of our business and placing them into a period of consultation, prior to potential redeployment.”
However, later in the week the company spokesman Shaun Mulvey added, “Following on from our statement last week the only comment we would like to add is there is now a period of consultation during which time the business will be looking at potential redeployment opportunities for affected staff and it therefore too soon to give any more details.”
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who has worked hard to support local firms, said the potential job losses were bad news for the town.
He said, “The apparent moving of Powerplay out of Eastbourne is very disappointing.
“I am also particularly concerned for local people who stand to lose their jobs.
“I will do everything in my power to encourage the company to provide as generous a package as possible for local staff who do not wish to relocate.
“A sad day for Eastbourne particularly as so many people, across our town, are working so hard to ensure Eastbourne successfully weathers the economic challenges that affect UK plc.”