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G4S planning more than 1,000 job losses in cash-handling services

Jasper Jolly
·11-min read
<span>Photograph: Mar Photographics/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Mar Photographics/Alamy

The security company G4S plans to make more than 1,000 workers redundant as it scales back its struggling cash-handling business.

G4S informed workers on Monday that it had started a consultation process that could result in as many as 1,150 people losing their jobs.

Workers affected by the cuts are likely to include drivers of armoured trucks who carry cash for businesses.

G4S’s vast security services business, which has been at the centre of multiple scandals in recent years including alleged human rights abuses, has made it one of the world’s largest private sector employers, with 558,000 workers in 90 countries. The cash-handling business has 4,500 customers in the UK and Ireland.

The coronavirus lockdown has prompted some of the UK’s most prominent companies to announce large-scale job losses. The aviation, automotive and retail sectors have been among the worst hit, as businesses adjust to dramatically reduced revenue projections.

While the government’s job retention scheme has so far protected millions of jobs, fears are mounting that unemployment will rise as the scheme begins to be phased out from August.

Since lockdown began on 23 March, some of the UK’s largest companies have announced plans to cut a total of 60,000 jobs globally, many of which will fall in the UK.

G4S – 1,150 jobs

The security company G4S plans to make more than 1,000 workers redundant as it scales back its struggling cash handling business and contends with reduced cash usage during the coronavirus pandemic. G4S informed workers in July that it had started a consultation process that could see as many as 1,150 people losing their jobs.

Boots - 4,000 jobs

Boots is cutting 4,000 jobs – or 7% of its workforce – by closing 48 opticians outlets and reducing staff at its head office in Nottingham as well as some management and customer service roles in stores.

John Lewis – 1,300 jobs
John Lewis announced that it is planning to permanently close eight of its 50 stores, including full department stores in Birmingham and Watford, with the likely loss of 1,300 jobs.

DHL - 2,200 jobs

Some 2,200 UK logistics workers involved in making Jaguar Land Rover vehicles are set to lose their jobs, around 40% of DHL's staff employed on its the contract for the carmaker. Jobs will go at all of JLR’s major factories, including Castle Bromwich, Solihull, Ellesmere Port and Halewood.

Rolls-Royce - 9,000 jobs
The jet-engine manufacturer has confirmed that 3,000 job cuts, of a planned 9,000 worldwide, will be made in the UK. In May Rolls-Royce said it would make the first round of redundancies through a voluntary programme, with about 1,500 posts being lost at its headquarters in Derby, as well as 700 redundancies in Inchinnan, near Glasgow, another 200 at its Barnoldswick site in Lancashire, and 175 in Solihull, Warwickshire.

BP- 10,000 jobs
The oil company said in June it plans to make 10,000 people redundant worldwide, including an estimated 2,000 in the UK, by the end of the year. The BP chief executive, Bernard Looney, said that the majority of people affected would be those in office-based jobs, including at the most senior levels. BP said it would reduce the number of group leaders by a third, and protect the “frontline” of the company, in its operations.

Centrica- 5,000 jobs
The owner of British Gas announced in June that it intends to cut 5,000 jobs, mostly senior roles, and remove three layers of management, in a bid to simplify the structure of its business. The energy firm has a total workforce of 27,000, of whom 20,000 are in the UK.

Bentley- 1,000 jobs
The luxury carmaker intends to shrink its workforce by almost a quarter, slashing 1,000 roles through a voluntary redundancy scheme. The majority of Bentley’s 4,200 workers are based in Crewe in Cheshire.

Aston Martin Lagonda – 500 jobs
The Warwickshire-based luxury car manufacturer has announced 500 redundancies.

British Airways - 12,000 jobs
The UK flag carrier is holding consultations to make up to 12,000 of its staff redundant, a reduction of one in four jobs at the airline. BA intends to cut roles among its cabin crew, pilots and ground staff, while significantly reducing its operations at Gatwick airport.

Virgin Atlantic - 3,000-plus jobs
Richard Branson’s airline is to cut more than 3,000 jobs, more than a third of its workforce, and will shut its operations at Gatwick.

EasyJet – 4,500 jobs
The airline has announced plans to cut 4,500 employees, or 30% of its workforce.

Ryanair – 3,000 jobs
The Irish airline intends to slash 3,000 roles and reduce staff pay by up to a fifth.

Aer Lingus – 900 jobs
The Irish airline, part of International Airlines Group (IAG) plans to cut 900 jobs.

P&O Ferries – 1,100 jobs
The shipping firm intends to cut more than a quarter of its workforce, a loss of 1,100 jobs. The company, which operates passenger ferries between Dover and Calais, and across the Irish Sea, as well as Hull to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge, will initially offer employees voluntary redundancy.

JCB – 950 jobs
Digger maker JCB said in May up to 950 jobs are at risk after demand for its machines halved due to the coronavirus shutdown.

Ovo Energy – 2,600 jobs
Britain’s second biggest energy supplier announced in May it planned to cut 2,600 jobs and close offices after the lockdown saw more of its customer service move online.

Johnson Matthey – 2,500 jobs
The chemicals company said in June it is planning to make 2,500 redundancies worldwide over the next three years. The move will affect 17% of the workforce at the firm, which is a major supplier of material for catalytic converters in cars.

Bombardier – 600 jobs
The Canadian plane maker will cut 600 jobs in Northern Ireland, as part of 2,500 redundancies announced in June.

The Restaurant Group – 3,000 jobs
3 June - The owner of Tex-Mex dining chain Chiquito, and other brands including Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s, said in June that most branches of Chiquito and all 11 of its Food & Fuel pubs would not reopen after the lockdown, leading to the loss of 1,500 jobs, with another 120 restaurants to close permanently. Total job losses could reach 3,000.

Monsoon Accessorize – 345 jobs
The fashion brands were bought out of administration by their founder, Peter Simon, in June, in a deal which saw 35 stores close permanently and led to the loss of 545 jobs.

Clarks – 900 jobs
Clarks plans to cut 900 office jobs worldwide as part of a wider turnaround strategy. The shoe retailer is grappling with the growth of online shoe shopping as well as the financial strain of coronavirus-related store closures.

Oasis and Warehouse – 1,800 jobs
The fashion brands were bought out of administration by restructuring firm Hilco in April, in a deal which led to the permanently closure of all of their stores and the loss of more than 1,800 jobs.

Debenhams – 4,000 jobs
At least 4,000 jobs will be lost at Debenhams as a result of restructuring, following its collapse into administration in April, for the second time in a year.

Mulberry – 470 jobs
The luxury fashion and accessories brand said in June it is to cut 25% of its global workforce and has started a consultation with the 470 staff at risk.

Jaguar Land Rover – 3,300 jobs
The car firm is to cut 1,100 contract workers at manufacturing plants the UK, potentially affecting factories at Halewood on Merseyside and Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands. Logistics giant DHL has also notified unions that 2,200 workers, around 40% of those currently employed on its JLR contract, will be laid off.

Travis Perkins – 2,500 jobs
The builders’ merchant is cutting 2,500 jobs in the UK, accounting for almost a 10th of its 30,000-strong workforce. The company, which is behind DIY retailer Wickes and Toolstation, said the job losses will affect staff in areas including distribution, administrative roles and sales. The move will also affect staff across 165 stores that are now earmarked for closure.

Swissport – 4,500 jobs
Swissport, which handles services such as passenger baggage and cargo for airlines has began a consultation process that is expected to result in 4,556 workers being made redundant, more than half of its 8,500 UK workforce.

Royal Mail - 2,000 jobs
Royal Mail has announced a cost-cutting plan that will involve slashing about 2,000 jobs. One in five of its near-10,000 management roles will go by March 2021, in areas including IT, finance, marketing and sales. The company’s 90,000 postal workers would not be affected by the cuts.

SSP Group – 5,000 jobs
The owner of Upper Crust and Caffè Ritazza is to axe 5,000 jobs, which represents about half of its workforce. The cuts will have an impact on staff at its head office and across its UK operations. It follows a dramatic fall in domestic and international travel, which has hit the company’s sites based at railway stations and airports.

Accenture – 900 jobs 
The consultancy firm is reduces costs in the face of lower demand for its services. The New York-listed company employs 11,000 people in offices across the UK including in Aberdeen, London and Cambridge. The UK job cuts will be at all levels, including managing directors, and across all parts of the business.

Harrods – 700 jobs
The department store group is cutting one in seven of its 4,800 employees due to the “ongoing impacts” of the pandemic. The Harrods chief executive, Michael Ward, blamed the cuts on social distancing and a lack of tourists.

Airbus – 1,700 jobs
The European planemaker announced plans this week to cut 1,700 jobs in the UK as it warned the coronavirus pandemic had triggered the “gravest crisis” in its history.

Accenture – up to 900 jobs
Accenture is to cut up to 900 jobs in the UK as the consultancy firm reduces costs in the face of lower demand for its services. The New York-listed company employs 11,000 people in offices across the UK including in Aberdeen, London and Cambridge. The UK job cuts will be at all levels, including managing directors, and across all parts of the business.


The cash solutions business is G4S’s second-largest earner, with revenues of £1.1bn in 2019. However in March, shortly before the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, it reported a loss of £91m for 2019 after it wrote down the value of its cash-handling business by £291m.

The unit has struggled amid a decline in cash transactions in the UK as people increasingly switch to card payments in stores and online. It is also understood that the decline in cash usage during the coronavirus outbreak has added further to the pressures on the company. Many shops have urged customers to avoid using cash where possible in order to reduce the number of touch points that could aid the spread of the virus.

The GMB union said it would oppose job losses and added that the redundancies could hasten the end of cash.

Roger Jenkins, a national officer at the GMB, said: “These cuts are devastating for our members and their families. GMB will fight to the end for every single job.

“They are also another worrying step towards a cashless society – the cash industry really is on a knife edge.”

On Friday, G4S was fined £44m by the Serious Fraud Office for overcharging the Ministry of Justice for the electronic tagging of offenders, some of whom had died.

G4S’s share price rose by 11% on Monday to 132p, its highest since the March writedown, after it said it expected above-consensus profits for the first half of the year.

Paul van der Knaap, the managing director of G4S Cash Solutions UK, said the firm would try to find new jobs within the company for affected workers.

“Following a review of our cash solutions operational footprint in the UK, we are proposing to reshape the business to better align it with the changing needs of our customers,” he said.

“Regrettably, this will result in a reduction in headcount and today we have entered into a period of consultation with affected staff.”